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Front view of cut hazelnut pound cake on a wooden board with parchment paper and pink background.

Hazelnut Pound Cake

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A fantastic pound cake with toasted hazelnuts. The flavor is intense, the crumb moist and dense, and the cake keeps well and can be frozen.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 10 slices



For the cake:

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons hazelnuts (skinned, see Notes below)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) or 1 teaspoon hazelnut oil, optional but recommended

For the glaze:

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur or milk. Or a mix of both.
  • 3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, optional for decoration


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180°C.
  2. Butter or spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan or a 9-inch (24cm) springform pan. 
  3. You can line it with a strip of parchment paper, covering the pan's bottom and two long sides. The two short sides will remain unlined but greased. This will help you remove the cake from the pan. 
  4. In a food processor, pulse the toasted hazelnuts with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar until finely ground. Take care not to over-grind the hazelnuts to the point where they start to release oil (if you keep on, it will eventually become nut butter), or the cake will be oily and heavy. Set the nut mixture aside.
  5. Cream the soft butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the remaining granulated and brown sugars, and cream the mixture until it is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping the sides of the bowl a few times. Don't worry if the mixture looks separated or curdled; it will come together when you add the flour.
  7. Beat in the vanilla.
  8. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
  9. Add the nuts and mix well to combine.
  10. Add this to the butter in three additions, alternating with the sour cream in two additions, beginning and ending with flour.
  11. Mix *just* until incorporated. Do not over mix.
  12. Add the hazelnut liqueur or the oil and mix well with a spatula.
  13. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and even out the top.
  14. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. It should spring back if you lightly touch it.
  15. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes or so.
  16. Run a smooth-bladed knife around the pan's edge to ensure the cake is not sticking. Remove the cake by lifting the ends of the parchment paper if used.
  17. Remove the strip of paper and let the cake cool completely on a cooling rack. 
  18. This cake tastes better the second day and lasts up to 5 days, well covered in plastic wrap, foil, or in an airtight container. 

For the glaze:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until completely smooth. 
  2. Drizzle over the cool loaf and let drip down the sides. 
  3. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts before it dries. 


  • Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperatures, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier!
  • Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
  • Hazelnuts: if buying skinned hazelnuts, toast them lightly for 5 minutes in a medium oven (350ºF/180°C). If skinning them yourself, follow the instructions below and ensure they are completely cooled down before using them. 
  • Storage: it keeps well for a few days at room temperature, covered in plastic wrap or cake dome. You can also freeze it for a month, well wrapped.
  • Serving: you can eat it plain, glazed, or with whipped cream and fruit like cherries, plums, or berries. 

How to skin hazelnuts:

  1. Spread the hazelnuts in a shallow baking pan, single layer, and bake in a 350ºF/180°C oven, for about 7 to 10 minutes, until fragrant and the skins will begin to crackle.
  2. Watch closely, as they burn easily, and shake the pan several times during baking so they bake more evenly. 
  3. Transfer the toasted nuts to a bowl lined with a clean kitchen towel, bundle the nuts in the towel and set aside just until they are cool enough to handle.
  4. Rub the nuts briskly while still inside the towel, then open it and use your fingers to rub the papery skins from the nuts.
  5. Don't worry if some of the nuts refuse to be skinned. 
  6. Store in an airtight container.
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooling time:
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International


  • Serving Size: 1/10
  • Calories: 439
  • Sugar: 32.2 g
  • Sodium: 90.2 mg
  • Fat: 23.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.4 g
  • Fiber: 1.7 g
  • Protein: 6.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 94.9 mg