Made of a rich chocolate cake, creamy hazelnut frosting, and chocolate ganache, this fudgy chocolate hazelnut layer cake is the ultimate treat for any celebration.
My blog is turning three this month! Three whole years!!! I’m not sure how it happened, or more specifically when it happened, but let me tell you, time flies by so quickly! Having this blog in my life means I have each and every one of you in my life and that means the world to me. Thank you for sticking around!
To celebrate this day I wanted today’s cake to be special, something that’s a bit more fancy than the everyday cakes I usually make, and one that has my name written all over it. I knew the search was over once I stumbled upon this fabulous recipe by the amazing Linda from the blog Call Me Cupcake.
I took one bite of this moist, fudgy piece of heaven and hoped the moment would never end. The chocolate cake base is rich and dense and has this intensely deep chocolate flavor. This is what an ultimate birthday cake should taste like.
The cake has a hazelnut filling in the center (basically Nutella), which is my favorite thing in the world right now. It’s so smooth and creamy and shiny. One thing to note is that there should be more frosting than what you see in the photos because by the time I used it for the cake, I had already eaten about 1/3 of it.
The chocolate ganache is another layer for the chocoholic, but if you really want to skip it (for whatever reason that I will never understand), you can, although I do love the appealing look of the ganache on top.
Add hazelnuts if you like. Since all the layers of the cake are fudgy and creamy, adding some crunch by using chopped hazelnuts makes it even better. You can sprinkle them either just on top of the cake or in between the layers.
Cake size. Instead of using three 6-inch pans, you can bake the cakes in two 8-inch pans. The baking time may differ slightly, so start checking them after 30 minutes.
- 1¾ sticks (200 g) butter
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
- 1¾ cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 2/3 cup (67 g) cocoa powder
- 1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup (150 ml) sour cream
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) hot coffee (hot water dissolved with instant coffee powder)
- 75 g semisweet chocolate , coarsely chopped
- 2½ tablespoons (35 g) butter
- Pinch of salt
- 1¼ sticks (150 g) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (113 g) cream cheese or mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup (60 g) powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (250 g) Nutella or chocolate hazelnut spread
- pinch of salt
- 75 g dark chocolate (70%), coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons (45 g) butter
- Pinch of salt
To make the cake: Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F. Butter three 6-inch (15 cm) cake pans and dust them with cocoa powder.
Melt the butter, add milk and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Add the butter mixture, eggs and sour cream to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the hot coffee and stir until smooth (batter will be quite liquid).
Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans. Bake the cakes on the lower rack for 32-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in their pans for 15 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
To make the chocolate filing: Place chocolate in a saucepan together with butter, over low heat. Stir often until everything is melted. Add a pinch of salt. Let cool to spreadable consistency – meanwhile you can prepare the frosting.
To make the chocolate hazelnut frosting: In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the cream cheese, powdered sugar, chocolate hazelnut spread and salt and beat until frosting is completely smooth and fluffy. If frosting feels loose, place the bowl in the fridge for a while.
Assemble the cake: Place the first cake layer on a plate or cake stand. Spread with chocolate filling, then pipe or spread a layer of frosting on top (save some frosting for the second layer as well). Don’t pipe or spread all the way out to the edge as the weight of the cake will make it spread.
Place the second layer on top of the first layer. Spread second layer with chocolate filling, then pipe or spread a layer of frosting on top. Put the third layer on top. Put the cake in the fridge to stabilize it while you prepare the dark chocolate glaze.
To make the chocolate glaze: Coarsely chop the dark chocolate and place it in a saucepan together with butter, over low heat. Stir often until melted. Add a pinch of salt. Let cool slightly but make sure it doesn’t thicken too much, it should still be liquid. Pour the glaze over the cake and quickly spread it over the edges of the cake to make it run down the sides.
Keep cake in the fridge but serve it in room temperature.
Recipe by Linda from Call Me Cupcake.