Saturday, 9 July 2011

Choc & Nut Sundae Cake - A Nutella Conversion

After a Knickerbocker Glory and a Banana Split Cake, do we have room for one more? Of course you do, that's the beauty of puddings, you may feel full after your main meal but then by some miracle, you can suddenly make room for a dessert or three. For the third of the ice cream themed cakes; we have the Choc and Nut Sundae Cake which is also gluten free. A very rich, chocolate, single layer cake with toasted hazelnuts and a very special ingredient or two in the cream swirls on the top. Serve one or maybe two small slices each.....

I hope I've whetted your appetite because I have to give credit for the original recipe to Nigella's Nutella Cake.  I have made a few adaptions but she lured me with the words 'easy' and 'delicious' and besides, I was so curious as to how you could bake a cake with a whole jar of Nutella, that I had to try it. I had not been a Nutella fan and even considered it just a diluted form of my more favoured pure chocolate spread, but no more.  I have been converted by the real intense hazelnut flavour this imparts to the cake.
The next important ingredient has to be the chocolate used in this recipe. Again this is completely transformed by Green and Black's Sweet Dark 70 % Chocolate. This and the chocolate extract are well worth seeking out before you make this cake because they will make all the difference to the taste.  It reminded me of the best Choc and Nut Sundaes ; a dense rich dairy ice-cream, covered in dark chocolate sauce whirls and then topped with sweet hazelnuts.

Under the dark chocolate icing is a layer of creamy white, whipped buttercream,  flavoured with Pure Chocolate Extract.  This extract gives a fantastic chocolate flavour with a hint of something more and after looking at the label that something more is alcohol , 45% proof ! Of course, if I had read about the process, I would have known that is how the flavour is extracted and very nice it is too. You are only going to use a little in the frosting but I know it is important for some of my friends to avoid certain ingredients.

It is stocked by Waitrose and various online stores and I would  recommend it, not only for this recipe but also it's good in a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. ( Click on Star Kay Whites for an interesting historical link about the company which has been operating since 1890 in New York.) If you want to avoid alcohol in your frosting then I would recommend using a good quality white chocolate with vanilla flavouring instead.

Text Only Printable Recipe



6   Large eggs
125g (4.5 oz) Butter
1 tablespoon Honey
400g Nutella ( jar size)
100g (3.5 oz) ground hazelnuts (or almonds)
100g dark chocolate ( bar size - Green and Black’s)

Icing 1:

225g (8 oz) Icing sugar
55g (2 oz) Butter
2 tbsp Milk
1 tsp Chocolate extract ( or to taste )

Icing 2:

225g (8 oz) Icing sugar
55g (2 oz) Butter
2 tbsp Milk
85g (3oz ) Dark Chocolate


Chopped toasted hazelnuts


Nigella uses a 23cm springform tin but I used two 7 inch/18 cm sandwich cake tins, greased and lined. Slightly less cooking time but worked out well for two smaller cakes.


Preheat oven 140c/120c Fan/300F/Gas Mark 2

Beat the butter and Nutella together, and then add the honey, egg yolks and ground hazelnuts or almonds until well combined. Melt the chocolate gently in the microwave. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold in the cooled, melted chocolate into the main batter, then lighten the mixture by stirring in a third of the egg white. Gently folding the rest of the egg white a third at a time.

Pour into the prepared tin and cook for 30/40 minutes or until the cake's beginning to come away at the sides, then let cool on a rack.

Make first icing by mixing softened butter and icing sugar together with the chocolate extract.  Whisk in the milk until icing is light, spread over cake tops.

Make the second icing by mixing butter and icing sugar together and then add the milk. Melt chocolate and gradually stir into icing. Spoon into icing syringe and make swirls on top of cakes. Finally sprinkle with hazelnuts.

I enjoyed serving this as a chilled cake which fitted in with the ice-cream theme nicely. It worked really well as a party dessert cake too, serving up small rich chocolatey slices at the end of a meal.


  1. oh have definitely whetted my appetite! The nutella cake looks great!

  2. I am both distressed and ashamed that this recipe has passed me by..until now. Any cake that uses a whole jar of nutella deserves being worshipped as a deity.

  3. This cake looks delicious, and I am not a chocolate lover!! In answer to your question about soup at American afternoon teas, soup and salad are served at some tearooms combining lunch and afternoon tea.

  4. Can I just stick my face in and inhale?! :D

  5. Thanks for your fun comments. Have made this a few times now obviously habit forming :-)) that's the trouble with small slices...

  6. Three types of chocolate. Delicious!

  7. Oh My! I think this is my favourite so far. Loving this theme and with triple chocolate and nuts involved, this is heaven.

  8. Pauline, you certainly have whetted the appetite! This chocolatey hazelnut heaven is too wicked for words. After banana split and knickerbocker in all its glory, this is definitely another winner with such good chocolate.

  9. OMG! I want it. It's a chocoholics dream dessert right there....and all that Nutella. I need a moment to compose myself...ehehehe.

  10. yummy looking cake with nutella

  11. This cake looks so moist and delicious! I will bookmark your recipe for a future reference.

  12. Nutella cake - yes, please!! I'll take a slice asap!

  13. Hai Dear

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  14. Thanks everyone, have made this a couple of times yet again, good for parties, easy to transport. Thank you Aarthi and welcome. Lovely cookies on your blog and I had an interesting read about Nagercoil too. Happy Baking.

  15. Nutella in a there anything better?..this came looks and sounds awesome!