Hazelnut Coffee Cake



Published by Ten Speed Press

This image courtesy of Johanna Kindvall

This cake actually has nothing to do with what many people know as coffee cake; the name comes from the addition of brewed coffee to the batter, a distinct taste when paired with hazelnuts. This cake is airy enough not to feel heavy, but thick enough that you get the satisfaction of biting into something substantial. As opposed to a lot of fluffy cake recipes, which use baking powder as a leavener, this one depends on the power of egg whites, which makes for the perfect consistency. The same method is used in the Cardamom Cake and the Kinuski Caramel Cake. Hazelnuts are quite common in Swedish baking; the key in this recipe is toasting them, which helps intensify the flavor.

Cooking MethodBaking



Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseDessert

Dietary ConsiderationHalal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Vegetarian

EquipmentElectric Mixer

Five Ingredients or LessYes

MealBrunch, Tea

Taste and TextureButtery, Nutty, Sweet

Type of DishCake, Dessert


  • 10 1/2 tablespoons (5.25 ounces, 148 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces, 71 grams) raw hazelnuts
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (1.88 ounces, 53 grams) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces, 71 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cold coffee (preferably espresso)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces, 148 grams) natural cane sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9-inch (23-centimeter) springform pan.

  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

  3. Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan until they are slightly browned; then grind them in a food processor until almost finely ground.

  4. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and brown sugar until frothy. All the sugar should be dissolved and the batter should have a lighter color. Pour the slightly cooled butter into the egg yolk and sugar mixture and whisk together. Sift the flour and stir it carefully into the batter together with the hazelnuts, coffee, and salt. Stir as little as possible until you get a smooth, even batter.

  5. In a separate, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites, ideally with an electric mixer. When soft peaks form, add the cane sugar little by little. Mix until the batter forms stiff peaks.

  6. Carefully fold the sugar and egg white mixture into the batter and keep folding until the batter is evenly blended. Be careful not to overstir. Pour the batter directly into the pan.

  7. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If the cake starts to get a golden brown color earlier (which can happen after 20 minutes), remove it from the oven, cover it with aluminum foil, and put back in the oven. This will prevent the top of the cake from burning.

  8. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.


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