1-Bowl Chocolate Hazelnut Cake (Vegan + GF)

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Partially sliced gluten-free vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Allow me to introduce my absolute new favorite cake.

1 Bowl

Mixing wet and dry ingredients for our easy Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake Recipe

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.

Rich and moist Chocolate Hazelnut Cakes on a cooling rack beside frosting and roasted hazelnuts for decorating

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.

Two layers of our gluten-free vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cake recipe with rich chocolate frosting
Pressing roasted hazelnuts onto our Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake for the middle layer

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.

Our Vegan GF Chocolate Hazelnut Cake decorated with a rim of fresh roasted hazelnuts
Vegan GF Chocolate Hazelnut Cake perched on a cake stand

I think you guys are going to LOVE this cake! It’s:

Super moist
Mega chocolaty
Loaded with hazelnuts
Seriously decadent
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.

Layered delicious Vegan GF Chocolate Hazelnut Cake for a special dessert
Grabbing slices of Chocolate Hazelnut Cake for a gluten-free vegan celebration
Slice of super rich gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cake for dessert

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!

Plates of sliced Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
Plate of our super rich gluten-free vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
Rich and fudgy Chocolate Hazelnut Cake for a special gluten-free vegan dessert

1-Bowl Chocolate Hazelnut Cake (Vegan + GF)

AMAZING, rich chocolate hazelnut cake made in just 1 bowl! Entirely vegan and gluten-free and so simple to make. Perfect for every day or birthdays and special occasions.
Author Minimalist Baker
Partially sliced plate of Vegan GF Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
4.69 from 128 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 16 (slices)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days



  • 4 Tbsp flaxseed meal (to make flax eggs)
  • 10 Tbsp water (to make flax eggs)
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 scant cup maple syrup or agave nectar (sub honey if not vegan)
  • 2/3 cup cane or granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unsweetened applesauce (or other hearty fruit puree, such as beets)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (if clumpy, sift)
  • 1 cup almond meal (finely ground from raw almonds)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour (finely ground from raw oats)
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend*


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1 1/4 cups dairy-free dark or semi-sweet chocolate (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or softened vegan butter (cut into slices // such as Earth Balance)
  • 1 1/4 – 2 cups powdered sugar (ensure vegan-friendliness)
  • 1 1/2 cups 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 // as original recipe is written // adjust number/size of pans if altering batch size). 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 by mixing flaxseed meal and water 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 // amount as original recipe is written).
  • 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 (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) and beat until light and fluffy. I found that adding 1 3/4 cups total powdered sugar (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) 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.


*For this cake, I used the Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten-free flour blend. However, my DIY gluten-free flour blend works well, too!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 16 servings)

Serving: 1 slices Calories: 444 Carbohydrates: 55 g Protein: 6.3 g Fat: 25 g Saturated Fat: 12.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 82 mg Fiber: 6.5 g Sugar: 35 g

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  1. Holly says

    I have a heart shaped tin I’d like to make this in but I only have one. Would it possible to bake in a single pan for longer and then cut it in half after? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      That should work! We’d recommend checking it with a toothpick at the 35 minute mark and then again every 5 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top appears dry. Hope you love it, Holly!

  2. Jeni says

    I made this yesterday for my partner’s birthday and everyone, vegans and non-vegans, loved it. I used what I had on hand, since I bake a lot this recipe was pantry friendly. Subbed out all-purpose flour in place of the GF flour blend, granulated monk fruit with erythritol sweetener, almond flour instead of almond meal, and oat milk. I was scared at first cause I used two 9″ pans and forgot about it in the oven but it surprisingly still turned out moist! Super bomb, and super easy to make.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks so much for the review and for sharing your modifications, Jeni!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      You shouldn’t need to make any adjustments, the layers will just be slightly shorter. Hope this helps!

  3. Diana says

    I made this cake for my future daughter-in-law’s birthday. She is GF and my son is Vegan, so everyone was happy. They loved it so much that i made it for my own birthday just 4 weeks later. I ground up the hazelnuts for the layer in between and sprinkled ground hazelnuts on top too. I also modified the frosting to make it a lighter chocolate with a bit more sugar, vanilla, and almond milk. Both times, I baked the cake for about an hour (not more). The top was dry and the toothpick had a little chocolate, but not wet. Turned out moist and very tasty. Like your other recipes, this is a great one! Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks so much for the great review and for sharing your experience, Diana. We love to hear that this was enjoyed by all!

  4. Robyn says

    This was the best V and DF cake I have ever tasted. It was so lighter in texture than other GF recipes I have made before. I did it as a single cake and placed fresh raspberries in the middle with a ring of the roasted hazelnuts around the outside.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Abhaya, we haven’t tried it with all-purpose flour and can’t guarantee results, however other readers have had success substituting all-purpose flour for the gluten-free flour!

