Easter Hazelnut Torte with Chocolate Orange Buttercream Recipe

March 17, 2016

Hello everyone! It’s Emma back to say hi with my March column for decor8 and today I’m celebrating Easter with you and giving you a sweet treat idea for your upcoming celebration. I always see Easter as the turn in the season – the days can still be beautifully warm but as three o’clock hits the air temp becomes crisp and a jumper has to be pulled on. This year, however, Easter is super early and with the above average sunny and hot days that we have been experiencing here it’s all set to still feel like summer. Many of you will be experiencing the first hint of spring with blossom on the trees, daffodils shoots poking through the soil and longer, brighter days. It’s such an awakening time of year after the hibernation of a long winter so enjoy the change!

Easter Hazelnut Torte with Chocolate Orange Buttercream Recipe

Emma Duckworth for decor8

Excitingly I’ve hit my third trimester in my pregnancy and as much as I love long hot summer days, I am longing for the cooler air of autumn to provide some respite (I’m in Sydney, Australia). The nights are still so warm and with this growing belly of mine it’s harder to get a full nights sleep comfortably. I like to think it of getting prepared for the broken nights sleep when the baby comes! My girls are relishing in the prospect of baby’s arrival. Being so close in age themselves (only twelve months apart) this experience of having a younger sibling to care for is exciting them to no end – it is quite the loveliest thing to see.

Easter Hazelnut Torte with Chocolate Orange Buttercream Recipe

Emma Duckworth for decor8

Back to Easter. With a long weekend we usually celebrate with a family get together, usually breakfast and have a mini Easter egg hunt in the garden. Regardless of what time of day it is our get together will have to involve chocolate and of course Easter eggs (my two still sweetly believe in the Easter bunny!). I’m thinking a breakfast of french crepes with chocolate sauce (recipe on my blog here) and a selection of fruits and good ol’ avo on sour dough (inspired by Rachel’s last column)… And of course this hazelnut cake that can easily be made into cupcakes if you prefer.

Easter Hazelnut Torte with Chocolate Orange Buttercream Recipe

Emma Duckworth for decor8

I love love love nuts in cake and this hazelnut torte is delicious! My aim was to keep the components of the recipe simple and so have teamed the cake with a fragrant orange buttercream. This buttercream packs a bunch with jaffa flavour which is delicious (I’m a strong fan of chocolate orange anything!!) but if this isn’t your thing then team the torte with a simple chocolate buttercream. The variety of Easter eggs that you decorate with on the top of the cake will give you an additional hit of chocolate!. You should have seen my girls’ eyes light up when they saw all the eggs – they thought they were in chocolate heaven!!

For The Cake:
1 Cup plain flour
1 Cup hazelnut meal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 Cup unsalted butter, softened
1 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 Cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts (optional)
Selection of edible Easter eggs of your choice

For The Frosting:
2 c unsalted butter, softened*
4 c powdered sugar
1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
a pinch of kosher salt
zest of one orange
2 tsp orange juice

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together flour, hazelnut meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and then put to one side.
3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then mix in vanilla extract.
5. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour in three portions, alternating with two portions of sour cream. Mix until a few streaks of flour remain. Stir in chopped hazelnuts if you would like a bit of crunch throughout the sponge (this is optional).
6. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Smooth batter evenly in pans.
7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cakes are lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
8. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then, run a knife around the edges to loosen the cakes. Transfer cakes from pans to a wire rack to cool completely.
9. In a separate bowl beat all frosting ingredients together until smooth.

Easter Hazelnut Torte with Chocolate Orange Buttercream Recipe

Emma Duckworth for decor8

10. To construct the cake: Place one layer of sponge cake on your cake stand or plate, spoon buttercream and spread to edges. Place second layer of cake on buttercream and spoon a final buttercream layer on the top. Allow to cool in the fridge for 20 mins. This will firm up the buttercream and give your cake more stability. Now is your chance to get creative with the top. I sprinkled a layer of flaked white chocolate in an arc shape and using this as my ‘template’ then topped with varying sizing of Easter eggs. The different scale and proportion of the eggs allows the top of the cake to have a main focal point (here it’s the large egg cracked oped with mini ones spilling out).

Easter Hazelnut Torte with Chocolate Orange Buttercream Recipe

Emma Duckworth for decor8

Easter Hazelnut Torte with Chocolate Orange Buttercream Recipe

Emma Duckworth for decor8

Enjoy your Easter dear readers and I’ll see you next month on 16th. We’ll have just come back from a week in Bali on a long awaited for family holiday and so I am thinking of a sweet treat inspired by the tropics. – Emma

(Photography, Styling, Recipe and Text: Emma Duckworth. Editor: Holly Becker)


  • Reply Ani March 17, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    I love the steyle of this messy easter cake :)

    Looks fabulous :)


    ani from ani hearts

  • Reply Leanne March 17, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    this looks and sounds incredible! such a great cake to bake for the family at easter x

  • Reply Sasha | Eat Me Blog March 17, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    The cake is georgeous !!! Definitely going to make it for Easter. And thank you for the lovely decorating idea

  • Reply marmari March 19, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Am I missing something? The buttercream appears to be chocolate but there’s no mention of it in the recipe as far as I can see?

  • Reply Samantha March 19, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    There’s definitely something missing in the buttercream recipe.

  • Reply Judit March 19, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Que buena pinta!!

  • Reply hopefray March 20, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    I love the messy decoration. Plus, the recipe sounds delicious!

  • Reply Agata March 21, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Easter cake dreams! <3 I'm really glad, I am going to have a 1 week break from my diet, starting tomorrow :D

  • Reply LL March 27, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Where is the chocolate in the frosting? I think an ingredient is missing!

  • Reply Emma Duckworth March 28, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    Thanks so much Ani – it’s a lovely cake to make and the hazelnut sponge is so light. Makes a nice difference not having chocolate sponge when there is chocolate frosting and extra chocolate on the top!!

  • Reply Emma Duckworth March 28, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Yes you are right – there is an ingredient missing in the frosting recipe – well spotted!!! Apologies for that! You need to add 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder that has been sifted. In step 9 beat it together with all the other frosting ingredients. Enjoy!

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