The Weekend Bake: Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Last weekend we visited some friends to indulge in a spectacular rum-soaked pork belly roast, and I wanted to bring along something equally indulgent for dessert.

This recipe jumped out at me, and as I hadn’t made a flourless cake like this before, I thought I’d take the plunge.

Butter-phobes, please look away now, you probably won’t like what you see… what this cake lacks in flour, it more than makes up for in butter, eggs and chocolate (yum!)

I stayed relatively true to the recipe with the only replacement being rapadura instead of refined sugar – by volume it was the same (1.25 cups), but equated to 170g rather than 275g as per the caster sugar in the original recipe.

To decorate, I topped it with a chocolate ganache, crushed roasted hazelnuts and fresh raspberries.  The zest of the raspberries cut through the chocolatey cake quite nicely.

Flourless Chocolate & Hazelnut Cake, adapted from SBS Food


  • melted butter, for greasing the baking tin
  • 200g roasted, peeled hazelnuts (to roast, place the hazelnuts on a lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes @ 180ºc.  To remove the skins, place the warm hazelnuts in a slightly damp cloth or tea towel, and rub the skins off.  This is a little messy but makes for a better result than using hazelnut meal)
  • 250g good-quality dark chocolate (pastilles, or a bar chopped up into small pieces)
  • 185g butter, cubed
  • 40g cocoa powder or raw cacao
  • 60ml strong coffee
  • 6 eggs at room temperature
  • 170g (1.25 cups) rapadura

Flourless Choc Hazelnut Cake (1 of 12)

Note if you’re using rapadura, it can sometimes be quite lumpy if it has been sitting in the pantry for a while.  To break up the lumps, I blitzed this in the food processor for 10-15 seconds before cooking with it –

Flourless Choc Hazelnut Cake (2 of 12)


  • Preheat oven to 160ºc (fan-forced).
  • Grease a 22cm baking tin with the melted butter and line the bottom with non-stick baking paper – I used a smaller (20cm) cake tin, so as a result I also had mix leftover which I used to make 12 mini cupcakes. If you just want the one cake, stick to the original instructions.
  • Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse until ground to your liking, then set aside.
  • Combine the chocolate, butter and cocoa powder in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and also make sure that all your utensils and the inside of the bowl are completely dry before adding the chocolate).
  • Melt the chocolate mix, stirring occasionally, until smooth.

Flourless Choc Hazelnut Cake (3 of 12)

  • Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the coffee. Set this bowl aside.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until just combined.

Flourless Choc Hazelnut Cake (4 of 12)

  • Fold in the chocolate mixture with a spatula, then the ground hazelnuts.

Flourless Choc Hazelnut Cake (5 of 12)

  • Pour the mix into your baking tin and bake for approximately 45-50 minutes or until the centre has a slight wobble when the pan is shaken gently. As I had a slightly smaller tin, I took it out pretty much right on 45 minutes. If you are using a 22cm tin, this may take a few minutes more as the original recipe suggests.
  • For the mini cupcakes with my leftover batter, these took about 15 minutes

Flourless Choc Hazelnut Cake (6 of 12)

Flourless Choc Hazelnut Cake (7 of 12)

  • I will also mention here that because I used a smaller tin, the top edges of the cake did overflow a little making for an odd-shaped cake, which I trimmed slightly with a knife before decorating. If you use a larger tin you probably won’t have this problem, but it works either way (cake scraps are also good to snack on)
  • Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  • When the cake is cooled, turn this out onto a plate for decorating.

For the Chocolate Ganache & decoration

  • Add 60g dark chocolate and about 2 tbsp thick cream to another dry, heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water.
  • Same rules apply when melting – make sure no water enters the bowl, otherwise the chocolate won’t melt properly.
  • Stir occasionally until fully melted, smooth and glistening.

Flourless Choc Hazelnut Cake (8 of 12)

  • Take off the heat and let this cool a little, about 5-10 mins
  • Spread the ganache over your cooled cake with a spatula or knife – I also had enough left over to decorate my mini cupcakes

Flourless Choc Hazelnut Cake (9 of 12)

Flourless Choc Hazelnut Cake (10 of 12)

  • Top the cake with crushed hazelnuts, fresh raspberries and a light dusting of icing sugar (I used less than 1 teaspoon’s worth)

Flourless Choc Hazelnut Cake (11 of 12)

Flourless Choc Hazelnut Cake FIN

With fresh raspberries, you really want to eat this one quickly, but the mini cupcakes lasted well in a sealed plastic container for several days afterward….


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