I guess there is no German who doesn’t know the German Hazelnut Cake! It is famously sold as a cake mix in Germany and it comes with a delicious hazelnut glaze. And that’s where for many people the struggle begins: Nobody knows how to make that hazelnut glaze from scratch! I searched the German internet communities and the question comes up quite often but no one has an answer. So I had to figure it out by myself and I think I did a good job of recreating that delicious hazelnut glaze.
The second struggle is, that I can’t find hazelnuts everywhere here in Texas. My grocery doesn’t carry it and I have to either drive all the way into Houston to the Central Market or got to Whole Foods (which is crazy expensive in my personal opinion). Hazelnuts don’t come cheap anyway. This is a little bit of a problem since a lot of German cakes and baking goods contain hazelnuts. I could switch to almonds since they are cheaper (why?) but the taste would be very different.
German Hazelnut Cake Secrets
For the cake, you need the hazelnuts to be ground very fine – like hazelnut flour. You don’t want to have any chunks in the cake. With the hazelnuts, the cake gets very moist. Depending on how you prefer your cake, you could substitute the butter with oil to get a moist cake. If you prefer your cake light and fluffy you can separate the egg whites from the yolks. Whip the whites until they are stiff. Carefully fold them into the dough after you have added the dry ingredients. Also, it is always important that you stir your cake as little and short as possible after the flour has been added to the dough. If you stir the dough too much it will let the gluten come out of the flour and this will make your cake dry. It’s different if you bake bread: For bread, you would choose flour with lots of gluten and knead it a long time.
The recipe for the vanilla sugar is here: vanilla sugar
Hazelnut Cake – Video Instruction
German Hazelnut Cake
- 250 g butter, soft and unsalted (2 buttersticks + 1Tbsp.)
- 200 g sugar (1 cup + 1 Tbsp)
- 2 tsp. vanilla sugar
- 4 count eggs
- 250 g flour (2 cup + 1 Tbsp.)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 250 g hazelnut flour (3 1/2 cups)
- 125 ml milk (½ cup + 1 Tbsp)
- 1 dash salt
- 1 lemon the zest if it
- 150 g coconut oil (1/2 cup)
- 1 small pouch Justin's Hazelnut Butter
- 6 Tbsp. milk
- 8 -10 Tbsp. powdered sugar (confectioniers sugar)
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Wisk the butter with the sugar and vanilla sugar until the sugar has mostly dissolved and the butter has a lighter color than before.
- Add the egg yolk (or the whole egg if you decided not to separate them) one by one and stir inbetween for about 1 minute.
- In a separate bowl, measure the flour and add the baking powder and a dash of salt. Mix well.
- Add 1/3 of the flour, stir just enough so the flour doesn't dust any more, than add another third of the flour and repeat until all the flour is in the dough.
- Add some hazelnut flour to the dough, alternate with some of the milk until both ingredients are mixt into the dough, also add the lemon zest - remember though to stir as little as possible. Just enough to have the ingredients mixed!
- If you separated your eggs, use a second bowl and whisk the egg whites until they are very stiff. Add them carefully to the dough and fold under the dough with a spoon.
- Bake for about 60 minutes, test with a wooden skrewer.
- Slowly warm the coconut oil in a saucepan - don't let it get hot though.
- Add the pouch hazelnut butter and the milk, stir until it has combined with the oil.
- Slowly add one tablespoon of powdered sugar after another, stirring constantly. Don't worry about lumps, just keep stirring and they will disappear.
- While still stirring, let it get even more warm. The glaze will become more and more firm. When it is spreadable, put it aside and let cool a little. Occationally stir to avoid sugar cristals on the top.
- When your cake has completely cooled, spread the glaze all around the cake and let dry.
23 thoughts on “German Hazelnut Cake – Nusskuchen”
My glaze is not getting thicker consistency. I followed recipe besides the small pouch of hazelnut butter so I got the jar and calculated the amount of small puch into 2.5 tablespoons. Why is it not thickening? Do I need for powdered sugar ? Can u please give me the amounts from all for glaze to get it to thicken . Thank you
Thank you for your quick response! I’m in Canada & will be using metric! So just confirming, I will grind 250g of unshelled hazelnuts & get 250g of hazelnut flour. Thanks!
Can you please explain the 2 measurements listed beside the ingredients?
I specifically do not understand 250g hazelnut flour (3 1/2 cups).
And would you be able to give a rough idea how much hazelnuts to buy to grind them to 250g or 3 1/2cups?
