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Double Nut Chocolate Cake

For a beautiful, eye-catching dessert, this Double Nut Chocolate Cake is just the thing, with a nutty chocolate frosting between layers of chocolate and vanilla cake!

Double Nut Chocolate Cake on a white cake stand

Chocolate Nut Cake with Hazelnuts and Pecans

This over-the-top, decadent Double Nut Chocolate Cake is such a beauty and absolutely worth every calorie. It’s a three layer cake consisting of two white hazelnut cakes and one chocolate hazelnut cake. Between those layers is a bit of hazelnut liqueur and a very, very chocolate filling with a bit of a pecan crunch. It’s pretty much everything I love rolled into one dessert.

The first time I made this cake, it was our first Thanksgiving in New York, and it was just the two of us. After sharing it with others in our building, I was pleasantly reminded how easily you can make friends with baked goods.

Double Nut Chocolate Cake is the kind of cake that’s great for the holidays because you can share it with everyone. It’s very rich, so I usually only want a very small slice per sitting.

overhead view of ingredients for Double Nut Chocolate Cake

What You’ll Need

This is a long-ish list of ingredients, but most of them are fairly common ones you may already have in your kitchen. Be sure to go for the good chocolate in this chocolate-centric dessert!

For the cake:

  • All-purpose flour – Measure by weight if possible. Otherwise, use the spoon and sweep method.
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter – Set out the butter about half an hour before baking to allow it to soften.
  • Brown sugar
  • Eggs – Set these out as well so they won’t be cold when added to the batter.
  • Water
  • White vinegar – This works with the baking soda to give the cake its light, moist texture.
  • Hazelnuts – Toasting the hazelnuts (either in the oven or on the stovetop) gives the cake more flavor.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – Use natural cocoa powder, not Dutch-process because of the baking soda in the recipe.

For the frosting:

  • Hazelnut liqueur – Frangelico is a common brand. You can also substitute a different liqueur or omit it.
  • Semisweet or milk chocolate – The cake you see in these photos was made with semisweet chocolate, which is my preference. You can use chocolate chips or chocolate baking bars.
  • Unsalted butter
  • Pecans
  • Vanilla extract
slice of Double Nut Chocolate Cake on a white plate

How to Make Double Nut Chocolate Cake

You’ll be making cake batter as well as a frosting. You’ll need a couple of mixing bowls, a large heavy saucepan, and three 8-inch cake pans.

Make the cake layers:

Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper, and grease the paper.

Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Combine the wet ingredients. Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until it’s creamy. Add the brown sugar gradually, and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Combine the water and vinegar in a separate bowl.

Mix the dry and wet ingredients. With the mixer speed on low, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three portions, alternating with two portions of the water/vinegar mixture. Mix in the vanilla and the chopped hazelnuts.

Portion the batter. Pour a third of the batter into one of the prepared pans. Repeat with a second pan.

Make the chocolate cake batter. Fold the cocoa powder into the remaining cake batter; then pour into the third pan.

Bake the cake layers. The cakes will need 19 to 21 minutes to bake. They’re done when a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool the cake layers. Place the pans on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Then remove the cakes from the pans, peel off the parchment paper, and allow to cool completely.

Make the frosting:

Melt the chocolate and butter. Place them in a heavy saucepan, and heat over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Cool for 10 minutes.

Add the pecans and vanilla. Stir them into the partially cooled chocolate mixture. Continue cooling and keep stirring occasionally until it has a spreading consistency. This can take about 45 minutes.

Brush the liqueur over the cake layers. A pastry brush works well for this.

Assemble and frost the cake. First, place one of the vanilla cake layers on a serving plate; spread a third of the frosting on the top of the cake. Next, place the chocolate cake layer on top; spread with half of the remaining frosting. Finally, place the remaining vanilla cake layer on top; spread the remaining frosting on top. Allow the cake to set before serving.

Tips for Success

  • Weigh the cake batter. The easiest, most accurate way to divide the cake batter evenly is to divide it by weight. Before mixing, weigh the mixing bowl. After mixing, weigh again and subtract the weight of the bowl. Divide that number by three, and you’ll know how much batter should be in each portion.
  • Use good quality chocolate. This matters not just for flavor but for melting smoothly.
  • Plan ahead. This is not a difficult cake to make, but it does take some time. You’ll also need to factor in time to let the frosting cool and at least a few hours after the cake is assembled to allow it to set.
side view of sliced Double Nut Chocolate Cake

How to Store Leftovers

Keep the cake covered in the refrigerator. It should keep for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

To freeze the cake, wrap individual slices in a couple of layers of plastic wrap. Then wrap again in aluminum foil or place in a freezer-safe bag or container. Stored properly, it should keep for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

overhead view of a slice of Double Nut Chocolate Cake

Double Nut Chocolate Cake

Yield 12 to 16 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 56 minutes

This beautiful, decadent Double Nut Chocolate Cake features chocolate and vanilla cake layers filled with a nutty chocolate frosting. Perfect for a special occasion!

