This moist Chocolate Hazelnut Cake is perfect when you feel like craving cake on one hand, but want something healthier on the other. This recipe is easy and quick to make and I love the look of the cake.
I didn’t use any flour or granulated sugar. To sweeten I used dates and applesauce. The main ingredients of the cake are ground hazelnuts and ground almonds, which are important for keeping the cake moist. Cinnamon and cardamom add a nice spice to the cake and the chocolate glaze with the roasted chopped hazelnuts are the perfect finish.
A gluten-free and sugar-free nut cake that you have to try. The best part is that it’s so incredibly delicious, you won’t even notice that this is a healthy cake. Exactly what you need if you’re on a reset diet, for example, or if you want to take care of your health in general without giving up cake.
Tools & Equipment
- 18cm/7-inch springform pan
- 2 small bowls
- Cutting board
- Food processor
- Handheld mixer
- Medium bowl
- Parchment paper
- Quarter sheet pan
- Sharp knife
- Silicone spatula
- Wire rack
Pan Size: I used an 18cm/7-inch springform pan. However, you can also make this recipe in a 20cm/8-inch pan, which will result in a slightly lower cake. If you want to use a 22cm/9-inch or 24 cm/9,5-inch pan, increase the ingredients by 30% and for a 26 cm/10-inch pan increase them by 50%.
Nuts: I love hazelnuts, especially together with chocolate. In case you are not a fan of hazelnuts, you can replace them with other nuts, like walnuts, peanuts, pecans or feel free to use a combo of different nuts. It’s up to your personal taste.
Dates: Depending on how firm or soft the dates you are using are, you can cut them into small pieces before pureeing, which will make it easier and faster to puree them.
Ingredients for Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
Step by Step Guide – How to Make Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
Make the Cake
Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F. Line an 18cm/7-inch springform pan with parchment. Beat egg whites and salt until stiff, for about 2 minutes.
Pit the dates and place in a food processor together with oat milk, applesauce and vanilla extract. Pulse several times until pureed.
Combine ground hazelnuts, ground almonds, cinnamon and cardamom. Fold in the date mixture.
Then fold in the beaten egg whites. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Prepare the Topping & Finish the Cake
Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 150°C/300°F for 6-8 minutes. Let cool completely. Chop the roasted hazelnuts into small chunks. Melt the chocolate with coconut oil in 15-second intervals in the microwave.
Release the cake from the pan and place on parchment. Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and let it set a bit, then transfer the cake to a clean piece of parchment and spread the hazelnuts on top. Finally drizzle some melted chocolate over the hazelnuts.
Storing and Freezing Instructions
Storage: Store the cake in an airtight container or under a cake dome in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezing Instructions: The cake can be frozen for up to 3 month. Wrap the cake in plastic and put in a zipper bag. To thaw, unwrap the cake and leave it on a wire rack at room temperature for about 3-4 hours.
My Summary for Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
Taste: This cake tastes like nuts and chocolate. I didn’t add any regular sugar, the sweetness comes from the dates and the unsweetened applesauce, therefore the cake is not too sweet and besides that, it has a nice touch of cinnamon and cardamom.
Texture: It has a wonderful moist texture. The topping of chocolate glaze and roasted hazelnuts adds an amazing crunch to the cake.
Time: It takes about 30 minutes to make the batter. Baking time is about 35-40 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely, at least for 1 hour, better overnight. Preparing the topping, meaning the hazelnuts and chocolate glaze, takes about 15 minutes.
More HEALTHIER Recipes
For the Cake
- 80g dates, pitted
- 100ml oat milk
- 100g applesauce, unsweetened
- 5ml vanilla extract
- 3 (90g) large egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 150g ground hazelnuts
- 100g ground almonds
- 4g (2 tsp) cinnamon
- 1g (1/2 tsp) cardamom
For the Topping
- 125g semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
- 12g (1 tbsp) coconut oil, melted
- 50g hazelnuts, roasted & chopped
Make the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F. Line an 18cm/7-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a small bowl beat egg whites and salt with a handheld mixer until stiff, for about 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Pit the dates with a knife and place in a food processor together with the oat milk, the applesauce and vanilla extract. Pulse several times until pureed.
- In a medium bowl combine ground hazelnuts, ground almonds, cinnamon and cardamom with a silicone spatula.
- Fold in the date mixture.
- Then fold in the beaten egg whites.
- Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes on the middle rack. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
Prepare the Topping & Finish the Cake
- Spread the hazelnuts on a quarter baking sheet lined with parchment and roast in the oven at 150°C/300°F for about 6-8 minutes or until desired browning. Let cool completely.
- Chop the roasted hazelnuts into small chunks.
- In a small bowl melt the chocolate with coconut oil in 15-second intervals in the microwave. Stir in between.
- Release the cake from the springform pan and place on parchment.
- Pour the chocolate glaze over the cake and let it set a bit. Transfer the cake to a clean piece of parchment.
- Spread the hazelnuts over the glaze.
- Finish by drizzling some melted chocolate on top.