Quite simply, the best cake frosting ever made with Nutella®!
Chocolate Nutella Cream Cheese Buttercream
Today, I am crazy excited to share with you one of the very best frosting recipes you will ever make! Seriously. Would I ever lie to you?
This to-die-for recipe for Chocolate Nutella Cream Cheese Buttercream comes after much testing and retesting for the perfect ratio of butter and cream cheese to Nutella®. And, let me tell you…this recipe, and the special layer cake that is coming soon to the blog, has been knocking around in my head since last April! Almost an entire year, people. I have witnesses. Ha! Honest and truly, I looked back at the date of my initial draft and it was dated April 22, 2013. Wow.
However, I am glad that it took me this long to develop this incredible recipe and get the consistency and flavor profile, relative to chocolate and sweetness, “just right”. In the end, it turned out to be the simplest of solutions.
You see, I had wanted to create a buttercream based on my rich and buttery, melt-on-the-tongue Cream Cheese Buttercream. It is truly divine. In fact, I have used the recipe since 1990 to frost my phenomenal (if I do say so myself, ha!) classic carrot cake recipe that was used to develop my Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake Bakery-Style last spring. In that post, I explain which recipes influenced me and just how I arrived to develop the perfect Cream Cheese Buttercream to pipe beautifully. The secret is to use equal amounts, by weight, of butter to cream cheese—that is, 8 ounces each. This, of course, translates to two (2) sticks of butter and one (1) brick of cream cheese. Most cream cheese frosting recipes call for far too much cream cheese (read: too much moisture and not enough fat) and the frosting just does not want to pipe well. In addition, the frosting is so loosey-goosey that cake layers actually slide! Grrr. Not fun—especially if transporting the cake. Essentially, you would have to add an incredible amount of confectioners’ sugar to stiffen it up in order to pipe nicely. And, for most of us, this translates to a frosting that is just too cloyingly sweet to the palate.
This is what I wrote in my post last spring:
“Just as with my carrot cake recipe, my Cream Cheese Buttercream recipe was inspired by the one found in my New Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. It is quite the opposite of Mrs. Fields’ recipe that calls for two 8-ounce packages (16 ounces) of cream cheese and only one stick (½ cup or 4 ounces) of salted butter. The BHG recipe calls for one 8-ounce package of cream cheese to one stick of butter (again, at 4 ounces). However, I increased the amount of butter from the BHG recipe to create a true “Cream Cheese Buttercream” in a 1:1 ratio (8 ounces to 8 ounces) of cream cheese to butter with enough confectioners’ sugar to thicken the consistency to pipe beautifully. Sometimes, I even use one stick of salted butter with one stick of unsalted for a nice salty-sweet balance.”
In this variation, relating to the 1:1 ratio of butter to cream cheese, it is the cream cheese that is reduced to “make room” for the Nutella which has adequate fat (naturally from the hazelnuts and palm oil) to replace what was in the cream cheese yielding a buttercream that will pipe nicely.
As it went, I set out to simply add plenty of Nutella® to my recipe as is. The problem? Not only did I add too much Nutella® (remember, I was going for plenty of flavor), but there was still too much cream cheese. After several tries of adding more confectioners’ sugar, more butter, etc., I simply decided to give it a go once again and reduce each the Nutella® and cream cheese by half. This way, I surmised, the Nutella® (which is very heavy) would not weigh down the buttercream and make it gummy, and the cream cheese would be limited to prevent any moisture seeping through whilst allowing the butter to shine—thus, effectively, creating a buttercream frosting that will not only melt on the tongue, but also pipe gorgeously. Alas, sweet victory was mine!
Meanwhile, I never had a problem of balancing the addition of strained (sifted) unsweetened cocoa powder. Each time, it seemed just right. The reason why I call for cocoa powder in addition to the Nutella® is to enhance the flavor profile while also giving the buttercream more of a color pop since we are working with a buttercream with white cream cheese in it. As for the amount of confectioners’ sugar, I reduced it slightly since Nutella® is already sweetened. These decisions proved to be aces. I just know you’ll go crazy over this exceptional buttercream recipe!
What makes our Chocolate Nutella Cream Cheese Buttercream wicked good? This buttercream literally melts on your tongue and the flavor rings of nostalgia associated with the dreamiest of chocolate frostings. It is buttery, creamy and smooth with a hint of cream cheese and plenty of Nutella® flavor. Due to an adequate amount of fat from the butter, this special buttercream pipes beautifully. Our Chocolate Nutella Cream Cheese Buttercream is versatile and will pair extremely well with white cakes, yellow cakes and chocolate cakes alike as well as cupcakes, cheesecakes and other sweet treats like baked doughnuts. Honest and truly, believe us here at Wicked Good Kitchen. This buttercream is indeed wicked good!
UPDATE 01-16-2016: The photos have been updated for this post.
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, softened (or 1 stick salted & 1 stick unsalted)
- 4 ounces (½ 8-ounce package/113 grams) cream cheese, such as Philadelphia®, chilled from the fridge
- ½ cup (148 grams) Nutella® Hazelnut Spread
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®
- 4 tablespoons (30 grams) sifted HERSHEY'S® Special Dark Cocoa, or your favorite
- 3½ to 4 cups (420 to 480 grams) confectioners’ sugar, spooned in cup, leveled off & sifted
Tips:If not using immediately, the buttercream can be refrigerated for up to 2 to 3 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature before beating smooth again. If using the buttercream to pipe details, be sure to use chilled hands when handling pastry bag as warm hands can melt the buttercream. To make 1½ recipes of Chocolate Nutella Cream Cheese Buttercream, the math has been completed for you below: 1½ cups (3 sticks or 339 grams) unsalted butter, softened (or part salted & part unsalted)
6 ounces (¾ 8-ounce package/170 grams) cream cheese, such as Philadelphia®, softened
¾ cup (222 grams) Nutella® Hazelnut Spread
1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®
6 tablespoons (45 grams) sifted HERSHEY'S® Special Dark Cocoa, or your favorite
5¼ to 6 cups (630 to 720 grams) confectioners’ sugar, spooned in cup, leveled off & sifted
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