Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake with Cherry Filling + Chocolate Ganache
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24 Servings
  • Chocolate Ganache
  • 2 (13.5-fl oz) cans unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 5 Tbsp agar flakes
  • Pinch fine grain sea salt
  • 3½ oz dark chocolate bar, broken into pieces (70% cacao)
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Cake
  • 2 cups toasted hazelnuts, skins removed
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup boiling filtered water
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted but not hot + more for oiling the tin
  • 1½ cups maple syrup
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1?2 tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • Filling
  • 2½ cups pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1?4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1?4 tsp almond extract
  • ½ cup black cherry jam, unsweetened
  1. Chocolate Ganache
  2. Add coconut milk, maple syrup, agar flakes and salt to a medium, heavy-bottomed pan and whisk well.
  3. Place over high heat and bring to the boil, whisking frequently.
  4. Cover pan, reduce heat to low.
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes, whisking every 5 minutes.
  6. Check agar is completely dissolved
  7. Remove from heat, add chocolate and re-cover pan. Wait 2 minutes then whisk until completely smooth.
  8. Pour into a shallow bowl and allow to cool.
  9. Once the mixture has stopped steaming, put it in the fridge until cold and completely hard and set (~ 2 hours)
  10. Cut ganache into 2" pieces and place in a food processor with orange juice and vanilla; blend until completely smooth. Scrape down sides as necessary and check for unblended lumps. If ganache separates, keep blending until it comes together again – it can take up to 5 minutes to get it completely uniform and smooth. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until you’re ready to ice the cake
  11. Cake
  12. Pre-heat oven to 350 deg F
  13. Oil cake tins and line the bottom of each with a circle of parchment paper; set aside.
  14. Place ⅔ cup of the toasted hazelnuts in a food processor and add ¼ cup of the spelt flour; blend until finely ground (~ 30 seconds)
  15. Place in a medium bowl.
  16. Sift in remaining spelt flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir with a whisk to combine and set aside.
  17. In another medium bowl, whisk cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Add ground flax seeds, coconut oil, maple syrup, vinegar, vanilla and salt and whisk to emulsify.
  18. Add flour mixture and use a whisk to mix well.
  19. Divide cake mix between prepared cake tins, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake pulls away from sides of the tin and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  20. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool
  21. Filling
  22. Combine cherries, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt in a small pan and bring to the boil over high heat.
  23. Cover pan and reduce heat to low. Cook fresh cherries for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened and juicy; cook frozen cherries for 5 minutes.
  24. Dissolve arrowroot in the water and drizzle into the simmering cherries; stir constantly until mixture thickens slightly and returns to a simmer.
  25. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts and jam.
  26. Pour into a shallow bowl and place in the fridge to cool completely before filling cake
  27. Assemble the Cake
  28. Spread remaining toasted hazelnuts on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and crush them with the flat end of a rolling pin or a heavy jar; set aside.
  29. Run a knife around the edge of one cake tin and invert onto an 8-in cardboard cake base or bottom of a springform tin.
  30. Remove parchment circle and spread surface with about 1 cup of icing.
  31. Top with cherry filling and spread out, leaving about ½" border around edges. (This prevents it from spilling out when you top it with second cake layer.)
  32. Invert second cake onto a flat surface. (I like to use the bottom of a tart tin for this as it is completely flat and will allow you to slide the top layer easily onto the bottom layer.)
  33. Remove parchment circle and slide cake onto the bottom layer.
  34. Ice top and sides with remaining ganache and press crushed hazelnuts into sides of the cake. Garnish with fresh cherries, if available, and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
  35. It will improve after a few hours as the flavors settle, and it can even spend the night in the fridge
Nutritional Data by %
% Protein: 6
% Carbs: 46
% Fat: 33
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/24 Total Recipe Calories: 280 Fat: 16 Carbohydrates: 32.18 Sugar: 20.96 Protein: 4.54
Recipe by Veggies By Candlelight at