Hazelnut Espresso Crunch Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This cake has layers of hazelnut cake, creamy espresso frosting, and a topping of crunchy hazelnut praline.
Serves: 12 servings
For the cake:
  • 1 ½ sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup hazelnut flour (make your own by grinding hazelnuts in the food processor)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
  • ¾ cup whole milk
For the frosting:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
For the hazelnut praline:
  • ½ cup hazelnuts
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
For the cake:
  1. Butter two 8” cake pans, cover the bottom in parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, hazelnut flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and, using a hand mixer on medium-high speed, beat until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat two minutes more.
  4. Beat in the egg whites one at a time, mixing for a few seconds between each addition, then add the vanilla extract and hazelnut liqueur.
  5. Pour in half of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Repeat with the milk, followed by the rest of the dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for 20-22 minutes, until the cakes are lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for a few minutes before turning out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
For the frosting:
  1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. With a hand mixer, beat on medium high speed until smooth and creamy, at least two minutes.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time, incorporating each cup completely before adding the next.
  3. Add in the vanilla and espresso powder and mix until combined.
  4. Add in the heavy whipping cream one tablespoon at a time, until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.
For the hazelnut praline:
  1. Put the hazelnuts in a single layer on a small baking pan.
  2. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and whisk to combine. Set over medium-low heat and cook without stirring until the mixture turns an amber color, about 7 minutes.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately pour the caramel over the hazelnuts. Allow to cool to room temperature, then chop or pulse in a food processor until the pieces are as small as you want them.
  4. To assemble the cake, place about a cup of frosting on top of the first layer and spread with an offset spatula. Place the second cake layer on top, and spread with another cup of frosting. Use the offset spatula to smooth frosting onto the sides of the cake. Sprinkle the praline on top of the cake, then decorate with the remaining frosting however you like.
Recipe by Today We Bake at https://www.todaywebake.com/hazelnut-espresso-crunch-cake/