  5. Ricel flores says

    In the cake version some of the hazelnuts are added to the middle layer of the cake as well as placed on top of the cake. I’d like to try this recipe making the cupcake version but there are no instructions on what do with all those hazelnuts other than decorating the top of the cupcakes. Please advise!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ricel, you could chop hazelnuts and add them on top of the frosting or you could slice the cupcakes in half to create two layers and put the hazelnuts in the middle. Hope that helps!

  6. Anita says

    A very good vegan cake! I made it once with applesauce and while the texture was nice and moist I didn’t love the subtle fruity flavour. Because I LOVE the sweet potato brownies from this site, I made this a second time using sweet potato puree and it was better. Despite being a sweet-a-holic, I find myself cutting down on the sweeter even in healthy baking recipes. To my surprise, this one could almost be a bit sweeter so i may add a bit more coconut sugar next time. I find many cakes rely on almond flour as a big proportion of the dry ingredients which makes it a bit heavy for my taste so I prefer this mix using the flours.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lonnie, sorry to hear you’re experiencing issues. It’s possible that your phone needs an update that would allow it to display the blog, but hopefully another device such as a laptop or tablet would work better for viewing the recipe. Hope this helps!

  7. dalia says

    I made this cake but had a lot of trouble with it – for the same reason that many commentators mention. The toothpick never came out clean – even after 1.5 hours! I ended up burning the top of it while waiting on the toothpick to come out clean. This has never happened to me before in all my baking years, and I’ve been baking for a long time. So it’s disappointing but also confusing as I don’t understand why it happened only to a group of people, while the rest seem to have had no trouble with it. Any advice? (I followed the recipe exactly.)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Dalia, so sorry to hear that was your experience. A couple questions: 1) What brand of GF blend are you using? 2) Are you using the metric or US measurements? We’d love to help troubleshoot, if possible!

  8. Christa says

    This was a great and easy recipe. I made it for my Dad’s birthday- he loves chocolate desserts – and he could not tell it was Gluten Free. (I have celiac disease so wanted something I could eat). The rural coop I went to did not have hazelnuts but I subbed pecans and it was very tasty. Next time I would add a layer of chopped nuts in between the cake layer for a little extra crunch!

  9. Madalena says

    This has been my go to cake recipe since it was out!! Everyone loves it and is shocked with the fact that it’s vegan. I always use regular flour and a really dense flavour almond milk for the frosting, which I thinks makes great difference in the richness of the frosting’s flavour. I use a bit less sugar, syrup and oil, scunt measures for the last two basically and half the sugar, I guess I bake it a bit less time due to that change (35min is enough).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Madalena. So glad you enjoy this recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ana, this recipe as written would probably fill four 6 inch tins, but we haven’t tried it. You might want to halve the recipe if you want to fill just 2 tins? Let us know how it goes!

    • Sparrow says

      I tried swapping out the apple sauce for pumpkin purée and wow! I’ve been using this recipe as my go to chocolate cake for years and I’m never using apple sauce again, it was killer with the pumpkin! I just had to add a smidge extra milk to get the right consistency.

  10. Erin says

    I have tried this recipe with 2 eggs and it turned out perfect.

    I’m trying it with flax eggs for the first time today. I’ve been baking it for 1.5 hours and my toothpick still won’t come out dry. I’ve read other comments saying similar things. I don’t want to over-bake, so I’ll take it out anyway and cross my fingers it turns out!

      • Erin says

        OK- here for a follow-up review!
        As I mentioned earlier, I baked my cake for 1.5 hours. It was definitely far too long! While the toothpick was still moist, the outside was tough, and the cake had densified and shrunk in the pan.
        I decided to scrap the first cake and whip up a second cake. I let the second cake bake for ~1 hour. Toothpick was still moist, but I took it out anyway.
        I think my issue may have been due to my homemade oat flour (blended in food processor). In the past, I have used “only oats” brand of oat flour, which is much finer and may have absorbed more liquid.
        In the end, my friends reported that it turned out well!
        I still love this recipe! I agree with other reviewers that this is probably the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made. It has replaced my 20-year long go-to cake recipe. People are always shocked that it’s GF and vegan.
        I hope this review is helpful for other people who experience a wet toothpick!
        PS. I kept the first cake for myself ;) the inside was still nice and moist.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          So helpful! Thank you for sharing, Erin! We’re so glad it turned out well the second time! xo

  11. Efi P says

    This is THE BEST chocolate cake ever. The best. You cant even tell its vegan. My husband and son are not vegan and they are very picky about vegan desserts i make. The devoured this cake! I used oat milk, and vegan butter because i hate coconut in desserts and all purpose flour instead of the GF blend it worked perfectly. This cake is moist and delicious and my husband declared its a keeper! Thank you so much for another amazing recipe!

