Self-Icing Nutella Cupcakes

I love Pinterest, because you can find really inspiring things while subsequently wasting hours upon hours of your life. It's wonderful!

I wish I could try each thing I've pinned, one right after the other, but unfortunately there's this thing called life, and it gets in the way. Too bad I have a real job. Wouldn't it be fun to stay at home and cook/craft all day? I wish!

Recently I found this recipe on Pinterest, and immediately knew I wanted to try it. Self-icing cupcakes? Yes, please! I discovered Nutella a few months back, and really loved it, but I haven't used it since the first recipe I made. Which just seems like a sin. I had almost an entire jar in my cabinet, and nothing to do on Labor Day, so away to the kitchen I went!

Come along and I'll show you how to make these yummy cupcakes.

What you see, is not what you're going to get. Just...FYI.

Gather up some flour, baking powder, oil, eggs, white sugar, butter (at room temp), vanilla, salt, and of course, Nutella.

Now, here's where the funky stuff starts happening. All I had on hand was wheat flour. I've never baked with wheat flour before. I'm not really sure why we even had wheat flour. But alas, it's what I had. Also, the original recipe called for canola or mild vegetable oil. I had olive oil, so I used it.

Halfway through setting up this lovely picture, I realized my baking powder was old. How old? Oh, it only expired in 2004! After a quick call to a neighbor friend, (whose had expired in 2003) I made a quick trip to the grocery store. Now, if I'd been using my noggin I would have picked up some white flour, but my head is still a bit foggy from all this sinus garbage. So, no white flour.

But, we plod on. In hopes of something yummy to snack on! Beat the sugar, butter and oil together in a bowl until "light and fluffy." (Whatever that means!)

Add in the eggs and vanilla, and beat until smooth.

 In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder, then combine the dry mixture with the wet mixture.

Here, I chose to stir by hand instead of beat, because none of my mixing bowls are very deep, and I really didn't feel like cleaning flour off every counter in my kitchen. Just mix until combined.

In this picture you can really see the difference the wheat flour makes. It had a slightly grainy texture, almost like muffin batter. (Which could be the reason they...well...just wait.)

 Divide the batter evenly among 12 cupcake liners. (About 2 heaping tablespoons each.) The original recipe states that the batter should be thick, which helps when mixing in the Nutella.

Next, plop a spoonful of Nutella on top of the batter, and gently swirl it through the batter with a knife, or pointy object. Now, here is where I think part of my problem came in. I got this crazy idea that the Nutella needed to be completely incorporated throughout the cupcake. Which was pretty near impossible, and resulted in a lump of Nutella at the bottom of the batter.

When I try these again, I will only gently swirl it into the top of the batter. Oh yeah, and I'll use white flour. *duh*

I got a little crazy, and in the last two cupcakes I added a small spoonful of peanut butter. More on that later!

Pop these babies in a preheated oven (325F) for 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven, until they are springy to the touch.

Now...this is what greeted me when I opened my oven. Say whaaat??? They aren't pretty! They aren't even SPRINGY for Pete's sake! You can barely see the Nutella, and they are flat on top!

They're only redeeming quality: they were delicious. But as you can see, the Nutella ended up in a mass at the bottom of the cupcake. And truthfully, they were more like a muffin.

The whole point of the Nutella is for it to act as an icing, so don't ask me what I was thinking mixing it in completely with the batter. It should just swirl slightly, and sit on top of the cupcake itself.

Now I will say, the peanut butter cupcakes...AMAZING. It added an entirely different level to them, and made them out of this world. Especially hot out of the oven.

However, this is what I wanted to make...
And friends...that ain't what I got!!

The only things I can think are that wheat flour doesn't have the same effect as white flour. I wouldn't think the oil would have anything to do with them not rising, but who knows!

In any case, you should make these. If you want a cupcake, make them with white flour. I hear they turn out wonderfully. *har har* If you want a muffin, use wheat flour. It really does taste good. Even if it isn't much to look at.

-Jenn (With 2 N's)

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