This orange hazelnut cake is a winning combination of flavors in this insanely moist easy-to-make recipe with a lovely nutty texture.
I always say that being a food writer, photographer and recipe developer is both a blessing and a curse. The ability to eat tons of fabulous food, photograph gorgeous meals and learn so much about where our food comes from as well as who makes it is a special privilege that few get to experience. Of course, being forced to wear fat pants and the every expanding waistline is an occupational hazard on the flip side. So with utter joy (a little trepidation) I’m heading up to Portland again to gorge myself at their spectacular Feast Portland event. In celebration of this trip, I made this orange hazelnut cake, since Oregon produces 99% of the U.S. hazelnut crop. (Jump directly to the recipe.)
If you’ve been a longtime reader, you’ll know that I attended Feast Portland last year and reported both in real time (via Instagram and Twitter) as well as on this blog (day 1, day 2, day 3) all the various things that I ate. In truth, I feel like I didn’t even scratch the surface of all the fabulous food events that Feast Portland had. I mean, there is only so much a guy can eat! With some of the best chefs of the nation coming to Portland including some of California’s finest (Matthew Accarrino of SPQR, Chris Cosentino of Cockscomb and Boccalone, Martin Cate of Smuggler’s Cove, Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, Charles Phan of Slanted Door, David Lynch of St. Vincent, Alvin Cailan of Eggslut, Jon Shook of Animal, and Ari Taymor of Alma) as well as chefs from as far as New York (Christina Tosi of Milk Bar, Brad Farmerie of Public, Anita Lo of Annisa), Atlanta (Hugh Acheson of Empire State South), Austin (Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue, Paul Qui of Qui, Philip Speer of Uchi) and Hawaii (Lee Anne Wong of Koko Head Café) I know that I’m going to be fed well. And that’s not even touching the amazing local Portland chefs that will be out in droves!
Of course a lot of the various events are already sold out but if you live in Portland there are still some tickets available. These include the Widmer Brothers Brewing Sandwich Invitational (I went last year, it’s carb-o-licious), the Oregon Bounty Tasting (too many good things under one tent!), the High Comfort at the Nines (contemporary twists on comfort food – be prepared to roll yourself home afterwards) as well as a few dinners, tasting panels and hands-on classes. If you do make it to the event and you see me stumbling around in a food stupor, be sure to come up and say hello! And if you aren’t able to visit Portland this year for the event, follow along with me as I try to eat my weight in pork belly via my Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr channels. I’ll also be blogging about all the event as it happens at the end of the day (at least that’s the plan) so check out my posts later this week as the Feast Portland 2014 happens. (Just don’t expect too many selfies. My elastic waist pants aren’t the most stylish…)
Special thanks to Feast Portland and Travel Oregon for providing travel and accommodations as well as a media pass to the 2014 Feast Portland Event. Though flight, hotel and media pass were provided complimentary, I was not monetary compensated for this post or any other post that I am doing for Feast Portland. All opinions above are my own.
Orange Hazelnut Cake
By Irvin Lin
Orange and hazelnuts are a winning combination in this insanely moist cake. If you can find hazelnut flour, replace the whole hazelnuts with 2 cups of the flour and your cake will be a little more refined with a tighter crumb. That said, I used whole hazelnuts and ground them in a food processor which resulted in a rustic cake with a great nutty texture and chunkiness that I adored. Be sure to make the syrup and brush the entire amount on the cake. It really does add something special. One last note, I used hazelnut oil in my recipe to boost the hazelnut flavor but you can’t find it, just use an equal amount of olive oil as a replacement.
Adapted from Sweet Paul’s Eat & Make cookbook (which I reviewed in my summer Cookbook Week roundup)
1 large orange (Valencia, Navel or Cara Cara)
2 1/2 cups (340 g) hazelnuts or 2 cups hazelnut flour (see headnote above)
1/2 cup hazelnut oil or olive oil
1 cup (200 g) white granulated sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 cup (105 g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup reserved cooking water (see directions for details)
1 cup (200 g) white granulated sugar
zest from 1 large orange
1/2 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
1 tablespoon cointreau (optional)
1. Place the whole unpeeled orange in a medium pot and fill with water until the orange is floating. Cover and bring the water to a boil. Cook the orange in the boiling water for 15 minutes, or until it is soft. While the orange is cooking, preheat the oven to 350˚F and grease a bundt pan thoroughly with butter or cooking spray. Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and process until they are crushed. Don’t overgrind them into butter however. Empty into a bowl and set aside.
2. Once the orange is soft, remove from the pot and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water for the glaze. Cut the orange in half and then quarters. Remove any seeds. Place the orange quarters in the food processor and process until you have a puree. You should have about 1 cup.
3. Place the oil and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat together until the sugar is moist. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until they are incorporated before adding the next egg. Add the flour baking powder and salt and beat to incorporate. Add the ground hazelnut (or hazelnut flour) and beat to incorporate. Add the orange puree and beat to incorporate.
4. Spoon the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes then invert and remove from pan onto a wire rack to cool. Once cool enough to handle (but still warm) move the cake to a serving platter or cake stand.
5. While the cake is cooling, make the glazing syrup by placing the orange juice, the reserved water, the sugar and the zest in a small pot. Split open the half vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the pot, then add the empty vanilla pod as well to the pot. Bring the entire glaze to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for about 10 minutes or until the syrup has thickened to a honey consistency. Remove from heat, add the cointreau if using, then brush the warm glaze over the still warm cake. Continue brushing the glaze over the cake, letting it slowly absorb into the cake, using it all up. Serve warm.
