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Nutella lovers, this cake recipe is the stuff your decadent dreams are made of: rich chocolate hazelnut Nutella cake with creamy Nutella frosting and fudgy Nutella ganache, adorned with Ferraro Rocher candy. And it’s easier to make than you might think; the cake batter whips up by hand, and the frosting takes just 5 minutes!

nutella cake recipe with nutella frosting on marble and wood cake stand

I love a gorgeous cake as much as the next girl! But if you’re anything like me, you might see a show stopping cake and feel a little intimidated.

Cakes sometimes seem like more work than they’re worth, I haven’t mastered the art of patience for chocolate-making, and I seem to have about a 50/50 success rate with the elusive macaron (at least here in Florida).

So believe me when I tell you that if I can make this Nutella cake, then you certainly can!

This cake is actually quite easy to make, especially considering it looks like something from a fancy bakery. And this is one cake that’s definitely worth the effort. With fudgy chocolate hazelnut cake, Nutella buttercream, rich Nutella ganache, and Ferraro Rocher candy, it’s a Nutella lover’s dream.

romantic chocolate hazelnut cake for date night or valentines day

The chocolate Nutella cake batter whips up easily by hand, and it bakes in just one pan. (Then later after the cake is cool, we cut it in half horizontally to make it into a layer cake.) Same thing with the Nutella buttercream frosting; one bowl and about five minutes.

With cake and frosting, you have all the workings of a fully functional cake and you can definitely stop there. Or you can go just a little further and make Nutella ganache, which I recommend for two reasons: 1) it basically makes itself (really; all you have to do is stir together Nutella and warm cream), and 2) we’ve come this far, why not gild the lily?!

Pipe some pretty rosettes on the top (the piping bag and star tip do the heavy lifting here), and then add a Ferraro Rocher on top of each rosette. A sprinkle of finely chopped hazelnuts is optional, but completes the look.

front view of sliced ferraro rocher layer cake

The end result is nothing less than show-stopping, gasp-inducing, bakery-quality cake. It’s the perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day, date night, and birthday parties. Or any time you just want a really delicious cake, and to show whoever you make it for that you think they’re worth making cake for. And that says a lot.

Anyone can stop at a bakery and pick up a cake, but this is something truly special!

Is it Nutella overload? Well, yes! But in the best way possible.

partially eaten slice of nutella cake on small gold plate

Ferraro Rocher Cake Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions

This is a small Nutella cake recipe. We bake the batter in a 6-inch springform pan, and then slice it in half horizontally to end up with two cake rounds to make a layer cake.

Note that you don’t necessarily need a springform pan. If you butter and flour a 6-inch round cake pan and then line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper that’s trimmed to fit in the bottom, you should be just fine.

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

Chocolate Nutella Cake Ingredients

ferraro rocher nutella cake ingredients
  • Flour – Use regular all-purpose flour here; and it’s not a typo, we only need 2/3 cup of flour for this whole cake.
  • Sugar – We use granulated white sugar to sweeten this cake.
  • Unsweetened natural cocoa powder – I usually use Hershey’s because it’s readily available and I get good results with it. However, you can use any brand of unsweetened natural cocoa powder you like, just don’t use Dutch-processed here.
  • Baking soda – This is the leavening agent in our cake. The baking soda is activated by the liquid and the acid in our cake batter (the acid comes from the natural – not Dutch-processed or alkalized – cocoa powder and from the molasses). Once activated, baking soda produces carbon dioxide and causes the cake to rise.
  • Salt – Yes, we even need a little bit of salt in sweet recipes. Salt is a natural flavor enhancer that pulls out the flavor of everything else. Here, a little bit of salt makes the chocolate taste more like chocolate!
  • Instant espresso powder – This is optional; it isn’t here to make the cake taste like coffee. Rather, the espresso powder pulls out the natural coffee flavor notes in chocolate.
  • Nutella – Nutella in the cake batter is optional. It will give a cake a denser texture like a cross between brownies and cake. If you want a lighter, fluffier cake, simply omit the Nutella in the cake batter without adding anything to substitute it.
  • Hot water – The hot water dissolves the Nutella. If you aren’t using the Nutella here, you can use warm water instead of hot.
  • Vegetable oil – We use oil instead of butter for a lighter cake with a fluffier crumb (as opposed to cake made with butter, which is typically denser).
  • Egg – Egg acts as a wet ingredient here, and helps give our cake structure and the perfect texture.
  • Molasses – This adds rich flavor notes that play with the natural nuances in chocolate.
  • Vanilla extract – You likely won’t be able to pull out the flavor of vanilla here; but that doesn’t mean it’s not here for a reason! Vanilla adds depth and complex background flavor. Here, it’s another ingredient that helps bring out the notes in the chocolate.
  • Hazelnut extract – This is completely optional. It adds an underlying nutty flavor that echos Nutella.

