Mocha Hazelnut Cake

I have times when I crave a coffee cake.  I usually turn to the classic coffee and walnut in such times of need.  But I have also been coveting the notion of an Italian Hazelnut Cake.  I think it was Rachel’s blog where I first saw this, or it may have been Michele’s, or even Tracy’s.  That is the trouble when you read so many wonderful blogs, it can cause no end of trouble when you try to find a recipe that you loved.

Fortunately for me Rachel Allen does an Italian Hazelnut Cake in her book, Bake, and so with a bit of tweaking I had the perfect Coffee and Hazelnut Cake, and because it’s me I couldn’t resist adding some chocolate and turning it into a Mocha Hazelnut Cake.

I urge you to try this, it manages to be incredibly light and incredibly moist at the same time.  The coffee shines through but doesn’t diminish the wonderful hazelnut flavour and the chocolate adds a wonderful depth.  This recipe is definitely a keeper.

As I have added both coffee and hazelnuts to the original recipe, it can’t really be called an Italian Hazelnut Cake, but it can be called a Shropshire Mocha Hazelnut Cake.

200g hazelnuts, with their skins still on preferably
50g good quality chocolate
1 tsp baking powder
2tsp instant coffee powder, mixed with 2 tsp of hot water
100g softened butter
5 eggs, separated
175g caster sugar
pinch of salt


Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
Place the hazelnuts, chocolate and baking powder in a food processor and whizz into fine crumbs.  Add the butter and whizz again until just mixed.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and the sugar together until the mixture has the texture of a mousse and the whisk leaves a trail when lifted out.

Add the coffee and the hazelnut mixture and beat until combined.

In a very clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and the pinch of salt together until stiff. Then add one-third of the egg whites to the other ingredients and stir well to combine and lighten the mixture.  Add the remaining egg whites in two batches, folding in carefully to retain as much air in the mixture as possible.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 170°c, gas mark 3, or with the oven rack on the lowest set of runners in the Baking Oven of the Aga for about 1 hour or until the cake is firm on top and a skewer will come out clean when it is inserted into the cake.

Leave to cool for 15 minutes in the tin and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


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32 thoughts on “Mocha Hazelnut Cake”

  1. Kath, that slice of cake looks wonderful – moist and chewy and delicious. I just made a mostly egg and nut cake, but didn’t use any baking powder in mine – hmmm, interesting, yours does look a bit less dense than mine (which I’m scoffing as I type).

  2. Wow! perfect timing with “World Nutella Day” via Michele–

    Kath, this cake looks positively scrumptious—my kind of coffeecake, light but rich with chocolate and hazelnuts (!) the right treat with that afternoon cuppa joe.

  3. Since you blogged that the other day, I’ve been on the hunt for a nice big lump of moist cake. I can’t find one anywhere. Co-op Ginger cake would’ve done the trick; but they’d sold out. All the rest I’ve seen have been either small or had goo on the top.

    Can you please blog something with jerusalem artichokes, so my cake lust will wane.

  4. This is really a lovely creation. It looks and sounds delicious. I’m new to your blog and have spent some time browsing through your earlier entries. I really like the food and recipes you feature here. I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  5. We made this cake on Thursday afternoon and it was all scoffed by last night! Thanks for the great recipe, this cake is really delicious and straightforward to make. I’m just going to start making your chicken pie recipe for tonight’s dinner.

  6. I followed your recipe this morning and made a delicious cake. Many thanks. But – my cupboard had brazil nuts, not hazels like I thought. I got mixture in my hair, up the walls, on the table. I also managed to get bits of egg shell mixed up with the nut mixture ….. but anyway, the cake tastes lovely.

  7. Mrs Mildstyle

    Hi there!
    I stumbled upon your site/this recipe while mindlessly searching for some kind of chocolate/hazelnut/coffee cake adventure yesterday. I found a few recipes floating around, but this one certainly stuck out as a style of cake I’d never made before (egg frenzy!) so I was rather keen to try it out.
    Sorry for yelling, but I’ve made quite a lot of cakes in my time. I’ll be making it again this weekend for my birthday and I’ll experiment with a little less sugar and some stronger coffee as I couldn’t really taste it (I used fresh stove top coffee instead of instant. No regrets with the 85% cocoa Lindt chocolate I used though!). Anyhow, thank you for enriching me (and the stomachs of those around!) with this incredibly wonderful, textural, mind exploding cake.

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