Chock full of apple, this apple hazelnut cake is a wonderful Fall treat. Ground hazelnuts add both texture and flavour to the cake, while a warm toffee sauce is the perfect finishing touch.

Apple Hazelnut Cake with Toffee Sauce

Ingredients and Substitutions

Apples – This cake has a LOT of apple in it and is best made with a baking apple – one that you might use for an apple pie.

Hazelnut Meal – or ground hazelnuts. You can buy hazelnut meal or make ground hazelnuts yourself by running them through a food processor until fine.

Raisins – I love the addition of raisins in this cake, but if you’re not a fan, simply omit.

Cook’s Notes

As I am usually not consuming a whole cake at one sitting, I prefer to add the toffee sauce to each piece. If you were serving the cake as a whole dessert, that is likely to be all eaten up, you could pour the sauce over the top and serve slices that way. You could even poke the cake here and there before pouring the sauce over, to allow the sauce to seep in to the cake a bit. That would be lovely, too :) As you like it!

As this cake has a lot of apple in it and is baked in a springform pan, you’ll definitely want to place your springform pan on a baking sheet to bake it, as some of the moisture from the cooking apples might escape from the pan. You may wish to line your baking pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up, too.

It’s difficult to give a precise cooking time for this cake, as a lot depends on the moisture level of the apples you used. Mine was very moist (I used Cortland apples), so it took well over an hour (about 1 hour, 20 minutes). Start checking at an hour with a skewer, testing in the exact centre of the cake. The cake will be deep golden on top and will be pulling away from the sides of the pan when done.

Apple Hazelnut Cake with Toffee Sauce

Making Ahead, Storing and Freezing

This cake keeps surprisingly well, considering the large amount of apple in it, but is probably at it’s best within 24 hours of baking.

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apple hazelnut cake sliced with toffee sauce

Get the Recipe: Apple Hazelnut Cake with Toffee Sauce

Chock full of apples, this cake gets both flavour and texture from hazelnut meal. Enjoy warm or at room temperature with warm toffee sauce.
5 stars from 5 ratings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yield: 10 servings



  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup hazelnut meal, or ground hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, reduce to 1/2 tsp if using salted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups apple, shredded, from about 3-4 apples *see Notes below
  • 1/3 cup raisins, optional


  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoons hazelnut meal, or ground hazlenuts

Toffee Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 5 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 6 Tablespoon whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 325F. (regular bake setting/not fan assisted). Spray an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set on a baking sheet and set aside.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, whisk together the hazelnut meal, flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix until combined. Fold in shredded apple.
  • Spoon batter in to prepared pan and level. Sprinkle with brown sugar and hazelnut meal for topping.
  • *Make sure you bake your cake with the cake pan on top of a baking sheet, to catch any moisture that may escape from the pan.
  • Bake cake in preheated oven for 60-80 minutes, or until golden, pulling away from the sides of the pan and a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Time will vary depending on the moisture in the apples you use.
  • Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the outside and loosen and remove the outer ring. Allow to cool further, before cutting. Enjoy slightly warm or at room temperature with warm toffee sauce.
  • For the toffee sauce, combine the butter, brown sugar and cream in a microwaveable bowl. Heat on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Heat a further 15-20 seconds and stir again, until butter is melted. Microwave on high for 30-45 seconds more. Stir in vanilla. Serve warm over cake. Will keep in the fridge and can be re-heated as needed.
  • *You can also make this sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring, until melted. Allow to come to a boil, then boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and add vanilla.


For the apples, opt for a baking type apple - any apple you'd use for an apple pie.
Be sure to red the notes above this Recipe Card, for more tips on making this recipe.
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Dessert
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 440kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 105mg, Sodium: 268mg, Potassium: 274mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 32g, Vitamin A: 662IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 106mg, Iron: 2mg
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