Thanks for your help!
this is one of the recipes that I published some years ago before the recipe section had the feature to switch between metric and US customary measurements. Since most of my blog visitors are in the US and don’t use g and kg etc., I wrote the US measurement into that area. If you are using metric measurements, just use 250g. To grind 250g hazelnuts to flour, use just this amount of hazelnuts (without the shell). The amount will neither increase nor increase unless you lose some when you fill it into a different bowl.
If yuóu are asking how much uncracked hazelnuts you might need … I honestly don’t know but would guess like alsmost double the amount, like 500g of whole nuts maybe?
WOW ??? Wunderbar! The most wonderful aroma of hazelnuts and chocolate are hanging in the air in my kitchen!
I also have to say, the taste is much better without a spread of butter than with! Very light crumb. Albeit it took an hour and fifteen minutes to bake probably because I didn’t wait until all my ingredients were room temp. But we’ll worth the wait!
I was going to add fresh lemon zest, but was uncertain of the amount. May try it with next time just for a taste comparison. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!
Living in West Berlin (many) years ago, we enjoyed little Berliner nusstortchen from a neighborhood bakery. Each little hazelnut cake had a soft brown glaze, similar to your glaze; they were decorated with a walnut half. They were only slightly sweet, but light and tasty. Do you think your recipe for hazelnut loaf could be adapted for cupcakes? And have you ever heard of Berliner nusstortchen?
yes, I think you can use the recipe for cupcakes. As of the Berliner Nusstörtchen, I haven’t heard of them as specific from Berlin. Nusstörtchen in general is known though. They come in different versions but I guess you mean those covered with marzipan?
Guten Tag und Frohe Thanksgiving!
When my husband and I were doing Keto, I bought 25 lbs of hazelnut flour from Oh! Nuts. It wasn’t cheap.
I noticed you used dried lemon zest, which I don’t have on hand, but I do know that Penzey’s, out of Wisconsin, does sell it, although they call it lemon peel in the name but lemon zest in their description.
By the way, lemon zest wasn’t listed in your ingredients, so, how much did you use?
Vielen dank! I’m so happy I finally found a cake recipe for my 25lbs worth of hazelnuts (which I keep in my freezer. I’ll report back when I make this as I need to make the vanilla sugar first! Oi veh!
I’ve used walnuts instead of hazelnuts and it’s still delicious. May also work well with pecans.
I live in North-Ca, and I did not find any Hazelnuss Butter.
Is there something else I can use?
In that case, I would just make a regular glaze from confectioners sugar and water, pour it over the cake, and top that with some chopped hazelnuts.
Thanks for posting this Old World recipe!
For us, who are on the go, an American version (measurements) would help tremendously.
If you take a look at the ingredients, just below the list there is a link that converts the metric into US customary measurements. With the hazelnuts, I came to a different result though but that can be somewhere between both measurements.
I haven’t tried your recipe yet, but my family in Germany used to make this when we visited. It is one of my absolute favorite cakes. I buy hazelnuts in bulk at Costco. They usually have them around the holidays. It is a 26oz bag for $11. Amazon carries the same brand for double the price. So in case you have a Costco near by, try there!
Thank you for the tip with Costco. We are not members but maybe someone can bring me some.
I can only find Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, is that what you used?
Yes, that’s the one.
This cake looks so yummy! I grew up in Southern Germany so I know what you mean when you say hazelnuts are hard to find here in the U.S. I buy Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut flour/meal at my local grocery store. Fortunately I live in an area with a high Polish population so this is something that is easy to find for me. I know Whole Foods carries it. I’m lucky that I can buy whole hazelnuts in the Polish stores in my town.
The way I remember the classic versio of the glaze is with cinnamon. I personally like my cake without the glaze.
i think your recipe measurements are wrong.
the milk says 125 ml milk and you say that is 1 cup = 1 tbsp.
125 ml is about a half of a cup, not a whole cup.
can you clarify and correct this please.
thanks for your recipes
You are right about that! Sorry for that mistake, I will fix it in the recipe.
My mother in law made this every Christmas and it was a favorite. I’m trying to make it for my girls (her granddaughters) but I’m having issues with the conversion to US measuring. Also I’m not sure what size loaf pan is used. Any suggestions?
So, in order to save you and your kids from any disappointment and make this a memorable Christmas cake, I went into my kitchen and measured it in cups as good as I could. I updated the recipe with my findings and put the size of the baking pan in the recipe notes at the end. I hope this works out as it is supposed to. Happy baking an Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to you and your family :)
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