Nutella Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

nutella buttercream frosting ingredients
  • Unsalted butter – This Nutella frosting is a type of American buttercream, and as such, in uses a base of butter and powdered sugar. If you only have salted butter on hand, you can use that and omit the added salt. Make sure the butter is at room temperature for the perfect smooth, creamy consistency.
  • Nutella – We can’t have Nutella frosting without Nutella!
  • Powdered sugar – In American buttercream frosting recipes, the powdered sugar acts as a sweetener and also provides stability.
  • Unsweetened natural cocoa powder – Sift the cocoa powder with the powdered sugar for a smooth buttercream.
  • Salt – Salt adds balance and elevates the flavor of everything else.
  • Heavy whipping cream – A touch of cream makes this frosting ultra creamy and decadent and perfectly spread-able.

Other Ingredients

  • Butter and flour – This is for the cake pan, to make sure the cake doesn’t stick. Yes friends, we really need to take this extra precautionary step. You’ve come this far and devoted yourself to making a top-notch cake, it would be a crying shame for it to stick in the pan!
  • Ferraro Rocher candy – For decorating the top of the cake.
  • Finely chopped roasted hazelnuts (unsalted) – These are optional; they’re decorative for the top of the cake and also help drive home the chocolate + hazelnut combination.

Nutella Ganache Ingredients

nutella ganache ingredients
  • Nutella – Nutella is the star here! We’re basically adding enough cream to make the Nutella into a thick hot fudge-like consistency so we can pour it on top of our cake and let it drip down the sides.
  • Heavy whipping cream – Make sure to warm the cream so it blends easily into the Nutella.

Instructions

This cake is easy to make and suitable for beginner-level bakers. However, even though the steps aren’t hard, they are time-consuming, mostly because of chill times. Perfection takes time, friends! Think of this cake as a labor of love.

Make the Nutella Cake Batter

how to make nutella cake batter
  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the Nutella and hot water in a medium bowl; once combined, whisk in the oil, egg, molasses, vanilla, and hazelnut extract.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry all at once, and whisk to combine.
  4. Be careful not to over-mix.

Bake the Cake

bake the nutella cake
  1. Butter and flour a 6-inch round springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper that’s been trimmed to fit inside. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
  2. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes in a preheated 350F oven. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes), and then refrigerate 15 minutes to chill. (The cake will have an oddly bubbled/textured top; that’s normal.)

Make the Nutella Buttercream

how to make nutella frosting
  1. Add the butter and Nutella to a large bowl, and use a handheld electric mixer to beat until well-combined. It’ll have a texture similar to chocolate pudding.
  2. Sift in the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.
  3. Beat until fully incorporated (the mixture will be lumpy). Lastly, add the cream.
  4. Beat until smooth and creamy. If the buttercream is too thick, add a splash more cream; if it’s too runny, add a little more powdered sugar. Set aside about 1 cup of buttercream to decorate the top of the cake.

Make the Nutella Ganache

how to make nutella ganache
  1. Stir together the Nutella and warm cream in a small bowl until smooth. (You can briefly heat it up to help it combine if need be.)
  2. Let it cool until the ganache is no longer warm, but is still pourable, about 15 minutes (it can’t be warm or it will melt the buttercream).

