Spiced Layer Cake with Hazelnuts

Photography: Tango | Food Styling: Michelle Diamond | Prop Styling: Caroline Simon

  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Total time 3 hours
  • Portion size 16 servings


Lemon Buttercream:
Hazelnut Praline:


In small bowl, combine cherries and apricots. Pour rum over top; let stand for 1 hour. Strain fruit, reserving soaking liquid. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.

In separate large bowl, using electric mixer, beat together sugar, oil, sour cream and molasses; beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in reserved soaking liquid. Stir in flour mixture alternately with milk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of milk. Gently fold in hazelnuts and reserved fruit.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans; line with parchment paper. Divide batter evenly among pans; bake until tester inserted in centre comes out with a few moist crumbs adhering, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly in pans on racks. Turn out directly onto racks; let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)

Lemon Buttercream

In large bowl, beat butter until creamy; gradually beat in icing sugar, beating well after each addition. Beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Gently fold in lemon curd and grated lemon zest. (Make-ahead: Can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes; beat again before using.)

Hazelnut Praline

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Chop a few hazelnuts; place in heatproof bowl along with remaining whole hazelnuts. In microwave-safe measuring cup, microwave corn syrup until boiling, 40 to 45 seconds; pour over hazelnuts, mixing to coat well. Spread mixture on baking sheet, separating nuts into single layer. Bake for 15 minutes; let cool completely on rack. (Make-ahead: Can be stored in airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature).

Place strips of waxed paper on bottom of serving plate. Place one cake on top (trimming to even top if needed). Cover with layer of buttercream. Repeat layers; top with remaining cake. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Spread remaining buttercream over cake. Remove waxed paper strips. Garnish with Hazelnut Praline.

Test Kitchen Tip: The holidays are busy! Make this cake ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

Nutritional facts PER SERVING: about

  • Calories 810
  • Total fat 39 g
  • Saturated fat 13 g
  • Sodium 215 mg
  • Total carbohydrate 108 g
  • Fibre 3 g
  • Sugars 87 g
  • Protein 7 g
  • Iron 1.3 mg
Share X
Baking & Desserts

Spiced Layer Cake with Hazelnuts