This is my review of a chocolate hazelnut bundt cake recipe by Lynn at Tasty Bakes Kitchen, that I made for my son's birthday last month. Being a fan of Nutella and chocolate hazelnut spread in general, I opted for this recipe to please my youngest boy! Read my review of this recipe and see how I got on with it, as well as my rating!
Reviewing Chocolate Hazelnut Bundt Cake From Tasty Bakes Kitchen
A Recipe By Lynn Hill
Recipe On Review
Recipe & Photo With Kind Permission From Lynn @ Tasty Bakes Kitchen
A Little About Lynn
Lynn’s second website, (Tasty Bakes Kitchen), specializes in recipes with ancient grains, as well as easy recipes to make at home. Her low-cost recipes were developed to make use of everyday ingredients you probably already have in your pantry or cupboard. So ideal for the current cost of living crisis.
Lynn started food blogging in 2009 and it was through mutual food blogging Facebook groups that I ‘met’ Lynn. And this is the first of her recipes that I am trying out. So read on and hear how I got on.
The Recipe Used
So the recipe on review today is a Chocolate Hazelnut Bundt Cake. This vanilla and hazelnut bundt cake, is topped with melted chocolate and hazelnuts, but also hides a surprise chocolate hazelnut spread inside. So what is not to like?
The Recipe Process
Lynn describe her chocolate hazelnut bundt cake as a relatively easy recipe to follow and begins by giving an overview of the ingredients used, as well as possible alternatives. As well as explaining why certain ingredients were used, which is always a good thing for beginner bakers to learn.
Before the printable recipe card, there are step-by-step instructions, with process photos. And if you have read my recipe reviews before, (or my own recipes), you will know I am a big fan of detailed instructions and photos. Far too many recipes, (be them in books or online), don’t have enough detail or photos and in my opinion, this is where most people fall down in the baking.
Baking is very much a science, and most times you can’t just ‘wing it’ and hope it turns out ok. And so this is why detailed recipes are a must and I am a big advocate in standardizing recipes to at least a minimum standard, for people to have success. There would be a lot more bakers, and happy people out there (baking is proved to be very therapeutic), if it was much easier to have a successful bake. But I digress…… back to the recipe review.
The straight forward recipe, of creaming the butter and sugar together, before adding the eggs and then dry ingredients, is perfect for beginners. Point to note that the sugar used is a combination of soft light and dark brown sugar. And the recipe does advise on beating the sugar and butter until “light and fluffy with a lovely light caramel colour”. This combined with a process shot showing how the mixture should look, is perfect for those who haven’t used brown sugar before and only used to creaming butter with white sugar. I took a before and after photo to demonstrate this. No recipe can be exact with how long you should beat the mixture, with factors like the power of your mixer, or if beating by hand. So having this visual cue is an excellent way to know when you have incorporated enough air into the cake batter.
The rest of the recipe is very straight forward too, with finishing off bringing the batter together by adding the flour, buttermilk & chopped hazelnuts. Before adding to your greased bundt pan and baking. Once cooled you are instructed to core 8 holes in the cake, to hide the chocolate hazelnut spread. Before I did this, I hesitated and wondered if more than 8 holes would be better. But I went with the 8 holes and ended up not even using up half of the chocolate spread filling. (More on that later).
After replacing the cake pieces that were removed, it was time to decorate the top of the cake, by melting chocolate. Lynn describes melting the chocolate on the stove in a double boiler, but I always use the microwave unless if I am melting a lot of chocolate. Always break the chocolate up and microwave on 30 second bursts, mixing well in-between each burst, (even if it doesn’t look like it is melting). It is very important not to microwave for any longer than 30 seconds at any one time, or you run the risk of burning the chocolate. Also be ready to add the melted chocolate to the cake as soon as melted.
Unfortunately, when it came to trying to spoon the melted chocolate on top of the cake, I realised there wasn’t enough chocolate to cover the top, or have any drips down the sides. So I had some white chocolate to hand that I knew melted nicely, so added that quickly on top of the first chocolate, before finishing off with roughly chopped hazelnuts.
Once the chocolate topping was set, I added some of my son’s favourite chocolate to the centre of the bundt cake, and the cake was finished. My easiest birthday cake ever!
Did We Like The Cake?
