Chocolate-Glazed Hazelnut Mousse Cake

Chocolate-Glazed Hazelnut Mousse Cake features layer upon layer of chocolate and hazelnut deliciousness!

slice of Chocolate-Glazed Hazelnut Mousse Cake on a white plate

I usually let Quinn pick out his birthday cake, and this Chocolate-Glazed Hazelnut Mousse Cake, I must say, is one of his all-time best choices. It’s a glorious celebration of a fantastic flavor combination – chocolate and hazelnuts.

This is perhaps not a cake in the truest sense of the word. It’s made up of some really delicious layers which all come together to make something spectacular. It starts with a chocolate shortbread crust, a simple chocolate mousse, and finally some chocolate ganache. Geez, this is good.

a fork digging into a slice of Chocolate-Glazed Hazelnut Mousse Cake

The only baking involved in making this cake is with the crust. It is a simple yet delicious chocolate hazelnut shortbread. I think we could have just served the crust and been happy. But keep going, because it gets even better.

There is some work involved in making three different components for the cake, but nothing about it is difficult. You can make everything but the ganache the night before, and keep the cake in the refrigerator. The ganache is quick and easy to make to finish the cake.

There really aren’t adequate words for how much we like this cake. I’ve already said how delicious the crust is. The chocolate mousse component is rich and creamy. The Nutella adds just enough of a twist to the chocolate to give it a little extra interest. And the ganache is just rich enough to perfectly complement the other chocolates.

Chocolate-Glazed Hazelnut Mousse Cake on a white cake stand

When I first made this cake, there was hardly any left over. In fact, we had to put a few pieces away quickly – for photography purposes only, of course. After the photo shoot, well, we couldn’t let it go to waste, now could we?

Chocolate-Glazed Hazelnut Mousse Cake is 100% worthy of a special occasion involving serious chocolate lovers. It’s just so good and rich and creamy and fantastic and a few dozen more adjectives that I’ll let you insert after you’ve made it for yourself.

Find more chocolate recipes in the Recipe Index.

More Chocolate Cake Recipes

Yield: 8-10 servings

Chocolate-Glazed Hazelnut Mousse Cake

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Chocolate-Glazed Hazelnut Mousse Cake is a chocolate lover's delight with layer upon layer of chocolate deliciousness!

a fork digging into a slice of Chocolate-Glazed Hazelnut Mousse Cake


For the crust:

  • 2 tablespoons (18g) hazelnuts, toasted and skins rubbed off
  • 3 tablespoons (37g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (60g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (10g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the mousse:

  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz envelope)
  • 1/2 cup (140g) chocolate-hazelnut spread, like Nutella
  • 1/2 cup (113g) mascarpone
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (355ml) chilled heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons (10g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons (37g) granulated sugar

For the ganache:

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (75ml) heavy cream
  • 3.5 ounces (99g) good-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped


To make the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Invert the bottom portion of an 8-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper. Reattach the sides of the springform pan.
  2. Process the hazelnuts and sugar in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the flour, butter, cocoa powder, and salt. Pulse just until a dough forms.
  3. Press the dough evenly into bottom of the prepared pan. Using a fork, poke holes over the surface of the dough. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until dry to the touch (Careful! It will be hot!) Cool completely (about 30 minutes). Remove the sides of the pan and carefully slide the parchment paper from underneath the crust. Reattach the sides.

To make the mousse:

  1. Place the water in a 1 - 1 & 1/2 quart sauce pan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let stand about 5 minutes, or until softened.
  2. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, just until the gelatin has dissolved (about 2 minutes). Whisk in the Nutella until combined. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the mascarpone and the Nutella mixture. In a separate bowl, beat the cream, cocoa powder, and sugar with an electric mixer on low speed just until combined. Then, increase mixer speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Whisk 1/3 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture to lighten. Then, gently fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spoon the filling on top of the crust, and spread evenly. Refrigerate at least 3 hours.

To make the ganache:

  1. Place the cream in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute.
  2. Then, whisk gently until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a small bowl to cool. Stir occasionally, until slightly thickened but pourable (about 20 minutes).
  3. Run a warm knife between the cake and pan. Remove the sides of pan. Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Pour the ganache over the cake. Spread over the top of the cake, allowing the excess to run over the sides.


Unglazed cake can be covered and chilled up to 2 days. Cake can be glazed 6 hours ahead and chilled, uncovered.

Recipe slightly adapted from Epicurious.

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Chocolate-Glazed Hazelnut Mousse Cake

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