Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting

I grew up spending the day after Thanksgiving at the Christmas tree farm, picking out the tallest, fullest tree that my siblings and I could talk our parents in to buying.  Times have changed (no Christmas tree farms here), so Frank and I use the post-Thanksgiving days to deck out our scrawny plastic tree, and I do enough baking to fill the apartment with holiday cheer.  This weekend I roasted a chicken and popped these cupcakes in the oven, which nearly could had me convinced that it could be snowing outside…if I closed my eyes and had the air conditioning on high.

I knew I wanted to re-visit this sweet frosting for the weekend’s round of baking.  It is one of my favorite ways to top cupcakes and is also one of the most searched recipes on this blog.  The original Nutella frosting is light and fluffy.  This Nutella Frosting 2.0 is rich and creamy, thanks to the addition of cream cheese and a bit of cocoa powder to amp up the chocolate-hazelnut flavor.  As in the original, in tasting this frosting, there is no doubt that Nutella is the star ingredient.

I’m still somewhat distracted by the fact that it has been two years since Frank and I arrived in Bangkok.  We arrived those years ago a little overwhelmed, and quite inundated by the heat.  We were excited, nervous, and uncertain about what the future would hold.  If I could sit down with that Jess in her first days in Thailand, I would have lots to say.  I would tell her that this would be the adventure of a lifetime.  I would assure her every day she would grow more in love with the man she chose to spend her life with.  I’d tell her that she would be so grateful to have him by her side in this place, particularly since he would calm her when tropical critters snuck into the house and encourage her, without reservation, to try something completely new.

I would make that Jess vanilla cupcakes with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting, tell her to take a deep breath, and enjoy the ride.

Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Turn the addictive Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread into a creamy frosting.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: about 1.5 cups (enough to top a dozen cupcakes)
  • 2 oz. (60g.) regular cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbsp./60g.) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (120g.) powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup (155g.) Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread
  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the beater attachment, combine the cream cheese and unsalted butter. Beat on high until smooth and light, about 5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder to the bowl and mix on low until fully incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat again until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the Nutella and mix on low, just until combined (do not overmix or the frosting will become grainy).
  2. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. (If refrigerated, allow the frosting to soften a bit at room temperature before using.)
This recipe is easily doubled, which is a good idea if you will be frosting more than 12 cupcakes or want to use it on a cake or brownies.



  1. says

    Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could go back and visit ourselves? What wise words we’d have to say. It might pay to think about the words of wisdom we’d have for our past selves and make sure our current selves take the same advice!

    It’s pretty special that you can fall more in love with someone isn’t it? Just when you thought there couldn’t be any more love…. bam it hits you again!

    I think past Claire could have been comforted rather well with a nutella frosted cupcake too!
    Claire @ Claire K Creations recently posted..Silent Sunday – Mexican, cherries, darkness and a first harvestMy Profile

    • says

      You’re so right, Claire – I hope I’d be wise enough to listen to my future self. ;) I do know that a cupcake with Nutella frosting would have given me a compelling reason though!

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