Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

When it comes to celebrating birthdays, one thing I enjoy is making a cake or cupcakes... especially gluten free ones for family and friends who are not gluten free. It's become somewhat of a quest of mine to change the mindset folks have about gluten free baked goods. Often times, the generalization of gf baked goods is that they are dense, tasteless or just unlike it's gluten counterpart. So when my friend, James, had a birthday recently, it was a good opportunity to make a gf cake. This Chocolate Hazelnut Cake certainly blew his mind. He could not believe this was gluten free... and he proclaimed (along with others who were celebrating with us) that this was one of the best cakes he's ever had. It's no wonder! Rich, dark chocolate cake is layered with a luscious chocolate hazelnut buttercream and coated with chopped toasted hazelnuts...

I really need to make this cake again soon. It was AHmazing. Even I surprised myself with how good it was and how rich, moist and flavorful it was for a gluten free cake. The dark chocolate cake made with Dutch process cocoa is key... regular cocoa isn't going to give the same results. These would be great as cupcakes as well, if you don't want to deal with layer cakes.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
recipe from King Arthur Flour

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend
  • 1 cup (3 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease two 8" or 9" round pans.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl (not the bowl of your stand mixer), whisk together the sugar, gluten free flour blend, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum.
  3. Place the oil, eggs, water, and vanilla into your mixer bowl, and beat well.
  4. Blend in the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time, beating for 1 minute and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
  5. Once all of the dry ingredients have been added, beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes, to make a smooth batter.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  7. Bake the cakes for 30 to 33 minutes, about 3 to 4 minutes past the point where a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. The cakes' internal temperature should be 210F.
  8. Remove the cakes from the oven, and let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn them out of the pans to cool completely on a rack.
Nutella Buttercream Frosting
recipe from Kitchen Treaty
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut spread
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt (up to ¼ teaspoon, to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Cooking Directions
  1. In a stand mixer afixed with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and powdered sugar on low until well-blended. Add the Nutella and increase the speed to medium. Beat for two minutes.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and salt and whip for an additional 30 seconds.
  3. Add the whipping cream and beat for about one minute, until the frosting lightens slightly in both color and texture.


  1. Normally I am not a massive chocolate lover - when it's paired with peanut butter that's different. But when it comes to hazelnut chocolate anything I must have it.

  2. What a beautiful cake Joelen, Gluten free or not I would welcome it anytime. BTW my hometown is in SW Michigan, right across that big pond from you.

  3. This cake looks phenomenal! Love all the layers and nut coating, yum!