Nutella® frosting is a homemade frosting featuring creamy, hazelnut-chocolate-based spread sold by the Italian company Ferrero. The frosting mixes Nutella® spread with ingredients like dairy products, cocoa, or chocolate for use in pastries and baked goods. Chopped nuts are also a common ingredient in frosting recipes, which have grown in number and variation with the advent of World Nutella® Day and online recipe sites.
The main ingredient in Nutella® frosting — Nutella® spread — is made with sugar, vegetable oil, and hazelnuts, as well as cocoa solids and non-fat milk solids. Additional ingredients include soy lecithin and vanillin, with sugar making up approximately 55 percent of the recipe, followed by vegetable oil. Hazelnuts account for 13 percent of Nutella®, and cocoa powder contributes 7.4 percent. The non-fat milk solids are a powdered form of skim milk and soy lechitin is comprised of fatty tissue chemically extracted from soy. It gives the food its creamy, spreadable consistency, and vanillin is a synthetic version of vanillin taken from the vanilla bean, slightly different than vanilla extract used for home baking.
Nutella® frosting can be made a variety of ways, the chef typically whipping, folding, or beating Nutella® spread with one or more ingredients. Dairy ingredients give the spread a frosting consistency and texture while adding sweetness, tang, or a neutral, milky flavor to the finished product. Sweetened condensed milk, for instance, sweetens and creates a rich, heavy frosting. Cream cheese adds a tangy flavor that contrasts with Nutella®'s sweetness and creates a dense frosting. Heavy whipping cream fluffs the spread up a bit for a mousse-like frosting, depending on the ratio of spread to cream, and it typically adds a subtle vanilla flavor.
Cocoa, baking chocolate, and chocolate chips may also make up Nutella® frosting, as these ingredients create a frosting with intense chocolate taste, making hazelnut and any dairy ingredients secondary flavors. Cocoa powder is used less often in Nutella® frosting, but its strong flavor works well for quick preparation with no melting required. Baking chocolate works well to add volume and a creamy, smooth texture to the frosting. Semi-sweet baking chocolate must be melted in a double-broiler on very low heat before adding it to the frosting. Chocolate chips or morsels may be melted for a similar effect, though most have milk added and can burn easily during melting; they are best added without melting. A chef may also add chopped nuts like pistachios, walnuts, or pecans for a hearty, nutty flavor and texture.
Recipes using Nutella® frosting typically arise from home cooks or pastry chefs experimenting in the kitchen. The advent of World Nutella® Day, founded in 2006, has encouraged this, asking Nutella® lovers to submit recipes featuring the spread on February 5th of each year. The event website features growing numbers of Nutella® recipes for use in cupcake, cake, brownie, and dessert recipes. Bakers worldwide can also submit frosting recipes to online recipe sites where fellow bakers test, comment on, and perhaps modify the recipes.