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how to make Hazelnut Gianduja Cake

The Ultimate Guide to Ma...

Are you a fan of the irresistible combination of chocolate and hazelnut? If so, you’re in for a treat with this ultimate guide to making a perfect Hazelnut Gianduja Cake. This European-style cake features a hazelnut butter sponge, a coffee syrup soak, and a heavenly chocolate hazelnut buttercream. It’s rich, decadent, and sure to impress your friends and family. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of creating this delicious masterpiece. So grab your apron and let’s get baking!


To make a Hazelnut Gianduja Cake, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Hazelnut Butter Sponge:

  • Cake flour
  • Hazelnuts
  • Baking powder
  • Large eggs
  • Baker’s sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Unsalted butter

Coffee Syrup:

  • Water
  • Granulated sugar
  • Instant coffee or espresso
  • Kahlua or coffee flavored liqueur

Hazelnut Gianduja Cake Buttercream and Decor:

  • Semisweet chocolate
  • Unsalted butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Kahlua or coffee flavored liqueur
  • Vanilla
  • Powdered sugar
  • Nutella
  • Toasted hazelnuts

Hazelnut Butter Sponge

The first component of the Hazelnut Gianduja Cake is the hazelnut butter sponge. This light and fluffy cake layer is made with a combination of cake flour, ground hazelnuts, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla. Here’s how to make it:

  • Start by toasting the hazelnuts to enhance their flavor. Once toasted, remove the skins and grind the nuts in a food processor until finely ground.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  • Gradually fold the ground hazelnuts, cake flour, and baking powder into the egg yolk mixture. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites until combined.
  • Transfer a portion of the batter to a separate bowl and whisk in melted butter. Return the butter mixture to the main batter and fold until fully incorporated.
  • Divide the batter between three prepared cake pans and bake until the layers spring back when lightly touched and a tester comes out clean.

Coffee Syrup

To add an extra layer of flavor to the Hazelnut Gianduja Cake, a coffee syrup is used to soak the cake layers. Here’s how to make it:

  • In a small saucepan, combine water and granulated sugar and bring to a rolling boil. Use a pastry brush dipped in cold water to wash down any sugar crystals from the sides of the pan.
  • Dissolve instant coffee or espresso in Kahlua or coffee flavored liqueur. Add this mixture to the simple syrup and let it cool completely.

Hazelnut Gianduja Cake Buttercream

The star of the show is the heavenly Hazelnut Gianduja Cake buttercream. This smooth and creamy frosting is made with semisweet chocolate, unsalted butter, heavy cream, Kahlua or coffee flavored liqueur, vanilla, powdered sugar, Nutella, and toasted hazelnuts. Here’s how to make it:

  • Melt the semisweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the softened butter until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
  • Slowly pour in the melted chocolate and beat until well combined. Add the Kahlua or coffee flavored liqueur and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  • Fold in the Nutella and toasted hazelnuts. The buttercream is now ready to use.

Assembling the Hazelnut Gianduja Cake

Now that all the components are ready, it’s time to assemble the Hazelnut Gianduja Cake. Here’s how to do it:

  • Place one of the hazelnut butter sponge layers on a cake board or serving plate. Brush the coffee syrup generously over the top of the layer.
  • Spread a layer of the Hazelnut Gianduja Cake buttercream over the soaked layer. Repeat this process with the remaining layers.
  • Once all the layers are assembled, frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining buttercream. Use a spatula to create a smooth finish.
  • Decorate the cake with additional toasted hazelnuts for an elegant and inviting presentation.

Tips for Success

Make-ahead: The Hazelnut Gianduja Cake can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen. Just make sure to wrap it well to prevent any freezer burn.

Proper storage: Store the assembled cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving for the best taste and texture.

Variations: Feel free to customize your Hazelnut Gianduja Cake by adding different flavors or fillings. Consider incorporating fruit compote, caramel sauce, or even a layer of Nutella between the cake layers.

Getting creative: Get creative with your cake decoration. You can pipe additional buttercream on top of the cake, dust it with cocoa powder, or add chocolate shavings for an extra touch of elegance.


Congratulations! You’ve now mastered the art of making a perfect Hazelnut Gianduja Cake. This indulgent treat is sure to impress your loved ones and become a favorite for any occasion. With its rich hazelnut flavor, moist sponge layers, and creamy chocolate hazelnut buttercream, this cake is a true delight for chocolate lovers. So go ahead, give it a try, and enjoy the deliciousness of this European classic. Happy baking!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I make substitutions in the Hazelnut Gianduja Cake recipe?

Absolutely! While this recipe outlines specific ingredients, you can experiment with alternatives that suit your preferences or dietary needs. For instance, consider using gluten-free flour or a different nut if you have allergies.

2. How long does it take to bake the Hazelnut Butter Sponge layers?

The baking time can vary slightly based on your oven and the thickness of your layers. Generally, aim for the layers to spring back when lightly touched, and a tester should come out clean, indicating they’re ready.

3. Is it necessary to toast the hazelnuts for the Hazelnut Gianduja Cake?

Toasting hazelnuts enhances their flavor and gives the cake a rich, nutty taste. However, if needed, you can skip toasting them, but you may lose some depth of flavor.

4. Can I freeze the assembled Hazelnut Gianduja Cake?

While you can freeze the cake, it’s best to freeze the layers separately and assemble them after thawing for optimal taste and texture.

Lauren Melaney is a housewife. Cooking is her passion and she really loves to experiment. She loves baking bread on any occasion. European cuisine is one of her favorites and she likes preparing different dishes and eating them with her family and friends. Also, Spanish & French cooking traditions appeal to her in general. Hope you would enjoy her recipes and find something that interests you!

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