Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

A slice of banana bread on a cooling rack.

Hazelnut Chocolate Cake is one of the best cakes you can eat in Italy. Made with a few simple ingredients, this special cake is full of flavor and is worth trying.

When hazelnut cake was served in an Italian restaurant in northern Italy, it was the last cake I would ever choose. I always had the impression that it was dry, too plain, and less inviting than a good tiramisu or a chocolate dessert. Yet I was wrong and changed my mind after I finished eating it and after making my own version. 

A slice of banana bread on a cooling rack.
A slice of banana bread on a cooling rack.

I’m not sure what changed my mind, but while I was out walking with Alex one Saturday afternoon,  I saw some beautiful, super tempting hazelnuts. I asked myself, “Why not try making this recipe?” The result was something genuinely unique and full of flavor.

Hazelnut Chocolate Cake should be shared with:

There is only one answer.  Because it’s delicious, it’s worth searching for the ingredients, putting on your apron, and making it.

Whenever I think of this recipe, I realize that finding hazelnuts in America is not an easy task. When I was in the US, I found delicious organic almonds, walnuts, and pinenuts, but hazelnuts are not easy to find abroad. 

I was discouraged and thought I wouldn’t mention this recipe, but I finally came back to it. You can find an excellent hazelnut flour suitable for this recipe in large grocery stores or online . If you can find it easily, take the time to make this scrumptious recipe!

How to choose the ingredients for your cake

I live in Piedmont, in northern Italy, where hazelnuts are very famous because they are the main ingredients in Nutella, that delicious creamy spread known throughout the world. Here, hazelnuts are found whole, chopped, or as flour.

Roasted hazelnuts on a white plate.

Whole hazelnuts must be coarsely chopped with sugar so as not to lose their oil. Both chopped hazelnuts and flour are ready to use; however, the chopped ones will make the recipe more coarse yet incredibly good!

Get dark chocolate chips, which are the best for this recipe. Although I used granulated sugar, brown sugar will make the flavor stronger and more pronounced.

Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

This cake is always delicious. Crunchy, full of flavor, and super easy to make. Paired with a cup of vanilla ice cream, it's a perfect match for a candlelit dinner. Both kids and adults will like it equally. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword baking, cake, chocolate, Hazelnut Chocolate Cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1 ½ cups of chopped or ground hazelnuts (200g)
  • 1 ¼ cups of cake flour (150g)
  • ¾ cup of butter (150g)
  • ¼ cup + 3 tbsp of milk (103 ml)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp of baking powder (15g)
  • ½ to ¾  cup of dark chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar to taste
Servings 8 people


  • In a bowl, divide the egg yolks from the whites. Add the sugar, the melted butter, and the milk to the yolks. Stir all the ingredients until well combined;
  • Add the flour with the baking powder and 1 cup of chopped hazelnuts to the batter (save the rest for the final decoration). If you only have whole hazelnuts, pulse them with 1/4 cup of sugar in a food processor;
  • Add the chocolate chips and mix well;
  • Whip the whites to a stiff peak with a hand mixer at high speed;
  • Fold the whites into the batter to maintain as much volume as possible;
  • Pour the batter into a buttered and floured cake pan or parchment-lined pan;
  • Sprinkle the surface of the cake with the remaining chopped hazelnuts for a delicious crunchy top crust;
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and bake for 40 minutes in a static oven;
  • Check the surface; if the top gets too brown, lower the temperature;
  • Do the toothpick test; insert one into the cake, and if it comes out clean, it is ready. If after 40 minutes, the cake is not done, raise the temperature to 430°F (about 220°C) and bake for up to 10 minutes more but keep the oven door slightly open to remove the moisture;
  • Once cool, sprinkle it with powdered sugar. Your hazelnut cake is ready! Enjoy!

How can you store it?

This cake stays fresh for 3-4 days in an air-tight cake container. I don’t think it will last that long because it is so delicious.

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