  12. Jacque says

    Can I make this with store bought gluten free flour instead of the homemade blend? Thanks!
    And do you think the frosting would be better with butter or coconut oil?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jacque, For a store-bought option, we’d suggest Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 GF Blend. We’d suggest butter because it’s less prone to melting. We’d love to hear how you like it! xo

  13. Stacie says

    WOW! I was scared when the cake came out of the oven because it hadn’t risen as much as I expected, but WOW this cake is addictively delicious! I shared with coworkers that could not believe it was vegan because of how deliciously creamy the frosting is. Such a delicious recipe!

    I used regular flower in place of the oat and GF mix, and generally it all worked out! I did notice that the coconut oil did not dissolve/blend well but it’s likely because of user error (I have only cooked with it once before). Luckily, it’s not an issue once baked!

    Will 100% make this again!

  14. Emy says

    Hi there! Very excited to make this cake. I’m wondering how to increase the recipe to make 3 layers. Would you double the recipe and then increase the bake time? Thank you!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Emy, you can actually make it in 3 layers without adjusting the recipe, they will just be slightly thinner layers. Bake for slightly less time (30-40 minutes). We did something similar in this recipe. Hope that helps!

  15. Hillary says

    Can this icing recipe be doubled? I would like to spread it on as directed and the pipe it so I think I’ll need extra. FYI – I have piped this icing before and it worked well!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tara! We haven’t tried piping this particular frosting, and it is quite thick, but it could work! Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

  16. Nikki L says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I have a kid and husband who need to eat GF and another kid and myself who need to eat DF and finding cakes that are both of those things as well as DELICIOUS and not too much work has been a challenge! I can’t even buy decent gf vegan cakes made by professional bakers (they are usually too dry). This recipe became part of our lives a few years ago and the base cake has been my go-to chocolate cake recipe ever since! I don’t always make it with the frosting or with hazelnuts. Every person who has tried it (whether they eat gf, vegan or not) has enjoyed it. Thank you for making this contribution to the world and for making my life easier and yummier!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! We love to hear this Nikki, we’re so glad you’re able to make cakes everyone can enjoy! Thanks for the lovely review! xo

  17. Catherine says

    I just made this cake – it is literally the best chocolate cake I have ever made!! I used real eggs – 3 large, and ran out of apple sauce, so I used half apple sauce, half pumpkin puree. I also used real butter – the icing is really incredible, perfect consistency and chocolate taste! I did have to add a little more almond milk to the icing, but it whipped up perfectly. We also crushed the hazelnuts since we had old and young eating together. A really beautiful and deliciously moist and chocolatey cake. Just SO yummy!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Catherine. Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  18. Tricia says

    I made this cake for my vegan daughter after she requested a chocolate Nutella type cake. It is so rich, very dense and fudgie. I added a melted chocolate, coconut and hazelnut crumb onto the base cake before the hazelnuts (cut into pieces), and then topped with some of the frosting. For decoration I made choc coated nuts rolled in coconut and toffee hazelnuts which I piled on top. I think it took more time to assemble then the actual cake making. Thank you for a beautiful cake recipe, everyone was impressed.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Wonderful! We’re so glad everyone enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing, Tricia! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jeanie! We haven’t tried it ourselves but we would suggest 3 large eggs. Let us know how it goes! xo

  19. Annette says

    Made this today for my parent’s Anniversary. It was amazing! Followed everything as written except subbed strawberries for the hazelnuts. I am the only vegan/GF person who ate it, but no one had any idea it was not a regular cake. Huge win knowing I made a healthier cake that no one knew was healthy. Another great recipe! Love you and this site, I am never let down whenever I make anything here! Thanks soooo much!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We love to hear this, Annette! Thank you for the lovely review, we’re so glad everyone enjoyed! xo

  20. Pamela says

    This is literally the BEST chocolate cake ever. I’ve made it many many times now and it always receives so many compliments. I follow the recipe pretty exactly, a few times I’ve substituted mashed banana for the apple sauce and it is barely noticeable. One thing that I’ve noticed is that the cake is ALWAYS better after a night in the fridge…so I usually factor that in to my bake time now for my favorite results. Anyway – thought I should leave a comment since this is my go-to cake recipe ;) Thank you!

  21. Jack says

    I’ve always stuck to the recipe for this but I’d like to make it for someone who can’t have the apple cider vinegar. What would you suggest to substitute it? They can’t have any alcohols/ethanols or any vinegars that aren’t pure spirit vinegar. Thanks!

