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Egyptian Hazelnut Cake

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This Egyptian cake with hazelnuts is the creamiest, sweetest, most comforting cake you can imagine. Hazelnuts, buttercream and a caramel cream filling, can it get any better?

Hazelnut Cake

egyptian cake on a serving platter

This Egyptian hazelnut cake is really something special, definitely one of my favorite cakes ever! So soft and so creamy, so full of flavor… it can hardly get any better!

I think I did not mention it yet, but the theme for the last two weeks of the year are hazelnuts. I love them dearly, I always did and there are so many things I put them into, I decided I might do a series about it.

I did not even have to particularly look for many recipes including hazelnuts, I really use them so often, I just had the difficulty of choosing among all those recipes that I make often and like so much.

Especially now, at Christmas time, with all the cookies and hazelnut cakes I’m baking, there are really hazelnuts to be found just about anywhere. Thank God, none of us has a nut allergy or any allergies whatsoever. 🙂

About the Egyptian Cake

Although this cake is called Egyptian, I really cannot say if it truly is an Egyptian recipe. But it became famous in Romania under this name and so I decided to keep it.

If you are Romanian and read at least a few Romanian food blogs, you might have found this recipe already. I have seen it on so many Romanian blogs, I find it difficult to give you a clear source. I wrote down the recipe I found on Laura Sava’s blog, but she gives another source as well.

So if you are looking for a decadent, truly amazing tasting dessert for Christmas, I can really recommend this Egyptian cake.

I have made it twice already and it was a hit with everybody who tasted it. My neighbor shoveled down 3 slices in one go, while complaining about getting too fat all the time…

His father ate almost a whole piece before remembering that he actually has a slight hazelnut allergy and should not be eating any at all… He got red in the face and started sweating, but it was not so bad in the end… 🙂 So, stay away from this blog for the next two weeks, if you have a hazelnut allergy, I don’t want to cause you any distress.

What more can I say about this hazelnut cake? It is sooo creamy and moist and although quite sweet due to all that caramel, you will still be able to taste those wonderful hazelnuts. You will love any morsel of it!

Egyptian Hazelnut Cake

Tips for making the hazelnut buttercream cake

  • The Egyptian hazelnut cake needs to be made one day in advance. Once assembled it has to spend one night in the refrigerator.
  • You can start two days in advance and make the layers, pudding for buttercream and caramel. They need to cool completely before assembling.
  • Especially the pudding should be prepared one day in advance, as it needs quite a long time to cool completely.

Kitchen scale:

  • Tip number 1 and the most important one as well: use a kitchen scale, it guarantees for best results. (Amazon affiliate link)
  • Cup measuring is just too imprecise, especially when it comes to making cakes that involve more than just throwing 5 ingredients in a bowl.

Steps:

  • Follow the indicated steps and work methodically one step after another.
  • Don’t start on two things simultaneously, finish one thing before you begin another. It will save you the stress.

Step 1:

  • Start with the layers, you will need to bake 3 of them separately and they will have to cool completely before you assemble everything.
  • If you make them one day in advance, cool completely, then wrap them individually in cling film, to prevent them from drying out or sticking together.

Step 2:

  • Prepare the pudding for the vanilla buttercream, it also needs to cool completely.
  • It can also be made one day in advance. In this case, place a piece of cling film directly on the surface of the pudding. That will prevent the pudding from forming a skin.

Step 3:

  • Make the caramel, it also needs to cool completely.
  • It can also be made one day in advance, but don’t crush it until you are ready to fold it into the heavy cream.
Egyptian Hazelnut Cake

Step 4:

  • Make the buttercream. Make sure you use soft, unsalted butter and that the pudding and the butter are both at room temperature, if their temperatures are different, the buttercream might break.
  • Beat the butter thoroughly before you start incorporating the pudding. The butter should be white and fluffy, beat it for at least 3-4 minutes.
  • Incorporate the pudding into the butter one tablespoon at a time, making sure that the buttercream is well mixed before adding the next portion.
  • Never taste the buttercream while you mix the butter with the pudding. The spit on your fingers or spoon will cause the buttercream to curdle.
How to fix broken buttercream? In case it happens…
  • If the buttercream still curdles/breaks, don’t despair, there is a way to fix that.
  • Place the bowl with the buttercream on a pot filled with water, but make sure that the water doesn’t touch the buttercream bowl (bani marie).
  • Heat gently (making sure that the water doesn’t come to a boil) while whisking continuously until the buttercream is smooth again.

Step 5:

  • Make the caramel cream.
  • Break the caramel into smaller pieces and process the pieces in a food processor until you have a fine powder. Alternatively you can crush the pieces to powder using a rolling pin.
  • Whisk the heavy cream until stiff.
  • Fold in the caramel powder and the ground hazelnuts.

Step 6:

  • Assemble the Egyptian hazelnut cake.
  • Reserve 5 or 6 tablespoons of the buttercream and set them aside for later.
  • Place one layer on a platter.
  • Divide the remaining buttercream into 3 parts and spread one part evenly on the first cake layer.
  • Divide the caramel filling into 3 parts and spread one part evenly on top of the buttercream filling. Place the second layer on top and repeat the procedure. Do the same with the third one.

Step 7:

  • Frost.
  • To finish the cake, frost it around the edges with the reserved buttercream.
  • Place in the fridge overnight to allow to set nicely and get really moist.

Step 8:

  • Finish the cake.
  • Just before serving: sprinkle the edges and the top with the extra ground hazelnuts and only the top with the unsweetened cocoa powder.

