If you like hazelnut, you’re gonna love this hazelnut cream cake. This cake is made of three layers of soft hazelnut cake filled with hazelnut praline cream and lots of chopped hazelnuts for decoration. It’s such a great cake for birthdays and special occasions, and everyone will love it.
As a hazelnut-lover myself, this hazelnut cream cake would definitely be my top favorite birthday cake and my ultimate choice for any occasion. You can also make this cake with other type of nuts you like and get a different flavor every single time.
I made it once with pecan and got a delicious pecan cream cake that was a true competitor to this hazelnut cake – but hazelnuts always steal my heart. I’m pretty sure it would also be great and very unique using cashews or almonds. If you try it with any other type of nuts – please let me know how you liked it in the comments!
Hazelnut Cream Cake
For hazelnut cake layers:
- 6 large eggs separated and at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 200 grams (1 cup) sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. Frangelico liqueur or brandy
- 180 grams (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
- 50 grams (1/2 cup) ground hazelnuts
- 10 grams (2 tsp.) baking powder
For praline cream:
- 500 ml. (2 cups) milk
- 140 grams (3/4 cup) sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 50 grams (5 tbsp/) cornstarch
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) butter cut into cubes
- 100 grams praline paste
- 350 ml. (1 3/4 cups) heavy cream
For Frangelico syrup:
- 120 ml. (1/2 cup) water
- 120 grams (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp.) sugar
- 4 tbsp. Frangelico liqueur or brandy
- Chopped hazelnuts
- Praline powder
Preheat oven to 170c degrees and grease the pan.
In a mixer whip egg whites and salt until white foam begins to form. Increase the whipping speed and gradually add the sugar until stable and shiny meringue is formed.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, vanilla and Frangelico, and add into the meringue while whipping slowly.
Fold in the flour, ground hazelnuts and baking powder until completely blended.
Pour the mixture into the baking pan, flatten the top and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in center of cake comes out completely dry.
Cool the cake completely at room temperature and cut into 3 even layers.
Praline pastry cream:
In a small saucepan put milk and vanilla and heat to a simmer.
In a bowl whisk egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch until smooth.
Pour about 1/3 of milk mixture over the yolks while whisking until smooth. Add in the remaining milk and continue to whisk until blended.
Return the mixture into the pan and cook over medium heat, while whisking, until thick cream forms.
Remove from heat and add the butter. Beat until incorporated and smooth.
Transfer the cream into a flat container and cover the surface with plastic wrap (to avoid crust formation).
Cool the cream in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, until it is completely cold.
Transfer the cold cream into a bowl and whisk until it returns to the original texture.
Add in praline paste and whisk until blended.
Whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks and gently fold into the praline cream until smooth.
Keep the cream in the refrigerator until assembly of the cake.
In a small pot heat water and sugar to a boil. Cook 3-4 minutes and remove from heat.
Cool and add in the Frangelico.
Assemble the cake:
Place a layer of cake on a serving plate and gently brush with syrup.
Spread about a 1/4 of cream and place another layer of cake over. Brush with syrup, and spread another 1/4 of cream over the second layer.
Top with the third layer and brush with syrup.
Cover the cake with the remaining cream using a long palate knife.
Decorate with hazelnuts and powdered praline.
- Keep the cake in a sealed container in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days.