Gluten-free Creamy Hazelnut Cake

Gluten-free Creamy Hazelnut Cake

I know I have said it before, but I do love hazelnuts. As per Wikipedia, “the nut falls out of the husk when ripe, about seven to eight months after pollination. The kernel of the seed is edible and used raw or roasted, or ground into a paste. The seed has a thin, dark brown skin, which is sometimes removed before cooking. Hazelnuts are used in baking and desserts, confectionery to make praline, and also used in combination with chocolate for chocolate truffles and products such as chocolate bars, hazelnut cocoa spread such as Nutella, and Frangelico liqueur. Hazelnut oil, pressed from hazelnuts, is strongly flavoured and used as a cooking oil. Turkey is the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts.”

I don’t usually buy Nutella. It’s really dangerous to have it in the house because, no matter where you hide it, it keeps calling your name. If you ever ate Nutella with bread sticks – I did when I was still living in Italy, before I became gluten-free – you know what I am talking abut; It’s calling is relentless.

That said, when I find a recipe that gives me the excuse to buy and use Nutella, then I feel that I am justified. In one of my Barnes and Noble brousing trips, I saw a book on sheet cakes by Abby Dodge, and immediately ordered it from the library – one day I will dedicate one of my posts to the wonderful and kind librarians at the Florence Lilly Library.

Among the great recipes that Abby shares, there was a Creamy Hazelnut Cake that was asking to be transformed into its gluten-free version. The result was a chocolate chiffon cake topped with a light and slightly tangy mascarpone Nutella frosting studded with roasted hazelnuts.


Gluten-free Creamy Hazelnut Cake

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Recipe by Simona Gluten-free Course: Dessert
Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the cake
  • 6 large 6 eggs, divided

  • 250 g 250 granulated sugar, divided – 1 1/4 cups

  • 312 g 312 Simona’s Flour Mix – 2 cups

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon 3/4 salt

  • 213 g 213 Nutella – 3/4 cup

  • 145 g 145 vegetable oil – 1/2 cup and 2 Tablespoons

  • 120 g 120 Buttermilk – 1/2 cup

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon 1 1/2 vanilla extract

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 glycerin

  • For the Nutella Mascarpone frosting
  • 640 g 640 heavy cream, chilled – 2 2/3 cups

  • 148 g 148 mascarpone cheese, at room temperature – 2/3 cup

  • 120 g 120 confectioners’ sugar – 1 cup

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 vanilla extract

  • 283 g 283 Nutella – 1 cup

  • as needed as needed hazelnuts, roasted and chopped, for garnish

  • as needed as needed unsweetened cocoa powder, for garnish


  • For the cake
  • Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of a half-sheet pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, the remaining 150 g of sugar – 3/4 cup, baking powder, salt, egg yolks, Nutella, oil, vanilla, glycerin, and buttermilk. Whisk until well blended.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-low until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and slowly add 100 g – 1/2 cup – of granulated sugar. Beat until the white are thick, shiny and form medium-firm peaks, 2 to 4 more minutes.
  • Scrape about one fourth of the egg whites into the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold until blended. Add the remaining egg whites and fold until there are no more visible streaks.
  • Scrape the batter in the prepared pan and, using an off-set spatula, spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan, on a cooling rack.
  • For the Nutella mascarpone frosting
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream, mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat on medium-low speed, until blended and smooth.
  • Increase the speed to medium high and beat until firm peaks hold when the beater is lifted.
  • Fold in the Nutella and use immediately or store, well covered, for up to three days in the refrigerator.
  • To assemble the cake
  • Turn the cake on to another half sheet, and peel the parchment paper off. Slide it on a serving pan, or board, big enough to contain it. Spread the frosting evenly over the cake layer, sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts and dust with cocoa powder.

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