Yup. I warned you these were coming! As if pumpkin doughnut muffins weren’t tasty enough on their own, I needed to fill them with nutella. Sometimes cramming as much delicious as possible into one treat just seems like the right thing to do.
This decision, quite frankly, was for my own good. Apparently I have this problem with nutella where, uh, I can’t stop eating it. I don’t even want to tell you how much had disappeared by the end of this photo shoot. “Oh look, there’s some excess nutella on this plate, might as well clean it up with my fingers.” “And oh no, now this knife is covered in it too. I certainly wouldn’t want to waste it by washing it down the sink!” “Oh and of course I will eat this bread covered in nutella.” That went on for 20 minutes. I spent the next half an hour cursing my lack of will power and the serious serious stomach ache it had caused, while slowly sinking out of my chair, onto the floor. At that moment, I never wanted to see nutella again. I even managed to climb back up into my chair to put out a call to local facebook friends to please PLEASE take some off my hands. But the nausea soon subsided, and the nutella cravings returned.
By that evening, I was already brainstorming more respectable ways to consume the stuff. Possibly sandwiched between shortbread? Or maybe in a frosting of some sort? I decided to check The Flavor Bible’s pairings for hazelnuts, in the hope the it would provide me with some sort of direction. And there it was in bold letters: pumpkin. And almost simultaneously, I remembered this post. Oh my god, nutella-filled pumpkin doughnut muffins — that was it!
Nutella. Pumpkin. Doughnut. Muffin. Is there any greater combination of words? Perhaps if I managed to get bacon in there too. (Don’t think it didn’t cross my mind.) But I didn’t want to be responsible for any awe-induced fainting that might endanger the lives of others. Safety first!
I will note that as these were baking, I was slightly concerned about the end result. First, I was worried I may have filled the muffin pan cups up too far. They were over 3/4 of the way full, and I still had batter left over. I nervously watched them rise in the oven, sure that they were going to explode out over the top and turn into ugly, freakish things. When the timer finally rang, I opened the door and was delighted to find that they hadn’t! But then I became concerned that the consistency wasn’t quite right, or I’d let them bake too long, as the outsides were very smooth and felt a bit dense. Would sugar even stick to them? Did I waste my precious nutella AND pumpkin on dense muffins blobs? Did Martha Stewart seriously just fail me?? I let them cool, brushed them with butter and dipped them in sugar, and then waited until after dinner so J and I could try them simultaneously. I prefaced this with my concerns about their consistency, and then we each tore one in half and had a taste. And wow, I was honestly shocked — they were awesome! The texture is very much like that of a cider doughnut (or any other baked doughnut, I suppose). And the nutella is the perfect complement to the pumpkin flavor. I would actually recommend having more nutella on hand to add to the muffin as you eat it! And as further testament to their deliciousness, I told E (hater of anything hazelnut) that he could try one if he wanted, as long as he picked from the non–photo worthy ones where the nutella had risen to the top. He ate FOUR.
Nutella-Filled Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
- 10 tbsps (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (plus more for pan)
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour (plus more for pan)
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/3 cup of buttermilk
- 1 1/4 cups of pure pumpkin purée
- 3/4 cup of light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- nutella (store-bought, or make your own!), as needed (approximately 1/4 of a cup)
- 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp all spice
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 stick of butter, melted
Preheat over to 350°. Butter and flour a standard 12-cup muffin pan.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin purée. In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat eggs into butter/sugar mixture one at a time. On low speed, alternately add in flour mixture and pumpkin/butter milk mixture until everything is just combined.
Add 2 tbsp of batter to each muffin cup. Add 1 tsp of nutella to the center of the batter in each cup, then evenly distribute the remaining batter over top, until cups are just a little over 3/4 full. (You will likely have some batter leftover. I didn’t dare go higher than 3/4 because I didn’t know how the batter would behave, but you might be able to push it a bit more if you want.)
Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until muffins just begin to turn golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
While muffins are cooling, melt butter for topping and whisk together sugar and spices in separate bowl. After muffins have cooled for 10 minutes, brush with butter and roll in sugar mixture.
These muffins are best eaten immediately, or within a day or two of having been made. Keep some extra nutella handy to enjoy with them!