I made the cake on the Saturday afternoon, (day before the birthday), while my son was out and as I had a busy weekend ahead. The cake was stored in a large metal cake tin, (upside down, on the lid, making it easy to get at the cake). And the first slice was cut on the Sunday.
Everyone loved the taste of the cake, and the colour of the sponge make with the brown sugars looked nice. The nuts in the batter in particular was also a nice touch. Unfortunately, every slice cut, did not reveal the hidden chocolate hazelnut spread. (More on the reason for this below).
The recipe said that the cake was best eaten on the day it was made, but I felt the cake and its flavour was actually better on the second day, and even more so, on subsequent days until it was finished on the Wednesday. The cake tin was a nice airtight fit, so the cake did not dry out and I used the recommended substitute of Greek Yoghurt in place of the buttermilk, which may also have contributed to the cake staying nice and moist.
Some of the cake was handed out and it was given positive feedback too. So all-round a success on the flavour and texture of the cake.
Where I Had Some Problems
Before I had made the cake, I had looked at the bundt pan used in the recipe. My Masterclass bundt pan has a very similar shape and ridge detailing like the lovely NordicWare bundt pan Lynn used. The specific pan was a NordicWare 6 cup original bundt pan. But to us in the UK we don’t use cup measurements and other bundt tins don’t say cup sizing on them. They come in different diameters, shapes & detailing. Heights are different and so too are the widths of the hole in the centre.
I should have measured the volume of my bundt pan, (and then the capacity, about 1″ or so below the top of the pan), but I was lazy and had too much to do. I used to have an article on different bundt pans and ring pans on the old site, with volumes and capacity, so really need to update that and get back online.
So, in the end, with the help of Lynn, and other snags along the way, it was pretty clear my bundt pan was wider, but it did also have a wider hole in the centre. And I think the NordicWare pan also was narrower at the base (what would become the top of the cake). This will be why the 100g melted chocolate was not enough to cover the top of my cake. Also, I should have went with my instincts, and made more than 8 holes in the cake for the chocolate spread. Then most slices cut would have revealed the hidden chocolate surprise inside. It would also mean I could have used up more of the filling that I had ready in my piping bag. I think now 12 or more holes would have been better.
(See the comparison photo with measurements – easier now to see the 2″ difference).
The baking time was 40 – 45 minutes, but in the tip section it is advised to check the cake after about 3/4 way through, so after 30 minutes. My cake baked off fully after 35 minutes and with the slightly wider bundt pan, the level of batter for me would have been slightly lower, hence a quicker baking time.
A note on the oven instruction on the recipe – 170◦c fan oven is recommended but a steam function is also mentioned. With further clarification from Lynn, her oven has a reservoir at the bottom of the oven, where a small amount of water can be added, to create steam while you are baking. I have not seen an oven with that here, but my cake baked off fine on the fan assisted setting alone.
Since I don’t often have buttermilk, I used the suggested alternative of thick yoghurt and went for full fat Greek Yoghurt. For the chocolate topping, I used a combination of milk & dark (semi-sweet & bitter) chocolate from Aldi. Both Aldi & Lidl’s basic range, that is less expensive I have found to be ideal for baking, and even if you don’t like dark/bitter chocolate, just adding a little, increases the cocoa content and make it taste better, and more like using expensive high cocoa content baking chocolate. And as I mentioned above, I also used some white chocolate too as a drizzle on top.
Since I was still short on chocolate topping, and because the centre of my cake was wider, filled the gap with various chocolates to finish the cake off. Some Toffifee, Forerro Rocher & Maltesers.
For the chocolate hazelnut spread, I went with a Vegan brand called Mindful Bites, that I purchased very inexpensively from Farmfoods. I mixed a 50/50 combination of their Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, and their Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. I haven’t been able to get this again, but it is very nice.
Lining The Cake Tin
I used homemade lining paste to grease my bundt pan. This is also known as Cake Goop and works exceptionally well on bundt tins. Check out my review of homemade lining paste to make your own. The paste is white, so for darker coloured cakes, (examples being carrot cake and chocolate cake), I also add a little cocoa powder to colour the paste. Add a ½ tsp cocoa powder to about 2 tbsps of the homemade lining paste, mix well and then brush on your bundt pan. See my lining paste review for more.
Apply the lining paste, after preparing the cake batter, and immediately before pouring in the batter. As you can see from my photos, the cake came out of the bundt pan easily and in one piece.
