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Low-Carb Chocolate Hazelnut Celebration Cake

4.7 stars, average of 244 ratings

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In my former life, if you wanted to curry favour with me you would buy me Ferrero Rochers. That chocolate and hazelnut combination just trips my switch and it’s one of my favourite combinations still. It was my birthday recently and I thought what better excuse to pull out the big guns and make a truly spectacular cake?

This recipe is based on an old olive oil cake that I loved making, so I re-invented it, keto-style. I’m not going to lie, there is some effort involved, but LOOK at the end result!

A few notes: I used a combination of almond and hazelnut flours. Don’t be tempted to increase the hazelnut flour though. While the right amount will give it a Nutella-like flavour, too much hazelnut flour would increase the carbs and even give your cake a bitter taste. Also, most of the bitterness comes from the peel so make sure to use hazelnut meal from peeled hazelnuts.

Don’t use extra virgin olive oil, not only is it expensive, the flavour is too strong for this recipe. Use a mild tasting olive oil instead.

Whipping the ganache for the frosting makes it easier to spread and also increases the mass of the ganache, so you don’t need to use as much.

And I know that you’re looking at the serving size and thinking 1/16th of a cake? That’s just a crumb! Nope. I love chocolate and I love cake and I could barely make it through a slice.

This cake is intense and rich and all of the good things in the world, and 1/16th is more than enough. Enjoy!

Hands-on Overall

Allergy information for Low-Carb Chocolate Hazelnut Celebration Cake

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Nightshade free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free


  • Recipe can be made dairy-free or coconut-free.

Nutritional values (per serving)

Net carbs7.3 grams
Protein9.5 grams
Fat51.1 grams
Calories517 kcal
Calories from carbs 6%, protein 7%, fat 87%
Total carbs12.9 gramsFiber5.6 gramsSugars4 gramsSaturated fat14.9 gramsSodium110 mg(5% RDA)Magnesium124 mg(31% RDA)Potassium403 mg(20% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 16 servings)



  1. Make the cake base. Preheat oven to 170 °C/ 340 °F (fan assisted), or 190 °C/ 375 °F (conventional). Grease your cake tins with a little oil and line the base and sides with baking paper.
    I used a set of two 20 x 5 cm (8 inch x 2 inch) sandwich cake pans, measuring but you could also use standard 20 cm (8 inch) springform tins. This recipe makes two cakes that will be put together to make the base, so don’t pour the entire mixture into one tin.
  2. Put the almond flour and peeled ground hazelnuts into a mixing bowl, along with the baking soda and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Pour the boiling water into a heatproof jug and add the cacao powder and vanilla extract (reserve about 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder for coating the truffles). Whisk until it forms a smooth paste and then sit it aside to cool.
  4. To the bowl of your stand mixer, put the Swerve, olive oil and eggs. Beat until it is pale yellow and slightly thickened. Add the cocoa paste mixture to the olive oil mix, beating slowly as you go.
  5. When it is all combined, add the dry ingredients (mixed almond flour, ground hazelnuts and baking soda). Pour the cake batter into the prepared tins.
  6. Bake for approx. 45 minutes, depending on the cake tin that you used. A skewer inserted into the centre will come out with just a bit of moist cake on it. Remove from oven and cool on cake racks.
    Low-Carb Chocolate Hazelnut Celebration Cake
  7. Prepare the ganache. While the cake is baking, chop chocolate into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Heat cream on stove until just barely simmering. Then, pour hot cream over chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. (Don’t then drop your kitchen timer into the ganache like I did). Whisk until smooth. Pour about a 1/3 of the ganache into a separate bowl and sit both bowls on the counter at room temperature to set overnight.
    Low-Carb Chocolate Hazelnut Celebration Cake
  8. Day Two: Decorate the cake. Take the smaller bowl a 1/3 of the ganache that you prepared on Day One. Using a teaspoon or melon baller, scoop different sized balls out and roll them with your hands. Chill on a plate in the fridge until ready to use.
  9. Keep about a 1/4 of the ganache mixture in the smaller bowl to melt for your drip decoration (for final decoration on top of the cake). Low-Carb Chocolate Hazelnut Celebration Cake
  10. Take the larger bowl of ganache, scrape it into your mixer bowl and beat it until it is light and fluffy, like frosting. (You may need to lick the beaters, it’s okay I won’t judge you!)
    Low-Carb Chocolate Hazelnut Celebration Cake
  11. Get a cake platter or decorating turntable out and put a smear of ganache frosting in the centre to hold the cake in place.
  12. Very carefully, cut each cake evenly in two. Starting and ending with cake, layer cake and frosting filling.
  13. Carefully spread the balance of the whipped ganache around the outside of the cake. I like to leave it a bit patchy towards the bottom, but that’s my personal taste. You can make little piped balls of this whipped ganache for decoration, if you have any left over. Place the frosted cake in the fridge for an hour until it is chilled.
    Low-Carb Chocolate Hazelnut Celebration Cake
  14. Heat the reserved ganache gently in the microwave until it is just liquid and very gently spoon it on top of the cake until it runs down the sides in a series of drips. Place cake back in fridge for another hour until ganache has re-set.
  15. Decorate with the chocolate ganache balls that you chilled in the fridge, rolling some in the remaining cocoa powder.
    Low-Carb Chocolate Hazelnut Celebration Cake
  16. Stand back and bask in the beauty of this cake 😊 Low-Carb Chocolate Hazelnut Celebration Cake
  17. Slice and serve! Low-Carb Chocolate Hazelnut Celebration Cake
  18. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Low-Carb Chocolate Hazelnut Celebration Cake

