Hazelnut Sponge Cake with Coffee Buttercream & the challenges I face returning to Ohio

hazelnut cake slice of cake set up blog baking dinner party entertaining cake

This hazelnut cake with the addition of Frangelico and toasted hazelnut flour is a powerhouse of hazelnut goodness.

For those of you under 50. Frangelico is a hazelnut liqueur that is sweet and divine. Not as popular as it once was. Not sure why because it’s delicious.

Give it time. One day some dipshit of a nobody on social media will tell you that you have to have it. And everyone will run out to buy it and act like they discovered the new best thing.

Life is a circle.

Frangelico is still here and always will be or at least until these nut allergy people pass a law and have it banned. It is absolutely delicious and worth a try. It’s nice to be adventurous and try new things.

I tried something new and moved back to Ohio. It’s new but I wouldn’t say it’s adventurous. It’s the same as when I left 20 years ago.

I have rekindled my love for Wheel of Fortune though. But I still hate Jeopardy. Jeopardy makes me feel like I’m at a dinner with smart people and they’re all talking about something that I haven’t a clue about. Which is most things.
a slice of frangelico hazelnut cake with coffee buttercream icing frosting recipe
The thing I’ve noticed when you leave Ohio is that out in the world is a vast array of foods and ideas. Here in Ohio they have a vast ketchup and condiment aisle at the grocery store.

When I lived in New York and you had a dinner party and asked everyone to bring a dish. You would have an international display of amazing food. In Ohio when you ask people to bring a dish. You better tell them what to bring. Otherwise you’ll end up with 9 bowls of cole slaw. Which isn’t really a bad thing when you love cole slaw as much as I do.

My favorite thing about Ohio and making pastries here is the challenge. For example this cake. Don’t tell them it’s hazelnut for one. Because they don’t know what that is so they won’t like it. Two, since it’s brown tell them it’s brown sugar cake and they’ll love it. You can’t spring shit on these people. They got to ease into new things.

You have to trick these people into eating something different or doesn’t look like it should. You can’t change things. Like when you cut your kids sandwich straight across and they wanted it cut on an angle. Now they don’t want it.

I will say this is probably one of my favorite cake recipes. I had scraps of cake in a bowl on the kitchen counter everyone was picking at. They thought it was the best thing ever. Then I “ruined it with the buttercream”.

Aren’t they great?

This is the first time I’ve tried it with the coffee buttercream. Although I like it, I normally make it with a chocolate ganache and I think I like it better that way. Hazelnut and chocolate are classic and a never go wrong kinda thing.

Let me know what you think.

You can’t stand still. You must go forward or be passed by. 


Related recipes you’ll surely dig… 

Coffee Cake with Sweet Cream Icing

Grand Marnier Cake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

The Devil made me do it Chocolate Cake


Makes 2 – 9 inch cakes


600g.    Flour
300g.     Hazelnut flour toasted
20g.       Salt
40g.        Baking powder
900g.      Brown sugar
400g.      Water
10g.         Vanilla
400g.      Vegetable Oil
440g.       Frangelico
10ct.         Eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter your cake pans. Don’t use cooking spray. We’ve been through this.

-toast hazelnut flour on a sheet pan in the oven for about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
-combine all your dry ingredients with hazelnut flour in a bowl and set aside.
-in a mixing bowl with the whip attachment combine all your liquid ingredients on medium and mix to combine until you have a homogenous mixture and the eggs are really broken up.
-add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine until you get a smooth cake batter.

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to 1 hour depending on your oven. A knife inserted into the center should come out clean. You know the drill.

frangelico hazelnut cake with coffee buttercream frosting icing recipe


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