chocolate-hazelnut macaroon torte

When it comes to large family gatherings, no matter how much I humble-brag about my brisket, roasted vegetable sides or the way I know my way around a salad, I am always instead nominated to bring desserts. So, like a certain Phoebe on cup-and-ice duty that I will date myself by referencing, I take things very seriously, in part because I have a lot of rules for Passover desserts. The first is that that whatever dessert I make cannot include even a speck of matzo meal. I’m sorry, I realize this is a sensitive topic and I should tread more carefully, but I find the taste of matzo meal just awful in anything but matzo ball soup. My difficult palate aside, I also figure if I’m going to go through the effort to come up with something new (and hopefully better) in the flourless department, it would be of more use to more people were it also gluten-free, so that’s the second rule. The final rule is that I want the dessert to be good enough that I’d choose it any other day of year. It can’t just be good for a Passover dessert. It can’t just be good for something gluten-free. It has to be objectively good. Really, shouldn’t everything be?

already toasted and kinda peeled hazelnuts
whirling and whirling the hazelnuts

My inspiration this year was a cake I found on Epicurious. Isn’t it a beaut? I knew I had to find a way to make it happen, but I also knew it wasn’t going to be the way it was written. Aside from the fact that it is not actually a Schwarzwälder Torte (a chocolate cake with whipped cream, cherries and often Kirsh, what we sometimes refer to as a Black Forest Cake) and that it contains both flour and powdered sugar (a Passover no-no, unless you find or make cornstarch-free stuff), reviewers seemed very unhappy with the meringues, which were too thin and from what I could tell, not particularly flavorful. I turned instead to the macaroon component of an almond torte I made a few years ago; the torte was a headache but the macaroons ended up having a lovely flavor largely because they contained such a high proportion of nuts. Given the choice, I always prefer meringues that are closer to macaroons.

ground hazelnuts with sugar and salt

whipping the egg whites
spread into a traced circle
baked hazelnut macaroon disc
melted chocolate, instant espresso
melted chocolate on each hazelnut macaroon
coat each disc with melted chocolate
just a little whipped cream between layers
filled and stacked
a crumb coat
with frangelico whipped cream

The result is one of the best cakes that has ever come out of my kitchen — I mean, it’s up there with the Dobos Torte and this hulking mass of chocolate and peanut butter. We love this. It’s not too sweet. The macaroons are soft enough to be cake-y but firm enough to add a great texture, and they’re slicked with just the right amount of bittersweet chocolate before cuddling against tufts of lightly sweetened whipped cream. This is, if you’re not yet convinced you need to make it, in short, a deconstructed-then-reconstructed Nutella stack. Go; go make it happen.

with chocolate shavings
chocolate hazelnut macaroon torte

More Passover recipes: Here.
More Gluten-Free recipes: Here.
* Note: Neither archive is exhaustive as there are many-a salads, meat and poultry dishes, vegetable sides and soups that have no offending ingredients.

One year ago: Soft Eggs with Buttery Herb-Gruyere Toasts
Two years ago: Oat and Maple Syrup Scones
Three years ago: Bakewell Tart and Romesco Potatoes
Four years ago: Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Corn Bread and Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Strawberry Coulis
Five years ago: Pasta with Cauliflower, Walnuts and Feta (true story: this is my MIL’s favorite recipe on the site) and Caramel-Walnut Upside-Down Banana Cake
Six years ago: Skillet Irish Soda Bread, Lighter-Than-Air Chocolate Cake and Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas and Red Peppers

Chocolate-Hazelnut Macaroon Torte
Adapted from these two tortes

Serves 8 generously, and up to 12 or possibly even 16 in thin slices (which is what is always demanded at our gatherings, where there are multiple desserts)

Oil or butter for greasing parchment rounds
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) granulated sugar
6 large egg whites
2 1/2 cups hazelnuts (about 12 ounces or 340 grams), toasted, then skinned as much as possible*
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract**

Chocolate filling
6 ounces (170 grams or the equivalent of 1 cup chips) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso granules (optional)

Whipped frosting and filling
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy or whipping cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Frangelico or another hazelnut liqueur or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract**

A semi- or bittersweet chocolate bar for shaving (optional)

Make macaroons: Position oven racks in the top and lower thirds of oven and heat oven to 325°F. Outline four 8-inch circles on individual pieces of parchment paper. Turn each sheet of parchment over so your ink or pencil lines don’t seep into the macaroon, place each piece of parchment paper on large baking sheets, and very lightly coat each piece of parchment with oil or butter. (I sprayed mine with a cooking oil and wiped all but a sheer coating away with a paper towel.)

