Nutella Cake with Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache for a Fond Farewell

Nutella Cake with Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache for a Fond Farewell

As some of you may know, I recently enrolled in a photography class here in Atlanta to learn how to take better photos for my blog. When I started my blog last November, I was not aware of the incredible importance of having beautiful pictures to go along with your recipes. I knew many food bloggers had breathtaking shots on their posts, but I figured that I would never get there, so why bother.

Well, then…I changed my mind! Every woman has the prerogative to do that, so I did! I decided that I too would like to have some pretty pictures of my food (maybe not as pretty as many, but definitely an improvement from the early days).

So, I enrolled in Digital 101 to relieve my husband from his photography duties to really understand some of the fundamentals of a digital camera. Now, of course, my hubby could have explained the same things (since he is really good at taking pictures), but it always seems to make more sense when you pay to hear the exact same information! I do not know why that is true, but it is!

I was so committed to learning how to better my photo skills this that I actually went to Oakland Cemetery in the pouring down rain one Sunday afternoon for a class field trip. Only two drenched fools students showed up that day. Some of the other people waited until a sunny day and did their homework assignment then. Why did I not do that??? Heh, at least it showed my sincere desire to learn! Besides, how much creepier can a cemetery be than on a rainy, dark and windy day? It made for perfect pics of frightening things (if you are into that).

Since I wanted to get better at food photography, I was bringing in photos of my food every week to show my progress for my homework assignments (that of course, would be every week other than the week I took the creepy cemetery pics!). While other people were bringing in pictures of scenery, weddings, co-workers, screaming toddlers, flowers, etc. I was sharing cupcakes, steak and rice salad! Well, guess who got to bring show and tell to the last class?! That would be me! (How come they didn’t ask the one girl to bring in her screaming toddler???)

So anyway, It was rather sad last week to say good-bye to my instructor Jeff (who really has great talent and a terrific sense of humor) as well as my classmates. Naturally, I had to show these fellow classmates that I really did know how to cook in addition to being able to take photos of food, so I decided to let my classmates be guinea pigs try a recipe that is adapted from Nigella Lawson for her Nutella Cake. Who wouldn’t be impressed with a dark chocolate and hazelnut cake topped with ganache and more hazelnuts?! I know I was!

I prepared the cake the afternoon before and then refrigerated the cake with only the ganache. I did not want to refrigerate the hazelnuts because they would become soft. The next morning I let the cake come to room temperature and then topped it with the hazelnuts so that the ganache would not crack. After a few final touches, I took a few pics and brought them into class with the cake. I wonder if I got an “A”!

This cake is incredibly dense and rich. It is quite simple to prepare and can be made ahead. What a beautiful dessert to make for something special (such as my last photography class)!

We have really enjoyed the rest of the cake (so much for light and healthy dishes…).

Nutella Cake with Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache

Adapted from Nigella Lawson and Epicurious

Makes one 9-inch cake


6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
pinch table salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 13-ounce container Nutellla
1 tablespoon Frangelico
1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled (I used Ghiardelli)

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Frangelico
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (Ghiardelli)
2 ounces whole hazelnuts, toasted and cut in half


For cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter a 9-inch springform pan. In a large bowl (preferably metal), whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff. In another bowl, cream the butter and Nutella, then add the Frangelico, egg yolks, and ground hazelnuts. Fold in melted chocolate.

Add a large tablespoon of beaten egg whites to the chocolate batter, and mix gently until well-combined. Fold in the remaining whites, one-third at a time, very gently but thoroughly. Pour into springform and bake for 35-40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting tester, which should come out mostly clean; lightly pressing finger into top to check for a slight bouncing-back; and observing edges beginning to separate from pan. (My cake was done in 35 minutes). Let cool completely, in pan, on a rack.

For ganache and hazelnuts:
Toast the hazelnuts in a dry skillet, or toaster oven shaking them around frequently. Do it for about 4 minutes, or until they are lightly browned, then let cool completely. If hazelnuts came with skins on, put them in a towel after toasting and rub around; this will remove most of the skins. Cut in half.

Chop chocolate, and add to sauce pan with heavy cream and Frangelico over medium-low heat. Once chocolate is melted and components are combined, whisk until mixture reaches desired thickness, then cool. Remove rim of cake pan and pour cooled ganache over, spreading lightly to create a smooth, shiny surface, and apply hazelnuts all over.

This cake is at its best when served at room temperature.

53 Responses to “Nutella Cake with Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache for a Fond Farewell”

  1. 1

    denise @ quickies on the dinner table — April 12, 2010 @ 8:58 am

    I think Gwen, that your cake looks better than Nigella’s 😀 I’ve made this cake (have the book) and it is gorgeous! I know yours will be drop, dead delicious!!

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 12th, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

      Thanks Denise!

      This had to be the absolute best chocolate cake I have ever made! I liked it better than a regular flourless chocolate cake because the Nutella made it incredibly moist.

  2. 2

    Belinda @zomppa — April 12, 2010 @ 10:36 am

    Hello, beautiful! =)

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 12th, 2010 @ 4:55 pm

      Thanks so much!

