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Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting

Course Dessert
Keyword gluten-free


For the Chocolate Hazelnut Cake:

  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup raw cacao
  • 2/3 cup hot espresso or instant coffee dissolved in hot water
  • 1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips/chunks
  • 1 ⅓ cups unsalted butter
  • 2 cups firmly packed organic brown sugar
  • 1 cup almond meal, sifted
  • 1 cup hazelnut meal, sifted

For the Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp coffee liqueur
  • 1 cup dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nocciolata )
  • 1 Tbsp cream
  • pinch of salt

To Garnish

  • fresh berries
  • fresh flowers
  • fresh mint


For the Chocolate Hazelnut Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line 3 8-inch rounds, or you can stagger cake sizes for a more tiered effect like the cake picture.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  • In a graduated measuring cup, whisk together the cacao and espresso/coffee until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a heatproof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, watching carefully and stirring to ensure they do not burn. Remove from heat. Add the espresso mixture and the brown sugar, and whisk to combine.
  • In the stand mixer, use the whisk attachment to combine the almond flour, hazelnut flour, and egg yolks. Gently fold in the egg whites, in three additions.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
  • Bake until a cake tester comes out clean with a few crumbs, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before removing from the pans. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.

For the Frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the powdered sugar and butter. Beat on low speed for about a minute. Add vanilla and beat until well combined.
  • Add the cooled chocolate and beat on medium until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chocolate hazelnut spread, cream, and a pinch of salt. Beat on med-high speed for another minute.

To Assemble:

  • Place one layer of the cake on your serving plate. Top with a third of the frosting and spread to the edges with an offset spatula (see pictures for thickness).
  • Repeat with the remaining layers.
  • Decorate with fresh berries, edible flowers, and herbs.