Place hazelnuts, 1 cup sugar and salt in a food processor and blend until finely ground. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large, dry bowl with clean beaters (or a whisk attachment) until soft peaks form. Drizzle in vanilla extract, then slowly add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Beat until stiff but not dry. Fold nut mixture into egg whites in 1/3 increments (i.e. a little at a time so it doesn’t overtake the fluffy egg whites). Spread 1/4 of macaroon batter evenly within each circle, filling completely.

Bake macaroon layers until golden and dry to the touch — this takes 20 to 23 minutes in my oven. Cool macaroons on their sheets on a cooling rack. You can speed this along by placing them for five minutes each in your freezer.

Make chocolate filling: While meringues cool, heat half of chocolate, water, and coffee (if using) in a small heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring until smooth. Off the heat, stir in second half of chocolate chunks until melted, which should also cool the mixture to lukewarm. Spread chocolate evenly over tops of meringue rounds; it will be just a thin slick on each. Cool until chocolate is set, a process that could take a few hours at room temperature or, again, could be hastened along by resting each disc in your freezer for five minutes, or until firm.

Make whipped frosting and filling:: Beat cream with sugar and liqueur or vanilla in a bowl with cleaned beaters until it holds stiff peaks.

Assemble torte: Gently peel the parchment off the back of each macaroon round. Arrange your first disc on your cake serving plate. If you like to follow proper cake-decorating protocol, you will insert some small strips of waxed paper under the edge to protect the cake plate while you decorate. If you don’t, hey, I too embrace cake imperfections. Spread 1/3 cup whipped cream over it. Repeat with second and third macaroon rounds, then top with final round. Frost top and side of torte with whipped cream. I did this in two parts, a thin “crumb” coat (after which I put the cake in the freezer for 5 minutes to “set” it, although whipped cream doesn’t really set) a thicker final one, with the remaining cream, which led to a neater final result.

If desired, use a vegetable peeler to scrape away curls from a chocolate bar for decoration. Remove waxed paper strips if you used them, and serve immediately or up to a day or two layer. Store in fridge.

Do ahead: Whipped cream confections are generally best on the first day, but we found ours to hold up just fine in the fridge for more than 24 hours. Macaroons alone, or macaroons with chocolate coating, can be baked in advance. Simply keep them separated with waxed paper in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. Humidity is the enemy of macaroons, so if you live in a humid environment, you’ll want to store them as little time as possible lest they become sticky.

* I toast hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet at 350 for anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes, rolling them around once or twice. One cool, I roll them around in dry hands over the tray to remove as much of their skins as possible. This is not a popular method. More common is to roll them around in a dishtowel but I find this coats my entire existence (counter/floor/self) with hazelnut skins. You’re probably neater than me, however. A third and even awesome method would be to happen upon toasted and skinned hazelnuts at Trader Joe’s, as I did this week, for a measly $6.99/pound. Finally, if you have already ground hazelnut meal or flour, you can use the equivalent weight of it instead of whole ones.

** Passover legal-ese: If you follow a strict Passover regimen, Frangelico and other liqueurs may not be acceptable, and neither will vanilla extract (although Passover-friendly stuff is available) because they contain alcohol derived from grains. This cake is dairy and many kosher Seders are meat meals, so it would not be acceptable to eat until two hours, or even six hours, after the meal. Which should give everyone enough time to digest your cousin’s brisket, huh? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

Update: Helene (comment #118) brilliantly made a suggestion for a non-dairy whipped cream alternative: 7-Minute Frosting, which is also sometimes called Marshmallow Frosting. It’s billowy, white, shiny and light and can even be toasted on the outside with a blowtorch for a toasted marshmallow effect, but very easy to make. Here’s my favorite recipe for it. While it holds up well for two days, I do want to warn that it “crusts” (a gross word for getting dry out the very outer edges) after a day or so. It’s very light, might just seem faintly crisp, but the inside will still be pillowy.

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529 comments on chocolate-hazelnut macaroon torte

    1. Joanie Smith

      This is the ultimate! I made it for last night’s seder and it didn’t disappoint. My husband is a chocoholic so I doubled the chocolate layer. Unlike others, I was able to fill the layers and cover top and sides with whipped cream…just. I was a little skeptical about the thickness of the macaroons as well. They came out of the oven nice and puffy but by the time they cooled, they were pretty flat. I was very pleasantly surprised when I sliced open the cake and they had puffed right up again. Couldn’t help myself though, cake for breakfast today 🤷🏼‍♀️

  1. MarBarre

    Do you think you could actually use Nutella as the filling? This looks amazing…will be making it for a birthday this weekend….

  2. What a beautiful cake or torte. I would have a very hard time resisting that if it were on my table. The combination of ingredients and the overall results are a winner to me. :-) Thanks for the great suggestion for passover. :-)))

    1. Sarah

      They do? In all my years on this earth living around the world and all the people I’ve known I’ve NEVER heard that even once until now.

    1. deb

      Hazelnut substitutions — This would also work with almonds, walnuts or pecans.

      Chocolate — I don’t have a single brand I use, but I tend to keep boxes of chocolate “wafers” (like large, flat chocolate chips) around from E. Guittard. They come in one-pound boxes of white, excellent milk, semi- and bittersweet and are quite reasonably priced for (what tastes to me to be) excellent chocolate, around $8-10/box.

      1. Carol Fisch

        I get so confused by the multiple kinds of semi sweet and bitter sweet chocolate wafers when I go online to buy e. Guittard chocolate wafers. I dont see 1 lbs. boxes of them, only bags. Can you update this with more specific names of the chocolate wafers and/or percentages? Sigh. I would be so willing to upgrade to this brand but get overwhelmed…

    1. deb

      MaryAnne — Coconut macaroons are popular, but a macaroon doesn’t, by definition, need to contain coconut. It’s just a style of cookie. Nut macaroons are more popular outside the US.

      Milk chocolate — Can be used.

  3. Rita (Mayhem Sweets)

    Love your witty humor. Even though I’m not Jewish, I have great respect for the Jewish traditions and “food-rules”. My friend just asked me for a gluten-free dessert and this sounds divine. Thank you so much.

  4. Monika

    Deb, do you think I could use milk chocolate for this? My boys will not eat bittersweet chocolate, if I could have it my way, I’d definately go for bittersweet! Thanks for what looks like a wonderful recipe! x

  5. Alexis

    Alas, many people follow a six hour gap! Nonetheless, the actual cake layers are perfectly pareve and contain no Pesach-unfriendly ingredients. (And in addition, are perfect for those people who have the custom to not use matza meal in cooking.)

    Regardless of when I serve it, I think this will be making an appearance on my Passover table. The combination of nut cake and whipped cream also reminded me of a cake from Sky High, though I just looked and that had graham cracker crumbs in the cake itself.

    1. Chum

      Is the texture more like the crispy French macarons (which I think use almond flour and egg whites) than the coconut macaroons you see around Passover?

      1. deb

        Somewhere in the middle, but also neither. It’s more of a soft, nutty, light disc. There’s a much higher concentration of nuts than in a macaron.

  6. Is it okay to say “I Love You” ? For not being an exclusive gluten free blogger, you consistently bang out some of the best gluten free baked goods on the internet! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!

  7. Mari

    I agree completely about matzo meal, and also potato starch! My usual fall back is flourless chocolate cake and last year I made your raspberry coconut macaroons. I might have to try this torte this year, in addition to the chocolate cake. Beautiful job – thank you for the recipe, Deb!

  8. It’s been a long time since you last posted a layered cake recipe. This one is a beauty! And, I can’t believe it’s flourless. 2.5 cups of hazelnuts in a cake – that’s my type of cake! Phoebe’s cups and ice party is hilarious!

  9. Chocolate and hazelnuts — the Fred and Ginger of the dessert world. Gorgeous. And I like Trader Joe’s Pound Plus chocolates. I keep the blocks on hand at all times. Price is nice, too.

  10. Killian

    Unfreakinbelievable. That may be the perfect cake.

    I can’t make it for Easter because it’s a certain Bear’s birthday this year and he has requested something specific for his dessert.

