Nutella Cake is made with layers of rich chocolate cake, frosted in a creamy nutella buttercream, drizzled with nutella & sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts between layers, and finished off with a nutella ganache and ferro rocher chocolates. If you’re looking for a decadent, crowd-pleasing – no, crowd-WOWing cake – look no further.
Chocolate and nutella lovers will go *nuts* – hehe – for this Nutella Cake! It is truly the perfect cake – a little crunch from the hazelnuts beautifully compliments the creamy textures, and it is certainly a showstopper!
Why you’ll love this Nutella Cake:
- Rich Chocolate Cake – This rich, one-bowl, moist chocolate cake is the easiest and best chocolate cake you’ll ever make! No matter your baking skills, you can make this cake.
- Nutella Buttercream – Luscious nutella frosting is slathered over the entire cake – it is out of this world delicious!
- Lazy Nutella Filling – No need to pipe a border around each frosted cake layer to fill it with nutella! I opted for a lazy filling this time and simply drizzled melted nutella over each frosted layer, and added a sprinkle of hazelnuts.
- Nutella Ganache – A luscious 2-ingredient nutella ganache drip finishes this cake off beautifully.
As always, the full recipe with measurements & directions can be found at the bottom of this post.
- Butter – I always use salted buter for the best flavor, but feel free to use unsalted butter if you prefer. We’re using this instead of vegetable oil in this cake to add extra richness!
- Sour Cream – Use full fat sour cream at room temperature for best results.
- Cake Flour– Cake flour produces a more tender crumb in a cake and I highly recommend using it! Spoon & level your flour for best results, or use a scale. Scooping the measuring cup directly in will lead to too much flour, giving you a dry cake. 1 cup of cake flour is 110 grams, whereas 1 cup of all-purpose flour is 130 grams.
- Eggs – Use large eggs, at room temperature.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Use natural cocoa powder, not dutch process.
- Milk – I always use 2% milk for baking because it’s what we already buy.
- Cream Cheese – Use full fat, block-style cream cheese.
- Nutella – Use brand name or any off brand – they each work fine.
- Heavy Cream – Also called heavy whipping cream, this is a key element in the nutella ganache.
- Dairy-free – Use your favorite, trusted dairy-free products to make this recipe dairy-free, including a dairy free chocolate hazelnut spread.
- Gluten-free – I have not tested a gluten-free version of this cake. Let me know if you do!
- Sour Cream – You can use full fat greek yogurt, at room temperature, in place of the sour cream.
- Cake Flour Substitute – Make your own cake flour by spooning & leveling 1 cup of flour into a measuring cup, using a flat edge to level it off. Add to a mixing bowl, then remove two tablespoons (scoop & level them off). Add two tablespoons of corn starch, then sift this mixture twice. This is important to evenly mix the ingredients and to give the same light texture as cake flour.
How to Make this Nutella Cake Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Make the Cake Batter. Whisk together the dry ingredients, then mix in the wet ingredients until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl well to make sure everything is incorporated. It’s the easiest chocolate cake recipe you’ll ever make!
Step 2: Bake the Cake Layers. Divide the batter between greased and parchment paper-lined cake pans. Bake as directed in the recipe card below. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting layers. Let each layer of cake cool completely before frosting.
Step 3: Make the Nutella Frosting. In a large mixing bowl, beat together nutella and butter with an electric mixer on high speed. Beat in the powdered sugar, using a little milk or heavy cream to help it come together as needed. Add vanilla, salt, and a little cocoa powder. Beat in the cream cheese last.
Step 4: Assemble the Cake. Spread a layer of frosting over the first cake layer, then drizzle on melted nutella & add a sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts. Add the second layer of cake. Pop in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes or so, to ensure nothing slides around while you’re working with the cake. Repeat with the second cake layer, then add the third layer upside down for a perfectly flat top. Frost the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting. Let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
Step 5: Add the Nutella Ganache Drip. Heat heavy cream until simmering, then pour over the nutella in a medium bowl. Stir until smooth. Once it’s not hot, pour over your cake, using an offset spatula to push it over the edges while you spin the cake on a turntable. This creates that beautiful waterfall drip effect!
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
Let the cake chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to set the ganache, then pipe swirls on top of the cake with any leftover frosting. Top with ferro rocher chocolates. Slice and ENJOY! Store leftovers (hehe, yeah sureee) in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. I usually press a piece of plastic wrap over the slices in the container as added insurance to keep them moist.
Expert Success Tips:
- Oven Thermometer – An oven thermometer will tell you if your oven is actually running at the temperature you set it to. Your oven may not be accurate. Accurate oven temperature is crucial for most bakes, so I leave an oven thermometer in at all times to keep an eye on my oven’s calibration.
- Kitchen Scale – A food scale is the best way to make sure your flour is at the proper weight, since amounts will vary SO widely based on how you measure it, as well as the measuring cup you use, as they are not standardized.
You can scale this recipe in a few ways! Cut the recipe in half and bake in two 8-inch cake pans, or make 1/3 of the recipe and bake in one 9-inch cake pan. You can also bake the full recipe in a 9×13 pan if you want a sheet cake. Half a batch of this recipe will make 24 cupcakes.
