Weekend Recipe: Swiss Hazelnut Cake

Swiss Hazelnut Cake

Photo courtesy of Cook's Country

Toasting and then grinding whole hazelnuts into a delicate flour gives this cake from Cook's Country its nutty yet nuanced flavor, and folding whipped egg whites into the batter creates its characteristic light texture. The traditional frosting—a Swiss meringue buttercream—can be tricky to make, so we use marshmallow crème in place of the egg whites and adjust the ratios of butter and confectioners’ sugar to create a rich, pillowy frosting.

Swiss Hazelnut Cake
​Serves 12 to 16

We toast and grind the hazelnuts with their skins for better color and flavor. We developed this recipe with Fluff brand marshmallow crème. When working with the marshmallow crème, grease the inside of your measuring cup and spatula with vegetable oil spray to prevent sticking. Note that the shredding disk should be placed in the freezer for 15 minutes before shaving the chocolate. You may use a vegetable peeler or the large holes of a box grater to shave the chocolate. In step 9, it’s important to handle the chocolate shavings using the folded parchment paper so they don’t melt from the heat of your hands.


1/2 cup (2 ounces) skin-on hazelnuts, toasted and cooled
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) cake flour
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
3 large egg yolks, plus 5 large whites
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups (7 ounces) confectioners' sugar
12 ounces (2 2/3 cups) Fluff brand marshmallow crème
2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur
6 ounces bittersweet bar chocolate

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1. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 light-colored 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper; grease parchment but not pan sides.

2. Process hazelnuts in food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground hazelnuts together in large bowl. Whisk oil, water, egg yolks, and vanilla together in separate bowl. Whisk egg yolk mixture into flour-nut mixture until smooth batter forms.

3. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently whisk one-third of whipped egg whites into batter. Using rubber spatula, gently fold remaining egg whites into batter until incorporated.

4. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and gently tap pans on counter to release air bubbles. Bake until tops are light golden brown and cakes spring back when pressed lightly in center, 25 to 28 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking.

5. Let cakes cool in pans for 15 minutes. Run knife around edges of pans; invert cakes onto wire rack. Discard parchment and let cakes cool completely, at least 1 hour. (To prepare to make chocolate shavings, place food processor shredding disk in freezer.)

6. FOR THE FROSTING: Using clean stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip butter and salt on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and slowly add sugar. Increase speed to medium and whip until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add marshmallow crème, increase speed to medium-high, and whip until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add hazelnut liqueur, return speed to medium-high, and whip to incorporate, about 30 seconds.

7. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Fit food processor with chilled shredding disk. Turn on processor and feed chocolate bar through hopper. Transfer shaved chocolate to prepared baking sheet and spread into even layer. Place in freezer to harden, about 10 minutes.

8. Place 1 cake layer on cake stand. Spread 2 cups frosting evenly over top, right to edge of cake. Top with second cake layer, pressing lightly to adhere. Spread remaining 2 cups frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. 9. Fold 16 by 12-inch sheet of parchment paper into 6 by 4-inch rectangle. Using parchment rectangle, scoop up half of chocolate shavings and sprinkle over top of cake. Once top of cake is coated, scoop up remaining chocolate shavings and press gently against sides of cake to adhere, scooping and reapplying as needed. Serve.

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