200gbuttersoftened (use Stork hard margarine if dairy-free)
165ggluten-free self raising flour
1/4tspgluten-free baking powder
For the filling (optional)
Nutellaas much as you like
For the icing
250gbuttersoftened (use Stork hard margarine if dairy-free)
110gdark chocolatedairy-free if necessary
gluten-free sprinklesfor topping
For the cupcakes:
Preheat your oven to 160C Can / 180C and place cupcake cases into your cupcake tin. I sprinkle a little rice into each hole before the case as this helps reduce unwanted moisture.
Cream together your softened butter and sugar using an electric hand whisk. Do so until lighter in colour and fluffier in texture.
Gradually add your eggs (I whisk briefly in between each addition) and mix in.
Sift in your flour, cocoa, baking powder and xanthan gum and then mix with your electric hand whisk until combined.
Spoon your mixture into your cupcake cases and place in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool very briefly in the tin, then move the cases to a cooling rack.
For the icing:
Melt your dark chocolate (I do this is the microwave in 20 seconds bursts), put to one side to cool whilst making the rest of the buttercream.
To make your icing, place your butter in a stand mixer (or electric hand whisk if you don't have a stand mixer), mix on its own on a high speed for about 5 minutes. The butter should change from a more yellow colour to being a lot more pale.
Add your icing sugar gradually to the butter (I do this in two stages). I mix each addition of icing sugar for around 3 minutes before adding the second half.
Sieve in your cocoa powder and then mix again until fully combined.
Add in your cooled melted chocolate and mix until dispersed evenly, the colour is a lovely rich chocolate colour and it's a nice thickness to spread.
To assemble your cupcakes:
Once the cupcakes are cool, if filling, you need to core each cupcake. I use the larger end of one of my piping nozzles to gently push into the centre of each cupcake, then removing the core as you pull it out. You could use a knife and remove a little too. Just make sure you don't go too deep as you need some of the cake beneath to hold the filling!
To fill, ready your Nutella. If your Nutella is a bit stiff, beat it a little or warm it (in a bowl) in the microwave for 10 seconds (you aren't wanting it to be hot, just a little loose).
Spoon a decent amount of Nutella into the hole you've made in each cupcake until they're all filled.
To finish, transfer your chocolate icing into a piping bag with a large star nozzle. Then pipe your buttercream on top. Alternatively, you can always spoon a little icing onto each cupcake and spread, if you'd prefer.