Assemble the Cake

how to frost a 2 layer cake
  1. Once the cake is cooled completely, cut it in half horizontally (so you can make a 2-layer cake).
  2. Put 1 cake half onto a cake stand. Spread about 3/4 cup of buttercream on top.
  3. Place the second cake half on top of the buttercream. Frost the sides and top of the cake evenly with the remaining buttercream (keeping the reserved 1 cup of buttercream to decorate the top later). Chill the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  4. Pour the ganache on top of the cake, letting it drip decoratively down the sides. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour before decorating the top of the cake (this is necessary so the frosting rosettes don’t slide off the top).

Decorate the Cake

decorating ferraro rocher cake
  1. Once the ganache is set, you can decorate the top. Put the reserved 1 cup buttercream into a piping bag fitted with an open star piping tip. Pipe 6 to 8 rosettes evenly spaced around the outer edge of the cake on top. 
  2. Unwrap the Ferraro Rocher candies and put 1 on top of each of the 8 buttercream rosettes. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts decoratively around the top of the cake.

Storage

You can make the cake the day before. Once it’s cool, wrap it and leave it at room temperature overnight.

And you can make the Nutella frosting well in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you want to use the buttercream, let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to soften, and then beat it in a stand mixer or using an electric hand mixer until smooth and creamy.

Once the cake is frosted and decorated, you can store it wrapped well in the fridge for up to 3 days before it starts to dry out. After refrigerating, let the cake sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before serving so the frosting can soften.

partially eaten slice of nutella cake with cake on stand in background

Tips

  • Nutella in the cake batter. When I was developing this cake recipe, I made it both with and without Nutella in the cake. It was a success both ways, just different. Without Nutella in the batter, this chocolate cake is lighter and fluffier. With Nutella added, it’s a denser, richer cake with a texture like a cross between brownies and cake. You make the call.
  • Make sure to let the cake cool fully before cutting it in half. I know waiting is no fun, but it needs to be fully cool. We’re in it, let’s do it right!
  • Take the chill off. The frosting will stiffen in the fridge, so I recommend letting the cake sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving after it’s been refrigerated.
nutella cake recipe with buttercream on marble and wood cake stand

Nutella Cake Recipe FAQs

Does Nutella Buttercream Need to be Refrigerated?

In my post on vanilla buttercream frosting, I talk in depth about why regular American buttercream doesn’t have to be refrigerated immediately.

With a base of butter and powdered sugar, Nutella frosting is a type of American buttercream. I’ve left it out at room temperature for a couple days without any issues. However, if you want to err on the side of caution, store it refrigerated.

slice of chocolate hazelnut ferraro rocher cake

How Do You Drip Nutella on a Cake?

As it is, Nutella is a bit too thick to drip onto a cake. But it’s easy to make into Nutella ganache, which you can drip beautifully down the sides of a cake!

Here are a few tips to help you get perfect Nutella drips on a cake:

  • You’ll need to thin out the Nutella a little bit; I recommend using heavy whipping cream. Warm the cream to help the Nutella and cream combine well.
  • If you’re having trouble getting it to combine or getting rid of lumps, you can briefly heat the mixture. Try 5 to 10 seconds in the microwave, or use a water bath. Stir gently, but keep stirring until the ganache is smooth.
  • Here’s where it gets a little bit tricky. The Nutella/cream mixture (aka Nutella ganache) will be a little bit warm, but it can’t be warm when you pour it on the cake (otherwise it’ll all run off). You’ll need to let the ganache cool until it’s no longer warm, but is still pourable. This takes about 15 minutes at room temperature.
  • When your ganache is the right temperature, pour it on top of the cake. Go light because you can always add more but you can’t take it off! Use an offset spatula to smooth the ganache across the top of the cake, gently pushing a little bit over the outer edge so it can drip down the sides.
  • Now that you have your gorgeous Nutella drips on the side of your cake, make sure to chill it for 1 hour in the fridge before piping buttercream on top. I’m speaking from experience here; otherwise, the beautiful buttercream rosettes will slide right off!

