Allow me to introduce my absolute new favorite cake.
The obsession is real.
This recipe was inspired by my Best Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes, and my love for Nutella. I mean who doesn’t love Nutella? Even Rhonda loves Nutella. Get on board people.
While there isn’t any Nutella actually in the cake, it has all of the essential components: Creaminess, chocolaty-ness, and loads of roasted hazelnuts!
And to keep things simple, it all comes together in 1 BOWL. Anyone can make this cake. No special mixers, methods, or equipment necessary.
This cake gets extra height from a solid layer of roasted hazelnuts + more on top! They also provide a healthy crunch to the cake, which I happen to adore.
I think you guys are going to LOVE this cake! It’s:
Loaded with hazelnuts
Not too sweet
& Simple to make
I think this is a great “everyday” cake with its simple preparation and universally loved flavor profile. However, I could also see it making an excellent cake for birthdays, anniversaries and any upcoming spring celebrations (like Easter!). In other words, make this cake and instantly make a million friends.
If you give this recipe a try, please rate it and leave a comment! Also, be sure to take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can be cake twins. We love seeing our recipes come to life in your kitchens. Cheers and happy baking!
- 4 flax eggs (4 Tbsp (18 g) flaxseed meal + 10 Tbsp water)
- 1 cup (250 ml) unsweetened plain almond milk + 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp (146 ml) maple syrup or agave nectar (sub honey if not vegan)
- 2/3 cup (154 g) cane or granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (126 g) melted coconut oil or vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (~486 g) unsweetened applesauce (or other hearty fruit puree, such as beets)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup (120 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (if clumpy, sift)
- 1 cup (118 g) almond meal (finely ground from raw almonds)
- 1/2 cup (50 g) gluten-free oat flour (finely ground from raw oats)
- 1 1/2 cups (200 g) gluten-free flour blend*
- 1/2 cup (120 g) unsweetened plain almond milk
- 1 1/4 cups (230 g) dairy-free dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup (56 g) melted coconut oil or softened vegan butter, cut into slices (such as Earth Balance)
- 1 1/4 - 2 cups (~150 - 250 g) powdered sugar (ensure vegan-friendliness)
- 1 1/2 cups (~175 g) roasted unsalted hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and butter two 8" round cake pans (or line 24 muffin tins with paper liners). Dust with gluten free flour and shake out excess.
- Measure out almond milk and add vinegar. Stir and let curdle while moving onto the next step.
- Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Add baking soda to the almond milk vinegar mixture and stir.
- Add the sugar, maple syrup and almond milk mixture to the flax egg and beat/whisk to combine. Then add applesauce, vanilla, melted coconut oil, salt and mix.
- Add cocoa powder, almond meal, oat flour and gluten free flour and beat/whisk to combine. If the batter appears too thick, add a touch more almond milk, but it should be perfect. It should resemble a semi-thick batter that’s pourable.
- Divide batter evenly between cake pans (if using muffin tins, it should be enough for roughly 24 filling generously 3/4 full).
- Bake cake for 35-45 minutes or more (cupcakes for about 29-35 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top appears dry. Time will vary if you sub ingredients, as well as depending on the size of your pan.
- Let rest in the tin for 15-20 minutes, then carefully run a butter knife along the edges and invert onto cooling racks. Let cool completely.
- FOR FROSTING: Add almond milk to your rinsed out mixing bowl from earlier and microwave for 1 minute. (Alternatively, heat in a saucepan until just simmering and then transfer back to mixing bowl.)
- Immediately add chocolate to warm milk but don’t touch for 3 minutes so it can melt.
- Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate, then add coconut oil or softened butter and cover. Let rest untouched for another 10 minutes.
- Use your mixer (or a whisk) to beat the mixture together. Then add 1 cup powdered sugar, mix again, and place in fridge to set for 20 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when you tip it and it’s slow to move.
- Remove from fridge and beat again. If it’s still too thin, add another 1/4 - 1/2 cup powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. I found that adding 1 3/4 cups total powdered sugar was perfect. Set aside.
- Transfer the bottom layer of the cooled cake to a serving plate/dish. Spread a semi-generous layer of frosting on the top of the bottom layer and top generously with hazelnuts. Press down with hands to settle them into the frosting (see photo).
- Carefully top with second layer and frost the top generously, then the sides. Using a butter knife yields a smooth surface. It should be the perfect amount of frosting - not too thick, not too thin.
- Add hazelnuts around the perimeter of the top of the cake. Slice and serve.
- Will keep well-covered at room temperature for several days, though best when fresh. Refrigeration not necessary.