This gorgeous cake is a, perfect-for-Easter Hazelnut Cake. I mean, it could be an any day cake – birthday, baby shower or just for the fun of it cake but since I topped it with Easter eggs, it became an Easter cake.
I’ve recently re-made this recipe to get some gorgeous new photos and to double-check the recipe and it’s still as amazing as I remember. The intense flavour of hazelnuts in the cake and the frosting, a glorious ganache to keep things easy, Easter eggs. A great way to use up leftover Easter chocolate, don’t you think?
This cake is filled with texture
This hazelnut cake is so different to any other cake I’ve made. It’s textural. I use ground hazelnuts in the batter, which gives a gorgeous nutty flavour and texture. Even the frosting – a whipped hazelnut frosting – is creamy but still textural with those little hazelnut pieces.
Similar to this Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, this one is ever so slightly dense but in a nice way. It’s moist and rich and perfect served for afternoon tea. Brown sugar and eggs give it richness and buttermilk keeps it tender.
How to make hazelnut cake
- Like with many cakes, you’ll start by beating together butter and sugar, until it’s lightened and fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla to the mixture and beat them in too.
- Now add the dry ingredients one third at a time, with buttermilk in between.
- Divide it between two 20cm / 8 inch sandwich tins and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Once removed from the oven, let them cool for about 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
The whipped hazelnut buttercream
I love this buttercream and I’ve used it before on these Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies. It’s a bit like the flavour of those Kinder Bueno Bars but rather than being a smooth buttercream, it has the texture of nuts through it while still being amazingly creamy and fluffy. It gets that from all the whipping.
If you’d prefer a smooth buttercream, you can leave the ground hazelnuts out of it.
- First, beat the butter and a little sugar until smooth and light, then add the rest of the sugar, quarter cup at a time with the mixer on low.
- Now add some cream, frangelico, vanilla and the ground hazelnuts if you’re using them and beat well.
- Finally, add white chocolate and beat it for a good 3 minutes until it’s looking fluffy and soft.
Tips for the buttercream
- Adding the icing / powdered sugar slowly means you won’t end up with sugar all over the kitchen.
- The white chocolate gives this buttercream a really creamy flavour and helps to set it a little more, meaning less sugar is needed to make it stiff enough to hold.
- Both the hazelnuts and Frangelico liqueur can be left out, to make this a whipped vanilla frosting instead.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Bring cold ingredients to room temperature: It’s important to bring chilled ingredients to room temperature before starting. Eggs and buttermilk especially. Butter should be softened enough to easily indent but not so soft that it’s greasy looking.
- Sandwich pans / tins: Are cake tins with a solid bottom that are perfect for baking layered cake layers. The sides are around 1 3/4 to 2 inches deep.
- All ovens vary: Very often, oven temperature does not actually match what the thermostat suggests, so may ovens run a little hot or cold. What takes 25 minutes in my oven may take 22 or 27 in yours. I always recommend keeping an oven-safe thermometer inside the oven attached to one of the racks, so you can keep an eye on your oven temp.
- Weigh ingredients when given a weight: If the recipe offers weight measurements, please use those if you can to measure out your ingredients. Thinks like flour and cocoa, especially as the way you fill your cup measure may give you more or less of these ingredients and it WILL make a difference to the result. Kitchen scales are cheap and last a lifetime.
Variations on this hazelnut cake
It doesn’t just need to be an Easter cake. Add any of your favourite chocolate candy as toppings and turn it into a birthday cake or baby shower cake, or just a cake to go with a cup of coffee.
You can also up the nuttiness by adding a touch of almond extract or just use ground almonds, instead of hazelnuts.
What do you have planned for Easter? Whatever it is, make sure it involves this Hazelnut Easter Cake. After being showered with chocolates, this simple cake will be a delicious change.
If you try this hazelnut cake recipe, please take a moment to leave a rating and comment below. I love hearing from you, and it helps other readers too!
More cake recipes perfect for Easter
- Carrot Cake Bars
- How to make Perfect Pavlova
- Fluffy Lemon Vanilla Butter Cake
- Black Magic Cake
- Flourless Chocolate Pear Upside Down Cake
- Chocolate Roll Cake
- Fluffy Vanilla Cake
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Easter Hazelnut Cake
FOR THE HAZELNUT CAKE
- 226 g unsalted butter, softened (1 cup / 2 sticks)
- ½ cup white granulated sugar (100g / 3.5oz)
- ½ cup light brown sugar (100g / 3.5oz)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup plain (all purp) flour (130g / 4.5oz)
- 1 ½ cups ground hazelnuts / hazelnut meal (150g / 5.3oz)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ cup buttermilk, room temp
FOR THE HAZELNUT BUTTERCREAM
- 113 g unsalted butter, softened (1 stick / ½ cup)
- 1 ½ cups icing (powdered) sugar
- 100 g white chocolate, chopped (3.5oz )
- 2 tablespoons thickened cream (notes)
- 1 tablespoon Frangelico liqueur, optional (notes)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup ground hazelnuts (50g / 2oz)
FOR THE TOPPING
- ⅓ cup thickened (heavy) cream
- 100 g dark chocolate (70%), finely chopped (½ cup / 3.5oz)
- variety of Easter eggs
- 20cm / 8 inch sandwich tins / cake pans
FOR THE HAZELNUT CAKE
- Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Grease 2x 20cm sandwich cake tins / pans, then line with baking paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, hazelnut meal, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy (roughly 3 minutes), scraping down sides of bowl from time to time.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each to combine and scrape down the bowl after each addition.
- Add ⅓ of flour to batter and fold through with a spatula.
- Now add half the buttermilk and mix gently. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly in the tins before gently turning them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
FOR THE HAZELNUT BUTTERCREAM
- Melt the white chocolate in 30 second bursts in the microwave, stirring well between each. Allow it to cool a little while you get on with the buttercream
- Beat the butter and icing sugar together until light and creamy. Add the vanilla, cream. frangelico and hazelnut meal. Beat well.
- Add the cooled white chocolate and beat on medium-high for 3 minutes until it looks whipped and creamy.
- Spread half over one of the cakes. Top with the second cake, then spread the remaining buttercream over the top and a little around the sides. Place in the fridge to set.
- Place the chocolate in a small heatproof dish.
- Heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat until its bubbling, then pour it over the chocolate. Give the dish a gentle shake so all the chocolate is submerged. Leave for a few minutes, then stir to a smooth glossy ganache. Spread the ganache over the cake, letting some drip down the sides.
- Top with chocolate easter eggs (notes)
- Place in the fridge until the ganache has set.
- Please take a moment to rate this recipe. I really appreciate it and it helps me create more recipes.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspooons worldwide)
- For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- If you are using whole hazelnuts, use a food processor to grind them down as fine as you can get them.
- This doesn’t need to be an Easter Cake. Add your favourite chocolate candy toppings (aka fererro rocher, lindt balls, smarties, m&m’s) to make a decadent birthday cake.
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