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Chocolate Hazelnut Torte

This scrumptious hazelnut torte is like a cozy hug for your taste buds! With zesty orange, warm cinnamon, and the perfect amount of sweetness, this torte is perfect for any occasion. Imagine digging into layers of fluffy chocolate filling and creamy buttercream, topped with a sprinkle of nuts for pure dessert bliss!

slice of torte with fork on white plate with cake stand in background
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The Backstory

This recipe is from the files – it’s easily 20 years old at this point in time. I made it for coworkers during a contest where I challenged a fellow coworker to a “bake off”. It was a fun idea at the time to add some fun (and treats) to the workplace.

We served both cakes (blinded) and then everyone voted for their favorite at the end of the day, and the chocolate hazelnut torte won!

It’s really a special cake, and I’m so happy to have found the recipe because I thought I lost the recipe. And, by the way, I must say if you’re a fan of chocolate hazelnut, this chocolate babka can be made with Nutella is a must try!

What is a Torte?

I didn’t know what a torte was until I got curious after making this awesome chocolate hazelnut torte. At first, I found that a torte was defined as a rich, multi-layered cake filled with buttercream, jams, or whipped creams and is traditionally baked in a springform pan.

Okay, doesn’t sound too different than a regular ole cake? The torte is defined as a multilayered cake filled with buttercream, jam, fruit, whipped cream, mousse, and commonly baked in a springform pan. Of note, the torte may be made with either no flour or a very low percentage of flour. This chocolate hazelnut torte uses only 1/2 cup of flour, so it definitely fits the definition.

slice of hazelnut torte with piece on fork all on white plate with orange slices in background

When to Make Chocolate Torte

A chocolate hazelnut torte is an amazing dessert that can be enjoyed on various occasions. Here are a few suggestions on when to make it:

Special Celebrations: The chocolate hazelnut torte is perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, or any special occasions. It’s an indulgent treat that will impress your guests and make the celebration even more memorable.

Holiday Festivities: The rich flavors of chocolate and hazelnut make this torte an excellent choice for holiday gatherings. Whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any festive occasion, the torte adds a touch of decadence to the dessert table.

Dinner Parties: If you’re hosting a dinner party, surprising your guests with a homemade chocolate hazelnut torte is sure to be a hit. It’s a sophisticated dessert that showcases your baking skills and leaves a lasting impression.

Family Gatherings: When your family gets together for a special meal, the chocolate hazelnut torte can be a wonderful finale to the feast. It’s a crowd-pleaser that brings everyone together to enjoy a slice of pure indulgence.

Personal Treat: Who says you need a specific occasion? If you’re craving a delicious dessert for yourself or want to pamper your loved ones, go ahead and make the chocolate hazelnut torte. Treat yourself to a slice of heaven whenever you desire.

Remember, making a chocolate hazelnut torte requires some preparation and baking time, so plan accordingly to ensure it’s ready for your chosen occasion.


The ingredients are shown below for each major item in the torte: The layers, the filling, and the frosting.

For the torte layers

ingredients for torte layers in white background
Torte Layer Ingredients: (counterclockwise): Bottom right: Nut flour; orange zest; baking soda; cinnamon, flour, egg whites, sugar; egg yolks

For the Filling

chocolate filling ingredients for torte
Filling ingredients (top left, counterclockwise): Powdered sugar, orange zest, cocoa powder, and heavy whipping cream.

For the Frosting

chocolate buttercream ingredients
Frosting Ingredients (bottom left, counterclockwise): Butter, vanilla, brandy (optional), milk, powdered sugar, cocoa powder

Method: Making the Layers

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and line a 9 x 3-inch springform pan. In a standing mixer, beat egg yolks, orange zest, and cinnamon until light and thick. Gradually beat in sugar.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.

Fold egg yolk mixture into egg whites. Fold in ground hazelnuts and flour.

Spread batter in pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool, remove from pan, and refrigerate for 4 hours before slicing.

egg yolks, cinnamon, and orange zest in bowl
Egg yolks, cinnamon and orange zest
whipped egg whites in mixer bowl
whipped egg whites
adding all purpose flour to hazelnut flour
Adding all purpose flour to nut flour
folding in the hazelnut flour
Folding nut/flour into batter
pan filled with batter ready for oven
Filling springform pan

How to Make the Filling

Beat whipping cream, powdered sugar, and cocoa in a chilled bowel until stiff. Fold in orange zest.

ingredients for chocolate filling in mixing bowl
Whipping cream, sugar, cocoa
orange zest on chocolate filling in mixing bowl
Adding orange zest
chocolate filing on wire whisk
Chocolate filling all done!

How to Make the Frosting

Beat butter with sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, brandy if using, and the milk (adding the slowly) until the mixture reaches spreading consistency.

ingredients for chocolate buttercream in mixer bowl
Frosting ingredients in the bowl ready to mix.
chocolate buttercream on spatula
Frosting is all done!

Assembling the Torte

Slice the cake into three layers, each approximately 1/2 inch thick. Spread the filling between each layer, then frost the top and sides of the cake with the buttercream. Decorate the sides with chopped or ground nuts and add reserved frosting and extra nuts on top, if desired.

torte just baked and ready to be filled and frosted
Baked cake before slicing
spreading chocolate filling on torte layer
Adding the filling to bottom layer
smoothing chocolate buttercream over torte
Adding frosting to top
top view of chocolate hazelnut torte with candied hazelnuts
All done and decorated!


Can I use pre-ground hazelnut meal/flour for the torte?

Absolutely! Pre-ground hazelnut meal/flour works perfectly fine and saves you the effort of grinding them yourself. Just make sure it’s finely ground for a smooth texture.