  22. Jack says

    I love this recipe, I’ve made it for a few occasions now and the feedback is always tremendous! Thank you so much for putting all the effort in you do.

  23. Leandra says

    Hi! Can I make it with regular all purpose flour instead of GF mix. what would be the sub amounts to use?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Leandra, we think all purpose flour at the same quantity will work, or perhaps start with slightly less. Let us know if you try it!

  24. Rabbit says

    Thank you for this great recipe! Very tasty and easy to make, couldn’t tell it was gluten free at all. I’m in Australia and used White Wings gluten free plain flour from Coles. Only deviation from recipe was using one smaller than called for Three 3s brand apple sauce jar, and I swapped oat flour for equal parts extra almond meal and GF flour.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  25. Rei says

    Can I use hazelnut meal in place of almond meal? My son has an almond allergy, which unfortunately makes finding a good gf and egg free cake recipe almost impossible!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Unfortunately it won’t work. Coconut flour is very dense and absorbent. You can learn more here. Hope that helps!

    • Lucy says

      Fantastic cake. I made this for a birthday and needed it to be both vegan and gluten free – while not compromising on taste or texture – tricky to achieve with both these dietary requirements. This cake delivers. Super easy to make and I definitely think people will be surprised that this is vegan. The frosting in particular is great, previously I’ve made vegan frosting and it has been a big disappointment with it seperating. This is perfect. Would def make again. Minimalist Baker delivers once again, bravo!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Aw, we’re so glad to hear this one turned out well! Thank you for the lovely review, Lucy! xo

  26. Nikki says

    The cake was so chocolatey and rich! Loved the frosting too! I made it for my boyfriend’s birthday, it took some time but it was totally worth it!

      • Elaine says

        Chocolate flavor was good. Texture was nice, not too dense. However, I thought it lacked richness. I will add chocolate chips to the batter next time.

        I eat eggs, so I used 2 eggs instead of flax eggs. I added 1 teaspoon instant coffee. Otherwise followed the recipe.

        Used oat flour milled at home from rolled oats. Bob’s red mill 1:1 gluten free flour blend. Nature’s Eats brand of almond flour.

        I halved the recipe to make 12 cupcakes. Cupcakes stuck to the liners, so next time I will spray the liners with non-stick spray.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          Interesting they stuck to the liners. Were they fully cooled? I find that the unbleached paper liners tend not to stick. As for richness, you could definitely try adding chocolate chips next time for a fudgy effect!

  27. Hannah says

    I just made this, followed every instruction w no substitutes and the texture was awful. I left it in the oven for at least an hour and the layers did not bake through – texture was like congealed oatmeal and it tasted strongly of beets and oats. Super disappointed.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ok weird, that hasn’t been anyone else’s experience. No substitutions leaves me thinking some ingredients weren’t fresh or a GF blend substitute was off? What GF blend did you use?

  28. Lisa says

    This cake was moist and delicious and the frosting was the perfect balance of sweetness and rich chocolate! I halved the recipe, since it was just for my husband and I. But I had to make it 3 layers and the base larger because I thought two 4” pans would work (I didn’t have 3 of these) and had too much batter. The final cake looked odd, but the flavor and texture was Heaven! Thanks for your awesome dairy-free and soy-free recipes.

  29. Krista says

    I made this for my partner’s bday picnic as cupcakes. I used brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, and tapioca with a bit of xanthum gum (because I had it). It made 24 cupcakes, exactly like the recipe. They we moist, chocolatey, and had beautiful hazelnut topping. I was asked for the recipe several times. Will be my go-to gf vegan cake. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad they turned out well! Thanks so much for sharing, Krista! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  30. Jodi says

    Made this for a family gathering. Used date sugar in place of cane and a GF mix in place of oat (so 2 cups GF mix from Presidents Choice). Also chopped the hazelnuts coarsely as the whole nut could be too hard for older eaters.
    It was amazing! Even non vegans loved it!

  31. Anna says

    I want to make this vegan, but don’t need it to be gluten free. Can I use 2 cups all purpose flour instead of the 1/2 cup oat and 1.5 cups GF flour? I have almond meal, so that’s no problem, but really don’t want to buy speciality flour for one cake (making this cake for my brother’s vegan GF).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Anna, we haven’t tried it, but think all purpose flour at the same quantity would work. Let us know how it goes!

  32. Christina says

    This looks amazing as your recipes I have already enjoyed. My sister is vegan (allergies) and also has an allergy to almonds. Do you think that I could substitute any other flour. She is not gluten free but my sister-in-law is so I’m trying to make something for everyone to enjoy without making 2 birthday cakes. Any ideas? Thank you

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, almond flour is kind of important here, but what about blending up another nut like cashews or hazelnuts and using it as meal/flour? Let us know what you try!

