Breakfast Brunch Coffee Cake

Hazelnut Coffee Cake

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Hazelnut Coffee Cake ~ a moist breakfast cake packed with earthy, nutty flavor!  

I had planned to make a raspberry coffee cake, with a layer of sweet molten raspberries in the middle, topped with streusel, more moist sour cream cake, and then another layer of streusel.  But it was not to be.  The cake was soggy inside, almost burnt outside, sagging in the middle and basically yucky.

While the kitchen was still strewn with flour, butter, eggs I pulled myself together, washed out the pan, and gave it another try.  This time a simpler, streamlined version of the original.  It’s weird, but I find coffee cakes to be some of the most difficult things to bake, there is something about them that invites disaster. Although I’ve never had much luck, some to think of it, with cooked raspberries.  They seem to turn everything around them, including themselves, to mush, Some foods just aren’t meant to be cooked.

Other breakfast cakes to try ~

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4 from 3 votes

Hazelnut Coffee Cake

Course Cake, coffee cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
Yield 10 -12 servings



  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • 1 stick 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup hazelnut flour finely ground hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Make the streusel topping---In a small processor pulse to combine the sugar, cinnamon and hazelnuts until coarsely chopped..  Add the butter and vanilla and pulse briefly until it's a crumbly consistency.
  • Mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  • With a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, and then blend in the sour cream and vanilla.
  • Fold in the flour mixture until everything is just combined.
  • Spread the batter into a greased 9" spring form pan.  Spread it out evenly, it will be thick.
  • Sprinkle the streusel evenly all over the top.
  •  Bake for about 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out just about clean, maybe with a few moist crumbs sticking to it..  I draped a piece of foil over the top for the last 10 or so minutes of baking to prevent it from getting too brown,
  • Cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan and carefully remove the cake.

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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    March 11, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    my coffee cakes are often hideous but always delicious, at least to me. butter, sugar, and cinnamon never seem to let me down in that way. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah (Snippets of Thyme)
    March 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    We can all relate! That Gateau du Sirop I made the other day was a fine example. I didn’t butter the little molds I planned on using well enough and I couldn’t get the little cakes out without making a mess. I was dreaming of the cute cake sliding out of those tall round molds. So I had to make the sliced cake you see in the photos. Thank goodness the recipe made so much batter. Whether it succeeded or not, we still have to clean up that darn kitchen, don’t we!?

  • Reply
    March 8, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    I feel your pain, Sue! That’s exactly how I feel with kitchen disasters too and especially with raspberries! I always end up with mushy stuff when I’m working with raspberries as well and I’ve just given up and eat them fresh 🙂 I’m glad you didnt give up though, because this coffee cake looks too good to resist!

  • Reply
    Hungry Dog
    March 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    It certainly looks gorgeous! I totally understand your frustration when things don’t work out and you feel like you’ve wasted time, effort, ingredients, money. I turn into a little bit of a baby!

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    March 8, 2012 at 7:15 am

    This looks perfect! I love fresh raspberries.

  • Reply
    Linda A. Thompson Ditch
    March 8, 2012 at 3:54 am

    Well, your origional plan may not have worked out, but the final result looks wonderful!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2012 at 12:16 am

    The cake looks delicious…No sweat, a sign o f a true cook is one that has to chalk it up sometime…You are a real cook. Love it.


    P.S. The photo of the pint of raspberries is really nice. Would you be interested in allowing me to host that photo for my Wordless Wednesday post?

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Well, it seems like you salvaged things really well! This coffee cake sounds delicious.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Looks delicious!

    Please enter my giveaway here.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Oooh, I have a lot of hazelnuts leftover. I’ll have to use them to make this cake!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I’m like you, Sue. Which is also why I will always use full-fat or whatever-it-is ingredients over lower calorie options because if I’m going to spend time and ingredients in the kitchen, it better turn out good! Glad you picked up and gave this coffee cake another shot–the final thing looks (and sounds) beautiful.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    This looks like a lovely cake! I would like a slice with my coconut flavored coffee this morning. 😉

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    What? I don’t believe it. A baking failure in YOUR kitchen? I might need photographic evidence of said failure, Sue. This simplified coffeecake looks delicious! I am SO ready for berry season here too!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    What? I don’t believe it. A baking failure in YOUR kitchen? I might need photographic evidence of said failure, Sue. This simplified coffeecake looks delicious! I am SO ready for berry season here too!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    March 7, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    The final version looks great. I am with you on the failures. I hate to mess up, fail, be late, be less than perfect in any way! Those around me are very lucky I don’t expect the same from them. I am harder on myself than anyone. Oh well – TMI! I love coffee cake, especially with coffee. This looks terrific to me!

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    March 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    So sorry it didn’t work out – but honestly from the photo you would never know! I can relate to how frustrating a cooking (or any other failure) – I normally fling it in the bin and fume!
    Mary x