Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Hazelnut and Apple Chocolate Cake

Hazelnut and Apple Chocolate Cake

Celebratory Layer Cakes | 19th September 2009 | By

A sumptuous Autumnal chocolate cake which makes the most of the season’s bounty. As its name suggests, this hazelnut and apple chocolate cake is made with roasted ground hazelnuts. It’s sandwiched with a layer of cooked apples and then topped with a rich chocolate ganache.

This hazelnut and apple chocolate cake will make your home smell wonderful. There’s nothing quite like the scent of roasting hazelnuts to warm and perfume the air with delicious aromas. Just add chocolate, sugar and a few other select ingredients. This is a cake everyone will love you for.

Cornish Apples

A few years ago, well quite a few years ago now, my mother planted three Cornish apple trees in her garden. We know that one is a Cornish Gillyflower, but we’ve managed to forget the names of the other two. Whatever those apples are called, they are absolutely fabulous. They  crop magnificently each year, keep well and have a really good flavour. They can almost pass as eating apples, though they’re really best for cooking. Needless to say, some of them went into the apple filling of this hazelnut and apple chocolate cake.

Hazelnut and Apple Chocolate Cake

I made this hazelnut and apple chocolate cake for a friend’s significant birthday. There was a grand party, which included games and dancing to celebrate the event.  As it’s the time of mellow fruitfulness and the time of apples and hazelnuts in particular, I decided I’d take my inspiration from a chocolate apple cake recipe in the Green & Black’s cookery book, Unwrapped.

First up, you need to roast some hazelnuts, then grind them. This goes into the cake mix along with chocolate and the usual ingredients. Whilst the cake is cooking, you can make the sweet and tart apple filling. Finally, you get to melt chocolate and cream to make the rich chocolate ganache topping. To this you can add your favourite tipple, but it would make sense if that was either a hazelnut or coffee liqueur. If you’d rather not use alcohol, you could always add some coffee instead.

Hey ho, the best laid plans! One of the baking trays I put my silicone moulds on was warped, so I ended up with a rather lop sided cake. This meant that when I poured the ganache onto the cake, it went rolling merrily down hill and over the edge in a great chocolate waterfall.

Hazelnut and Apple Chocolate Cake

Despite the cake’s rather interesting angle and the pool of chocolate down one side, I’m glad to report that it was a success. The hazelnuts really made it quite scrumptious. The apple filling was a delicious addition too and its fruity tartness complemented the chocolate really well.

Other Hazelnut Recipes You Might Like

If you’d like more recipe ideas for apples, you’ll find plenty on my Apple Day Pinterest board.

Keep in Touch

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this hazelnut and apple chocolate cake, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Hazelnut and Apple Chocolate Cake. PIN IT.

Hazelnut and Apple Chocolate Cake

Hazelnut and Apple Chocolate Cake – The Recipe

Hazelnut and Apple Chocolate Cake
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Hazelnut and Apple Chocolate Cake

A sumptuous autumnal chocolate cake which makes the most of the season's bounty. Complete with a touch of coffee, sweet and tart apple filling and a rich chocolate ganache topping.
Prep Time50 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert
Cuisine: British
Keyword: apples, cake, chocolate, hazelnuts, layer cake
Servings: 10 slices



  • 4 oz hazelnuts
  • 10 oz unsalted butter - softened
  • 6 oz unrefined brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
  • 5 oz wholemeal flour
  • 5 oz plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 5 tbsp strong coffee
  • 2 oz 85% dark chocolate - grated

Apple Filling

  • 1 ½ lb cooking apples (I used Cornish Gillyflower)
  • 1 lemon - zest and juice
  • 2 tbsp golden granulated sugar

Chocolate Ganache

  • 5 oz 70% dark chocolate
  • 125 ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp coffee or hazelnut liqueur



  • Tip the hazelnuts onto an oven tray and roast at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 10 minutes. Remove the skins by rubbing between your hands or in a clean tea towel. They come off very easily.
  • Reserve a handful for decoration, then roughly grind the rest in a coffee grinder, food processor or blender.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy quite pale.
  • Beat in the eggs alternately with the sifted flour and baking powder.
  • Mix in the coffee.
  • Finally stir in the hazelnuts and grated chocolate.
  • Divide mixture between two 21cm round silicone cake moulds or lined tins and bake at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 30 minutes or until firm to the touch and an inserted skewer comes out more or less clean.
  • Leave to cool in the moulds for about ten minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Apple Filling

  • Peel, core and chop the apples.
  • Simmer in a covered pan with the sugar, lemon juice and zest for 5-10 minutes until the apple is soft but not too mushy.
  • When cool use it to sandwich the two cakes together.

Chocolate Ganache

  • Melt the chocolate, cream and liqueur gently in a pan over a very low heat. Alternatively melt in a bowl suspended over a pan of hot, but not boiling water.
  • When melted, stir gently until just combined. Try not to over stir or the mixture might split. If it does, pour in a little hot cream.
  • Allow to cool a little, then pour over the top of the cake. Decorate with the reserved hazelnuts along with some chocolate shavings.


If you're cooking apples are particularly tart, you might want to add a little extra sugar.
If you'd rather not use alcohol in the ganache, swap it for strong coffee instead.


I’m sharing this scrumptious autumnal cake with Easy Peasy Foodie for #CookBlogShare.


  1. Janice

    20th September 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Yeah ganache can be somewhat unpredictable! Your cake looks fab, love the idea of the apples to fill the cake, must remember this for the future.

  2. Talita

    23rd September 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Wow! How rich! Love the topping!

  3. Rikka B

    4th April 2013 at 7:00 pm

    The apple filling is a really good idea, must try it.

  4. Maya Russell

    9th August 2013 at 4:56 am

    I would never have thought of apple filling. Brilliant.

  5. Jacqui Bellefontaine

    30th October 2019 at 1:20 pm

    That looks one fine Chocolate cake. Some fabulous flavours it sound delish too.

    • Choclette

      30th October 2019 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks Jacqui. One of the really good thing about updating old posts is rediscovering fabulous recipes.

  6. Kat (The Baking Explorer)

    1st November 2019 at 2:03 pm

    I love hazlenut and chocolate together so I know I’d love this cake!

    • Choclette

      1st November 2019 at 5:43 pm

      Thanks Kat. Hazelnuts and chocolate are a sure fire winner.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *