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“I can’t wait for you to taste this gluten-free vegan chocolate hazelnut cake because it basically tastes like Nutella in soft, fluffy, glorious cake form AND IT’S SO GOOD!!! 🤤😍

To really make that gorgeous hazelnut flavour shine, I used Sweet Hazelnut & Chocolate natural flavouring, along with Gorilla Vanilla extract. They really pack a flavour punch and also make your whole kitchen smell absolutely fabulous. All Foodie Flavours natural food flavourings are vegan & gluten-free, so I really love using them in my recipes.” – Kat @TheLoopyWhisk


Gluten-free vegan hazelnut sponges

  • 50g (3½ tbsp) vegan butter block, softened, plus extra for buttering the baking tins
  • 50g (4 tbsp) sunflower oil or other neutral-tasting oil
  • 160g (¾ cup + 1 tbsp) light brown soft sugar
  • 50g (3½ tbsp) dairy-free yoghurt, room temperature
  • 1 tsp Gorilla Vanilla – Organic Vanilla Extract
  • 10-15 drops Foodie Flavours Sweet Hazelnut & Chocolate
  • 210g (1¾ cups) plain gluten-free flour blend
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp xanthan gum
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 50g (½ cup) ground toasted hazelnuts
  • 120g (½ cup) dairy-free milk, room temperature (such as almond, soy or rice milk)

Vegan chocolate buttercream

  • 250g (2¼ sticks) vegan butter block, softened
  • 180g (1½ cups) icing sugar, sifted
  • 65g (2/3 cup) Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 120g (4¼ oz) dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), melted and cooled

Vegan chocolate ganache glaze

  • 80g (2¾ oz) dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), chopped
  • 80g (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) vegan double cream alternative

You will also need

  • toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped


Serves 6 / Prep time 1 hour 30 mins / Bake time 25 mins / Chill time 45 mins

Gluten-free vegan hazelnut sponges

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and pre-heat the oven to 190ºC/170ºC fan/375ºF. Lightly butter two 15cm/6-inch round baking tins and line their bottoms with rounds of baking paper.
  2. Cream together the vegan butter, oil and sugar until pale and slightly fluffy. You can do this using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, a hand mixer fitted with the double beaters or by hand using a large balloon whisk.
  3. Add the dairy-free yoghurt and mix until well combined.
  4. Add the Foodie Flavours Gorilla Vanilla and Sweet Hazelnut & Chocolate flavouring, and mix to combine.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the gluten-free flour blend, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Add the ground hazelnuts and whisk until evenly distributed.
  6. Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, alternately add the dry ingredients (in three batches) and dairy-free milk (in two batches) to the butter-sugar mixture, mixing well after each addition, until you get a smooth cake batter with no flour clumps.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared baking tins and smooth out the top.
  8. Bake at 190ºC/170ºC fan/375ºF for about 25 minutes or until golden on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. After 20 minutes in the oven, cover the sponges with a sheet of aluminium foil, shiny side up.
  9. Allow the sponges to cool in the baking tins for about 10-15 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Vegan chocolate buttercream

  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer fitted with the double beaters, cream the vegan butter and icing sugar together until pale and fluffy, for about 5 minutes.
  2. Sift in the cocoa powder and salt, and whip for a further 2-3 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally, until fully combined.
  3. Add the melted and cooled chocolate, and whip until fully combined.

Assembling the cake

  1. If the sponges are domed, level them using a sharp, serrated knife.
  2. Place the bottom sponge on a cake stand or serving plate of choice.
  3. Spread a generous layer of buttercream on top, but leave enough buttercream for the top and sides of the cake. Smooth it out into an even layer, using a small offset spatula.
  4. Place the other sponge on top, with the bottom of the sponge facing upwards (this will give you a nice flat top).
  5. Use most of the remaining buttercream to cover the top and sides of the cake, reserving some for piping decorations on top. Smooth out the top and sides with a cake scraper or a small offset spatula.
  6. Chill the frosted cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until the buttercream is firm to the touch.

Vegan chocolate ganache glaze

  1. Place the chopped dark chocolate into a heat-proof bowl.
  2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the dairy-free double cream alternative until it only just comes to a boil.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes, then stir together until smooth and glossy.
  4. Allow the ganache to cool slightly at room temperature (or very briefly in the fridge) until it’s still pourable but not too runny.
  5. Transfer it to a squeeze bottle (you can also just use a spoon) and use it to create the chocolate ganache drip down the sides. Then, cover the top of the cake with the ganache and smooth it out using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon. You can create swirls in the ganache for extra decoration.
  6. Chill the cake in the fridge for about 15-30 minutes or until the ganache has set and is no longer sticky/tacky to the touch.

Decorating the cake

  1. Transfer the remaining buttercream to a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle.
  2. Pipe dollops of buttercream on top of the set ganache, and then sprinkle on the chopped toasted hazelnuts.
  3. Slice and serve.


The cake keeps well in a closed air-tight container or wrapped in cling film in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Before serving, take the cake out of the fridge and leave it at room temperature for at least 15-20 minutes. The chocolate buttercream frosting will be fairly firm directly out of the fridge, and leaving it at room temperature for a while softens it to its original luscious, velvety texture.

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