    But this? This will be made soonly.

  11. Christy M

    And I JUST made that hulking mass of chocolate and peanut butter! My diet can’t take any more cake! Maybe it’ll take me less than 4 years to get around to making this one.

  12. Randi

    Deb, thanks so much for making this GF and for taking the time to make other recipes that can be made gluten free. Really thrilled about this since gluten and I do not get along anymore. Happy pesach!

  13. Kathy

    At last! I have seen my baking for Passover philosophy supported! I tell people around Akron, Ohio, that I refuse to bake one thing with a matzo-derived product and they look at me like I am anti-Bubbe or something. Thank you! and the recipe looks like a triumph!

  14. I think I’m making a Passover dinner with only your recipes!

    I just have to get the boss (my mom!) to approve changing things around this year. I KNOW they’ll love the raspberry macaroons, and since we can’t get enough dessert, this one too!

    1. deb

      Jonathan — You just got me to pull down my Larousse Gastronomique and it had nothing, not a word, about either! Harrumph. Nevertheless, I might have considered dacquoise and macaroons to be similar but different things (I’d always thought of dacquoise as having a higher proportion of egg whites to nuts, and being baked a low oven until fully crisp throughout, more brittle) when at least from what I’m Googling right now, a dacquoise is a layered almond or hazelnut meringue dessert with cream or frosting, so this is indeed a dacquoise. But, a macaroon is “a sweet cake consisting largely of ground almonds” but is also made with coconuts and other nuts. In short, I think it is both. :)

  15. Wow, this looks out of control. I mean you had me at hazelnut, who doesn’t love the flavor and crunch that hazelnut gives. Can’t wait to give this bad boy a shot. The photos look awesome as usual.

  16. It’s beautiful and I agree about what you said…can’t just be good as a Passover dessert or a GF dessert (or when I was a strict vegan/ couldnt just be good as vegan desserts go) – that it has to be objectively good, yes, so true! And this looks to be just that!

  17. Deb,

    If you want to get more into flourless desserts, you should invest in bagged almond flour. Honeyville is the best brand I found. It is very finely ground and bakes beautifully. It works awesome with your Clementine Cake!


  18. Cindy Zack

    We are all in Savannah for my daughter,Jessica’s wedding. I pulled this up on my iPad to show my son and he has requested it for Memorial Day. What a beauty! Thx so much.

  19. Happy Baker

    This sounds great and looks beautiful too. The chocolate filling is intriguing as it contains water and is therefore a rule breaker just like the great water and chocolate mousse that Heston Blumenthal bought to our attention. It is going on my list! :-D

  20. nutella was a discovery made while i lived in london… and i must say, i felt my childhood breakfasts were gipped – you mean all these children in england had chocolate on their toast for breakfast? {!} ps. have you ever considered leaving the edges of the torte raw? it looks so beautiful stacked with the filling oozing out… maybe that’s just the lazy girl in me. by the way, you have a friend in me, i am always nominated to bring dessert to family gatherings too. just posted one of my favorites to bring actually. xo

  21. Grace

    I have a bunch of almond flour leftover from a big macaroon kick that i haven’t found a use for until now. Thanks for the recipe, I’m going to try making it for Easter with lemon curd filling instead since we aren’t big chocolate dessert eaters.

    Also I love your cookbook and am making a brunch that is predominantly your recipes. Since I couldn’t pick a favorite, I’m going to just use them all!

  22. ami

    Finally something to do with the almond flour I impulse bought :)

    I have a quick question. For Christmas my mom got me some “torte pans” from pampered chef. I’ve never heard of such a thing since I had asked for tart pans. I don’t have the heart to tell her otherwise, and therefore need a dessert made in them for next family holiday… “see mom, great present!”

    Anyway, I am absolutely flabbergasted by the deep well along the bottom edge. Would attempting to bake a macaroon in these be anything less than insane? What are they for if not for the nut or meringue based things that I’ve associated with tortes?

  23. That looks amazing!!

    My dad makes this delicious dessert that is Flourless Chocolate Roll-Up or something like that. It’s filled with whipped cream and chocolate shavings and the outside is apparently flourless chocolate something. I had no idea it was flourless until a few years ago, and it is hands down one of my favorite desserts!!

