Hi all. I could not wait to share this special recipe with you. Chocolate. Toasted hazelnuts. Nutella. Need I say more? Yes, today I am sharing the most spectacular chocolate hazelnut cake with Nutella frosting. I was looking for a decadent cake for our Christmas Eve celebration. This recipe fit the bill perfectly. Both girls sighed after the first bite and then mumbled through mouthfuls…”really, really yummy mom.” Coming from two teens that is about as good as it gets! Trust me this recipe will be on rotation for all of your special events.
Tips for making chocolate hazelnut cake with Nutella frosting
This cake is not hard to make but it does have a few steps.
- I bought roasted, unsalted hazelnuts at Trader Joes (you can buy these anywhere of course). I took a cup and about an 1/8 of a cup and spread them out on a cookie sheet with a non-stick pad. Roast the nuts at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Watch the nuts carefully as they cook fast and can burn. I also turn them over by shaking the cookie sheet gently about halfway through.
- Do not add hot chocolate to your cake batter or it will melt the butter and not come out properly. I let the chocolate cool (I used my microwave to melt the chocolate) and then added the Nutella (I took a little sample to make sure it was the right temperature:).
- If you would like even cake layers you can slice off the top with a serrated knife. For this version I made the cake in tiny pans but I have made it as both a bundt cake and a layer cake. The layer recipe is below.
Recipe for chocolate hazelnut cake with Nutella frosting
Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Nutella Frosting
- Cookie sheet
- Cake pans or cupcake pan
- Electric or stand mixer
- For the hazelnut cake:
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups ground toasted hazelnuts see notes above
- For the frosting:
- 6 ounces about half a bag of semisweet chips or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup Nutella
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar sifted
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 Tbsp heavy cream the cream should not be cold
- For decorating:
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- White chocolate optional for decorating
- 1/4 cup ground toasted hazelnuts
- For the hazelnut cake
- Preheat oven to 350F. Butter two 8-inch cake pans and line the bottom of the pans with a circle of parchment paper. Note: make sure your cake pans have full 2 inch sides to accomodate this cake batter. You can also use a springform pan or even make cupcakes. Make sure you thoroughly grease pans. Non stick pans also work well.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or with electric beaters, cream the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy (4-5 minutes).
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract, and beat for another minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl to get everything incorporated.
- Add the baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and mix briefly to combine.
- Next, add the flour in a few stages, alternating with the milk, mixing until all of the ingredients are combined. Then mix in the ground hazelnuts. I like to finish mixing by hand with a silicone spatula to make sure everything on the bottom and the sides of the bowl is well mixed.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans and bake for about 35-40 minutes, until risen, golden on top, and the cake springs back when pressed lightly.
- Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes or so in the pan, then remove the layers and place on a baking rack to cool completely before frosting. (Cake layers can also be made a day ahead, and wrapped and kept in the fridge until ready to frost.)
- For the frosting
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave using short bursts. Stir until smooth and allow to cool to room temperature before adding to the frosting. Note: this is important because you don’t want warm chocolate to melt the butter. Once warm. Add in the Nutella and mix.
- Cream the butter and confectioner’s sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or mix with an electric mixer.
- Add the salt, the cooled melted chocolate mixed with the Nutella, and beat together until the mixture is smooth and uniform. Add the cream and mix until smooth. Make sure the cream is room temperature.
- Frost between the cake layers, and then frost the sides and top of the cake. Decorate with curls of white chocolate, a dusting of confectionary sugar and the hazelnut crumbs.