Self-Frosting Pumpkin Nutella Muffins

by Holly on October 25, 2010

Sometimes, in the middle of the night, when I’m only half awake, I get these ideas for things that I want to bake.  Often, by morning, I can’t remember what it was.  Sometimes it comes to me again, but other times it is imprinted in my brain to the point of obsession.

I openly blame Maria and Katie for my latest episode.

I’ve had pumpkin on the brain.  And Nutella.  And ways to use both.  That is Maria’s fault with her Pumpkin Nutella Bread.

Then, add on the fact that Katie seems to be eerily reading my mind lately and making it so I don’t have to figure out how to make a Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate to sub for that infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte that I won’t be drinking (no coffee for this girl) and, well, then you can see easily why I have pumpkin on my mind.

I had thought I took care of at least the Nutella issue the other day with these little cakes (Visitandine) I made for Dorie’s birthday party, but apparently not.

So, these muffins were born.  The self-frosting technique isn’t a new one.  In fact, thanks to Nic at Baking Bites (who I believe was the first to post Donna Hay’s Self-Frosting Cupcake recipe about five years ago) this idea took the food blogosphere by storm.  I felt like it deserved a definite revisit.

This recipe came about from some serious tweaking to my favorite Banana Muffin recipe (which, incidentally works with the Nutella on top as well if you aren’t a pumpkin fan).  I love this recipe dearly and end up making them about once a week whenever our bananas have outlived their eating out of hand shelf life.  And, yes.  I usually buy enough bananas to make sure that happens!

Self-Frosting Pumpkin Nutella Muffins

1 – 15 oz can pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons natural (not Dutch) cocoa powder

12 heaping teaspoons Nutella for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line or spray a 12-cup muffin pan, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, vanilla and brown sugar.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups evenly (will be about 3/4 full).  Scoop a heaping teaspoon of Nutella onto the top of each muffin.  Use a toothpick or skewer to swirl the Nutella slightly around the top of the batter.

Bake the cupcakes for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Serve warm or at room temperature.  Store in an airtight container.

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Cookin' Canuck October 25, 2010 at 6:09 pm

My goodness, Holly. These are amazing! The self-frosting idea is very enticing.

Maria October 25, 2010 at 6:13 pm

These look amazing! Now I have to make your creation:)

Heather October 25, 2010 at 6:17 pm

These sounds amazing! And the self-frosting…perfect! Can't wait to give these a try!

Emily October 25, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Okay, this is the first time I've heard of self-frosting cupcakes. Where the heck have I been? Fabulous!

natalia October 25, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Dear Holly I wonder if you can go back to sleep after you create these wonders ! I have a few wating bananas do I just sub the same quantity for pumpkim ?

Barbara Bakes October 25, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Everything's better with Nutella on top!

Barbara Bakes October 25, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Everything's better with Nutella on top!

Joanne October 26, 2010 at 1:03 am

I totally blame those lovely ladies for my pumpkin addiction as well. My roommate also has a jar of nutella that I've been eying. As soon as she goes out for a while…these shall be made. I think she'll be so enamored with them that she won't even notice that the nutella is missing.

Steph October 26, 2010 at 2:57 am

Holy toledo…these look super yummy. Gonna have to give them a try!

Fallon October 26, 2010 at 4:13 am

Sounds delicious.

Katie @ goodLife {eats} October 26, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Love it! Happy to be an enabler!

flavourfulbounty October 26, 2010 at 4:17 pm

wow – these look great! And a fabulous combination of flavours. Pumpin and Nutella sound great together!

Linda October 27, 2010 at 12:03 am

Now I know what to do with the nutella leftover from my crepes. Genius!

Katrina October 27, 2010 at 3:21 am

Holy cow. Dreamy! And now I'm not sure which to make first–pumpkin or banana. I've got an open can of pumpkin AND ripe bananas. Awesome, Holly.

Gourmified October 27, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Looks divine!!! Oh, and LOVE your recipe selection in the Wasatch Paper thingy. My Mom found it and gave it to me…we're so proud! Sorry for sounding cheesy…miss you!

crustabakes October 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm

This post had me at "Nutella". What a clever idea to put pumpkin and nutella together'!

theUngourmet October 28, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Gorgeous! I remember seeing a recipe like this last fall and thinking I'd love to try it. Thanks for the great recipe! πŸ™‚

Dumbwit Tellher October 28, 2010 at 8:32 pm

These look like unbelievably good muffins. Thank you for the recipe, cannot wait to try!!

Cheers ~ Deb

A Feast for the Eyes October 29, 2010 at 4:09 am

Oh-M-G… seriously, I am so crazy anxious to make these for the weekend. I'm crazy about pumpkin and have been staring at a jar of Nutella for a few weeks… going blank on what to make. You are awesome… thanks!
Oh, and the photos are stellar.

Deborah October 29, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Can you believe that I've never made any self-frosting anythings?? I definitely need to remedy that – with these muffins!

burntapple October 29, 2010 at 8:51 pm

What a great idea! Thanks so much, and it sounds much easier than I was expecting it to be. Thank you!!
Will be trying this recipe for sure!

