If you are looking for something a little more exotic than a classic chocolate frosting, this Nutella frosting will undoubtedly elevate any cake! It doesn’t take long to whip up, it’s rich in Nutella flavor, and is also a good, stable frosting for decorating and piping cakes. I made a delicious homemade chocolate cake with this recipe, and it was to die for! Keep reading to learn how I made this the best Nutella frosting and how to make it for you and your family.
What makes a good buttercream frosting?
I love using buttercream frosting for cakes because they’re stable, pipe easily, and utterly creamy, fluffy, and delicious. Once you start making your own buttercream, it will be hard for you to buy the store-bought cans again! Here’s some tips on making the perfect buttercream:
- Room temperature butter- Softened butter to room temperature is super important (NOT melted). At this stage, the butter is still solid, which you want, but also easily whipped to create a soft, yet stable base for your buttercream frosting. Cold butter won’t blend properly to set your frosting, and alternatively, melted butter will create a runny frosting that will not set as well.
- Freezing your mixing bowl- This seems counter-intuitive to the tip above, but if you chill your bowl and paddle attachment in the freezer for about 10 minutes prior, it will help keep your frosting set during the whipping process.
- Powdered sugar- Using powdered sugar is important because it properly blends with the butter, creating a smooth, fluffy frosting. Granulated sugar will create a gritty frosting without the fluffy texture.
- Whipping time- Once all the ingredients are incorporated, I beat the frosting on med-high for about 6-8 minutes. A longer whipping time helps create a super light and fluffy, yet stable buttercream.
If you are not using the frosting right away, it will keep in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator. When freezing, it will last up to three months in a freezer safe Ziploc bag. To thaw, refrigerate overnight, and whip with a stand or hand mixer until fluffy again. After you have the frosting on a cake or cupcakes, it will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Tips for frosting a layered cake
When your frosting is finished mixing, it will be a soft and fluffy consistency. This stage is perfect for spreading on the layers on a layered cake, as well as the first coat of outer frosting, also known as the “crumb coat”. After this stage, you will want to refrigerate the cake for at least an hour to let the frosting set. Please keep in mind it will not dry out your cake to refrigerate it! The crumb coat actually locks in the moisture and will keep it moist the rest of the time (I promise!). Once that first layer is set, you can take the cake back out and frost the rest of the cake with the softer frosting to smooth everything out using the long side of a bench scraper. If you are piping designs on top or side of the cake, you will want to put some of the softer frosting in a piping back with desired tip, then put in the fridge until the frosting is firm, but not hardened. I like to set it inside a mason jar or bowl so that frosting doesn’t drip out into the fridge making a mess.
Here are some links to tools I like to use for frosting and decorating a layered cake:
How to make this Nutella frosting
Ingredients you’ll need:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 3/4 cup Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- In a stand mixer with paddle attachment (hand mixer will work as well), cream the two sticks of butter on medium speed.
- Add the Nutella and vanilla extract, then mix until well combined.
- Switching the speed to low, add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, then bring speed up to med-high once sugar is incorporated well. The low speed when adding the powdered sugar ensures that it won’t fly everywhere (because it 100% will).
- Finally, add the two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream.
- Beat on medium high for 6-8 minutes. It will be a very light and fluffy consistency!
- Stand or hand mixer
- 1 Cup butter (2 sticks) room temp
- 3/4 Cup Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
- 2 Cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- In a stand (or hand) mixer, cream 2 sticks of butter at medium speed
- Add the 3/4 cup of Nutella and vanilla extract, then beat until well combined
- Switch the speed to low, then add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, then switch to medium high speed once the sugar is incorporated.
- Add the two tbsp of heavy cream and beat on med high for 6-8 minutes. Consistency will be light and fluffy.
- I like to freeze the mixing bowl and paddle attachment for about 10 minutes prior to mixing to ensure the frosting stays stable and set during mixing process.
- Make sure the butter is soften, but not melted. Melted butter will create a runny consistency keeping the frosting from setting. Alternatively, cold butter will not let the ingredients incorporate properly, making it chunky. Room temperature butter is the “Goldilocks” for buttercream, so to speak.
- If not using right away, the buttercream will keep in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer when placed in a freezer safe Ziploc bag.