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Frosted Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

This rich frosted chocolate hazelnut cake has all the flavor of Nutella in the form of a 9×13 cake! Perfect for a party but easy enough to make just because, it’s a treat for anyone who loves that famous chocolate hazelnut spread.

Chocolate hazelnut cake on plate with corner eaten

Rich Nutella Cake Recipe

If you’ve been a reader for a while, you won’t be shocked to learn that I have a weakness for Nutella—for evidence, look no further than my Nutella Banana Bread, Loaded Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies, and Nutella Pie. So naturally, when deciding on a cake for my birthday, I opted for this frosted chocolate hazelnut cake.

Not only does it feature one of my favorite flavor combinations, it’s also my favorite kind of dessertsimple and delicious. If you are a fan, too, then you’ll adore this cake.

Despite not containing any cocoa powder, this cake has a rich chocolate flavor from the Nutella spread. There’s no other chocolate present, yet it makes for a lovely chocolate cake with a nice, soft texture.

Then there’s the frosting—rich, thick frosting. Again, all the chocolate comes from chocolate-hazelnut spread. Add in some cream cheese, butter, and sugar, and you’ve got a mound of sweet, chocolate-y, fluffy frosting for the perfect finishing touch on this cake.

Spatula removing slice of chocolate hazelnut cake from rest of cake

Why You’ll Love This Chocolate Hazelnut Cake Recipe

Here’s what makes this rich chocolate cake a standout:

  • Something a little different. Not that I’d ever turn down a slice of chocolate cake, but this frosted chocolate hazelnut cake is a little different than the same old, same old. 
  • Super easy to make. This isn’t a complicated recipe by any means, nor is it the kind of cake that requires leveling and layering and perfect piping.
  • Tender crumb. The addition of sour cream makes for a moist, tender crumb. (While the word “moist” may not be music to your ears, it is exactly what we want in a cake recipe!)
  • Perfect for celebrations—or any day of the week. Dress it up for a party or simply slather on the frosting for a weekday treat.

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.

Overhead view of ingredients for chocolate hazelnut cake

For the cake:

Overhead view of ingredients for chocolate hazelnut cake frosting

For the frosting:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Cream cheese – Use the kind that comes in a block, not a tub.
  • Chocolate-hazelnut spread
  • Confectioners’ sugar – Also known as powdered sugar.

What Is the Easiest Way to Blanch Hazelnuts?

The easiest option is to buy hazelnuts that are already blanched! Failing that, you can boil a cup of hazelnuts in 3 cups of water with 1/4 cup of baking soda for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and then remove the skins.

How to Make Frosted Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

While it might not be quite as easy as opening up a box of cake mix, this chocolate hazelnut cake recipe is simple enough for even beginning bakers. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

  • Prepare. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9″x 13″x 2″ baking pan. 
  • Pulse the nuts and flour. Combine the hazelnuts and 1/4 cup of flour in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts are ground.
  • Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground hazelnut mixture.
  • Cream the butter and sugars. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until they’re light and fluffy. 
  • Finish mixing the wet ingredients. Add the chocolate-hazelnut spread and vanilla to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until combined, then beat in the eggs one at a time.
  • Add the dry ingredients and sour cream. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the flour mixture in 3 portions, alternating with 2 portions of sour cream. 
  • Bake. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before frosting.
  • Make the frosting. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the butter, cream cheese, and chocolate-hazelnut spread until smooth, then slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar.
  • Frost. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake and garnish with coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts.
Overhead view of uncut chocolate hazelnut cake corner

Tips for Success

Read over my baking tips for beginners, then follow these additional pointers for a perfect chocolate hazelnut cake:

  • Let the hazelnuts cool. If they’re piping hot, they’ll melt the chocolate-hazelnut spread and butter, and even potentially cook the eggs. This would spell disaster for your batter.
  • Soften the butter. Let the butter for both the cake and the frosting come to room temperature. This makes it easier to beat. Learn more: How to Soften Butter
  • Sift the confectioners’ sugar. Even if your sugar doesn’t look lumpy, little clumps can hide in the bag or box—and you won’t find them until you’re spreading the frosting onto your cake.
  • Line the pan for easy removal. If you’d like, line the pan with parchment paper and then grease the paper and pan. This will allow you to easily lift the cake out of the pan before frosting, cutting, and serving.
Overhead view of chocolate hazelnut cake with 3 pieces cut


This frosted chocolate hazelnut cake recipe is delicious as written, but you can make some simple tweaks to put your own spin on it.