Double Nut Chocolate Cake on a white cake stand

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted (plus more for garnish if you like)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder

For the chocolate frosting:

  • 1/2 cup hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico
  • 24 ounces (680g) chocolate (semisweet or milk)
  • 2 cups (454g) unsalted butter
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (180g) chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease the paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the brown sugar and beat well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Combine the water and vinegar. Set aside.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three portions, alternating with two portions of the water/vinegar mixture. Stir in the chopped hazelnuts and vanilla.
  6. Pour one-third of the batter into one of the prepared pans. Repeat with a second pan.
  7. Fold the cocoa powder into the remaining batter. Pour into the third pan.
  8. Bake 19 to 22 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, remove the cakes from the pans, peel off the paper, and allow to cool completely.

To make the frosting:

  1. Brush the liqueur over the cake layers.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Stir in the pecans and vanilla. Cool the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it is consistent for spreading (about 45 minutes).
  3. Place one white cake layer on a serving plate. Spread a third of the topping on top of cake. (Do not cover the sides.) Top with the chocolate cake layer. Spread half of the remaining topping on top of cake. Top with the remaining white cake layer. Spread the remaining topping on top of the cake.
  4. Allow the cake to set at least 3 hours before serving.

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from My Recipes.

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    35 Comments on “Double Nut Chocolate Cake”

  1. Dream come true! Welcome home to NYC and hope you enjoy every minute! Looking forward to hearing more about your NYC escapades, as well as baking escapades!

  2. Holy chocolate heaven! Looks so very rich and tempting. Lovely job.

  3. Um delicious! This cake looks sublime! We are HUGE chocolate hazelnut fans…Ferrero Rochers stand no chance against us…! This cake looks SO AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!

  4. Dang. That looks awesome.

    And I’m jealous! Hope you’re loving NYC!

  5. Love the look of this cake, rustic and the chocolate layer visible, visible. It really looks awesome and I bet it tastes even better ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. What a beautiful and tasty cake. Hazelnut and chocolate is such a great combination, one of my favorites!!

  7. Welcome to NYC …cake looks killer! Please drop a line if you are looking for a baking buddy in the city.

  8. Fun fun! I made a layer cake for Thanksgiving as well but this one looks beyond luscious! Welcome to NYC! If you’re ever looking for someone to trade recipes/eat good food/cook good food with let me know!

  9. Fabulous! I’m so glad you are still alive…was starting to wonder what happened. That certainly explains it! Good luck in your new city. Cake looks divine!

  10. Oh my my my! That’s just layer after layer of goodness! I’d be your friend too if you handed out this cake!

  11. wow that cake seriously looks sooo yummy. i want to eat it now!

  12. Wow que pastel tan ESPECTACULAR……. seguro y esta delicioso!!
    Besos
    GarEli
    Mexico

  13. Looks so amazingly delicious, my mouth is watering. Must try.

  14. Great looking cake. Hard to make a moist chocolate cake and this looks perfect. Enjoy yourself.

    Plan B

  15. Drenched in chocolate really caught my eye! I just want to stick my finger in that icing!

  16. Oh my, that looks so delicious! Like, ridiuclously.

  17. This looks extremely wonderful. This cake will win u the miss popularity award!

  18. Hope you’ll be abundantly blessed in your new home. Your cake looks amazing! Love, love, love hazelnuts thanks for sharing.

  19. What a gorgeous cake! Enjoy your new home!

  20. looks amazing! I recently moved to NYC too and document my baking exploits on my blog above.
    I need to try this gooey cake, it really does look delish!

  21. The cake looks delicious and very chocolaty. Lovely click.

  22. If I told you I was licking my computer screen, would you judge me? – Gary

  23. This looks so scrumptious!

  24. Totally decadent, my dear. I would do anything for a piece right now.

  25. This looks like absolute heaven!

  26. that is just so decadent and perfect, and i can see why its worth every calorie. wow

  27. NY sounds like so much fun!! I would maybe make that cake into cupcakes for portion control..or I might eat the whole thing ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  28. OMG this looks good ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Hope New York is treating you well! This look delicious! I never liked chocolate cake when I was younger. What I’ve realized over the years is that it wasn’t chocolate cake that I didn’t like, but it was the store-bought chocolate cake I had at birthday parties.
    I’ve been making chocolate cakes lately and grow fonder of them every time!
    Jess
    http://www.livininthekitchen.wordpress.com

  30. Ooohhhh looks so mouth watering! I will surely go back baking and will try this recipe!

  31. Wow! That looks incredible. I’ve only just discovered your blog, but am really excited about all the recipes and can’t wait to give some a whirl.

  32. This looks so good, it’s unreal. I love how you used a white cake and a chocolate cake! It’s so pretty:)

  33. wow it looks all so yummy I loooove chocolate

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