Gluten Free Hazelnut Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream

Are you ready for another tasty treat? Up today my sweet friend Chris from Mele Cotte is popping over with these gluten free hazelnut cupcakes with an insanely delicious looking Nutella Buttercream. She’s even given us an optional Ganache topping recipe because she’s sweet like that! I met Chris online forevah ago and just lurve her. I saw her blog name – Mele Cotte (which means baked apples in Italian) and of course I had to click through…once I was there I was smitten with all of her delicious recipes but especially her SWEETS. You know I have a wicked sweet tooth and I’ve always admired those who are talented in the baking department. Chris is definitely talented and I’m THRILLED that she is sharing one of her amazing desserts with all of US today! – Paula

It has been a pleasure knowing Paula for several years now. We may not talk often, but when we do, it is as though she and I pick up right where we ended our last conversation. One of the most hardworking, lively, and authentic ladies I know, I wish we lived closer. My, my, my, the wonderfully delicious trouble we could cause.

Since we are unable to be neighbors, I can’t won’t say no any opportunities to contribute to her delicious world of Nutella. Hazelnuts have their own special location in my family’s pantry for as far back as I can remember. While other kids in the neighborhood snacked on peanuts, my brother, sisters and I nibbled on hazelnuts. On special occasions, when friends and extended family joined us for a meal, mom would roast large amounts of the shelled nuts for us to crack and eat as the dinner conversations extended late into the evening. Looking back, there was something so therapeutic about cracking those nuts, giggling at silly jokes, and carrying on without a worry in the world.

Interestingly, and despite being Italian, Nutella didn’t become a staple in my home until I was an adult. My delayed admiration for Nutella’s creamy goodness grew to insane levels after just one taste. One spoonful is all it took to ensure Nutella is always available in the house. Since that spoonful and spreading a smear on a slice of bread and chomping down, Nutella has shown its face in treats like tarts, molten cakes, cookies and mousse. Now, it is accompanying delicious gluten free cakes.

When I first made this gluten free cake, I doubled the recipe to make four-layer cake with ganache coated nutella buttercream. Sadly, I am not a great photographer of cakes.

So, I tried again. This time, I went with cupcakes. Worried that my novice photography skills would diminish the true, moist deliciousness of these cupcakes, I called upon a close friend to capture their essence.

These are now my go-to cupcakes, for all my friends, gluten-free or not.

Hazelnut Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream (Gluten Free) – recipe and photos compliments of Chris, Mele Cotte
What you’ll need:
¾ cup hazelnuts
½ cup brown rice flour
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tsp. baking powder
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs
¼ cup Frangelico (optional)
chopped hazelnuts for garnish (optional)

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with preferred paper liners.

2. Place the hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until ground. Add rice flour, cornstarch and baking powder and grind to a fine meal. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Pour in Frangelico and mix until incorporated. Add hazelnut-flour mixture and blend on low. Batter will be thin/loose .

3. Using a small-medium scoop, fill cupcake liners, no more than ¾ full. Bake 18-22 minutes, rotating the pans halfway cooking time, until the cake springs back to a light touch and a toothpick comes out almost clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, decorate with buttercream and ganache, if preferred. Be sure to refrigerate the cupcakes while making the ganache to harden the buttercream for dipping. Once ready, dip the top of each buttercream-topped cupcake in the ganache, twist, lift, and place on a wire rack. Top with hazelnuts.

Cook’s Notes:
– Batter can be used for an 8-inch round cake, cake as well. Increase baking time to 25 to 35 minutes.

Nutella Buttercream
What you’ll need:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 13-ounce jar of Nutella
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. Frangelico (optional)
1½ (6 cups) pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted

What to do:
1. Cream together butter and Nutella until smooth. Add vanilla. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, until incorporated.

* Adjust the consistency by Frangelico (or cream/milk if not using Frangelico)

What you’ll  need:
¾ cup heavy cream
8 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla

What to do:
1. Place chocolate and butter in a large bowl; set aside. In a saucepan, heat cream until it begins to bubble around the edges. Remove cream from heat and pour over the chips. Let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla until well blended.

If not using right away, cover with plastic and allow to cool at room temperature, or in the refrigerator.


Thanks again to Chris for stopping by with these tasty gluten free Hazelnut Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream! Be sure to…

Visit Chris’ blog, Mele Cotte

Follow Chris on Twitter

Like Chris on Facebook

Follow Chris on Pinterest




  1. OMG OMG OMG i want one now!!! Nutella Buttercream life couldn’t get any better! 😀

  2. How adorable AND gluten free?? Love!

  3. Oooh, these look amazing!!! Now I’m in the mood for cupcakes! Great guest post, Chris!

  4. So glad you posted this as someone was asking about gluten free cakes on the Udi’s Gluten Free Community. I posted a link to this post there.

  5. Thanks everyone! It cake recipe works with Almond meal, as well! :)


  1. Hazelnut Gluten Free Cupcakes w/Nutella Buttercream | bella nutella - [...] CLICK FOR RECIPE: Gluten Free Hazelnut Cupcakes w/Nutella Buttercream [...]

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