  33. Steve says

    Question: how can I substitute the unsweetened applesauce (or other hearty fruit puree, such as beets)? I cannot find neither of the two where I live, quite limited choices here.

  34. sandra forte says

    Followed the recipe exactly and it worked out to be amazing. Super moist and the crunch of the hazelnuts was really yummy. This is a show stopper!! Years ago being gluten and vegan free seemed to be a punishment….but finding this website has been a blessing. Dana thank you so, so much xx

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, we’re so glad it turned out well! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Sandra! xo

  35. Tanya says

    I’ve made this cake twice and it is the best chocolate cake that I have had! The first time round, I roasted my own hazelnuts. That added a lot to the flavour and texture. The second time round, I used pre-roasted hazelnuts and somehow they just weren’t as nutty. Still, the cake was just as good.
    It’s quite a large size, so if you are currently under lock-down and aren’t expecting to see a lot of people and share it, I would say make half the quantity unless you’re happy to eat it all yourself :D

  36. Jennifer says

    We love this cake – I’ve made it multiple times now, for birthdays, other celebrations and a fun “british baking show” day at the Camp Mama week I do each summer with my son. I plan to make it again for my son’s birthday, but we’ll be traveling to the beach. What parts can I make the day before? I expect the cakes would be fine wrapped in plastic and in fridge for a day. What about the frosting? Can I make that in advance? Would I need to bring a handheld mixer to re-fluff?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jennifer, it should be fine to make both in advance and keep separate. We don’t think it will need to be refluffed, but maybe bring just in case?

  37. Emily Ng says

    This cake is delicious!!! I made it for christmas and everyone was shocked it was gluten free. It’s super moist!

  38. Amy says

    Used only the cake recipe and frosted with a different frosting and no hazelnuts. The cake was amazing. I used chia seeds instead of flax, and I didn’t have enough oat flour so I finished the measurement with equal parts almond and BRM gf blend. It was definitely more moist and decadent than the crazy cake I have been using. Worth the extra work. Thank you!

  39. Jeannette says

    Hi Dana, I love all your recipes!! I read the link that you provided as to the differences between almond meal and almond flour. But, do you think almond flour would also work in place of the almond meal in this recipe? Thank you!

  40. Amy says

    So good! I have made this cake multiple times for family gatherings and it is always a hit. No one ever guesses its GF/Vegan. I always use with Xylitol as the sugar and it works great.

  41. Angie says

    Hello. I love your recipes. I came by this Chocolate Hazelnut Cake one and was wondering what is the Apple Cider Vinegar for and if it can be substituted with white vinegar? Thank you.

  42. Nadia says

    Hi Dana,

    This may be a silly amateur question but wondering if using coconut sugar instead of cane/granulated would make any difference in the baking? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried it, but it might work! You may want to blend the coconut sugar so it is a finer consistency for best results. Let us know if you give it a try!

  43. Paige says

    With this cake, I only need it to be Dairy free (allergies). With the Almond meal, oat flour and gf flour, would plain white flour work in place of them all or how would I navigate this one? Many thanks :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Paige, though we haven’t tried it, we think it will work at the same quantity. Let us know how it goes!

    • Rehanna Torrevillas says

      I am also wanting this to be dairy free and doesn’t have to be gluten free. I also have just wholemeal or plain flour. I wonder if anyone had tried this? Thanks

  44. Sarah says

    I made this for my daughter’s first birthday and it was a real crowd pleaser! I loved it because it wasn’t too sweet, and the hazelnuts add a great crunch and flavor. I decided to cut each cake in half to have a four-tier number, which was not a good call. (Ha!) The cake didn’t have the integrity to handle that. I doubled the frosting recipe, and then had frosting between each layer, which was awesome.

    • Tam says

      If you freeze the cakes before cutting it will work out just fine to make four layers. I have made this recipe several times and I usually bake the cakes the night before, wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them overnight. I make the frosting the following day and cut the cakes with a long serrated knives while still frozen, then frost. The frosting goes on easier too and the cakes turn out great.

  45. Rasha says


    I’ve been looking for a vegan gluten free cake that doesn’t have too much sugar as it’s for my sons first bday!! (mum is gluten free and sister in law is vegan and I’m sick of making 3 cakes for every occasion!!) this looks like it could be a winner!

    I’ve found in the past vegan cakes tend to have an odd taste because of the baking soda/powder – is this the case for this one?

    Also do you think I could use hazelnut meal instead of almond meal? And buckwheat for the gluten free flour?

    Thanks so much and will let you know how I go! Love your other recipes too by the way
    : )

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rasha, we aren’t able to taste the baking soda in this one. We think hazelnut meal will work well as a sub for almond meal, but would probably stick with the gluten-free flour blend as the buckwheat might make it more dense. But it might work! Let us know how it goes!