  3. 3

    5 Star Foodie — April 12, 2010 @ 11:26 am

    Your cake sounds absolutely heavenly and your pictures are excellent!

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 12th, 2010 @ 4:55 pm

      Thank you for the comment. I actually like taking the pictures now that I understand the camera better.

  4. 4

    Patty Price — April 12, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

    Wow, my first comment, I love the photo of your cake can’t wait to buy a jar of Nutella, which is so good, even on toast. I have a potluck to attend this weekend but I’m in the potato or pasta salad category, maybe I will make the wild rice salad, I don’t think anyone will complain! Anyway, I enjoy your food blog and look forward to checking out your upcoming posts.

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 12th, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

      Thank you Patty!

      I think you should make the cake and the wild rice salad to take to your potluck! 😉

  5. 5

    Cristina @TeenieCakes — April 12, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

    With these photos of this delicious and decadent nutella cake w/choco hazelnut ganache as evidence, I think you could be teaching a class now on food photography and styling. Very beautiful presentation and dessert!

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 12th, 2010 @ 5:00 pm


      Thank you! I am not sure that I am ready for teaching class, but I at least feel more confident about taking the photos now.

      This cake truly is one of the most decadent things I have made. I finished off the last little piece today. Oh, my!

  6. 6

    Cookin' Canuck — April 12, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

    Your photography classes definitely paid off. Your photos look fantastic! I love your story about taking photos on a rainy day in the cemetery – dedication!

    And this cake…all I can say is “Wow!”

  7. 7

    sweetlife — April 12, 2010 @ 5:36 pm

    what a fab cake..I love your presntation…great pics…good for you for attending a class it has really paid off..awesome


  8. 8

    Chef Dennis — April 12, 2010 @ 6:19 pm

    This looks positively decadent….. I would not have thought of Nutella in this way…..and the Ganache is just sinful

    Great Job!!

  9. 9

    Tania — April 12, 2010 @ 6:32 pm

    I’m speechless, it’s so delicious!

  10. 10

    pegasuslegend — April 12, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

    Mouth watering awesome picture and recipe!

  11. 11

    Meghan@traveleatlove — April 12, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

    Oh my goodness, that looks incredibly rich, decadent, and delicious! My favorite flavors, and with champagne, yum!

  12. 12

    Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — April 12, 2010 @ 8:44 pm

    Your photos are lovely Gwen!! And that cake….

  13. 13

    redkathy — April 12, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

    Nutella, fabulous photos, and ganache too, Oh my there can’t be anything finer!!! You showed up to the field trip in the rain, marvelous! Sounds like some of the stories my son tells. They were required to participate in crazy shoots at crazy times rain or shine, day or night! He too tries to tell/teach me. Somehow it doesn’t sink in or I’m just too, well too darn lazy to try! Your final photo is may favorite, absolutely superb!

  14. 14

    Devaki — April 13, 2010 @ 1:32 am

    Hi Gwen, I am so jealous! I want a piece of that cake & Atlanta’s too far away. Just the words nutella & chocolate & ganache in one line is enough to make me weak at the knees.

    Gorgeous! So wonderful that you are taking digital photography classes to improve your already fantastic pics!!!!

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  15. 15

    Crepes of Wrath — April 13, 2010 @ 8:16 am

    Beautiful photos! I need to get myself an DSLR and take a photography class as well if these are the results!

  16. 16

    bunkycooks — April 13, 2010 @ 8:58 am

    To all –

    Thank you SO much for all the really nice comments! I appreciate the time you have taken to stop by to see the post and leave a comment.

    This cake was every bit as good as it looks!


  17. 17

    A Busy Nest — April 13, 2010 @ 9:25 am

    This cake looks sublime! Great tip about adding the hazelnuts last. Your photography is great too!

  18. 18

    SMITH BITES — April 13, 2010 @ 10:31 am

    CONGRATS!! Your pics look as FAB-U-LOUS as the cake!!! I want a piece of that cake and it’s only 10:30am – oooo, with a iced latte’ – even better!

  19. 19

    Nimi — April 13, 2010 @ 10:56 am

    hi..congrats..ur photos r superb!
    must say ur cake is a mouthwatering one!

  20. 20

    Valen — April 13, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

    This is probably so delicious, If I could just reach through my computer screen!

  21. 21

    Amanda Padgett — April 13, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

    Your pictures are beautiful! I know how challenging food photography can be. I am an amateur photog myself and that is an area I want to improve in after I feel like I’ve tackled portrait photography.

  22. 22

    Anna — April 14, 2010 @ 1:39 am

    Wow, good for you, I thought about find I course myself, it’s totally worth it. Your pictures looks beautiful. And this chocolate cake looks so yummy. I’ll probably going to dream with it tonight.

  23. 23

    Beautiful Food | — April 14, 2010 @ 2:54 am

    […] Nutella Cake from bunkycooks […]

  24. 24

    Daniel — April 14, 2010 @ 5:24 am

    Bunny that looks absolutely delicious. It’s pretty rare for me to go MMMMM for a recipe but this one hits the spot! I plan on testing it very very soon!

