Hazelnut Cake Recipe


Sophisticated and classy, this Hazelnut Cake recipe is sure to turn some heads at your next event!

Turn it into the Ferrero Rocher Truffle Cake and well…..you can thank me later!

This is a genoise style cake preparation which basically means we will be foaming the eggs and the sugar and folding in the rest of the ingredients.

Genoise style cakes are generally on the dry side, however the addition of hazelnut flour adds some fat and moisture as well as a nice browned butter liaison at the end.

For more information about all the different styles of cakes, please read What is Cake.

Genoise cakes are typically paired with a light soaking of Simple Syrup upon assembly of your final masterpiece to ensure your layers are not too dry.

I added some Frangelico liquor to my simple syrup for that heavenly Ferrero Rocher Truffle Cake I mentioned earlier!

Quite possibly my FAVORITE cake creation thus far!

4.5 from 2 reviews
Hazelnut Cake Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Preheat oven to 350° F
Prepare 3- 7" OR 2 - 8" cake pans with pan grease
Serves: 3- 7" or 2 - 8" layers
  • Cake Flour 1½ cups (180g)
  • Hazelnut Flour or Toasted Hazelnuts GROUND ¾ cup (140g)
  • Ground Cinnamon 1 teaspoon (2.5g)
  • Salt ½ teaspoon (3g)
  • Baking Powder 2 teaspoons
  • Light Brown Sugar ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons (132g)
  • Large Egg Yolks 6 (108g)
  • Warm Water ½ cup (120ml)
  • Large Egg Whites 6 (180g)
  • Granulated Sugar ½ cup (100g)
  • Unsalted Butter (browned) 1 stick (½ cup) (112g)
  • Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons
  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together, then add to the hazelnut flour and reserve.
  2. Meanwhile melt the butter in a sauce pot in the stove until it is browned and the milk solids have fallen to the bottom of the pan. Pour off the browned butter into another bowl and discard the burned milk solids, reserve browned butter until last.
  3. Add the vanilla extract when browned butter has cooled.
  4. In a the mixer bowl with the whisk attachment whip the egg yolks and brown sugar on high speed until thick, light and fluffy about 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer this mixture to another bowl; then clean out your mixer bowl and whisk extremely well. Be sure there are no traces of grease or yolks left on anything.
  6. Place the egg whites and warm water in the mixer bowl with the whip attachment and whip on high speed until frothy and gaining volume. Slowly add the granulated sugar in a slow steady stream while whipping on high until all sugar is incorporated and you have achieved a firm peaked meringue.
  7. Fold ½ of the meringue into the egg yolk mixture to lighten, and then gently fold the remaining meringue.
  8. Gently fold in the dry ingredients in several additions.
  9. Make a liaison with the browned butter and 1½ cups of the batter
  10. Next pour this liaison back into the main batter and fold together
  11. Pour the batter into 2- 8" prepared greased pans
  12. Bake in preheated 350° F oven for approximately 25-35 minutes or until the center springs back when pressed gently
  13. Cool cakes in the pan until you are able to touch them without burning your fingers, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.
Hazelnut Cake Layers may be frozen (Wrapped Well for freezer Storage for up to 2 months





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  1. Hi..i just wonder whether light brown sugar is the same as brown sugar or not? Bcos here in Australia i only can find brown sugar and dark brown sugat..thanks

  2. Hi Gretchen,
    Could you ballpark the amount of hazelnuts needed if you wanted to make your own flour and make the toasted nut garnish? Your vids are always so inspiring! Thanks!

  3. What can I do to prevent my layers from mounding in the middle. I do check my oven temps with a thermometer and it is a conventional type. By the way, took your advice tenting my cheesecake and it solved the browning problem. I can’t tell you how many times I have made the lemon cheesecake and everyone says it is the best they have tasted.

    1. awesome! Wait til you see the mess I made with my pumpkin pie using that same tenting technique! Let’s just say my tent collapsed! LOL
      Oh well, was still delic! Stay tuned for the video in a week or so….
      Anyway- My cakes dont dome, and I dont do anything different to the pans than what you see in the video- just grease and parchment and bake! they come out very flat.
      I am stumped as to why others have domes (especially when you are saying the oven is correct, etc )

  4. Can I make cupcakes with this recipe? What’s your best frosting recommendation if I don’t want to make the Ferero cake. Love hazelnut!

  5. If I freeze the layers, do I thaw in fridge in the plastic wrap it was frozen in, or on counter in room temp. Once I froze layers and when thawed, I thought they were moist/wet

  6. Hi Gretchen!
    Can we apply the simple syrup to the cakes before we freeze the cakes to make sure that moisture remains or only right before assembling the cake?
    Thank you!

  7. Hi Gretchen,
    for you I hope you have time to answer them 🙂 I will be making the Ferrero Rocher cake this weekend and I was wondering if I can substitute the browned butter for oil to make my life more simple I did see you making the apple caramel cake and you mentioned that we can substitute it in that recipe so was wondering if we can do the same with the hazelnut cake?

