Today is National Coffee Day or something like that.  I’m not a coffee drinker, but that won’t stop me from making a cupcake with coffee ingredients like these gems from The Cupcake Project.  Oh, did I forget to mention the hazelnuts?  You know, of Nutella fame.  So go on and whip up a batch to have with your coffee.  Since it’s a holiday of sorts, the calories don’t count.

Hazelnut Coffee Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee (use 2 teaspoons if you prefer stronger coffee)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
Frosting Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

Cupcake Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spread hazelnuts onto a cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for ten minutes.
  4. Once the hazelnuts are cool enough to touch, roll around in your hands or in a towel to remove the dark brown skins. Some of the skins will stick on the nuts and that’s OK.
  5. Food process the hazelnuts with vegetable oil until they form a thick paste.
  6. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, instant coffee, and butter until fully combined.
  7. Mix in hazelnut paste.
  8. Mix in eggs, one at a time.
  9. Mix in milk.
  10. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Frosting Directions:
  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whip butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix in mascarpone and vanilla.
  3. Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
  4. Spread or pipe on cooled cupcakes.
  5. Optionally top with finely chopped toasted hazelnuts.
  6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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