Nutella-filled cinnamon sugar muffins

Nutella-filled cinnamon sugar muffins

I absolutely adore cinnamon (despite spending the first 22 years or so of my life hating it) so when Choclette chose it as this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge ingredient it should have been easy for me to think of things to bake.

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In a way it was, I had plenty of ideas, but things have been a bit manic in my kitchen recently, what with making Christmas gifts, food for parties and catering to the pony’s rather specific needs (quick to eat breakfasts and bars he can take to work), so finding a way of squeezing cinnamon in was actually harder than I expected.

Attempt one was cinnamon chocolate shortbread, which was a disaster, but attempt two, these Nutella-filled cinnamon sugar muffins, was a resounding success.

I’m aware my last post also featured both muffins and Nutella, but who cares because it’s a great combination.

The Nutella is baked into the centre, so when you eat one warm you get a lovely melty surprise when you bit into it, and the tops are brushed with melted butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar which make them a lot like cinnamon sugar doughnuts – basically, finger-lickingly irresistible.

Even the pony, despite claiming not to like cinnamon, has been happily having two a day for breakfast, which I put down to Nutella’s having the baking equivalent of the Midas touch – it just makes everything into food gold!

Nutella-filled cinnamon sugar muffins (recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

  • 70g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 125ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 180g plain flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 8 tsp Nutella (about 50g)

For the topping:

  • 25g butter, melted
  • 35g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add in the egg and vanilla followed by the milk, beating until you have a smooth, fairly liquid batter. Sift together the remaining dry ingredients, then fold into the batter gently until no white flour bits remain.

Butter and flour 8 holes of a muffin tray, then drop a good tablespoon of cake batter into each. Place a teaspoon of Nutella in the centre of each muffin, then finish by dividing the remaining cake batter between the cops, completely covering the Nutella. Bake at 200 degrees for 5 minutes, then drop down to 170 degrees and cook for a further 15-20 minutes, or until the muffins are well risen, golden and springy to the touch.

Transfer to a wire rack as son as they’re cool enough to handle – it’s easier to get them out of the tin that way. Brush the tops with melted butter, then mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and roll the muffin tops in it to coat. Eat while warm, or leave to cool and pop in the microwave for a few seconds before serving.

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Banana, Nutella and hazelnut chocolate chip muffins

Banana, Nutella and hazelnut chocolate chip muffins

Is there any better pairing than bananas and Nutella? If these muffins are anything to go by, definitely not!

Ages ago I made Nutella swirled vanilla muffins, and remember thinking at the time they would work well as banana muffins, then when I saw these over at Sweet Pea’s Kitchen I knew it had to be done.

I upped the chocolate and hazelnut flavour by adding chunks of hazelnut milk chocolate to the batter, which worked well as it meant it wasn’t just the muffin tops that had the delicious mix of flavours.

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The swirling on top isn’t quite as pretty as I would have liked, mainly because it’s so cold at the minute that my jar of Nutella had set solid – yet another reason to despise winter…

They were still super tasty though, and a must-make for anyone who loves pairing banana and Nutella as much as I do.

Banana, Nutella and hazelnut chocolate chip muffins (adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen)

Makes 6 muffins

  • 120g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 2 medium over-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) natural yoghurt
  • 1 medium egg
  • 40g butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g hazelnut chocolate, chopped (lidl do one with the hazelnuts chopped fairly small which is what I used)
  • 6 tsp Nutella

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the banana, yoghurt, butter and vanilla, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine. Fold in the chopped hazelnut chocolate then divide the mixture between 6 muffin cases.

Drop a teaspoon of Nutella on top of each muffin, then use a skewer to swirl it into the batter. Bake at 190 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until risen, golden, and smelling incredible. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin to cool on a wire rack.

Peanut butter Nutella swirl cookies (GF)

Pinterest is dangerous.

Ever since I joined, I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of delicious looking baked goods that appear every time I log in.

Sometimes I pin or repin things and then forget about them, but some I just can’t get out of my head.

These peanut butter Nutella swirl cookies were one of the latter – as soon as I saw them I knew they would be baked soon, and they were.

As well as being pretty tasty, they’re also versatile – I made half the batch using wheat and gluten free flour and you couldn’t tell the difference between those and the ones made with normal flour, perfect if you know anyone with allergies or intolerances that normally would have to miss out.

(PS – If you too are a Pinterest love, you can follow me at www.pinterest.com/natblachford)

Peanut butter Nutella swirl cookies (recipe pinned from Une Gamine Dans La Cuisine)

Makes 35 cookies

  • 125g butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 55g light brown sugar
  • 200g peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 210g plain flour (GF or normal)
  • 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 100g Nutella
Beat together the butter, both sugars and peanut butter until light and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again, until well combined. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt, and fold in until the mixture is just coming together, then gently fold in the nutella (the more you mix it, the less pronounced the swirls will be.)
Use a tablespoon measure to scoop rounded balls out of the mixture, and place spaced out on a baking sheet. Flatten each down with a fork, to create a criss-cross pattern on top. Bake at 180 degrees for about 9 minutes, or until just turning golden. Leave to cook on the sheet for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

No-bake chocolate oat bars

I don’t know if it shows from reading this blog, but a lot of things I make involve ¬†‘bars’, chocolate and/or oats.