More Show-Stopping Decadent Cakes to Try

close up top view of nutella cake showing ganache and ferraro rocher candy

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Nutella Cake Recipe with Nutella Frosting

Prep Time1 minute
Cook Time45 minutes
Other Time2 hours 30 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Nutella lovers, this cake recipe is the stuff your decadent dreams are made of: rich chocolate hazelnut Nutella cake with creamy Nutella frosting and fudgy Nutella ganache, adorned with Ferraro Rocher candy. And it’s easier to make than you might think; the cake batter whips up by hand, and the frosting takes just 5 minutes!

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Ingredients
 

Chocolate Nutella Cake:

Nutella Buttercream Frosting:

Nutella Ganache:

  • 1/4 cup Nutella
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream warm

Other:

Instructions
 

For the Chocolate Nutella Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 6-inch round springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper that’s been trimmed to fit inside.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder in a large bowl. Whisk together the Nutella and hot water in a medium bowl; once combined, whisk in the oil, egg, molasses, vanilla, and hazelnut extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry all at once, and whisk to combine. Be careful not to over-mix.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes), and then refrigerate 15 minutes to chill.

For the Nutella Buttercream Frosting:

  • Add the butter and Nutella to a large bowl, and use a handheld electric mixer to beat until well-combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt, and beat until fully incorporated (the mixture will be lumpy). Lastly, add the cream and beat until smooth and creamy.
  • If the buttercream is too thick, add a splash more cream; if it’s too runny, add a little more powdered sugar.
  • Set aside about 1 cup of buttercream to decorate the top of the cake.

To Assemble the Cake:

  • Once the cake is cooled completely, cut it in half horizontally (so you can make a 2-layer cake).
  • Put 1 cake half onto a cake stand. Spread about 3/4 cup of buttercream on top.
  • Place the second cake half on top of the buttercream.
  • Frost the sides and top of the cake evenly with the remaining buttercream (keeping the reserved 1 cup of buttercream to decorate the top later).
  • Chill the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes.

For the Nutella Ganache:

  • Once the cake is chilled, make the ganache.
  • Stir together the Nutella and warm cream in a small bowl until smooth. (You can briefly heat it up to help it combine if need be.) Let it cool until the ganache is no longer warm, but is still pourable, about 15 minutes (it can’t be warm or it will melt the buttercream).
  • Pour the ganache on top of the cake, letting it drip decoratively down the sides. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour before decorating the top of the cake (this is necessary so the frosting rosettes don’t slide off the top).

To Decorate the Cake:

  • Once the ganache is set, you can decorate the top. Put the reserved 1 cup buttercream into a piping bag fitted with an open star piping tip. Pipe 6 to 8 rosettes evenly spaced around the outer edge of the cake on top.
  • Unwrap the Ferraro Rocher candies and put 1 on top of each of the 8 buttercream rosettes.
  • Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts decoratively around the top of the cake.
  • Serve.

Notes

  • Nutella in the Cake Batter: This is completely optional. If you leave it out, you’ll have a fluffy, moist chocolate cake. If you add it, you’ll have a denser moist chocolate cake with a texture that’s like a cross between brownies and cake.
  • Make Ahead (Cake): You can make the cake the day before. Once it’s cool, wrap it and leave it at room temperature overnight.
  • Make Ahead (Frosting): You can make the Nutella frosting well in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you want to use the buttercream, let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to soften, and then beat it in a stand mixer or using an electric hand mixer until smooth and creamy.
  • Storage: Once the cake is frosted and decorated, you can store it wrapped well in the fridge for up to 3 days before it starts to dry out. After refrigerating, let the cake sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before serving so the frosting can soften.

Nutrition

Calories: 786kcal | Carbohydrates: 100g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 212mg | Potassium: 325mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 84g | Vitamin A: 811IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Ferraro Rocher Cake, Ferraro Rocher Cake Recipe, Nutella Buttercream, Nutella Buttercream Frosting, Nutella Cake, Nutella Cake Recipe, Nutella Frosting, Nutella Frosting Recipe

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Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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