  24.! This cake looks amazing. I was thinking of making something similar; the recipe involves layers of meringue and coffee buttercream and chocolate ganache. I have yet to get around to it because the whole thing sounds a little overwhelming (both almonds & hazelnuts involved too). This sounds far more do-able. I can imagine the flavor and texture of this! Love that you use so much hazelnuts! Have you ever used hazelnut praline (of course, you have! : ). I bought it once on a whim (on sale) and used it to mix with ganache and it was so tasty – might be nice here. Thank you for the recipe!

  25. I could wax poetic about this cake all day long. Okay, I haven’t actually tasted it, but between the hazelnut/chocolate combination and the macaroon, I’m already convinced it would be fabulous.

  26. martha

    I converted to Judaism and never acquired the taste for matzo meal in baked goods-glad to hear you don’t like it either. My previous Passover desserts were mainly fruit and meringues-thanks for this treat!

  27. Julia

    Fantastic! To those commenters mentoring almond flour, am I missing something? There is no almond flour in this! It is hazelnuts! Yes it would work with almonds but it would not be so tasty.

  28. Jen

    I have some hazelnuts that have just been laying around! I was going to make your Hazelnut Brown Butter cake, but I think I may make this instead! Yum! Thanks, Deb!

  29. Laurie

    I attempted your almond macaroon torte last night. The layers came out really thin–not sure if the finished product would be Seder worthy. Now that you’re exhorting us to make this one, I might have to go get some hazelnuts. About parchment sticking–I would bet that variances probably have to do with the brand of paper. Some perform much better than others. Happy Passover!

    1. deb

      Laurie — This time, I oiled two parchment rounds and didn’t oil the other two. The non-oiled ones definitely stuck worse, and the oiled ones (with the very thin layer of oil directions I have here) didn’t cause the macaroon to spread more than 1/4 inch, so I think it’s fine. However, the parchment rounds I was using weren’t as non-stick-ing as my favorite brand of parchment paper (If You Care — yes, the name is this passive agressive!) so it’s possible one would get better mileage without oil with better parchment, but it seems easiest to just add the layer of precaution.

      1. Jessica

        Thank you for pointing out that If You Care brand is passive aggressive! Bugs me every time I see it. I use Costco brand parchment (when I am feeling uncaring) and find both to be pretty nonstick with this recipe. Making the macarons today and finishing the cake tomorrow. Hoping that the humidity will not kill it. Regardless, it will be delicious! LOVE this cake.

  30. SMum

    Thank-you for posting a chocolate-hazelnut recipe that does not contain Nutella. Such a great combination to have, without having to spoon it out of a jar (gag). I know I’m with the minority on this one!

  31. Lauren

    While this doesn’t read like a simple dessert to make…it LOOKS “simply” awesome.One that will earn raves, that is, if the cook can stop eating it herself! How does one manage to stop at one little taste, I wonder? Impossible when hazelnuts are involved.

  32. Mattie Kahn

    Deb, my sister is allergic to nuts, but the style of this cake is completely entrancing. Do you think finely grinding traditional coconut in place of hazelnuts would do the trick? I’d love to substitute our annual macaroons with something a little more glamorous. Thanks!

  33. Deborah

    Well! I come to your site to get the ingredients for pavlova and flour-less chocolate cake and SURPRISE! Thank you for throwing a wrench in my dessert plan for Monday. A really exciting tasty looking wrench.

  34. Tiffany

    This looks insanely delicious. I think I’ll give it a go for Easter next weekend, even though we’re cool with flour and with mixing dairy and meat.

  35. Susan

    Oh, goodie! A new cake (you haven’t done a cake in quite a while) and just in time for our Easter!
    About matzo…it’s a humble food that symbolizes a big event in Jewish history. I get why it’s not a favorite of so many people, it’s pretty bland. (except for Matzo Crack candy..and matzo with peanut butter drizzled with honey and salt-my personal favorite snack as a kid) Is it because it’s mandated rather than a choice? That makes anything taste bad. I’d hope you’d think of this as a challange and do something about it! No, YOU..not me!

  36. I have never tasted this sort of cake before. Just by looking at the pictures this looks very tasty and exciting. This would be a brilliant desert after a family party. Looks a bit long to make but I’m very sure my girlfriend would’nt mind making this. Cant wait to taste this. Brilliant post.

