Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting


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This Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting is rich and creamy, thanks to the addition of cream cheese and a bit of cocoa powder to amp up the chocolate-hazelnut flavor.

cupcakes topped with frosting in red and blue paper liners

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

Cake Recipes to use with Nutella Frosting

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4.45 from 63 votes

Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting

This Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting is rich and creamy, thanks to the addition of cream cheese and a bit of cocoa powder to amp up the chocolate-hazelnut flavor.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 1.5 cups


  • Stand Mixer


  • 2 ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature (use block cream cheese, not cream cheese in a tub which includes added ingredients that can ruin the texture of the frosting)
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar (1 cup powdered sugar = 120g)
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 cup Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread (155 g)
  • 1-4 Tablespoons Milk, any type


  • 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). Add milk a bit at a time, starting with 1 Tbsp and increasing as needed until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  • 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.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $3.00
Keyword: baking, cakes, easy recipe, easy recipe ideas, frosting
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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  1. Question, I made the frosting but it seems to be too viscous. I am unable to squeeze it through the pipping bag. How do I fix it to make the frosting easier to go through the pipping bag?

    1. You can always adjust the consistency by beating in extra milk – it really can vary, especially depending on how compressed the powdered sugar is when you add it.

  2. If anyone is seeing this in 2018, for 2 dozen cupcakes you need to quadruple the ingredients. I first doubled it and it it barely frosted 12 cupcakes. Amazing recipe and so good but you need to X4 everything to generously frost 24 cupcakes.

    1. Chris – thanks so much for the comment. I’ll add a note to the recipe too. It’s been years since I’ve made this recipe, but it’s one of my favorites! I’m sorry that the measurements were off!

  3. Oh my! I love cream cheese frosting… and then combining it with nutella?! Gah I need to make cupcakes very soon to give this a try : )

  4. I love cream cheese. I love nutella. I love frosting! I never ever would have thought to combine three of my loves. I have to make something like this!!

    1. After this experiment, I’ve decided that there’s nothing that isn’t made better with the addition of nutella, Sally!

  5. I am ALL ABOUT Nutella + cream cheese = frosting. To die for good looking!

    This reminds me of some brownies that are my #1 fave brownie on my site, Nutella brownies with cream cheese frosting. I need to work the nutella INTO the cream cheese frosting next time!

  6. 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!

    1. 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!