  • Make it festive by swapping the chopped hazelnuts on top with sprinkles.
  • Top the cake with fresh berries for a pop of color.
  • Mix finely chopped toasted hazelnuts into the frosting for extra crunch.
  • Garnish with coarsely chopped Ferrero Rocher candies.
Overhead view of chocolate hazelnut cake on plates

How to Store

This cake will keep at room temperature, covered, for a day. If you want to store it longer, wrap the cake with plastic wrap in the pan or transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

Can I Freeze This Recipe?

You can freeze this cake in the pan or in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

Plate with slice of chocolate hazelnut cake and fork

More Recipes With Hazelnuts

Frosted Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Yield 12 to 16 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

If you love chocolate-hazelnut spreads like Nutella, you'll be instantly smitten with this Frosted Chocolate Hazelnut Cake.

Hand lifting chocolate hazelnut cake on spatula


For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup (71g) toasted, blanched hazelnuts, plus more for garnish*
  • 2 & 1/2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (140g) chocolate-hazelnut spread (e.g. Nutella)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (226g) sour cream

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup (210g) chocolate-hazelnut spread
  • 4 cups (440g) confectioners' sugar, sifted


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9"x 13"x 2" baking pan. If you like, line the pan with parchment paper and grease the paper and pan.
  2. Place the hazelnuts and 1/4 cup (30g) flour in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely ground.
  3. Whisk together the remaining 2 & 1/4 cups (270g) flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and hazelnut mixture. Set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate-hazelnut spread and vanilla. Continue mixing until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 portions, alternating with 2 portions of sour cream. Mix just until combined.
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  7. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake completely in the pan.

To make the frosting:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, cream cheese, and chocolate-hazelnut spread until smooth.
  2. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth.
  3. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake. (You can first remove the cake from the pan if you prefer.) Garnish with coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts.


*Be sure to let the hazelnuts cool after you've toasted them.

Recipe slightly adapted from Taste of the South.

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    32 Comments on “Frosted Chocolate Hazelnut Cake”

  1. Happy birthday! Never had Nutella but this cake may well be my first taste:)

  2. Yum this cake looks delish! Happy Birthday, no age is too old for a birthday celebration 🙂

  3. Hope you had a great birthday Jennifer! Your cake looks great. I wish I could enter the contest – I yearn for one of those mixers but I live in Canada. I will have to try this cake though.

  4. I have become a great fan of bakeorbreak… and have passed it on
    to my sister, daughter in law and friends… thank you,

  5. hi Jennifer, the cake above list of recipe show so good to me , I think I would not take nutella instead of hersey chocolate to use adding the recipe. Is it will fail ? keep email whatever you can head and no harm. ok thank you . Barbara

  6. Happy bday! Nutella is a happy way to celebrate!

  7. Happy Birthday! If I got a cake like that I would be shouting my age out..Sounds wonderful, thank you.

  8. Happy Birthday. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes.

  9. Happy belated birthday! I’m saving this recipe for my husband- he loves hazelnuts!

  10. Happy belated!! Best wishes for many, many happy returns!

  11. Happy Birthday. I hope it was special. Thanks for the giveaway and yummy recipes.

  12. Happy Birthday !

  13. My birthday was the 28th also! Mime was great! Hope yours was also.

  14. What a perfect birthday cake!!! LOVE the chocolate + hazelnut combo, esp. when it’s so simple AND delicious!

  15. This is MY kind of cake, Jennifer, I am drooling, and sending Birthday Wishes!

  16. Thanks for the lovely giveaway! I’ve also shared your blog on fb with one of your recipes that I just made this morning. I can’t wait to cut into these bourbon butterscotch cashew bars! The pan of bars looks and smells heavenly. Thanks and happy belated bday!

  17. these pecan bars looks sooooooo gooooood…..

  18. Happy birthday love! I always bake my own cake for mine as well. At least then I know I’ll like what I’m having! Hazelnut and chocolate sounds like the perfect celebration combo.

  19. Happy 8 th birthday to Bake or Break! Love your recipes. Frosted chocolate hazelnut cake is to die for. Yum yum! Shared, liked and looking forward to a chance to win a mixer. 🙂

  20. This would be a great birthday gift it I should win, which is September 7 in just a few days.

  21. Whoa, this cake looks all kind of amazing. I definitely can’t resist the combination of Chocolate and Hazelnut!

  22. Happy belated birthday! I hope it was a good one!

  23. Happy Birthday!!! I’m going to celebrate and totally bake this cake for my household…perfect for this cool fall day!

  24. the Nutella recipe is a good reason to buy a jar; I do not usually have nutella hanging around the house because all I need is a jar of nutella and spoon and before you know it there none left. 8)

  25. I gotta try this. Thanks for sharing

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