Nutella lovers around the world, it’s time to celebrate World Nutella Day! The brainchild of Sara Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso, World Nutella Day started in 2007 and gave fans of the delicious chocolate hazelnut concoction a chance to share their devotion in whatever form seemed fit, whether spread on toast, crepes, rice crispy treats, put it in a king cake, or just licked off a spoon (my personal favorite).
I only buy a jar of Nutella once a year as a special treat and we try to make it last for a while but almost never succeed. This year the jar of Nutella became a filling for mini chocolate whoopie pies, and though Nutella is not a traditional whoopie pie filling, we declared it awesome. I also sprinkled on some toasted chopped hazelnuts for a bit of crunch.
For the uninitiated, whoopie pies are a traditional treat with both Amish and New England histories. Original whoopie pies are chocolate cakes with cream filling and tend to be large, about 4 inches in diameter, though some bakeries make huge ones that feed several people. We make pumpkin whoopie pies in autumn, and this is actually my first time making chocolate whoopies.
The cakes can be made 3 days ahead and kept layered between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container at room temperature. The flavor and texture of the cakes is actually better one day after baking.
Mini Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Nutella
- stand mixer with paddle attachment, or hand mixer and large bowl
- baking sheets, greased or lined with parchment
- #60 (small) cookie scoop (or another 2 teaspoon scoop or spoon)
- wire cooling racks
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk (or 2 tablespoons lemon juice + milk to equal 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup hazelnuts (toasted, finely chopped (optional))
Prep the Cakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175° C. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven.
- Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a measuring cup.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes (or 5 minutes if using hand mixer), then add egg, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Mix and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add 1/2 the buttermilk and mix until smooth. Continue with another 1/3 of the flour, then the rest of the buttermilk, and ending with the rest of the flour mixture, scraping between each addition. The final batter should be thick and smooth.
- Scoop batter onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake in preheated oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until tops are puffed and cakes spring back when touched, 11 to 13 minutes. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for a couple minutes, then transfer with a metal spatula to a rack to cool completely, at least a couple hours.
- Spread a rounded tablespoon of Nutella on flat sides of half the cakes. Sprinkle some of the chopped hazelnuts over the Nutella, then top with remaining cakes.