How can I reduce the sweetness of the torte?

If you prefer a less sweet torte, you can reduce the total amount of granulated sugar used. Instead of 1 cup, you can try using 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar. Adjust it according to your taste preferences.

Can I substitute the brandy in the chocolate buttercream?

Of course! The brandy is optional and can be omitted if you prefer. If you want to add a different flavor, you can experiment with alternatives like rum extract or even a flavored syrup that complements chocolate well.

How should I decorate the sides of the cake with the additional nuts?

To decorate the sides, you can either roll the cake gently in additional ground nuts, pressing them lightly to adhere. Alternatively, you can sprinkle chopped nuts onto the sides, gently patting them to stick to the buttercream. Get creative and make it look beautiful!

Can I use a different type of nut instead of hazelnuts?

While hazelnuts provide a distinct flavor, you can experiment with other nuts if desired. Almonds or walnuts would be good alternatives. Make sure to finely grind them to achieve a similar texture.

Can I use a different type of alcohol instead of brandy?

Absolutely! If brandy isn’t your thing, you can substitute it with other spirits like rum, whisky, or even a liqueur that pairs well with chocolate. Adjust the quantity based on your preference and the strength of the chosen alcohol.

How can I ensure my egg whites are properly whipped?

When whipping the egg whites, make sure your mixing bowl and beaters are completely clean and free from any grease. Even a tiny amount of grease can prevent the whites from whipping properly. Adding cream of tartar to the whites before beating can also help stabilize them and achieve a better volume.

overview of 3 slices of chocolate hazelnut torte with orange slices on white background

Make Ahead

This torte can be prepared ahead of time. Once baked and cooled, you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container.

It should stay fresh for a few days in the refrigerator. Just make sure to add the decoration right before serving to keep the nuts crunchy.

Storage and Freezing

To properly store your torte, follow these instructions:

  1. Allow the torte to cool completely before storing. This will help retain its texture and prevent condensation.
  2. Once cooled, wrap the torte tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container to protect it from drying out and absorbing odors from the refrigerator.
  3. Store the torte in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness. The cool temperature will help preserve it for a longer period.
  4. It’s best to place a layer of parchment paper or plastic wrap on top before covering it to prevent any damage.
  5. If you need to store the torte for an extended period, it can be frozen. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil, and place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw the torte in the refrigerator when ready to serve.
  6. When ready to enjoy, bring the torte to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors to develop fully and the texture to soften.

📖 Recipe

Chocolate Hazelnut Torte

This scrumptious hazelnut torte is like a cozy hug for your taste buds! With zesty orange, warm cinnamon, and the perfect amount of sweetness, this torte is perfect for any occasion!
4.89 from 17 votes
Author: Marie
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 584 kcal


  • 9 inch springform baking pan


For the Torte

  • 6 eggs separated
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar divided (UPDATE: now we reduced to a total of 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons for less sweet torte)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 3 cups finely ground hazelnuts* or hazelnut meal/flour (ie, preground)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour

For the Filling

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream chilled
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest

For the Chocolate Buttercream*

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons milk up to 6 tablespoons

For Decorating the Cake

  • Additional ground nuts or chopped nuts to decorate sides of cake or candied hazelnuts (see NOTE) to top torte


For the torte

  • Heat oven to 325 degrees
  • Grease bottom of springform pan, sized 9 x 3 inches
  • Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and grease generously
  • In standing mixer on high speed, beat egg yolks, 1 tablespoon orange zest, and cinnamon until very thick and light colored (about 6 minutes)
  • Gradually beat in 1/2 of the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Set aside and wash beaters
  • In a clean bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tarter on high speed until soft peaks form
  • Gradually beat in remaining, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Continue beating until stiff peaks form
  • Fold egg yolk mixture into egg white mixture
  • Mix 3 cups ground hazelnuts with 1/2 cup flour
  • Fold nut-flour mixture into the batter a little at a time (in three parts)
  • Spread into pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes
  • Loosen cake from pan and remove
  • Invert cake onto wire rack and cool cake completely
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to make slicing easier

Chocolate Filling

  • Beat whipping cream, powdered sugar, and cocoa in a chilled bowel until stiff
  • Fold in orange zest

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Beat butter with remaining ingredients until the mixture reaches spreading consistency.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup for decorating

To Assemble Torte

  • Slice cake into 3 layers (should be ~1/2 inch each layer)
  • Spread filing onto first layer, top with another layer, spread filling onto second layer, and top with final layer
  • Spread buttercream on top and sides of cake
  • Use extra chopped nuts or ground nuts to decorate sides
  • Decorate top with reserved frosting and extra nuts if desired


* I used one pound of whole hazelnuts; after grinding, it yielded about 3.5 to 4 cups. You may also use hazelnut flour. 
If you like a lot of frosting, consider doubling the amount of frosting as this amount will provide a very thin coating
Candied hazelnut directions 


Calories: 584kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 9gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 109mgPotassium: 139mgFiber: 5gSugar: 52gVitamin A: 651IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 3mg
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  1. 3 stars
    I just finished making this cake and it literally crumbled when cutting into layers. With the amount of nuts and little flour, it is not moist enough to cut and separate. It is now in the fridge after I glued it into a semblance of a cake with the frosting.
    Depending on how it tastes later tonight, I might re-make this cake in three separate greased cake pans.
    Some instruction or video of how you slice and separate the layers would add immensely to this recipe.

    1. Hi Mike, I’m so sorry to hear that. Is it possible that you overbaked it? I am going to be making it again soon and will add more comments/instruction

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