Nutella Pull-Apart Muffins – Homemade dough is layered with Nutella hazelnut spread and baked in a muffin tin and finished with a cinnamon glaze to make mini pull-apart muffins that are just as fun to eat as they are delicious!
Nutella and I are starting to become good friends. I’ve always loved it, but not in the obsessive-gotta-have-it way that many people are. But slowly but surely, it’s starting to win me over.
My introduction to Nutella came in my childhood, when my dad would spread it on bread and make a sandwich, sometimes adding some peanut butter. I then took that novel idea and took it another step forward. During my college years, I frequently enjoys a snack of Nutella spread on buttered toast with a few sliced strawberries placed on top.
In recent years, I’ve started using Nutella in my baking adventures. First, I made these Nutella macarons. Then came my favorite cupcakes of all time – these Nutella crunch cupcakes. This is the recipe that really turned me into a Nutella fan.
Now, I’m using Nutella in a whole new way by baking it in between layers of yeast dough and molding the dough into individual little muffins. Take a look at my Nutella Pull-apart Muffins!
This recipe was inspired by the chocolate babka, which is a loaf of bread baked with chocolate in the center. I’d been asked to make this in the past but just wasn’t on board with the idea of chocolate and bread. I know, I know. It seems like it’s something that I would immediately love but, most times, the chocolate was too rich and just didn’t pair well with bread.
Nutella, however, was just the right texture and flavor to pair with the bread, in my opinion. It’s sweet and creamy and nutty and incredible. So I decided to finally attempt a chocolate bread recipe. Let’s talk through how that recipe goes.
How to make this recipe
There are three main parts to this recipe: the dough, the filling, and the icing. The dough is a basic sweet yeast dough – the same that is used in my monkey bread and all my yeast doughnuts. The filling is simply just Nutella spread. Finally, the icing is a cinnamon glaze made from powdered sugar, milk, and cinnamon. I’ve found that cinnamon pairs incredibly well with chocolate so I saw this as an opportunity to add a little spice to this recipe.
To make this recipe, you’ll start with the dough. It takes about 1.5 hours to rise so you’ll want to give yourself enough time to get this done. Once the dough has risen, you’ll roll it out into a large rectangle and then spread on the Nutella. Next, you’ll cut the dough into 48 even rectangles and stack the rectangles into 12 stacks of 4 rectangles. Each stack will be placed into a muffin cup within your muffin pan. Make sure the stacks are standing up vertically so that they can expand outward while they bake.
Once the muffins are formed, they need to rise again for another 30 minutes to get them beautifully fluffy. Then, they are baked until golden brown and finally covered with the cinnamon glaze to finish them off.
Tips & Tricks
- Nutella is a little hard to spread at room temperature. Therefore, I recommend heating for 15 seconds in the microwave to thin it out a little bit and make it easy to spread.
- When making dough, it is very important that you take the time to knead it properly. You can either knead with a stand mixer or by hand. I like to knead by hand so I can tell how the gluten is developing. You’ll know when you’ve kneaded enough when the dough is soft and elastic, about 6 minutes.
- When forming the muffins, you will get Nutella all over your hands. It’s inevitable. As someone who hates getting their hands dirty, this was hard for me to accept. But once I did, I could just focus on making the muffins and let go of the fact that my hands were covered in gooey chocolate.
- Make sure to let the muffins cool for 5 minutes before adding the glaze. The glaze will melt all over the place if the muffins are piping hot straight from the over. Letting them cool for a few minutes will help the glaze stay on the muffins a little better.
Nutella Pull-Apart Muffins
For the dough:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 3 ½ - 4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup Nutella hazelnut spread
For the icing:
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ tablespoon milk
- First we will begin making the dough. Heat up milk in a small sauce pan until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and add sugar and salt and stir. Let it cool down to lukewarm to the touch. While milk is cooling, proof the yeast by adding the warm water and yeast in a small bowl and stirring together. Let it activate by setting it aside for 10 minutes.
- Once milk is cool, add to a large bowl, along with 3 ½ cups of the flour, 2 tablespoons of oil, eggs, and yeast mixture. Stir together with a wooden spoon until combined. The dough will be very thick but still pretty wet and sticky.
- Place ¼ cup of flour on the surface of your counter. Place dough on top of it and begin kneading the dough with the flour until all the flour is mixed into the dough. Keep kneading for about 4-5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. If it starts to stick to the counter, add a little more flour. Once you finish kneading, shape into a ball. Lightly grease another large bowl and place the ball of dough into bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 1 ½ hours, where it will be double the size. I like to place mine in the microwave to keep it away from any cool draft from the A/C.
- Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan by spraying with non-stick spray. Once dough has risen, punch it down with your fist and remove from the bowl. Lightly dust your counter with flour and place the dough on top. Roll out dough into a large rectangle, 16 inches x 24 inches. Spread Nutella over the entire rectangle of dough into an even layer. You don't want the Nutella layer to be too thick so remove any excess, if necessary.
- Cut rectangle into 6 strips lengthwise and then 8 strips widthwise. You should have 48 small rectangles now. Stack 4 rectangles together place into greased muffin cup standing up. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Set muffins aside to let dough rise for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Once muffins have risen and oven is preheated, bake until tops begin to turn golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before adding icing.
- Mix icing ingredients together. Pour over the muffins. Serve immediately.