Gianduja and Hazelnut Cake

Torta Nocciola e Gianduia - Torta o Ragione

In the months of preparation before a marathon watching cakes in bakery windows is like watching National Geographic: beautiful places where I cannot go.
I saw a similar cake in the pastry shop near my house. My version is a gianduja and hazelnut cake composed of sponge cake discs with vanilla syrup, hazelnut Bavarian cream, hazelnut streusel and glazed with gianduja ganache.

Apart from the looks I was intrigued by the “streusel”. I didn’t know what it was so I had to google it.
Streusel is a mix of flour, butter, and a distinctive ingredient, in this case hazelnut. The streusel is baked in the oven then crumbled. I think it’s the streusel that gives this cake the extra kick.

A tip: the hazelnut paste has to be 100%, i.e. sugar-free.

I am not sure I got the ingredients and balance right for this Gianduja and Hazelnut Cake but my mum who doesn’t usually eat cakes/desserts asked for the second round and she congratulated with me.
A day to be remembered 😊

Gianduja and Hazelnut Cake

Prep Time1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Ingredients for a 20 cm (8 in) cake ring or pan


For the hazelnut Bavarian cream:

  • 250 g milk 8.8 oz
  • 100 g egg yolk 3.5 oz
  • 140 g sugar 4.9 oz
  • 12 g gelatin sheets, roughly 2 sheets (0.4 oz)
  • 60 g hazelnut paste, pure (2.1 oz)
  • 500 g whipped cream 17.6 oz

For the hazelnut streusel:

  • 130 g hazelnuts 4.6 oz
  • 100 g flour 3.5 oz
  • 100 g butter 3.5 oz
  • 80 g brown sugar 2.8 oz
  • 2 pinches of salt

For the gianduja ganache:

  • 200 g gianduja chocolate 7 oz
  • 180 g whipping cream 6.3 oz

For the vanilla syrup:

  • 250 g water 8.8 oz
  • 100 g sugar 3.5 oz
  • powdered vanilla bourbon the tip of a tsp.


For the hazelnut Bavarian cream:

  • Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water for 10 minutes.
  • Heat the milk in a small pot.
  • Combine the sugar with the egg yolks, then add the boiling milk and stir until the yolks are dissolved.
  • Put back in the pot and keep cooking while stirring constantly. When it reaches the temperature of 82° C (179° F), filter the custard cream through a colander into another bowl.
  • Wring the gelatin sheets and add them to the cream together with the hazelnut paste. Whisk until well combined. Let it cool off.
  • Whip the cream to a medium firm consistency. When the cream will have reached the 30° C (86° F)
  • fold to whipped cream into the cream.

For the hazelnut streusel:

  • Preheat the oven at 160° C (320° F).
  • Chop the hazelnuts in a food processor. Transfer them in the bowl of a stand mixer together with the flour and the brown sugar. Work briefly with the paddle attachment.
  • Add the butter at room temperature and let it work until the butter is absorbed.
  • The crumble should be coarse.
  • Place the crumble on an oven tray lined with baking paper, and bake for 15 min approx.
  • Let the streusel cool completely.

For the vanilla syrup:

  • In a small pot heat the water. Add the sugar and when it is melted, remove from heat and add the vanilla. Leave it there for 10-15 minutes.


  • Place a 20 cm / 7 in pastry ring on top of a cake board covered with baking paper. Cover the inside with cake tape (or with a strip of baking paper).
  • Place a sponge cake disc inside the ring.
  • Moisten the top of the cake with the vanilla syrup.
  • Pour part of the hazelnut cream (about 30%) on top of the sponge cake and distribute evenly.
  • Scatter some of the streusel on top of the cream.
  • Place the second sponge cake disc over it, pressing gently down. Moisten with the vanilla syrup like for the bottom layer.
  • Pour the remaining hazelnut Bavarian cream and level with a long spatula.
  • Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours.


  • Heat the cream in a small pot. Meanwhile chop the gianduja chocolate with a kitchen knife or in a mixer.
  • When the cream starts to boil add it to the chocolate and stir with a whisk to melt it completely.
  • Take out the cake and remove it from the pastry ring by heating up the sides with a blow torch (or with the palm of your hands).
  • Glaze the cake with the gianduja ganache and put it back in the fridge for at least 1 hour.


It is possible to store the cake in the freezer. Take it out 30-45 minutes before serving. This way the consistency will be more like a gelato cake or semifreddo.
For photographic purposes the cake in the shots has been made with a 18 cm (7 in) pastry ring.
Did you try this recipe?Mention @tortaoragione and tag #tortaoragione!

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