Buy hazelnuts. Toast hazelnuts. Make these Coffee, Cinnamon and Hazelnut Cakes. If you already have toasted hazelnuts in your pantry, then you can skip the first two steps and go straight for the third one. These individual hazelnut cakes are surprisingly easy to make and absolutely delicious to eat, whether you’re looking for a simple dessert at the end of a busy weeknight or something that you can dress up after a dinner party.
The cake batter is made entirely in the food processor, which does an excellent job of both grinding the hazelnuts into a fine meal and of mixing the other elements of the batter together. If you already have hazelnut meal on hand, you can simply use a whisk to incorporate all the ingredients and skip the food processor. The cake is flavored with cinnamon, coffee and vanilla – all flavors that blend extremely well with the buttery, rich flavor of toasted hazelnuts. The finished cakes are moist and very tender, with a flavor that reminds me a little bit of a hazelnut latte. And as you might expect, they are the perfect complement to a cup of hot coffee.
The cakes are baked in individual muffin cups to make eight servings. These little cakes are very good by themselves and you may find that you don’t need to add anything before you serve them. They’re even good when served as muffins at brunch. That said, I like to add a little something extra when I serve them. I often pair them with a scoop of vanilla or coffee ice cream, warming the cakes slightly in the microwave before plating so that the heat of the cake softens the ice cream when you combine them. You could also pair them with a little chocolate sauce or simply a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.
Coffee, Cinnamon and Hazelnut Cakes
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup hazelnuts (2 oz)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp instant coffee power
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with 8 paper liners.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, hazelnuts, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and whizz until hazelnuts are finely ground. Add in eggs and vanilla extract and whisk pulse until batter is smooth.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Add in instant coffee powder and stir to dissolved. Add coffee=melted butter mixture to the batter and pulse until butter is completely incorporated.
Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, until the cakes spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Take cakes out of the muffin pan and allow to cool on a wire rack
When ready to serve, invert cakes onto a plate and remove their wrappers. Cakes can be served at room temperature or slightly warmed.