Save on Pinterest

Hazelnut Mocha Torte

This dessert is reminiscent of fine European cakes. I recently made it for my mother, who is German, and it brought back fond memories for her.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Bake: 25 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups ground hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • Additional ground hazelnuts
  • Whole hazelnuts and chocolate leaves


  • In a large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. Combine hazelnuts and flour; fold into batter, 1/4 cup at a time. Spoon into two greased 9-in. round baking pans lined with waxed paper.
  • Bake at 300° for 25-30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
  • In a small heavy saucepan, combine the ganache ingredients; cook and stir over low heat until chocolate and butter are melted. Remove from the heat. Set saucepan in ice; stir for 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Remove from ice and set aside.
  • For buttercream, combine sugar and water in a large heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add a small amount of hot mixture to egg yolks; return all to pan. Cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Gradually beat in cooked sugar mixture. Beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. If necessary, refrigerate until buttercream reaches spreading consistency.
  • Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with half of ganache to within 1/4 in. of edges. Top with second cake layer and remaining ganache. Freeze for 5 minutes. Spread hazelnuts into sides of cake. Garnish with whole hazelnuts and chocolate leaves. Refrigerate.

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • Carrie222
    Jun 12, 2015

    The cake turned out well, but I have some questions/comments: 1. My 9" cake isn't as tall as the picture. The cake layers are pretty thin. What's the diameter of the cake in the picture? I'm thinking of doubling it next time and going for 4 layers. 2. The waxed paper was new to me. I had to play with it to really get it down in the corners. 3. The batter doesn't smooth out like a typical cake. I played with that, too, and got better with the 2nd layer. 4. I had to do step 4 twice. I think we are to break the yokes and mix them before we start this process. I'm new to this as well, so cooked some of the yoke the fist time. The second time, I broke yokes and went more gradually than the instructions. Is that right? Seems fine now. 5. Step 6 does skip over the actual frosting. To be safe, I froze the cake again for a few minutes before starting that. I learned a lot!

  • Magnificent7
    Dec 18, 2013

    It was a huge success!!!!

  • Ursula.USA
    Feb 10, 2013

    I made this Mocha Torte for my German Mother's birthday last month - she loved it - and so did everyone else at the dinner party. It tasted and looked like it came from a european bakery ... will make again.

  • sstetzel
    Jun 14, 2011

    The last three steps in the instructions are all about frosting the cake.

  • sdeb
    Jun 13, 2011

    Didn't you skip the frosting the cake part of the instructions? Unless I'm totally missing it.. (Buttercream)?

  • Catherine Louise
    Mar 24, 2011

    This cake was AMAZING! I have never had so many compliments on a cake. Perfect for a special occasion. Will be making it again!

  • mkrekeler
    Oct 18, 2009

    I keep reading this recipe and haven't the instructions about spreading the buttercream icing left off?

  • Nanykat
    Oct 6, 2009

    What a cake!Truly the best one I have ever made. It isn't easy but well worth it!