Hazelnut Cupcakes with Chocolate ­Hazelnut Frosting

When I received a review copy of the new book Quick-Shop-&-Prep 5 Ingredient Baking: Cookies, Cakes, Bars & More that are Easier than Ever to MakeI instantly loved the idea. Basically, it's a collection of awesome recipes that utilize common pantry items. So it doesn't really require a lot of weird or hard to source ingredients.

One of the recipes that caught my eye right away was this one, for hazelnut cupcakes with chocolate hazelnut frosting. Like, what more could you possibly ask for? These cupcakes are simple to make, but fancy in end product. 

If you like 'em, check out the book! It was written by Jennifer McHenry, author of the Bake or Break blog!

Hazelnut Cupcakes with Chocolate ­Hazelnut Frosting

The combination of chocolate and hazelnut is nothing short of fantastic. From my first bite of chocolate­ hazelnut spread, I designated a permanent spot in my pantry for at least one jar. Here, that delicious spread stars in a sweet, creamy frosting that tops off simple cupcakes filled with toasted hazelnuts.

Makes 24 cupcakes

2 1⁄2 cups (300 g) unbleached all­purpose flour 11⁄2 tsp (7.5 g) baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1⁄2 tsp salt
3⁄4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1⁄2 cups (300 g) firmly packed light brown sugar 3 large eggs
2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
1 cup (120 g) hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

FOR THE CHOCOLATE­HAZELNUT FROSTING 8 oz (227 g) cream cheese, softened
1⁄2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened
1⁄2 cup (140 g) chocolate­hazelnut spread

2 1⁄2 cups (275 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180C). Grease 24 standard muffin cups.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.

Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add about a third of the flour mixture, and mix until a few streaks of flour remain. Mix in about half of the buttermilk. Add the remaining flour mixture in 2 portions, alternating with the remaining portion of buttermilk, mixing just until combined. Stir in the hazelnuts.

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about half full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, butter and chocolate­ hazelnut spread until blended and smooth. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, and mix until smooth. Frost the cooled cupcakes.

Tip: To toast hazelnuts, place them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 10 to 15 minutes, or until browned and fragrant. If the hazelnuts have skins on them, place the toasted nuts on a kitchen towel and rub them with the towel to remove the skins easily. 

Recipe reprinted from Quick-Shop-&-Prep 5 Ingredient Baking: Cookies, Cakes, Bars & More that are Easier than Ever to Make with permission from the author.