German Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake (Giotto Cake)

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This German Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake is a cake for special occasions. Moist hazelnut chocolate sponge cake meets rich hazelnut cheesecake cream!

German Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake - a slice of cake on a white plate


Germans are into hazelnut flavoured, wafer-y things. I don’t know of a single German friend who doesn’t have a secret stock of Nutella, Amicellis, or Hanuta…sometimes even Giotto treats!


Those are my favourite sweet treat EVER and I was ever so happy to find them in Canadian Grocery Stores. The combination of crispy wafers, chocolate, roasted hazelnut, and fine hazelnut cream is just irresistible. And what is even better than Giottos? A chocolate and hazelnut cake that tastes just like Giotto!


This festive Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake is a German cake classic!


A Giotto Cake – best described as a super decadent Chocolate and Hazelnut Cream Cake – is something we LOVE in Germany. For bigger gatherings, someone would always bring the odd hazelnut and chocolate bomb. It would be the cake which disappears within seconds! We just love it!


Inspired by my favourite sweet, I made this super moist and extremely naughty Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake á la Giotto for last year’s Christmas Party.


And I kid you not – never have I ever seen a cake disappear that quickly! It’s still my most requested cake for all kinds of parties or family dinners. So bear in mind, that if you make it once, you’ll have to make it over and over and over and over again.


How to make German Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake:

It all starts with the sponge. This is not your light-as-a-feather sponge, but a moist and rich chocolate sponge made with buttermilk. We add cocoa powder, grated chocolate, and chopped hazelnuts to the cake batter to make it extra delicious and decadent.

Don’t worry – the cake will not be dense at all! Now on to the melt-in-you-mouth hazelnut cheesecake filling!

German Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake with Hazelnut Cheesecake cream filling - side view

The secret to the perfect Hazelnut Cheesecake Cream:


For my Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake, I used German Nougat – a super smooth hazelnut chocolate paste, which is very hard to get in Canada or the States. When in Germany I always make sure to get some before I jump back on my plane back to Canada.

For if you can’t find it at the European Deli, you can either make Nougat at home or use a high-quality chocolate hazelnut spread.

Tips for making this chocolate and hazelnut cake recipe:

  • Make sure your butter, cream cheese, and whipping cream are at room temperature.
  • When making the hazelnut filling, make sure to not overwhip it. Stop whipping as soon as the filling is smooth and forms peaks.
  • If you cannot find Giotto, use Rocher chocolates.


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German Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake on a white plate
5 from 1 vote

German Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake

This festive Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake is a decadent cake for any special occasion. Moist hazelnut chocolate sponge cake meets rich hazelnut cheesecake cream and more chopped hazelnuts!  

Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Keyword chocolate and hazelnut cake, german hazelnut cake, giotto cake
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chilling 3 hours
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Calories 200 kcal
Author Kiki Johnson


For the hazelnut chocolate sponge

  • 200 g softened butter
  • 200 sugar
  • 5 room temp eggs
  • 20 cocoa powder
  • 150 sifted flour
  • 10 baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 200 ground hazelnuts
  • 100 ml  buttermilk
  • 200 grated dark chocolate

For the hazelnut cream filling

  • 400 ml whipping cream
  • 400 nougat or chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 100 g milk chocolate chopped
  • 300 cream cheese room temperature

Assembling and Decoration

  • 100 ml coffee
  • 100 ml hazelnut liqueur or coffee liqueur
  • 100 chopped roasted hazelnuts
  • package Giotto or Rocher chocolates
  • slivered almonds for decoration


For the sponge

  1. Beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Separate the eggs and whisk the whites with a pinch of salt. Mix the yolks into the butter. 

  2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and ground nuts. Fold some of the dry mix into your butter mix and add a splash of buttermilk. Continue - taking turns between dry mix and milk - until nothing is left. Add the grated chocolate and stir to combine. As the last addition, fold the egg whites into the batter carefully.

  3. Line a 9-inch springform and spread your batter in the mold using a rubber spatula. Bake at 170 C for about 1 h. Let cool completely and cut into three even layers.

For the filling

  1. Heat 200 ml of cream until hot to the touch, but not boiling, and add the nougat or hazelnut spread and chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool down to room temperature. Whisk the leftover cream adding the cream cheese - a tablespoon a time - and whisk until stiff. In a slow, thin stream, add the cooled nougat-cream whisking on low speed to combine. Whisk until just combined and fluffy.

Assemble and decorate

  1. Put a cake ring around your bottom cake layer and soak with 1/3 of the soaking mixture. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts on top and spread 1/3 of the filling. Repeat 2 times. Let cool in the fridge for 3 h.
  2. Coat the sides with the leftover cream and decorate with giottos and almond slivers.

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure your butter, cream cheese, and whipping cream are at room temperature. 
  • When making the hazelnut filling, make sure to not overwhip it. Stop whipping as soon as the filling is smooth and forms peaks. 
  • If you cannot find Giotto, use Rocher chocolates. 
German Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake - an easy yet decadent cake made with a rich chocolate sponge, coffee liqueur, Ferrero Rocher or Giotto chocolates, and hazelnut cream cheese filling #cakerecipes, #cakeideas


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  1. Ohhh, liebe Kiki,
    Deine Nougat Giotto Torte ist ja ein Traum. Den Tipp mit dem Likör werde ich mir gleich mal für das nächste Törtchen merken und ich bin mir sicher, dass die Torte auch mit Mandeln super war. Psst. Ich persönlich mag Mandeln sogar etwas lieber. 😀
    Schön, dass sie allen geschmeckt hat. 🙂
    Liebe Grüße

  2. 5 stars
    Hallo,du hast das Rezept für eine 26 Form genommen,Sarah im original für eine 18 Form was nehme ich denn jetzt?Sie soll ein Geschenk zur Hochzeit sein,
    LG bine

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this Kiki! Such a fabulous cake. My father’s 85 birthday was a success – as he savoured every bite, he said ‘tastes like Germany’ 🙂

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