  25. 25

    Linn @ Swedish home cooking — April 14, 2010 @ 6:17 am

    Wohoo, that’s how I like eating Nutella. Inside a beautiful cake. Mmm. Looks like a delicate dessert for a great meal.

  26. 26

    Cherine — April 14, 2010 @ 8:43 am

    That sounds ABSOLUTELY delicious. And your shots are very beautiful!

  27. 27

    Liren @ Kitchen Worthy — April 14, 2010 @ 11:03 am

    I just realized last night that I am near the bottom of my Nutella jar, and seeing this reminds me I need to buy more…and make this cake. Gorgeous! Your photos are beautiful – how fortunate you were to take the class – I wish I had the time right now! Oh, congrats on Top 9!!!!

  28. 28

    cat — April 14, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

    This looks amazing! I absolutely LOVE nutella! I could eat it with every meal!

  29. 29

    Chef Vanda — April 14, 2010 @ 8:43 pm

    Sound delicious…will try it for sure!! Thank you for sharing. I love flowerless cakes ~_~

  30. 30

    frabala — April 15, 2010 @ 2:52 am

    How addorable looks that tart!

  31. 31

    Patti Peterson — June 3, 2010 @ 4:09 pm

    I’ve made this cake several times now and it’s always been a great hit with whomever I make it for. I have plans to make two more Friday night to take to friends in Birmingham. Thanks for sharing and congrats on making it into the Top 9 that day!

    • bunkycooks replied: — June 3rd, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

      Thank you for your comments. I wish I was baking that cake right now! It truly is one one the best flourless chocolate cakes I have ever had. I need to make it again soon. It definitely is something that you crave!

  32. 32

    Kulsum at JourneyKitchen — November 4, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

    Wow! thts all tht comes to my mind. This an absolutely divine looking thing.I love nutella and cant miss any chance to add this to desserts. MUST MAKE THIS! Thank you

  33. 33

    megan — December 31, 2010 @ 6:00 pm

    Making this tomorrow night…can a 10 inch spring form or 9 inch glass pie pan work?

    Need to know asap!
    Thanks :)

    • Gwen replied: — April 30th, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

      Hi Megan,

      I sent you an email back in December when you asked this question. I hope you received it.


  34. 34

    Danielle — April 30, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

    Has anybody made this cake in a 12 inch cake pan? Would it just be thinner? Or could I do 2 layers of 9 inch and put them on top of each other?

  35. 35

    Gwen — April 30, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

    Hi Danielle,

    I think a 12-inch pan will be too large. The cake will be much flatter if you bake it in that. I don’t think this particular cake will work as a layer cake. To ensure the best results, you should make it in a 9-inch springform pan.

    Good luck!


  36. 36

    Denise@There's a Newf in My Soup! — February 8, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    I wish I was taking a photography class on Monday nights in place of the WordPress class I’m currently in, especially after three weeks so far of attempting to comprehend html and css. What’s Mr. Bunkycooks going to do now that you’re taking over the camera? I’m sure you’ll both continue to share in the fun of the blog, as we do. You Nutella cake looks amazing! I’ll be creating a Nutella treat in the next few days for this week’s FFwD.

    • Gwen replied: — February 8th, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

      Hey Denise,

      I wish I was taking another photography course. This post was from last year, so Mr. B is not leaving his job as photographer. He is definitely still on board!


  37. 37

    Jen at The Three Little Piglets — February 8, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

    I’m ready to do the same thing – I’ve learned what I can on my own, and am ready for the next step. I still struggle with lighting and depth in my photos. But great pictures sure do make a difference!

  38. 38

    Laura (Got Chocolate) — July 4, 2012 @ 12:19 am

    Wow, now that’s some decadent chocolate you have going on there! YUM!

  39. 39

    Nutella Cake with Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache Cake | Food-Smut — November 7, 2012 @ 5:28 am


  40. 40

    Deana — November 21, 2012 @ 6:55 am

    Hi, are there any other substitute for frangelico or is it possible to bake the cake without it?

    • Gwen replied: — November 21st, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

      Hi Deana,

      This cake was so good with Frangelico. :-) It is still one of our favorite desserts. Amaretto might be nice or try the Kahlua hazelnut flavor. Dekuyper also makes a hazelnut liqueur. The flavor will vary slightly, but I am sure the cake will still be excellent.


  41. 41

    Tanya — January 22, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

    Hi, Gwen! This cake looks amazing and so so delicious! Your photos are just perfect! Is it suitable to use approx. 10-inch springform pan (my pan is 26 cm)?

    • Gwen replied: — January 22nd, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

      Hi Tanya,

      A 10-inch springform pan might be fine, but the cake will not be as tall and you should reduce the cooking time so the cake is not overdone. I hope that helps.


  42. 42

    mymansbelly — January 23, 2015 @ 12:26 pm

    I keep saying that I should take a class to really learn about my camera and never quite get around to doing it. This cake looks delicious. I bet you get an A. 😉

  43. 43

    Gwen — January 23, 2015 @ 2:34 pm

    Hi Pamela,

    I got an A for the cake, but I think I gave up on the camera stuff. I’ve left that for Roger. 😉


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