  37. Marlene

    I would love to make this, if there were a substitute for whipped cream, as my Seder host is observant. I have made a chocolate mousse filling for a cake roll using egg whites to lighten it. Anyone have other ideas?

    I recently read about using coconut or almond milk as a dairy substitute, but that won’t work for this, obviously.

  38. Melissa

    Umm, this cake looks divine, but i LOVE that you quoted Friends. In fact, a repeat of that very episode was just shown the other day. Anyway, impecable choice of merigue, hazelnuts, and chocolate. I’m not Jewish but would love to attend that dinner!

  39. Ariel

    Dammit, Deb! I was planning on making your lighter-than-air chocolate cake for Monday (I’ve made it at least the past three years) and now you post this! Looks fantastic, can’t wait to try it – although it may have to wait until after Monday… I’ve already promised the other cake. :-)

  40. Adrienne

    As a recent gluten-free-er who remains devoted to your blog nonetheless my heart sank a little when I pulled up the page and saw this magnificent looking concoction, thinking ‘another dessert beyond the realm of possibility.’ Then I read the first paragraph and OH MY GOD MAGNIFICENT CAKE I CAN EAT!!!! Thanks for making my day. I may have literally jumped around the living room in excitement. You’re the greatest!!

  41. Cat

    Fabulous! I am definitely volunteering to bring dessert next.

    Your cake looks gorgeous and round and even. Did you trim the layers? Or were you just super careful when spreading the meringue in the circles?

    1. deb

      Cat — I started to but then decided not to bother trimming the layers. If you’d like to, however, I’d do so before layering them, as it’s too fragile when they’re stacked. Nevertheless, it’s not necessary. A crumb coat of whipped cream quickly turned my messy stack into a smooth cylinder.

      ATG — No, I doubt it would work. These are large macaroon cookies, not traditional American-style cake layers (that can be divided horizontally).

      Anna — Thanks for linking to that. I saw it and considered it, but then imagined it would take many cans to fill and frost this cake. But if someone wants to use less cream, I think it could be delicious.

      lindsay — Aw! I’m glad I was able to sign your book after all. (They were polite, but I think they wanted me out as I finished long after the place should have been closed for the night.)

  42. This is hilarious but I actually made that recipe (the Epicurious version) years ago. We LOVED it. As soon as I read Epicurious and Schwarzwälder, I wondered if it was the same one. So fun that you’ve tweaked it!

  43. LJ

    Do you think it would work to pipe the base as small cookies and fill with melted chocolate? Like a macaron (in my head)… dairy allowed at our seder.

  44. ATG

    Thanks. I should have taken a closer look at the layers. Now I’m even more intrigued by the texture of this cake. Looking forward to making it on Sunday.

  45. Louise

    Remember – Passover is 8 days – so even if you can not eat this yummy dessert at seder there are 6 other nights to enjoy it! thanks I look forward to making it

  46. Karen

    This sounds wonderful. I would be using almonds since I have never met a hazelnut that tasted like much of anything. Not sure why that is, but they always seem really plain.

  47. I’ve gone through 3 dozen eggs this week testing crepe recipes and now I’m stuck with cup upon cup of egg whites in the freezer. This looks like the perfect way to use them up!

    Thanks, love the hazelnut addition!

  48. liz ruork

    i love meringue cakes….i make a cake called le succes for special occasions …. almonds ground fine with sugar for the meringue, which stays slightly chewy; at least 3 layers filled with french buttercream and topped with a ganache… sounds like what monica mentioned earlier…. it is a really impressive celebration cake … i found it in the old time life good cook series ….. a little fussy but can be made a day ahead which can make life a lot easier…. my go-to summer cake is a blitztorte filled with whipped cream and fresh strawberries…. but this is not pesadich or gluten free…. and while the meringue should be done ahead the filling is a very last minute thing… and it is very difficult to transport…. although i do each year for a neighbourhood picnic in the park ….

