This might be the best cake ever invented. It is crumbly and moist and absolutely scrumptious! The coffee icing enhances the hazelnut flavour of the cake, and vice versa. The combination is truly one made in heaven!
My mom baked me this cake as a welcome home greeting over my holiday break. My family demolished it within a day, but not before I snapped a hasty picture of it — isn’t its heart shape just adorable?
I have stolen the recipe from my mom’s collection of buttery French Canadian recipes and just have to share it with the world. Despite it being a perfect wintery cake, I have also baked this in the summer, and can honestly say it is a hit every season.
Hazelnut Cake with Coffee Icing
for the cake
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup hazelnuts, crushed in the food processor
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
for the icing
butter, at room temperature
2-3 tsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
2. In a bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until fully combined. Add the vanilla and milk and beat again.
3. Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and crush until they are finely ground — avoid making the mixture too fine.
4. Combine the hazelnuts with 1 tbsp of flour; mix thoroughly, then add the rest of the flour and the baking powder and salt. Stir the dry ingredients with a fork until well combined.
5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, beating on low until the batter is smooth and uniform. Transfer the batter into a greased cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
6. Allow the cake to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring into a wire rack to cool completely.
7. While the cake is cooling, prepare the icing by creaming together the butter and icing sugar. Dissolve the instant coffee into a tsp of boiling water and add it to the butter and sugar slowly. If the icing gets too liquid from the hot coffee, place the entire bowl into the fridge or freezer to reach the desired consistency.
8. To make the icing, begin by blending a small amount of butter and icing sugar together. Slowly add the coffee to the mixture, adding more sugar and butter as needed until the desired consistency and volume is reached.
9. Once the cake is cooled, place it on your serving dish and ice it. Serve with coffee or tea, any time of year!