thirty seven: nigella’s nutella cake

I know, Nutella – and a whole jar too – in a cake? Sounds too good (to be true), no? I wish I could rave about this but I will let you decide, if you ever get around to baking one yourself that is.

I was expecting each bite to remind me of the hazelnutty, lip smacking goodness that is Nutella but I was a little disappointed. I’m guessing that the Nutella here serves as a substitute for sugar (this recipe does not require flour or sugar). You can hardly taste the Nutella as the cake is just so rich in chocolate.

Not that it is a bad thing, of course. If you’re craving for moist chocolate cake, then this recipe takes the… cake. (Sorry, I can’t resist.) I think the ground hazelnuts give this cake a lovely, almost bouncy texture that you can’t get with flour.


However, I won’t strike this cake off my list. It still pleases the dark chocolate fan in me, so I will definitely bake this again next time. But I will skip the icing. Because what was that again, Nutella goes with anything right? Surely, slathering a layer – no, make that layers please, thanks – of Nutella over the cake wouldn’t hurt, right? (;

Nigella’s Nutella Cake (from

(for the cake)

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • A pinch of salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 400g Nutella (1 small jar)
  • 1 tbsp water (Note: the recipe called for hazelnut liqueur/ rum, but you can substitute it with water)
  • 100g ground hazelnuts
  • 100g dark chocolate, melted and cooled

(for the icing) – optional, I’d rather use Nutella!

  • 125ml double/ heavy cream
  • 125g dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp water  (Note: the recipe called for hazelnut liqueur/ rum, but you can substitute it with water)
  • 100g hazelnuts (peeled weight)



  1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease and line a 9 inch springform tin.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff, but not dry.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the Nutella and butter together, then add water, egg yolks and ground hazelnuts.
  4. Fold in the cooled, melted chocolate then lighten the mixture with a large dollop of egg whites. You can beat as roughly as you like at this stage.
  5. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites, adding them a third at time.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 40 minutes. Let cool at a rack for a few minutes. The cake will sink slightly in the middle – don’t panic, this is normal!
  7. While waiting for the cake to cool, toast the hazelnuts lightly in a dry saucepan. Keep shaking the pan so that the nuts do not burn. Set it aside to cool before sprinkling over your frosted cake.
  8. If you’re using the icing, add the cream, dark chocolate and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan and heat gently.
  9. Once the chocolate has melted, remove the pan from the heat and whisk it until it reaches the right consistency (glossy and flowy) to ice the top of the cake.
  10. Remove the cake from the tin, and frost it accordingly. Sprinkle the toasted hazelnuts and cut yourself a slice. You deserve it.

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