Cannoli Cupcakes with Nutella and Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

I needed an Italian-inspired dessert to bring to a work function today. I thought about tiramisu, but some folks don’t love the coffee flavor. I also thought about an Italian cream cake, but a whole cake would have been cumbersome for the buffet. When I thought about cannoli, I knew I was on to something, but I knew I wanted to do something a little different. Cannoli cupcakes — aha! Here, a vanilla-chocolate chip cupcake gets topped with Nutella, cinnamon butter cream, and chopped pistachios for a twist on the classic. I made these as mini cupcakes because I thought they would be easier to manage on the buffet; they can be easily adapted to a full-size version by increasing the baking time.

Prep Time 45 M
Cook Time 15 M
Recipe Yield 12 Cupcakes

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Recipe Index:

This recipe contains several sub-recipes:

  1. Cupcakes
  2. Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
  3. Toppings
Sub Recipe #1

Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS for Cupcakes:

DIRECTIONS for Cupcakes:

  1. Gather your ingredients. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake tins with paper cups. Set aside.
  2. First, prepare the dry ingredients. In a bowl, sift the flour (or flour/cornstarch mixture) with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Combine with a whisk. Set aside.
  3. Next, prepare the wet ingredients. Using a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until it becomes fluffy and pale, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one a time, beating until well incorporated. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix until combined.
  4. Now, bring together the dry and wet ingredients. With a mixer, alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter and sugar mixture, mixing well after each addition, and ending with the flour. Use an ice cream scoop to fill the cupcake tins. Bake for 10 – 13 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  5. Once cooled, spread the tops of each cupcake with 1/4 tsp Nutella using an offset spreader
Sub Recipe #2

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

INGREDIENTS for Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting:

DIRECTIONS for Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting:

  1. With a mixer at medium speed, beat butter for 3 – 5 minutes until it becomes pale and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until completely combined. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and 2 tbsp of milk, then beat until smooth. The frosting should hold its shape when the beaters are pulled out; this will be good for piping. If you’d prefer to spread the frosting with a spatula, add more of the milk to thin it out.
  2. To pipe on the frosting: scoop the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star or drop flower tip. (I used a Wilton 2D drop flower tip.) Starting in the middle of the cupcake, pipe the frosting, moving around in concentric circles outward to the edge of the cupcake. To use a spatula: smooth the frosting on top of the cake evenly.
Sub Recipe #3

Toppings

INGREDIENTS for Toppings:

DIRECTIONS for Toppings:

  1. Sprinkle the chips and pistachios on top of the frosting.
  2. Enjoy!

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