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Almond flour (blanched ground almonds, almond meal)
1.1 g2.7 g6.6 g74 kcal
Hazelnuts, nuts, unblanched
0.4 g0.9 g3.8 g39 kcal
Baking soda, raising agent (bicarbonate of soda)
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Cocoa powder, raw (cacao)
1.4 g1.3 g0.9 g15 kcal
Egg, whole, fresh, raw (free-range or organic eggs)
0.1 g2.4 g1.8 g27 kcal
Oil, olive, salad or cooking
0 g0 g20.3 g179 kcal
Vanilla extract, sugar-free, alcohol-based
0 g0 g0 g3 kcal
Water, still
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Swerve, natural sweetener (Erythritol and chicory inulin based)
1.3 g0 g0 g5 kcal
Extra dark chocolate, 90% cocoa (cacao)
2.5 g1.9 g10.6 g106 kcal
Cream, heavy whipping, pouring, full-fat (30-40% fat)
0.5 g0.4 g7.1 g69 kcal
Total per serving
7.3 g9.5 g51.1 g517 kcal

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Naomi Sherman
Creator of

Naomi Sherman

Naomi is the force behind Naomi Sherman, Food Creative. She is passionate about recipe development, food photography and styling.

An accomplished home cook who was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease eight years ago, Naomi started to explore the connection between healthy, whole food and her symptoms, and a new love was born.

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Comments (8)

As a home baker who loves new recipes, I was more than willing to try. Please consider this a '' and not a criticism or complaint.
I had never dealt with peeling hazelnuts before. A warning for my next two hours would have been appreciated.
The ganache only fluffed so far and then it began to harden again and I then added some more heavy cream which helped. And the melted ganache separated so that I was pouring off the oil.
The taste was great although I think that I would not have used that extra teaspoon of vanilla.
If you can see any errors in what I did, I would love to hear. Thanks, Eleanor

Thank you for your feedback Eleanor! I made this cake (and my partner did too for my birthday) and I found that I preferred more of the chocolate ganache. It was possible to make it with the amount listed but it didn't make a very thick layer so I made more. I may update the recipe as I think others will prefer that too. As for the consistency, it depends which chocolate you use. For instance, the 90% chocolate will make it thicker (more cream will help) than the 85% chocolate or sugar-free chocolate (which typically uses less cacao and some sort of low-carb sweetener). I think the melted ganache split because it would be best to make it separately rather than melt again for the topping - I will revisit this recipe and amend it based on my latest two attempts. Thank you!

Great recipe! Can I replace the Erythritol for Xylitol? How much should I add? Where I live I can't find erythritol or Swerve 😞

Hi Maria, you can do that. Just to be on the safe side (potential laxative effects) I'd use a 3/4 to 1 cup and then if needed add stevia drops. Here's more about sweeteners: Top 6 Keto Sweeteners and Low-Carb Sweetener Conversion Chart

Great looking recipe! Should the hazelnuts be raw or roasted? I'll be grinding into a meal myself so want to get the right kind.

You could use either - just make sure they are peeled to avoid any bitter aftertaste.

Nowhere in the RECIPE does it say to use peeled hazelnuts.
(it is in the notes at the top, but many just 'jump to recipe' to save a bit of time)
If you have amended the recipe could you say that so we don't adjust according to Eleanor's comment?
If you left off the decorations of ganache balls, would that make enough to layer the cake?

I think that's a good point, I'll add it. I just assumed people will use peeled hazelnuts as it's also easy to grind those compared to whole. I also found ready-made ground hazelnuts which were always peeled. My bad! The ganache is not a huge amount so it depends how you layer it. I would just skip the truffles and use all of the ganache for layering (meaning I would not use less). I actually made this a couple of times since this was published and ended up making extra ganache to make more frosting & truffles on top. It was VERY rich though. I may share that updated version soon... If our twins let me 😊