This Chocolate and Hazelnut Loaf Cake with Mascarpone Frosting is rich, crunchy, and creamy. Irresistible for any chocolate and hazelnut lover!
If you love all things chocolate and hazelnut, or if you are a Nutella lover, this is cake will become your absolute favourite. This Chocolate and Hazelnut Loaf Cake with Mascarpone Frosting is chocolate-y and rich.
Topped with a velvety-smooth mascarpone frosting and sprinkled with crushed hazelnuts and chocolate shavings- simply amazing! The frosting requires 4 basic ingredients and holds its shape perfectly!
This Chocolate and Hazelnut Mascarpone cake is simple to do and makes a perfect treat at any time of day.
Ingredients and Variations
For the chocolate loaf cake, you will need:
Flour - Cake flour works best for this recipe. If this is not available, you can substitute with AP flour. Make sure to weigh your ingredients using digital kitchen scales for accuracy.
Cocoa Powder - Use good quality unsweetened or Dutch-processed cocoa powder.
Eggs - For texture and stability. Make sure to use room-temperature eggs!
Vanilla Extract and Salt - Flavor enhancers
Sugar - Use granulated or castor sugar for this cake.
Butter - You will need room temperature butter, ideally unsalted.
Dark Chocolate - You can use dark chocolate chunks or chips. You'll need to melt the chocolate in the microwave before adding to the batter so make sure to break it into evenly-sized chunks if using a chocolate bar. You can also use milk chocolate if dark chocolate is not available.
Milk - Use semi-skimmed or whole dairy room temperature milk.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda - leavening agents.
For the mascarpone-hazelnut frosting, you will need:
Mascarpone - Bring the mascarpone out to room temperature for not more than 5 minutes before using.
Heavy Cream - or fresh/whipping cream.
Powdered Sugar - or icing sugar.
Vanilla Extract - Use good quality vanilla extract for flavoring.
Hazelnuts - Roasted halved hazelnuts for topping this cake.
Chocolate Shavings - Optional for added chocolatey flavor.
How to Make Chocolate and Hazelnut Loaf Cake
- Melt dark chocolate and butter in the microwave (heat in 30 second increments and stir after each increment until the chocolate is smooth and melted). Set aside and allow to cool (10-15 minutes, or place in a refrigerator for 5 minutes).
- Sift and mix the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt) and set aside.
- Place the eggs in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric mixer). Mix for 1 minute.
- Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and the cooled chocolate-butter mixture and mix for 1-2 minutes until well combined. The mixture should appear fudgy.
- Add the dry ingredients in 2 parts, alternating with milk and mix until just combined. Do not overmix the batter.
- Pour the batter in a lined 8x4" loaf tin and bake in a preheated oven at 175°C (350F) for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
How to Make Mascarpone Frosting
The recipe yields enough to cover an 8x4" loaf cake with a thin layer of frosting. Feel free to double the ingredients for more frosting!
- Beat the mascarpone using a stand mixer (with the paddle attachment).
- Beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla using a stand mixer (with the whisk attachment) - until stiff peaks form.
- Add the mascarpone and mix until combined (do not overmix or the mixture will be grainy).
- Spread frosting over the cooled cake (use a spatula or palette knife).
- Top with crushed roasted hazelnuts.
Tips for the Best Chocolate Hazelnut Loaf Cake
- For the best cake texture, use room temperature ingredients (especially flour, eggs, butter, and milk).
- For accuracy, weigh your ingredients using a digital kitchen scale rather than measuring cups. Ingredients for this recipe are quoted in grams. Quantities quoted in cups are approximations only.
- Do not overmix the batter once you add the dry ingredients, otherwise the cake will be dense.
- Do not overbake the cake or you risk drying it out. The cake should be ready once a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely before frosting with mascarpone, otherwise the frosting will melt! The cake may take some time to cool (up to 1 hour) - you can quicken the process by refrigerating it for 20-30 minutes.
- If the mascarpone frosting is not used immediately, transfer to a refrigerator until ready to use. Avoid leaving this at room temperature.
Store any leftovers of this Chocolate and Hazelnut Loaf Cake with Mascarpone Frosting in an airtight container in a refrigerator.
Avoid leaving mascarpone frosting outside the refrigerator is it can turn runny quite easily, especially in warmer environments.
This cake and frosting can be made ahead, however, I highly recommend frosting the before serving.
You can store unfrosted cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
I suggest making the frosting on the day of serving. If you won't be using the mascarpone frosting immediately, cover and place in a refrigerator up to a few hours.
Other Cake Recipes
Chocolate and Hazelnut Loaf Cake with Mascarpone Frosting
- 180 g cake flour (approx. 1½ cup)
- 25 g cocoa powder (approx. ¼ cup)
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 113 g unsalted butter softened (approx. ½ cup)
- 80 g dark chocolate chopped (approx. ⅔ cup)
- 2 medium-sized eggs
- 200 g granulated sugar (1 cup)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 165 mL milk semi-skimmed or whole (approx. ¾ cup minus 2 tsp.)
- 150 g mascarpone cheese (approx. ⅔ cup)
- 150 g heavy cream (approx. ⅔ cup)
- 75 g powdered sugar (approx. ⅔ cup)
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 70 g roasted hazelnuts halved (2.5 oz)
- 2 tbsp. chocolate shavings optional
- Preheat oven to 175°C (350F) and line an 8x4" loaf tin with parchment paper.
- Place butter and dark chocolate chunks in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high at 20 second increments, stirring well after each heating round until butter and chocolate are melted and smooth. Set aside and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before using.
- Sift and mix flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Place eggs in a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium for 1 minute. Add vanilla extract, sugar, and cooled butter-chocolate mixture and mix for another 1-2 minutes until well combined. Mixture should be slightly thick and fudgy.
- Add dry ingredients, alternating with milk, in two additions and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into loaf tin and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. In the meantime, prepare mascarpone frosting.
- Allow cake to cool for 5-10 minutes in loaf tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Do not frost cake until its completely cooled down.
- Place mascarpone in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 30 seconds and set aside
- Place powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with this whisk attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
- Add mascarpone and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute until ingredients are combined and stiff peaks form. Do not overmix or the frosting will become grainy.
- Store mascarpone frosting in refrigerator until ready to frost cupcakes.
- Spread mascarpone frosting evenly on cooled cake using spatula or palette knife. Top with crushed hazelnuts and chocolate shavings.