Would I Make The Cake Again?
Since this was a really easy cake to prepare, with pantry staples, and quick to make too, I would happily make this cake again. Everyone liked it, and as mentioned, I felt the cake tasted even better the next day. But it cut really easily, so no need for you to wait till the next day to serve. Nothing complicated, nice flavours and textures, and perfect for Nutella lovers!
I would make some changes when making it next but, such as cutting out maybe 12 holes for the hidden chocolate spread. Just look at your cake or even the cake pan before baking, and see how many slices you think you will cut. From there decide on how many holes to make.
You can always use something a little smaller diameter to make the holes if need be. Just divide up the chocolate filling between the holes, and fill a bit more than you think, as when you replace the cake piece and push down, the chocolate spread will move down too, and give you more chocolate per slice. Alternatively use a smaller bundt tin – more of the ‘crown-style’ as opposed to ‘ring-style’ bundt.
I will give dimensions of my bundt pan for your reference. The batter was just enough for this pan, but if you have a wider bundt pan, I would recommend increasing the recipe to avoid the cake being too shallow. Increase by about 25% (so multiply by 1.25). For help on how to increase a recipe, with a video and examples, see my How To Increase A Recipe article.
So to summarise, a great base recipe that I can see would lend itself well to other flavours, inclusions or style of cake. Perfect for beginner bakers, and could be doable for budding junior bakers too.
On that basis, I recommend this Tasy Bakes Kitchen Chocolate Hazelnut Bundt Cake recipe and give an overall recipe rating of 8/10.
Some Useful Conversions
Here are some of my conversions for if you want to try this recipe. You can also check out my Table Of Conversion Of UK & US Common Baking Ingredients. I write all my recipes in grams, ounce and cup measurements, because Google can be not only inaccurate but inconsistent too. So I have hand measured all ingredients used in my own recipes, during recipe development and for my conversion table too.
Ingredient Conversions – Cups & Ounces
Light Brown Sugar – ½ packed cup, 3½ oz
Dark Brown Sugar – ⅔ packed cup, 4½ oz
Butter – 1 cup, 8 oz
Medium Eggs – US Large to Extra Large
Self-raising Flour – 1¾ Cup, 8 oz **
Chopped Hazelnuts – scant ½ packed cup, 1¾ oz
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread – ⅓ Cup, 4 oz**
Roughly Chopped Hazelnuts – ¼ to ⅓ Cup, 1 oz
Dark or Milk Chocolate – 3½ oz bitter or semi-sweet, ½ cup chocolate chips, or 3 & ½ 1 oz squares of chocolate
***Click go straight to Lynn’s Chocolate Hazelnut Bundt Cake recipe, with all recipe ingredients, amounts & directions.
**Note On Self-raising Flour
Self-raising flour is similar to US Self Rising flour, but our UK flour has slightly more baking powder per cup/125g of flour. That said when I use Plain/All Purpose flour in place of Self-raising, I use slightly less baking powder than is recommended. My reasons are because too much baking powder can cause the bake to prematurely rise and then sink, but it can also give a metallic taste to the bake. I prefer to use slightly less, and concentrate on getting as much air into the batter as naturally as possible and not to over-mix. You can read more and the ratios I use for different bakes, in my Differences Between UK & US Baking Ingredients article.
For this cake, I recommend using 1¾ Cup, 8 oz of Plain/All Purpose flour and sieving in 2¾ tsp of baking powder. Read more in my theory lesson on Over-mixing Batter & Dense Cakes
For this cake, I recommend using 1¾ Cup, 8 oz of Plain/All Purpose flour and sieving in 2¾ tsp . Read more in my theory lesson on Over-mixing Batter & Dense Cakes
For less expensive in the long run, and better quality of vanilla for baking, see my Homemade Vanilla Extract article.
This recipe bakes at 170◦c in a Fan Assisted oven, which is the same as 190◦c for a Conventional/standard oven, 375◦f or Gas mark 5, so use these temperatures when making the cake.
You can access my oven conversion article in the link below, and save or print off the table for future use.
Go directly to the recipe on review – Chocolate Hazelnut Bundt Cake by Tasty Bakes Kitchen.
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Reviewing Chocolate Hazelnut Bundt Cake From Tasty Bakes Kitchen
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