    My second question is can I make the cake the day/night before and leave it overnight in the fridge or will il be too dry to eat the next day? I was planning on making all the steps of it the day before and assembling it all the next day to eat it but don’t want to ruin it if that would be the case.

    Thanks for all your goodness that you make for us it is a pleasure to watch you.

      1. Super I will make it and freeze it if that is what is best! Thanks so much for answering me fast you are the best!

        I was wondering if you ever did the Petit four with the almond paste that you mention on this page with the Frangipane cake? http://gretchen9104.wpengine.com/creating-your-own-buttercream-flavors/

        I would really love to do it for my long xmas baking because I love anything with almond paste in it. If you didn’t make a video of it I would love to make the request for it 🙂


  8. Hi Gretchen
    I’ve been asked to make a Ferrero Rocher cake and yours came immediately to my mind! However, in the UK we do not have cake flour – I’m guessing (from my Genoise recipe) that Plain flour, as we call it, would be ok?
    Many thanks

  9. Hi Gretchen , im from borneo here. I love all ur video, all the tips are really helpful special im a new homebaker here.. Anyway, here my question is can i substitute the hazel nut to walnut?

    1. HI! Great thanks! yes you can- however walnuts will be much more “moist” due to the fat content in the nuts, so be careful when you are grinding them to a “flour” they will have a tendency to want to go to a paste! Add some flour to the food processor to make sure they dont get that way!

  10. Hi,
    Just wondering about the browned butter – where it says 112g is that after it has been browned or before (as I know the yield is less once it is browned).

  11. Hi gretchen!

    I love your videos! I just want to ask, what can i substitute for the hazelnut cake? Because here in our country, i dont think hazelnut flour is available, and hazelnuts are really expensive. Thanks!

      1. Thanks for the info! How about if i have hazelnut flavoring and use it to have that hazelnut taste, what will be the changes in the recipe? I mean what will happen in the hazelnut flour or any nut flour ingredient? Thanks!

          1. Okay thanks! Ill try to use almond flour. But just in case, can i use all purpose flour and hazelnut flavoring as a substitute for the hazelnut flour? Thanks a lot!

          2. Oh, and one more thing. When i take the cake out of the oven, just the time when it’s already baked, how long am i going to cool it down before freezing it? Thanks again!

  12. hi

    i am not a fan of buttercream as i find it way too sweet. can i replace the butter cream with whipped cream icing and mix nutella in it?

    Thank you

  13. HI Gretchen,

    I cannot find Hazelnut flour anywhere. I have bought hazelnuts instead. Do I just grind these down and add with the cake flour?

    Thank you in advance for your help

  14. This cake batter is amazing!!!! My husband and daughter hung around the kitchen just in case there were samples. I did make a small 2 inch sampler cake so we taste. Everything was fantastic! I love the SMBC. OMG I cannot believe i have been using ABC when this was available. lol

    Thanks for everything. I will be putting the cake together today so it will be ready to bring to work tomorrow for my boss.

  15. Hi gretchen! I think i grind my hazelnuts too much & turned to paste Should i still mix this on the wet ingredients instead on dry ing? Pls help! Thx in advance

    1. Hmm, its worth a try, Im not sure how much it will affect the recipe- may come out heavy from releasing those fats from the nuts, the nut flour is meant to be a dry ingredient

  16. Hello gretchen I wanna try your Ferrero rocher truffle cake for my husband’s bday.. So can I prepare this hazelnut cake 2 days b4 and store in room temperature? Or should I refrigerate? And wil the cake be fresh if I store it?

  17. Hi Gretchen! For this Genoise cake, why is it you seperate the egg yolks from the whites rather than warming and subsequently whisking the whole eggs as per your other sponge cake recipes?

    I tried to make a hazelnut cake today, whisking the eggs as a whole and sadly, the cake failed to rise. I’m just wondering if whisking the whites and yolks separately would have yielded better results.


    1. Genoise cakes are balanced for the separating foaming method whereas sponge cakes are balanced with whole eggs in mind.
      The structure of a genoise has less flour so the separation foaming method is more strength

  18. Hi! i wanted to make this cake for a birthday but I wanted to make this a 10 inch cake, should I add a bit more of each ingredient? (haha very risky) or do i use the same measurements? Thank you!

  19. Hi Gretchen,

    Thank you for sharing this fab recipe with us. I watched the video and would like to make the Ferrero Roche cake .I would love to make it for dessert but as gluten free. Can I use all hazelnut flour to replace the cake flour ? And how many cups of hazelnut flour would I need to make 2 8” cakes.


  20. I love all your recipes , you are the best , I would love to try this cake but I don’t like hazelnut can l use pistachio instead ? And can I use oil instead of butter since it’s not creamed with the sugar in the beginning of the recipe ?

  21. Hi Gretchen,

    Since this is called a sponge cake ( though butter is being used) will this still stay very soft in the fridge? like your yellow sponge cake recipe? I love that cake!