The reason for this is the friendly pony’s need for sustenance at work, in the form of something sweet, easy to eat, and that won’t get destroyed by being carried around in a bag all day.

These bars are absolutely perfect for that, as in addition to having everything mentioned above, they are also unbelievably simple to make!

Essentially, they are flapjacks that don’t need baking, with a nutty chocolate mixture spread on top – laden with calories, just what the greedy friendly pony likes.

No bake chocolate oat bars (adapted from Gingerbread Bagels):

  • 1/2 cup packed muscovado sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 75g dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup Nutella

Line an 8×8″ square tin with baking paper, no need to grease. Heat the butter and sugar together over a low heat until the butter has melted. Stir in the oats and cook for a further 4-5 minutes. Spread the mixture into the tin and flatten down with a wooden spoon or bottom of a measuring cup.

Break up the chocolate and place in a bowl with the peanut butter and Nutella (the original recipe uses just peanut butter, but I didn’t have enough which is why I went for half and half – peanut butter on it’s own or Nutella on it’s own would both work fine!) Microwave in 15 second bursts, stirring in between, until the chocolate has just melted – be careful not to let it burn! Pour onto the oaty base, then chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before slicing into bars.

Store cupboard chocolate cake

This cake was made out of a need to feed the friendly pony chocolate cake, a lack of butter, and a desire not to go out in the wind and rain to buy ingredients.

Everything used I pretty much always have in stock, which makes this quite a dangerous recipe… Luckily I had the pony on hand who ate this entire cake in one day so there was no danger of me getting any!

Super simple recipe, tasty cake, minimal ingredients – what more could you need?

Store cupboard chocolate cake:

  • 90g self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 75ml milk
  • 75ml sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
Mix the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and caster sugar together in one bowl, and all the other ingredients in another. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mix, stirring until combined. Grease and line a 7″ round tin, pour the cake mix in and bake at 180 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool.
To make the icing, I didn’t use any measurements but beat together a few spoons for nutella with sifted icing sugar and a little milk, adding more icing sugar to reach a spreadable consistency. I then spread that on top of the cooled cake.

Nutella cheesecake squares

A few weeks ago, this post appeared on Freshly Pressed, and as soon as I saw it I knew Nutella cheesecake layer bars were going straight on my to-bake list.

The recipe calls for graham crackers, which I don’t think you can get in the UK, so I looked around and ended up using this recipe from Coconut and Lime. Thanks is still due to the Midnight Baker though for being my inspiration!

After making the base for the cheesecake, I decided it didn’t look thick enough, so I doubled the quantity. I think this was a bit of a mistake as the cheese bit should really be the star of the show, but no one else seemed to think it was a problem.

Although I followed the recipe to the letter, there was no way my cheesecake mixture was going to be spread nicely in two layers.

I ended up pouring in the plain cheesecake as per the recipe, then slowly pouring in the nutella mix in a spiral to create a sort of swirly pattern, which actually worked quite well.

These cheesecakes went down really well so I would definitely make again, although I would probably try a different base, maybe a traditional biscuity one…


Nutella Swirl Cupcakes

While browsing around the internet looking for cupcake inspiration, I came across several blog posts about ‘self-frosting’ cupcakes.

Some were made with peanut butter, which I’m not the biggest fan of, but some had Nutella, which I LOVE.

The friendly pony likes his nutella in a sloppy buttered sandwich, whereas I have always prefered it on dry toast; but I’ve never used it in the batter of a cake before, so I decided to give it a go.

Due to not wanting to become a massive fatty, I cut the recipe down to a one egg sponge, which made 4 fairly large cupcakes.

I was actually surpised with how well they turned out – I was expecting the nutella to sink but it actually did stay on top like a ‘frosting’ of sorts.

The recipe is also really easy, and uses ingredients I almost always have in the cupboard, so I can see this being made whenever I feel the need to bake but can’t be bothered to go to the shops!

Nutella swirl cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 60g butter
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • dash vanilla essence
  • 70g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tsps Nutella

Cream the butter and sugar until smooth, then beat in the egg and vanilla essence. Sift in the flour and baking powder then fold together until well combined.

Spoon the mixture into 4 cupcake/muffin cases, then add a teaspoon of Nutella on top of each one. Swirl the Nutella into the cake mix with a skewer, then bake at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes, until firm and the cakey bits are golden.