Nutella buttons really should have been a simple and quick cupcake recipe. Sometimes I have a way of complicating what should otherwise be a breeze to get through and this was one of those instances. Typically I make a recipe as close to the original as possible but I no longer buy US Nutella so I had to find an alternative*. This turned into a little experiment and ended up being more of a Nutella substitute test than a cupcake test.
I tested three Nutella alternatives: Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter, Wild Friends chocolate sunflower seed almond butter and homemade hazelnut chocolate spread.
The recipe for the cupcakes is pretty simple. Yolk and dry ingredients get lightened up with beaten egg whites.
Then comes the fun part. A little batter gets put into mini muffin paper-lined tins and then a little dab of chocolate hazelnut spread gets added and covered with batter. Dorie also suggested using jam in the center and I bet this would be wonderful in these.
My cupcakes came out with cute little domed tops but they deflated a bit once cooled. Since I was covering these with chocolate it didn’t matter too much.
*Reasons I don’t use Nutella
If you use Nutella that’s cool, maybe drop them a note that you would prefer they speed up the whole sustainably sourced thing though. We all make choices every day on who to support and I just decided that the taste of Nutella just wasn’t worth the sacrifice for me personally. I also gave up peanut butter m&ms which occasionally brings me near the point of tears. I may have to give up my beloved Reese’s eggs too; thank goodness the regular cups are ok.
I noticed a few years ago that I got major skin break outs after sneaking some Halloween candy. Turns out palm oil has been sneaking into our manufactured foods for quite some time now. The Justin’s hazelnut spread that I tested was made with sustainable palm oil and it definitely triggered some major skin breakouts for me. Go figure, my body doesn’t like the cheapest oil out there? I tend to give most baked or sweet foods a pass on the nutritional value of their contents but if something has a negative consequence on how I look or feel I don’t really have a compelling reason to eat it.