  22. Hi Gretchen
    I was wondering, if it is possible to wip the whole eggs instead of separating them? 🙂 Just to save some time and time for dishwashing!:)

  23. Hi Gretchen

    Well, i did bake a hazelnut sponge and it turned out great!!! I just want to say a huge thanks for the recipie.
    As i asked before, about eggs… i did make the batter with whole eggs and did not separate it. Instead, i added eggs, water and teo types of sugar. And warmed it on water bath, after it i whipped it till its tripled in volume. It is a methode Rose Levy Beranbaum use for her genouise sponge. 🙂 And then i mixed in flour/nut mixture, melted butter. Oh, it was soooo good!!! Very good. Sponge was made for a wedding cake. If i could, i would add a picture!:) Thanks again, Gretchen!

  24. Can you share what frosting you used for the ferraro rocher cake. They are my granddaughters favorite candy and want to make for her. Thanks

  25. I have not seen Cake flour or Hazelnut flour in stores near me.

    Would I use just regular flour for the cake flour and add Hazelnut to regular flour for that? Also, would measurements be the same?

  26. Hi Gretchen, I’ll be grinding my hazelnuts for the recipe, but read somewhere that I should add a bit of sugar to keep it from trying into hazelnut paste. What do you suggest?

    Thanks in advance!!! I’ve been following your recipes since Woodland ☺

  27. Hello!
    Making this cake for my birthday this weekend and i am so excited.
    I only have 1 -7″ pan, and you say in the video that the cakes should go in the oven right after mixing. Can i bake one at a time in the oven ?

  28. Hey Gretchen,
    Another delicious cake recipe! Although the hazelnut flavor is not very pronounced, the cake does have a subtle nutty flavor. I did not have any hazelnut flour, so I ground some toasted hazelnuts in a food processor, and they almost formed a paste, but I still used it and the cake came out great!

  29. Hi Gretchen,

    How would I bake this cake in 3, 8 inch layers? I would prefer not to have 3 thin layers. Would 1 1/2 the batter work? Thanks so much for all that you do!

  30. Hi I just tried the recipe and Everyone said that the sponge was crumbly and dry. I did soak it , so I am not sure what went wrong. The Mix and the cake looked similar to yours.

    1. Hmm, well my first thoughts are that people are not always used to scratch cakes when we are so used to box mixes or commercial bakery cakes (which are essentially box mixes)
      Mostly why I wrote this blog post here for What is Cake?
      to get folks familiar with scratch cakes and to not really expect them to be like a box cake mix, but especially since we are talking about a genoise here (which is what this hazelnut cake is) that adds another layer of confusion and sometimes disappointment.
      If you did the recipe exactly as written and mixed as I show, I am not sure you did anything wrong, but perhaps the trouble lies in that you (and you guests ) are just not fans of genoise style cakes?
      Read the attached clip and let me know you thoughts! Thanks!

      1. Hi Gretchen,
        Thanks for the quick response, its awesome that you take the time to answer.
        What clips are you referring to?
        Could it be that I did not soak it enough? I did brush it with the syrup.
        Also I though genies cakes use eggs as a rising agent, here we add Baking powder. What’s the reason for that .
        I love your recipes and will try the all, Do you have a facebook page? would be good to post pics of people that tried the recipes, like me.

  31. Hi Getchen,

    I want to make a 2 tier version of this cake with 6″ and 8″ cakes.
    I’m guessing with your recipe amounts, a 6″ will yield 3 tall layers, right?

    Also, i only have 1 pan for the 6″, so I’m going to have to bake 1 layer at a time. Will this ruin or deflate the batter from sitting out for so long till the whole batter is baked?

    Lastly, since I’m making a tiered cake, and especially for the 8″, your recipe will yield 2 layers, do you think it will be ok if i slice those layers to make 4 thin layers?

  32. Hi Gretchen,
    Excited to try making the Ferrero cake this weekend, I just had a quick question. I was under the impression that for genoise cakes, pans could not be greased because the cakes need a dry, non slippery surface to be able to rise. Is that not the case?

    Also when you say grease, do you just mean butter/shortening or do you mean butter/ shortening and then dust with flour?


  33. Hello Gretchen!
    Looove how this cake turned out. Questions: Can I use this recipe for the trending alphabet/ numbers cake? How to prevent it from drying? Thanks!

  34. Hi Gretchen,

    thanks so much for this delicious recipe!!!

    I’m thinking to make this as part of my wedding cake, the bottom tier. It will be the middle layer sandwiched by chocolate cakes. I have tested this recipe frozen and it’s magnificent. I was wondering how much batter is required for a 12″ pan and if there are any special considerations for baking such a large pan size? Thanks!

    1. Hi Great thanks! Sounds like a great combo!
      You will have to double the recipe for 1 layer 12″ pan however because the success of this recipe relies on the whipped eggs, just be sure your mixer can accommodate the volume of eggs at its fullest capacity

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