  46. Claire says

    I can’t have apples or applesauce. Any recommendations on a good substitution? I’ve been looking for a recipe like this and I would love to try it!

  47. Karenia says

    I’ve tried this recipe 3 times and haven’t found that my toothpick ever comes out clean, even after baking the cakes for an hour. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but overall the cake is still good.

  48. Katherine says

    These are great! Easy to make AND clean up. I chose to cut the recipe in half and make cupcakes (it made about 14) and they were delicious! The cake was light, moist, and fluffy (I used the recommended flour blend and vegan butter instead of coconut oil). The icing was SO easy and came out great. I love that’s it’s both gluten free and vegan while also being delicious.

  49. Jenni says

    Hi Dana! I’m a big fan of your recipes! How would you adjust the recipe to make it into a 9×13 size cake?

    Can’t wait to try it!

    Thanks :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jenni, we would say bake an extra ~10-15 minutes, checking with a toothpick to ensure it is cooked in the center. Let us know how it goes!

  50. Kristen says

    AMAZING! Dana, you NEVER disappoint! Your recipes are in my kitchen a few times a week. I made these as cupcakes and store in the freezer (i add a dollop of icing after it thaws) for an afternoon pick me up or a special dessert for my kids. I filled my cupcake holders all the way to the top for a larger muffin and it made 16. They are not overly sweet (unless you add on the icing) which we love. Thank you for the now “go to” celebrations recipe!

  51. TomTom says

    We used Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer instead of flax eggs and gluten-free AP flour instead of the gluten-free flour blend (due to the availability of ingredients) and this cake. was. incredible!! So, so good. Very moist cake. Icing is delicious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Tom. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  52. Colleen says

    This recipe sounds delicious. In reading the comments, considering the tenderness of this cake, do you think it would hold up well as a swiss roll cake? Thank you!

  53. Milvi says

    I made this with a few substitutions and the cake turned out a bit dense. I used a different GF flour mix, which included some potato flour and pectin, and, I used honey instead of maple syrup. It needed a longer baking time ~55 minutes until a toothpick came out clean. Frosting was perfect though! Overall taste is still great (and looks exactly like yours)! Next time I will use your GF blend as I can see the ratios of flours/starches will make a difference. And, maple syrup should help to ‘lighten’ it too. Finally, switching to the metric version of the recipe ingredients (I can’t believe I just noticed this option, after making dozens of your recipes over the past several months), measuring by weight instead of cups should improve the result. Thanks so much for your phenomenal web site! It is my ‘go to’ destination for most of my cooking these days.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for your kind words and lovely review! We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe and found the metric conversions helpful. Our best guess is that the GF flour mix made it dense. We would recommend our DIY version for best results!

  54. Marianne says

    Hello Dana,

    I am very tempted by this recipe but would like to to use chickens’ eggs rather than flax eggs. How many should I use?

    Best regards,

    • Sherry says

      Can I substitute this almond milk with whole fat milk or almond coconut milk?
      I wanna bake something healthier but we eat everything milk gluten you name it :)
      I just prefer to use whatever i have handy
      same for the gluten free flour mix, can i substitue with the flour I have on hand? I usually use organic unbleached white flour or whole wheat flour

  55. Katie says

    Wow!! I can’t say I’m a super experienced baker and I’m just starting to incorporate more gluten free recipes into my life, for my partner who prefers it, and this was a super hit!! It was so easy to do, just a wee bit longer than your average cake if you grind up your almonds and oats yourself but it was so worth the extra effort. I followed the recipe exactly and use Bob’s Red Mill GF flour blend and the Earth Island butter and I couldn’t be happier with the texture and taste. It was super moist, and very similar to a wheat flour cake. The cake is not very sweet and the icing is a perfect amount of sweet to make this very decadent and not overwhelming. I baked mine in 9″ round pans and cooked for exactly 35 min in a convection on 325 and the cake was cooked perfectly.
    I will make this my go to chocolate cake for any occasion. Thank you so much for the amazing recipe! As always.

  56. Bee says

    I always love your recipes. This time I’m not sure what happened. I followed the recipe exactly and the cake was not fluffy at all it was dense almost as it was a pudding. The frosting was delicious and saved it…. I used every single ingredient except that I used regular flour instead of the GF. I don’t follow GF diet, but I read in the reviews that it was fine to do that. I had to bake it much longer because it was raw in the middle with the suggested time.. I made it for my husband’s B-day so I was really, really disappointed. What happened?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      That’s so strange. This is one of our favorite cake recipes! You didn’t change anything else besides the flour? We haven’t tried it with gluten flour but that shouldn’t have been a problem.

