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Slice of Italian chocolate hazelnut cake with fork.
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4.2 from 5 votes

Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

This gluten free Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Cake recipe is made from scratch. It's topped with frosting made with Frangelico and coffee!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Cooling Time:1 hr
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: hazelnut cake, italian hazelnut cake, chocolate hazelnut cake, gluten free hazelnut cake
Servings: 8
Calories: 323kcal
Author: Christine Rooney


For The Cake:

For The Chocolate Frosting:


For The Cake:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Generously grease an 8 inch round cake pan (can use a 9 inch round cake pan if that's what you have) with butter. Coat the pan with some gluten free flour blend to prevent sticking.
  • Place ½ cup of unsalted hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse until they are finely ground. Alternately, you can place the hazelnuts in a plastic Ziploc bag and pound with a rolling pin if you don't have a food processor.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine 1 scant cup gluten free flour blend (this equals 120 grams and can be measured with a kitchen scale), ½ cup finely chopped hazelnuts, 2 tsp. baking powder, and ¼ tsp. kosher salt. Mix all of these ingredients together.
  • In a separate bowl, cream 4 Tbsp. of room temperature unsalted butter and 1 cup of sugar using a hand mixer or the whisk attachment of a Kitchen Aid stand mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Add 2 eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, mixing until the mixture is light and fluffy after each egg is added.
  • Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture a little at a time. Add some of the flour, mix together, and repeat until it is completely combined. The batter is thick and dense.
  • Spread the batter evenly in pan and bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clear. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

For The Chocolate Frosting:

  • Brew one cup of coffee or espresso and allow to cool.
  • Heat a small amount of water in a double boiler (the water should be hot, but not boiling). Place 2 oz. of semisweet baking chocolate in the boiler and allow to melt, stirring the chocolate with a spatula to prevent burning.
  • Add 1 ½ Tbsp. unsalted butter to the chocolate and stir until the butter has melted and incorporated into the chocolate. Pour the chocolate mixture into a bowl and allow to cool.
  • Once the chocolate has cooled, beat the mixture with a hand mixer or the whisk attachment of a Kitchen Aid stand mixer until smooth. This may take a few minutes.
  • Add 2 Tbsp. of cooled coffee and 1 Tbsp. Frangelico liqueur to the mixture. Continue to beat with a mixer until it is spreadable.
  • Remove cake from pan and place on a cake platter or large plate (you may need to run knife along sides of pan to remove). Spread the chocolate frosting evenly over the top of the cooled cake.
  • Add ½ cup roughly chopped unsalted hazelnuts on top of the cake.


I recommend using a gluten free flour blend such as Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Flour or Cup 4 Cup even if gluten is not an issue for you for the best results.
Gluten free flour blends absorb liquids more than AP flour. As a result, it's best to reduce the amount of gluten free flour to 120 grams instead of using a full cup, as the original recipe calls for.
A kitchen scale ensures that the measurement of the flour is accurate and the cake won't dry out.


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 318IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 1mg