This is the ultimate vegan chocolate hazelnut cake recipe. It’s made in just one bowl, super easy, and is full of rich, nutty, and buttery sweet notes, like a Ferrero Rocher, layered with a homemade dairy free Nutella buttercream frosting! This is truly the best chocolate hazelnut cake recipe ever!
- 240 mL dairy-free milk, room temperature
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 275 g all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour, sifted
- 100 grams hazelnut flour
- 60 grams cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 200 grams granulated sugar or coconut sugar
- 113 grams vegan butter, room temperature
- 190 grams unsweetened applesauce or dairy free yogurt, room temperature
- 85 grams water + 1 tsp dissolvable espresso powder (or 1 cup coffee, room temperature)
Vegan Nutella Buttercream:
- 1 1/2 cups vegan butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup vegan chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nocciolata)
- 3–4 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate hazelnut spread, for the filling
- Decorations: vegan French dragees, vegan ice cream cones for trees, etc.
- Prep: Make sure you’ve combined the dairy free milk and apple cider vinegar first to begin, and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes to curdle. Preheat the oven to 350F and line 3-4 six inch cake pans with oil and parchment paper. You can also make this cake into an 8″ or a 9″ cake. However, the bake times in the directions are for a 6″ cake so you’ll need to bake for a few minutes longer.
- Whisk the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, hazelnut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Make the batter: In a stand mixer or a large bowl with hand mixer, cream together the vegan butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the dairy free yogurt and vanilla, and mix again until combined. Then sift in the flour and pour in the vegan buttermilk. Mix until just combined. You can use a rubber spatula to help scrape the bottom of the bowl.
- Bake: Divide the batter evenly amongst the cake pans and bake the cake for 27-29 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. The cakes should be able to bounce back at a light touch.
- Cool: Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to fully cool for at least 30 minutes.
- Frost: Before beginning to make the vegan buttercream, make sure that your cakes are completely cool to the touch. There should be absolutely no warmth on either side of the cakes. Once fully cool, you can make the vegan buttercream. Cream the vegan butter until light and fluffy using a hand mixer or stand mixer, about 2-3 minutes. Then add in the vegan Nutella, and mix again. Add in the sifted powdered sugar into the butter mixture, and begin mixing again until you get a light and fluffy buttercream. You can use the tablespoons of dairy free milk here, adding 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired texture of smooth and moveable buttercream. Then finally add in the cocoa powder, and cream together until the cocoa is evenly distributed.
- Fill the cake: Using a piping bag, pipe a wall around the top of the first layer of cake to create a frosting dam. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the vegan Nutella spread into the middle, and place the second cake layer on top. Repeat the process, then place the third cake layer on top.
- Frost the cake: Use the remaining frosting to create a crumb coat around the cake. Chill the cake and then frost the cake again for a clean look. Place the cake into the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
- Decorate and enjoy! Top with vegan chocolate ganache and homemade vegan ferrero rocher balls or decorate for the holidays with buttercream ice cream cone trees! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To make hazelnut flour: pulse the hazelnuts in a food processor for 60 seconds until they become a crumble flour. You want to stop it right before it becomes a hazelnut butter.
Keywords: hazelnut cake, chocolate hazelnut cake, vegan hazelnut cake, hazelnut cake recipe