  57. Mary says

    Do you know of a good substitute for oat flour? Many of us with celiac disease also react to oats, even those labeled gluten free. Any suggestions would be most appreciated!
    Thank you,

  58. Kaelyn says

    Super delicious! I halved the cane sugar and maple syrup because my family don’t have a particularly sweet tooth, and it was perfect (albeit a little crumbly, which I attribute to my modification). I upped the quantities a little for the icing to end up with enough to cover the whole cake. A huge crowd pleaser, thank you for the recipe!!

  59. Nicholas Houston-macdonald says

    I thought this recipe was great! Flavor was awesome and the crumb texture was moist with a great bite. I altered a few things which are a little more aesthetic but are common techniques I use in my own baking. for the coco oil, before dividing for cake and frosting, I heated up 1/4 of the oil, added it to the rest of the cold oil and creamed it with an immersion blender. Its less wet in this state and a bit easier to use(especially in the frosting). I also like semi-freezing my cake layers between crumb and final coat. It gives a little more leeway to take your time frosting the cake and the crumb wont lift off the cake.

    Happy baking!


    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and sharing your techniques, Nicholas. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  60. Emma says


    Can I sub out the oat flour and just use more of the GF flour blend? I live in Australia and am finding it difficult to find GF oat flour and am wanting to make this for a friend’s birthday!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So if you have access to oats you can always just grind your own into flour in the blender! Otherwise, just try and use a blend of more GF flour or almond meal / flour!

  61. Chloe says

    I just have to say, this cake is beloved by all. I have made it for groups that include vegans, those who are gluten-free, and neither, and it’s a hit every time. I always share the recipe and it’s really not complicated, but friends have paid me to make this for them and then told me their families want to adopt me after eating it. :) It has turned out a little different each time, but always delicious. Most recently, the 5th time I’ve made it, was perfect: I used vegan dark choc chips and a stick of earth balance for the frosting and omitted step 14 and it turned out a perfect firm buttercream consistency, whereas in the past the frosting had turned out more runny for me.

  62. demi says

    i made it and it was awsome.i subbed almond flour with oat and gf blebd.very tasty.one question.if i want to use eggs..is it 4 or less?according to flaxeggs….thanks.will make it to cupcakes too

  63. Natalie Djurdjevic says

    This is the best birthday cake!

    It is especially wonderful for my daughter who is allergic to egg and gluten.

    Thank you for posting.

  64. Tanja Turney says

    Oh my gosh this cake is everything! Your recipes never disappoint but this one seriously is the best chocolate cake!
    We didn’t have GF free flour and used regular flour and it still cake out perfect!

  65. KSanche says

    Wonderful recipe. Could I freeze this ahead of time and then take out to thaw when ready to serve?

    • Suee33 says

      Dear Ksanche,
      I have frozen the layers – flown with them to San francisco in my checked luggage and then Iced it for a party and it was Beyond A-OKAY and everyone LOVED the cake and it looked beautiful!!!

  66. Lerae says

    Two questions:
    Can I use ghee vs coconut oil?
    Can I use another egg substitute (psyllium husk, tapioca etc. mix), vs flax eggs… I’m trying to keep away from flax per my .
    I enjoy all your recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ghee – yes that should work
      You can try another egg substitute but we haven’t tested it and cant’ guarantee it will work.
      As for sugar, be careful making too many substitutions or the texture and flavor will be affected.

  67. Amanda says

    Hey there,

    I am wanting to make a hazelnut cake without the cocoa. Should I just add more gf flour or hazelnut as a replacement?



    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Amanda, we haven’t tried that and aren’t sure how it would turn out! We would think hazelnut flour would be the best substitute. If you do some experimenting, we would love to hear how it goes!

  68. Kara says

    I made this cake for Passover yesterday and it turned out great! Since oat flour is not kosher for Passover, I just used 2 cups of gluten-free flour (I used the Trader Joes gf flour) instead of 1.5. We only had cinnamon applesauce in the house, but it actually added a nice hint of spice to the cakes. The cakes came out in 45 mins, extremely delicate, great texture, really rich chocolate flavor. I used dark chocolate chips instead if semi-sweet in the frosting, so it was not quite as sweet. This cake would be extra great a la mode!

      • demi says

        oh i used only gf flour blend and oat flour…hope it helps because hazelnuts i needed to toast them and peeled them to grind them and with two kids i have no time.will tell you how it went.thanks

        • Mili says

          What do you think about substituting the apple sauce for mashed banana? Would that make the cake too dense or could the banana also work?

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Hi Mili, another reader has had success using mashed banana instead of apple sauce!

