Hazelnut Butter Cake

April 15th, 2010 § 7 comments

When I first made this cake years ago with my friend Heather, we used pecans. But pecans are not so easy to find here in Paris.

(We also, in our restaurant-opening-induced delirium, wrote a song about it, which I’m sure is funny only to us. I will not share it with you.)

The method is fairly typical, but in the initial step the butter is creamed with a mix of sugar and nuts instead of just sugar. Also typical is my use of crème fraîche in the batter. Sorry, I love the stuff. You can try it with buttermilk or yogurt if you’d like to lighten it up.

It’s not too sweet, and like many of my favorite cakes, it’s good as a snack with tea or for breakfast (a nutritionist I am not). With some fruit (maybe peaches in summer, bananas in winter, apples or pears in fall) you could serve it for dessert. Whipped cream spiked with Bourbon might be a good idea, too.


Hazelnut Butter Cake

1/2 c (2 oz / 60g) toasted hazelnuts

7/8 c (175 g) sugar

4 oz (120 g) unsalted butter, at room temp

2 eggs, at room temp

1 1/2 plus 2 T (230 g) all-purpose flour

1/4 t cinnamon

1 t baking powder

3/4 t salt

7/8 c (220 ml) crème fraîche, at room temp

1 t vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° (190° C). Lightly butter a 9″ or 10″ cake pan, and dust the whole thing with flour. (For extra insurance, line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment).

Put the nuts and sugar into a food processor and process until the nuts are finely chopped. The mixture should resemble coarse wet sand.

Put the nut/sugar mix and the butter together in a mixing bowl and mix (use the paddle if you have a stand mixer, or an electric mixer) on low speed until the butter is distributed, then turn up the speed a little and mix for a minute or so. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between additions and stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed.

Mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Add one third of this mix to the nutty butter and mix on low speed until just combined, or just do it by hand. Stir the vanilla into the crème fraîche, then add half of it to the batter, again mixing carefully until just combined. Repeat these steps (dry, crème fraîche, finish with dry). The batter will be quite thick.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until just firm to the touch and until a toothpick or knife tip inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Serve slightly warm if you want, or let it cool. The cake will keep for a day or two, well-wrapped at room temperature.

Serves 8.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

§ 7 Responses to Hazelnut Butter Cake"

  • Sarah says:

    Barb! this sounds delicious…and i’m sure i would find the song absolutely hysterical!!!!! i can actually hear you and visualize you making it up!! perhaps it was just one of my own flashbacks with you.
    i’m going to have to make the cake and make up my own song.
    xoxo. sarah

  • hey hey, check out the new site ! bravo :)

    loving the cake, as usual. you and i could definitely have breakfast together. and dessert to follow. oh, and i am seeing singing too. [warning: tone deaf]

  • Barbra says:

    Sarah, the song was pretty good. It was about the effects of eating lots of cake, let’s leave it at that.

    Kerrin, glad you like the site! I think we probably enjoy a similar kind of breakfast, though I will confess that I don’t like chocolate in the morning. Don’t hold it against me, please :)

  • emiglia says:

    This sounds spectacular! I love the idea of the song only funny to you and your friend… aren’t things like that the best?

  • Jen says:

    I have been looking for a good hazelenut recipe, so I am excited to try this. Also, I like the new site…

  • Barbra says:

    Emiglia – There’s nothing like a friend you can be totally silly with, especially when cake is involved.

    Jen – Give it a try! (And glad you like the site…)

  • Blue Penguin says:

    The cake looks utterly delicious. And I’m joining the hordes who would love to hear the song (this is coming from a person who, with my childhood best friend, at a much older age, came up with a song about ferrets. Up noses. And hasn’t yet blogged about it). It’s just so lovely to come across other people (especially with delicious blogs) with a silly sense of humour, too!

What's this?

You are currently reading Hazelnut Butter Cake at Barbra Austin.