Alice October 29, 2010 at 10:58 pm

I just found your site through Dorie's. I was looking for a recipe I would want to make for a church event and your corn soup caught my eye. Then when I read your bio I had to subscribe. I have a son with Down's who is 18. He is a sweetie! Now I got sidetracked by this Nutella pumpkin recipe. Oh my, can't wait to try this! Looking forward to more recipes.

Amanda November 4, 2010 at 1:09 am

OMG i am SO trying these!

Natalie Jane November 6, 2010 at 4:17 am

Made them and they were awesome. Gave you some blog love today…

Josie November 9, 2010 at 2:55 am

this is genius!! My love for Nutella runs deeps, I have 2 jars in my cupborad right now. Oh yes I will be making these asap!!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] November 11, 2010 at 8:07 am

Oh yum Holly! I lovee Nutella. Thanks for that link, somehow I hadn't seen it ever yet! This looks amazing πŸ™‚

Sabine February 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Do the pumpkin and nutella go well together? I'm a bit skeptical, but very curious to try this recipe!

Tamara October 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm

They go together like peanut butter and jelly, like Bert & Ernie, Laverne and Shirley…. the list could go on but yes pumpkin and nutella together ROCK! It’s interesting because when the Nutella blends with the pumpkin it loses its hazelnut flavor and becomes so chocolately and the texture changes to an almost cakelike tecture. Yum! I am actually baking more on Saturday.

Brenna October 4, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I found these via pinterest and made them right away. They are AWESOME! I added chocolate chips. THank you!

Holly October 4, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Thanks Brenna! That’s awesome that you made and loved them! As for the chocolate chips, well, it’s always the more chocolate the merrier around here! πŸ™‚


Tamara October 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm

So…. I baked a dozen of these self frosting cupcakes 2 days ago and they were gone the same day. Yup, that’s how good they were! Thanks for the recipe!

Kris October 29, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Hi! I found this on Pinterest, and made them tonight! They look exactly like yours, and the top part was delicious- LOVE the Nutella swirled in there! So rich and chocolatey. My only question was that the bulk of the muffin came out much more dry than I would like. I baked at 375 for 25 minutes, but I was wondering if there is a way to make these more moist. I am NOT a regular baker, and I have no idea how to adjust the recipe without possibly messing it up. Any ideas? More oil? Add water? How would that affect the baking time and/or temperature? I would LOVE to make these again. Anyone have any tips?

Holly October 30, 2011 at 8:45 am

Hi Kris!

I’m glad you liked the muffins! As I remember, mine were borderline under-baked, so I’m wondering if you have a thermometer you could use to check your oven temperature? You can pick one up even at the grocery store or cooking stores these days for fairly cheap. I’m thinking your oven may run hotter than it says. What I would try in the meantime is to reduce the temperature to 350 and bake for 20 minutes, then use a toothpick to check and make sure there isn’t any batter when you test the muffin (there may be a little nutella, but that’s ok). If they are still under baked at that point you can let them bake a few more minutes. If they are still more dry than you expect or like at that point after they are baked then I would suggest adding a couple tablespoons of sour cream to your muffin batter. Good luck! Let us know how it goes πŸ™‚

Holly (@PheMom)

AmyRuth October 30, 2011 at 9:24 am

La la la la la Those look fabulous! I may actually endanger my winter pre-beach fitness program for these by going forth to the kitchen.

Lesley November 24, 2011 at 7:14 am

I’m struggling to find unsweetened cocoa at my store !! Help … I planned to make these today πŸ™

Lesley November 24, 2011 at 7:58 am

Just found Navitas natural cacao powder.. Hope it works πŸ™‚

Holly November 24, 2011 at 9:00 am

Hi Leslie,

That should work just fine. When a recipe says unsweetened cocoa powder it simply means not to get one that has added sugar. Confusingly some stores put their hot cocoa mix right by their baking cocoa. You found the right stuff! Enjoy!


Sarah September 15, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Hi Holly, I’m a little behind and just made these tonight! I made 24 muffins out of the batter but wonder of they’re too small… Should only 12 have been made? They’re still delicious but want to check! Thank you for sharing!!!

Holly September 16, 2012 at 9:11 am

Hi Sarah,

The recipe does make 12 muffins, but 24 muffins sounds good to me… more Nutella to muffin ratio!


katie reggie October 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I just made these and YUM! They are great! My fiance ate two immediately and he doesn’t like a lot of cakes/sweets so that’s saying something! I didn’t add nutmeg and added slightly more salt and cocoa powder (Ghirardelli- yum!). 25 minutes was perfect! I will make these again next week for a fall party. Thanks!

kidkopf October 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I am so excited about this recipe! I made them for a bake sale and was sooo pleased that they are actually really, really good. So many time recipes end up tasting mediocre or looking nothing like the photos. This is a case where that is abxolutely NOT true! My family loved them! The muffin portion is moist and very delicious, and the Nutella topping looks and tastes great. I made them exactly as the recipe is written, with the exception that I used more Nutella on top than called for (probably more like a tablespoon!) The recipe is also very acurate and make 12 just-right sized muffins. They baked up beautifully–full and rounded and just perfect. Thanks for the great new recipe!

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