Makes 1 bundt cake, serves 12 people.
If you like this Orange Hazelnut Cake, check out these other hazelnut recipes on my blog:
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Hazelnuts
Gluten Free Chocolate Cookies with Nutella, Chocolate Chips, Hazelnuts and Dried Strawberries (Gluten Free)
And check out these other recipes from around the web that use hazelnuts:
Foodie Crush’s Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Kevin and Amanda’s Hazelnut Butter Cookies
Very Culinary’s Chocolate-Hazelnut Coffee Cake
Lottie + Doof’s Hazelnut Financiers
Turntable Kitchen’s Hazelnut Hot Chocolate with Minted Whipped Cream
A fabulous cake! So tempting looking. I’m bookmarking your recipe.
Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking says
Feast Portland sounds almost as amazing as this cake! If only I didn’t live all the way across the country! I have been dying to visit Portland…I’ll have to mark down next year’s event on my calendar as the perfect excuse! You must have a fancy-shmansy food processor…I’ve never seen 3 blades like that!
Terry Taylor says
This sounds like a nice Rosh Hashanah dessert. Enjoy FEAST – I can’t go this year. 🙁
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says
Well I am certainly excited to be joining you at the Portland Fest and I’ll certainly will be hanging on every description of your tastings! Speaking of fat pants — we are on Saint Simons Island Georgia for the month and they’re having a Shrimp and Grits Festival on Jekyll Island which is right across the sound from Saint Simons. I have started my running regimen. Good heavens since I’ve started my food blog I have seeing my clothes getting a little snugger. I can’t imagine tasting all the great foods from the whose who of chefs and saying –excuuuuuuse me but I can’t eat that I’m watching my weight — NOT!! My reaction would be — a little more please?? Looking forward to your reports.
I’ve never been to Portland, but this seems like a heck of a reason to go. This cake looks glorious. Over the last few years I have seen a number of citrus cakes, many of them family heirloom recipes, that call for entire pieces of fruit, skin and all. What flavor those cakes have!
As good as this cake must be when with a fine olive oil, I bet that a premium hazelnut oil, such as Pariani, would elevate it to greatness. I can’t wait to make it. Mille grazie
Kevin | keviniscooking says
Wow, maybe I will see you there. We are flying up to Portland today for a family event (hence I’m missing my first IFBC in Seattle), but family comes first!
We are there all weekend and hopefully can attend a day. Will keep my eyes open to say hello Irvin.
This looks fantastic. I have been looking for orange and hazelnut recipe. Two questions: How much oil since the cup measures seem to be different sizes? (I am in Europe) and do I need to use bundt pan or will regular cake tin work?
Hi there! 1/2 US cup of oil is 118 mL. You want to use gas mark 4 for the oven. And I believe you can try to use a regular cake tin or even a loaf pan for this recipe. The bake time might be different though. If you do a loaf pan it may take longer to bake, and if you do an 8 or 9-inch round pan it make take a short amount of time. Good luck!
I made the cake and was bit disappointed. Did as you said but cake was heavy and seemed not to rise a lot. Not sure what I did wrong!
I bought my hazelnut flour just recently so it is fresh. Please advise.
Thanks! I will retry…….
Troy Knox says
I’ve made this cake a few times now… it’s become my ‘secret weapon’ of sorts.. never fails to impress!
Yay! Thanks Troy!
Adrianne Paulson says
This cake looks amazing! I want to try it out before Christmas as practice for the real thing. Do you have any special tips at hand? Thanks!
Just made this cake and it was the best I ever had. Cutting calories so I omitted the o range glaze. Thank you for this wonderful treat. Healthy too!
Bales This today/ wonderful, thank you!
Adrianne Sturman says
iS THERE ANOTHER NUT I CAN USE OTHER THAN HAZELNUTS? LIKE ALMONDS?
I’M ALLERGIC TO HAZELNUTS.
YUM – this cake is amazing. I didn’t have flour at hand, so it was a hazelnut and almond flour cake, and it was fabulous. If I make it again, I would probably just cut the sugar a bit – it was slightly on the ‘too sweet’ side for me.
Hey Did you roast the hazelnuts?
First time I’ve used hazelnut flower. This is a very dense moist cake with wonderful flavor. Instead on Cointreu, I used Gran Gala, it has fabulous orange flavor. My favorite for Margaritas.
Thanks for sharing pretty little things
I made this cake last night as I had a lot of oranges from my produce box and I happened to have 2.5 cups of hazlenuts in my pantry! This was incredible! Thank you for the recipe.
I love this recipe. Have made it as a cake, but also as cupcakes, glazed and topped with a not too sweet cram cheese frosting, too. I sub glutenfree flour for the all purpose. One of my fave GF desserts, especially since I’m not a chocolate fan.
Jessica McNally says
Just made this cake and opted to keep it 100% gluten free. Subbed coconut flour (1/4 cup) for the 3/4 cup all purpose flour this recipe called for. To balance that I added 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (2 1/2 total) to what it calls for and added an egg (total 5 eggs). It turned out great….flavor, texture, presentation <3 Thanks!
I followed the directions perfectly. Filled the Bundt pan to 3/4 level. About 1/3 of the batter overflowed. Suggestions please.
jo-anne Hare says
Such a delicious cake , I made. It for our family and a neighbours it’s was yummy to share it
This is my favourite thing in life right now. Made it with a regular cake pan and it turned out great!