Yes, you can pipe a border of frosting around the first and second frosted cake layer when assembling, and fill with 1/3 cup of melted (but not hot!) nutella. Use a small offset spatula to spread it, then sprinkle on some crushed hazelnuts (optional). Proceed with the recipe as directed.
There are a few culprits when dealing with runny frosting. Either the butter was too soft, you left the frosting at room temp for too long, or you beat in the cream cheese earlier in the recipe (it must be added last). Sugar will pull moisture from cream cheese, so adding it to any frosting at the very end is important to maintain the structure of the frosting. Pop the whole bowl of frosting (or your cake) in the fridge or freezer at any time, for anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how bad it is, to firm the frosting up.
- Nutella Filling – Pipe a border of frosting around each frosted cake layer with a wilton 1A tip (a large round tip) and then fill with 1/3 cup of melted (not hot!) nutella. Spread it with an offset spatula, then sprinkle on some chopped hazelnuts. Or, you can skip the lazy and regular nutella filling between the layers if you want.
- Ferro Rocher – Chop up some ferro rocher chocolates and sprinkle the pieces between the cake layers instead of hazelnuts if desired.
- Peanut Butter – You can swap peanut butter or a chocolate nut-free spread like sunflower butter for the nutella if desired.
- Cake Pans – These are my absolute favorite 9-inch cake pans! I’ve had them for 6+ years and use them for every cake recipe, and they are still in great shape.
- Offset Spatula – Offset spatulas make cake assembly so easy! They can also be used for spreading cake and brownie batters evenly.
- Cake Turntable – If you make at least a few cakes a year, a cake turntable makes the process a breeze!
- Piping Bag & Piping Tip – I like to use a reusable piping bag and a Wilton 1A tip to pipe the frosting border (if using). I used a Wilton 8B tip to pipe the swirls on top. Affiliate links.
More Nutella Recipes to Love:
- Double-Stuffed Nutella Cookies
- Nutella Filled Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups
- Nutella Chocolate Cupcakes
- Triple Nutella Cheesecake
- Nutella Dessert Pizza
- No-Bake Nutella Tart
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Ultimate Nutella Cake
- 2 cups hot water 472 mL
- 1 and 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp cocoa powder 157 grams
- 3 cups cake flour 330 grams
- 2 and 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed 488 grams
- 1 cup granulated sugar 206 grams
- 3 tsp baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp espresso powder
- 1 and 1/2 cups full fat sour cream, at room temperature 360 grams
- 1/4 cup milk 60 mL
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil 106 mL
- 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Nutella Buttercream
- 1 and 1/2 cups salted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 and 1/3 cups nutella 390 grams
- 4 and 1/2 cups to 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temp This really only needs 10-20 minutes out
For the Lazy Filling:
- 1/2 cup nutella
- 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts optional
For the Nutella Ganache:
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 3/4 cup nutella
- ferro rocher chocolates, for decorating
- chopped hazelnuts, for decorating
- Make the Chocolate Cake: Preheat your oven to 350 ℉. Grease three 9-inch cake pans with shortening. Place a parchment circle in the bottom of each, then grease over that. Dust the inside of each pan well with flour, knocking out any excess. Measure the hot water into a 4-cup glass measuring cup or large bowl, then whisk in the cocoa until completely dissolved. Set aside to let come down to room temp. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (including the sugars). Next, add the wet ingredients, including the room temp (not steaming hot!) cocoa and water mixture, and whisk until combined. There may be a few small lumps – that's fine.
- Bake Cake Layers: Divide the cake batter evenly between the three pans (use a kitchen scale to weigh the full amount of batter, then divide by 3 to get it perfect!). Bake for 23 to 27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center pulls out moist crumbs. Let cakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes before running a butter knife around the edge and inverting onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely. Tip: I recommend rotating cake pans halfway through since every oven will have hot spots and this ensures an even bake.
- Make the Nutella Frosting: Beat butter in a large bowl until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add nutella and mix on high until well creamed with the butter. Mix in the powdered sugar in three additions, mixing between each until combined. Add the milk as needed to help things come together. Add the vanilla and salt and mix. Mix in the cream cheese last, until well combined.
- Assemble Cake: Place the first cake layer on a cake stand on top of a turntable. Spread 1 and 1/2 cups of frosting over the layer, going past the edge a smidge. Drizzle on half of the melted nutella, and sprinkle on some chopped hazelnuts. Place the second cake layer on top and chill for 5-10 minutes to set things so the layers don't slide around. Repeat with the second layer. Add the final layer upside down for a flat top, and give the cake a thin layer of frosting on top and on the sides. Use a cake scraper to smooth out and remove excess. This is your crumb coat, so don't fret if it isn't perfect. Pop the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes or until the frosting is set. Then, frost the top and sides of the cake, smoothing things with the cake scraper or offset spatula. Chill the entire cake in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until set, before adding the chocolate drip. Tip: If your frosting is getting too soft at any point from sitting out, pop it back in the fridge for a bit to firm back up.
- Nutella Ganache: Add nutella to a heatproof bowl. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Pour over the nutella and let rest 30 seconds, then stir until completely smooth. Let cool to room temperature before adding to the cheesecake.
- Serve & Store: Once ganache drip is set, pipe on swirls with remaining frosting and top with ferro rocher chocolates. Slice and enjoy your life! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.