Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 31st May 2013

I haven’t shared a Chocolate Cake recipe in a while and this one is chock full of flavour and super moist. Usually when I’m beginning a cake recipe I choose what type of fruit or nut I would like to highlight and it’s always difficult for my mind not to immediately think of pairing either with chocolate. As far as I’m concerned no matter what type of fruit or nut I choose the flavour of the cake can always be improved by adding chocolate, especially bittersweet, it’s the star.

Close up photo of Hazelnut and Orange Chocolate Cake layered with Orange Chocolate Ganache displayed on white cake stand.

When working with chocolate it’s best to keep things simple and although generally I don’t like to add too many flavours I made an exception because chocolate, hazelnut and orange play so well together. I also opted to use a dark chocolate cocoa in the cake batter; it adds the right amount of intensity without adding extra richness.

A photo of a slice of Hazelnut and Orange Chocolate Cake with Orange Chocolate Ganache on white dessert dish.

Hazelnuts are rich and buttery and adding orange helps to cut through the richness. To keep the orange flavour from getting lost I added quite a bit of zest. The essential oils are in the skin and it provides a pleasing orange flavour component to the cake.

Photo of Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with slice removed on white cake stand and cake slice displayed in front on white dessert dish.

To bring out the orange flavour component even more I added orange liqueur. For this cake I used Cointreau but Grand Marnier would be tasty too. Both are orange peel flavoured liqueurs but with Grand Marnier, the orange peel is blended with Cognac.

A photo of Chocolate Hazelnut Cake decorated with Chocolate Ganache on white cake stand.

I layered the cake with Orange Chocolate Ganache. The orange liqueur adds a refreshing tang to the decadently rich chocolate. At first glance the glossy shine will tempt you but one taste of the incredibly smooth ganache and it will have you going back for more.

Photo of Hazelnut and Orange Chocolate Cake with Orange Chocolate Ganache on white cake stand displayed with bottle of orange liqueur, Cointreau.

Preparing a hazelnut ganache is a wonderful alternative. Simply substitute the orange liqueur with a hazelnut liqueur, I recommend Frangelico. If you carry on with the nutty flavour you could decorate the cake with Caramel-Dipped Hazelnuts.

A photo of sack of flour used in recipe for Hazelnut Chocolate Layer Cake.

If you’re like me and prefer to have a couple of dessert options when entertaining this cake is the perfect size (18 cm or 7-inch). I especially like to offer a lighter dessert option when I’m serving an incredibly rich chocolate cake like this one.

A photo of two slices of Orange Chocolate Hazelnut Cake displayed one in front of the other on white dessert dishes and pink and white striped napkins.

Some simple options that come to mind are Grilled Peaches with Amaretto Chantilly Cream, Lemon Posset or Vanilla-Coconut Panna Cotta with Pomegranate Jelly.

A close up photo of Orange-Chocolate Hazelnut Cake displayed on white cake stand with slice removed to expose interior of cake.

We’ve been busy working outdoors getting the backyard in shape for the summer season. I’m looking forward to summer entertaining. It’s been a long winter and I’m excited to visit the local farms and enjoy all the fresh produce.

A photo of Hazelnut Chocolate Cake on white cake stand displayed with hazelnuts.

Happy Weekend!

A close up cropped photo of Orange and Hazelnut Chocolate Cake layered and decorated with Orange Chocolate Ganache.

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Dolci alla Frutta, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Fruit Desserts, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Torte

Comments (5)

5 Responses to “Orange and Hazelnut Chocolate Cake”

  1. plasterer bristol Says:

    This looks out of this world…Yummy.

  2. Poornima Says:

    Wow, two recipes almost back to back, and both my absolute favorites. This chocolate cake looks absolutely incredible, I can already taste it mentally.
    On another note Grace, I made the pineapple upside-down cake during the weekend, and it came out really, really well. It was moist, and wonderfully delicious. I did not have the ingredients for rum chantilly cream so I skipped it altogether, and omitted the rum from the cake and caramel but it was still excellent. I was actually planning to make it again for a small get-together with rum and cream but now I am torn between that and this chocolate cake. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes, I hope you know how happy it makes people like me.

  3. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    I am so happy you enjoyed it Poornima, I hope you’ll try the chocolate cake too because it is so delicious.

  4. Jeremy Says:

    wow, I love hazelnut! that looks delicious….got to try this one out.

  5. InMyOpinion Says:


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