  69. Ekta Kriplani says

    I am planning to make this cake but keeping the gluten free ingredients but not the vegan and also i do not get apple sauce where I live what can I substitute for it and how long the cake be stored in the refrigerator? Thanks.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ekta, you can use another fruit/veggie puree such as beet. The cake should keep for 3-4 days (or perhaps longer) in the fridge. Hope that helps!

  70. Johanna M Woodbury says

    Okay, I didn’t have the best picture of it on Instagram, but I will be making this again and again. I could not believe how it didn’t taste gluten-free at all. I’m thinking I’ll need more hazelnut flavor than I incorporated the first time. I had more batter than the 24 cupcakes, so I poured it into a tarte pan, and it made a very thin cake, which crumbled in a bowl with added berries and hazelnuts for a trifle snack.

  71. Lolita says

    Can I use regular eggs instead of flax eggs? Is it 4 eggs for 4 flax eggs?
    Thanks & I can’t wait to try this!

  72. Heather says

    I made this last November for my daughter’s 21st and yesterday for my other daughter’s 16th. An awesome recipe. I used plain flour in place of gluten free and wholemeal in place of oat. I put a thin layer of not-sweet cherry jam in between the sponges and some vegan Nutella as both daughters love the stuff. I used the ganache just for the top and sides. At about 9pm last night one of the party guests came and found me to say it was the best cake she’d had in years. She had no idea it was vegan – and I didn’t tell her.

  73. Christina says

    I made a 1/2 batch of this for a small (6 in diameter) 2 tier cake. I subbed hazelnut meal for the almond meal and it turned out incredibly delicious! It was super moist and tender yet held up well for frosting. I couldn’t find any hazelnuts for decoration, so just stuck to chocolate frosting. My kids loved it and my husband (who does not generally eat gluten-free) had seconds. I’ll definitely make this again.

  74. Harriette says

    I made this today for my boyfriend’s birthday and he loved it! I even copied your cake decoration and it looked so cute! The only change I made was cutting the hazelnuts for the middle section because I thought they might be a bit overpowering (especially for the kids)
    Will definitely be making this cake again soon <3

  75. Alex says

    This looks great! For the frosting, do you think the hazelnuts could be roughly chopped? Or would that give it a strange consistency?

  76. Debbie says

    This is by far is the most complicated thing I’ve baked and it turned out so delicious and beautiful. Thank you for the wonderful recipe, I will make this again for a special occasion.

    Some baking reflections:

    -I accidentally added too much baking soda. I used 3/2 tbsp measurement instead of 3 tsp. However, judging by the other comments regarding cake rise, this may have turned out to be a blessing.

    -One round baking pan was about an inch bigger than the other (8in vs 9in). The bigger cake was a little under-cooked and broke apart once cool/out of the pan. I melted some of the frosting and used it as warm glue to put the pieces back together. It looked/tasted fine and no one noticed :)

    -I crushed the hazelnuts and sprinkled it all over. I felt the whole hazelnuts would be too crunchy and didn’t prefer the look. For next time, I thought about mixing them with pistachios and even a little orange zest for fragrance and color.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience with this recipe, Debbie! We’re so glad you enjoyed it!

  77. Alex says

    Hi! I am wondering if I can use pumpkin puree instead of applesauce? Also if I want to use eggs instead of flax how many should I use? Thank you!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Pumpkin puree should work!
      As for using real eggs in place of flax eggs, we recommend subbing at a 1:1 ratio (so 4 eggs in this case.)

  78. Zoe says

    I made this cake last night as a bundt cake instead of a layer cake and it was incredible. I added ganache and hazelnuts to a ring around the middle too and just increased the cooking time. Thankyou Dana!

  79. Dawn Ertl says

    Um, this cake looks amazing, but please reconsider your Nutella use. They use Palm OIl, which is the worst oil we can use, for the planet, well for us if we want to keep living on the planet. There are alternatives, to Nutella, not all companies that make hazelnut chocolate spread use palm oil, so maybe you could try one of them instead. Or write Nutella and ask them to change what kind of oil they use, please.

    Thank you,

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Tirzah, if you have oats, you can use a high-speed blender to make oat flour. Otherwise, try subbing a mix of almond meal and gluten free flour blend for the oat flour! Hope that helps!

  80. Adelle says

    Best vegan and GF chocolate cake I’ve ever had. It is moist, decadent and delicious. It became a staple at our house. There is nobody who eats it that isn’t impressed. I’ve even had some friend giving veganism a try after she realized she could have a treat like this. As for me, I fell in love instantly when it reminded me a chocolate cake called “peteleco cake” that my aunt used to make for me growing up in Brazil. It was always my favorite. How happy I was when I tasted this. For me, this cake tastes like a happy childhood. What a fantastic job you do! Thank you so much for your dedication.