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Hazelnut Buttercream Frosting

June 16, 2011 by  
Filed Under Desserts

I love to make cupcakes. My children love to eat cupcakes, but they’re not a fan of the texture of traditional buttercream frosting (the kind made with powdered sugar). They’d prefer I use the frosting from a can, but I’m really not a fan of it.

I was telling a friend about my dilemma, and she suggested I try making Swiss buttercream, instead. I’d never heard of it, but I came home and looked up some recipes on Google, and I was instantly intrigued. Swiss buttercream is much more time-consuming to make, but the results are smooth, creamy, and delicious – exactly like the frosting you find at expensive cupcake bakeries! I’ve experimented with various flavors, but one of my favorites will always be hazelnut – it’s so good on chocolate cupcakes!

Sometimes I bake my cupcakes from scratch, but if I’m in a hurry, I’ll use a boxed cake mix. Either way, I prefer to pipe the frosting using a 1M star tip – it’s just so much prettier when piped on the cupcakes rather than spread on with a knife.

If you’re nervous about using egg whites, you can purchase pasteurized eggs from many grocery stores, or substitute egg white powder for the egg whites.

Hazelnut Buttercream Frosting

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 4 sticks (l lb) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Nutella, room temperature

Whisk egg whites and sugar together on the stove in a large heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar is completely dissolved (you should not be able to feel any sugar granules when you rub a small amount of the egg whites between your fingers).

Transfer the mixture to a stand mixture, being very careful not to get any water from the bottom of the bowl into the mixture. Beat at medium-high speed until egg whites form firm peaks and the mixture is cool to the touch. Add the vanilla.

While the egg whites are beating, cut each stick of butter into 8 chunks. Once the egg whites have formed stiff peaks, reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add 1 chunk of butter at a time, allowing to firmly incorporate (about 20 seconds) before adding the next chunk of butter. Continue until all the butter is incorporated.

Warning: At some point during this process, your buttercream might start to look really soupy and curdled. Don’t panic. Keep mixing and be patient. The mixture will eventually come together and result in rich, creamy, beautiful buttercream. This can sometimes take about 15 minutes.

Once your frosting is smooth, gently fold in the Nutella.  Now the frosting is ready to pipe onto cupcakes, frost a cake, or eat straight out of the bowl. 😉

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12 Responses to Hazelnut Buttercream Frosting

  1. recipe says:

    Oh that looks divine!

  2. Garilyn says:

    Yum, sounds wonderful!

  3. Stacy says:

    These look delectable. I too am not a fan of frosting with tons of icing sugar in it.

  4. Janet says:

    This would be a great treat to serve at my next book club meeting, a nice switch up to the traditional chocolate frosting.

  5. Teddi says:

    how much meringue powder do you use?

    • Jen says:

      This sounds like a Swiss Meringue Buttercream in which case you wouldn’t use any meringue powder.

      • Recipes says:

        I’ve made this recipe with both egg whites or merengue powder (I prefer merengue powder if I can’t find pasteurized eggs when making frosting), and both versions are equally successful. Merengue powder is basically powdered egg whites and corn starch and is often recommended as an egg white substitute in recipes where the eggs aren’t cooked to a high temperature.

  6. Christina says:

    Swiss buttercream is now my new favorite– it is absolutely the most delicious frosting I have ever had! I tried the Hazelnut version over the weekend on cupcakes and it was a resounding success! Everyone loved it! I was also glad the recipe included the “warning” statement about the texture while mixing it– I would have panicked at one point when the entire bowl looked like lumpy, curdled mess…but it came together beautifully just like magic! Love it!

  7. Allie says:

    This is hands down the best frosting I’ve ever made.

  8. Pearlie says:

    Can this frosting be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge until using?

  9. Pearlie says:

    Another question….how many cupcakes can be frosted with one batch of this recipe?

  10. Lyn A K says:

    I did this using the exact recipe. but my frosting became watery after I add in the nutella. :-(((
    why so?

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