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sliced hazelnut cake with buttercream on a plate
egyptian cake with hazelnuts

Egyptian Hazelnut Cake

Yield: 14
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

This Egyptian cake is the creamiest, sweetest, comforting hazelnut cake you can imagine. Hazelnuts, buttercream caramel cream filling, can it get any better?

Ingredients

  • Hazelnut cake – you will bake 3 cakes, so divide the ingredients to three from the beginning:
  • 6 egg whites (the yolks are needed for the filling) (medium Germany, large US)
  • 6 tablespoons fine sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ 1 ½ cups ground hazelnuts
  • Buttercream filling:
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3 level tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 340 ml/ 11.5 fl.oz/ scant 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 170 g/ 6 oz/ 1 ½ sticks butter, soft
  • For the caramel filling:
  • 200 g/ 7 oz/ 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 220 ml/ 0.9 fl.oz/ scant 1 cup heavy/ double cream
  • 130 g/ 4.6 oz/ 1 1/3 cups ground hazelnuts
  • For the garnish:
  • 2-3 tablespoons ground hazelnuts
  • unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

Hazelnut cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius/ 340 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly butter the bottom of a 24 cm/ 9 inch springform and line it with baking paper. You will only use the bottom of the springform. Cut two more baking paper circles of the same size while you are at it.
  2. You will need three cakes that will be made and baked separately, one after another. For each cake you will need 2 egg whites, 2 tablespoons sugar, ½ tablespoon flour and 50 g/ 1.8 oz/ 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts.
  3. Whisk the 2 egg whites until stiff. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue beating until you cannot feel the sugar anymore. Sprinkle ½ tablespoon of the flour and 50 g/1.8 oz/ 1/2 cup of the hazelnuts on top and fold in carefully using a rubber spatula.
  4. Spread this mixture evenly on the prepared springform base and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.
  5. In the meantime prepare the mixture for the second cake, bake it and while that is in the oven, prepare the mixture for the third cake and then bake it as well. Leave all three cakes to cool on wire racks.

Buttercream filling:

  1. In a small pot mix together the egg yolks and the cornstarch. Little by little add the sugar and the milk while whisking all the time. Bring to a boil and let simmer on a low flame for about 6 minutes, stirring very often to prevent it from catching. Whisk continuously during the last 2 minutes.
  2. Set aside and stir in the vanilla extract. Place a piece of plastic foil directly on top of the mixture to prevent it from forming a skin and let cool completely.
  3. Take the butter out of the fridge to allow it to get soft.
  4. You can make the caramel during this waiting time, it also needs to get cold.
  5. When the pudding is cold and the butter soft, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the pudding one tablespoon at a time, while whisking well in between. Set aside.

Caramel and the cream filling:

  1. Place the sugar in a non-stick pan on a low flame. Let caramelize slowly, taking care it doesn't get too dark. Line a baking tray with baking paper, brush the paper with a little oil and pour the sugar on the oiled paper in a thin layer. Caution: it is very hot!
  2. Let get cold, then break it into smaller pieces and process the pieces in a food processor until you have a fine powder. Alternatively you can crush the pieces to powder using a rolling pin.
  3. Whisk the heavy cream until stiff. Fold in the caramel powder and the ground hazelnuts.
  4. Take 5 or 6 tablespoons of the buttercream and set aside for later.

Assemble the Egyptian cake:

  1. Place one cake layer on a platter. Divide the rest of the buttercream into 3 parts and spread one part evenly on the first cake.
  2. Divide the caramel filling into 3 parts and spread one part evenly on top of the buttercream filling. Place the second cake on top and repeat the procedure. Do the same with the third cake.
  3. To finish the cake, frost it around the edges with the buttercream you set aside at the beginning.
  4. Place in the fridge overnight to allow to set nicely and get really moist.
  5. Just before serving: sprinkle the edges and the top with the extra ground hazelnuts and only the top with the unsweetened cocoa powder.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 576Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 185mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 3gSugar: 38gProtein: 9g

Nutritional information is not always accurate.

Luana

Tuesday 5th of May 2020

Hello, Adina! I bought all the ingredients and I figured I'd give it a try, since it sounds like this cake will become my next obsession. Are the hazelnuts supposed to be roasted before grounding them or raw? Btw: I love your site and recommended it to a few people who are of Romanian heritage (like myself) and who remember having some of these dishes in their parents/grandparents' homes growing up. Cheers!

Adina

Tuesday 5th of May 2020

Hi Luana. So nice to read your comment and thank you for recommending the blog. The hazelnuts are not roasted, I buy already ground ones and use them as they are. Happy baking!

Teri

Saturday 19th of October 2019

Hello! Quick question. What is double cream And fine sugar? I love baking, it’s my thing, but I’m not professional or anything of the sort, just like to find recipes that sound amazing and make those. And this cake sounds like the best thing ever so I plan to make it soon, but haven’t ever read fine sugar or double cream in a recipe. I know, I’m not very well informed. I’m sorry! Thanks a ton!

Adina

Saturday 19th of October 2019

Hi Teri. Double cream is heavy cream, the kind of cream that can be whipped (with no sugar, in some countries they add sugar and preservatives to whipping cream, but that doesn't taste good). Fine sugar is granulated sugar that is a bit finer than the regular one, use regular if that is what you have.

Adina

Sunday 6th of October 2019

Hi Michelle. I think the egg whites will lose airiness and the cake layers will be too flat.

Michelle Greve

Sunday 6th of October 2019

Is there a reason why you can not make all the batter at once and weigh it out and bake together? Thank you

Adina

Monday 27th of August 2018

Hi, I am so happy you baked and liked the cake, it is one of my favorites. I should definitely bake it again soon! And I also think it gets better from day to day. Let me know if it works with freezing it, I have never tried that.

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