  49. Ann

    This sound heavenly…. But where can one buy hazelnuts. We just had this conversation at work- pecans, almonds, walnuts, pistachios are all there, but despite hazelnuts in chocolate bars and hazelnut flavored coffees, the are no nuts. I have a fabulous cookie recipe that uses ground hazelnuts, but never find the nuts. Argggg… Comments? ( i do live in the midwest, 110 miles from any Trader Joe or Whole Foods… Sigh)

  50. Sarahb1313

    Oh my!
    First, i am in complete agreement about Passover dessert. Why must it be bad? Who thought one needed a special recipe made from 2nd class ingredients? The passovers of my memeries, my favorite holiday, were filled with warm loving hours of family cooking before the seder producing delicious meals.
    But dessert? I was invited for seder to a new home and asked to bring dessert (I am always asked for dessert). So i started digging around thinking of what perfect dessert was already kosher and fab. The hostess politely requested that i not bake. Yes, sad but true. The kosherness of kitchen is unknown. I will have to BUY A DESSERT!!!!! I am mortified and now i just dont know what to do :-(.

    But for our seder at home, you have given me one of my davorite types of dessert- wether passover or not, this cake will be perfect when i make it!!

    Thanks for the recipe… Macaroon, daquoise, a rose by any other name can taste just as sweet!!

  51. Ellen

    I would love to make this cake but I was wondering if the macaroon layers can be made 2-3 days in advance because time is limited the day of Passover? Thanks for your help.

  52. Aari

    I was assigned a birthday cake for Passover & had just about given up on finding anything decent to make. THEN YOU SENT ME THIS EMAIL

  53. Helene

    Have you ever tried this with 7-minute frosting so it can be pareve? I think I may have to try that. I also have some hazelnut filling (kosher for passover) I bought in Monsey and may try mixing that with melted chocolate for the ganache. Very excited to try this – thanks!

  54. EM-MV

    Thanks so much for thinking of us gluten-free followers. I have subbed almond flour in some of your great cakes but how nice to have a beautiful choice, ready to go.

  55. Jen

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I was thinking of using pre-ground hazelnuts (Bob’s Red Mill). What would be the cup-for-cup equivalent? P.S. I love, love your site.

  56. Lucyj

    Deb: Was planning to do the same epicurious recipe that inspired you but just saw this and switched gears. Do you think it would be possible to bake each 8 inch round in 8 inch round cake tins? Saw the comment above that it wouldn’t work to try to slice but it seems like this might work? Thanks!

  57. Simone

    Deb-you just made my Pesach! I follow the custom of not eating foods prepared w/ matzo meal on Pesach & I’m so glad that you came up w/ a delicious dessert that doesn’t include matzo meal. They’re REALLY hard to find.

    I do have one question though. If I wanted to make this w/ pareve cream (because seriously, I can’t see myself waiting 6 hours from the end of our meat meal before diving into this cake:) would cashew cream work? Here’s a link to Tal Ronen’s site where he provides the recipe for that pareve cream:

    A Zissen Pesach!

    1. deb

      Simone — I’m not sure — does it whip? Will it get thick? I skimmed the video but the was no visual indication that it would whip.

      Lucyj — May I ask why? These macaroons are really large cookies — best baked with the sides exposed. Plus, it’s not going to flip out of a cake pan, even if buttered (it’s a sticky semi-firm disc).

      Jen — Because I grind the hazelnuts with the sugar (leads to less clumping), I didn’t get a cup measurement of just the hazelnut meal. Use the weight instead.

      Helene — Now THAT is an excellent suggestion! No seriously, it’s perfect. I highly recommend it. You could even lightly torch the outside of the frosting for a toasted marshmallow effect. Here’s my favorite recipe for it; it’s easy-peasy.

      Everyone looking for a non-dairy version of this cake — As per Helene’s suggestion, I’ve added another footnote to the recipe. I think 7-Minute Frosting would be wonderful here.

      LJ — Absolutely. I actually debated doing the same.

  58. Kate

    This looks so good I lol’d. Filbert Macaroons. FRANGELICO WHIPPED CREAM? You are ridiculous and I love you. Yes please.

  59. Jen

    Thank you for standing firm on the rule that a [follows * dietary restriction] dessert isn’t a good one unless it’s a good dessert, period.

    While this isn’t dairy free, I’m often baffled by the convetional wisdom that dairy free kosher cakes are terrible. Dairy is about the easiest thing to eliminate from cakes! Just choose any recipe that doesn’t include butter (lots of vegetable oil cake recipes,) and substitute almost any liquid for the milk. I’ve used such a variety of non-dairy milks that I’m willing to bet that water would work in most cases.

    (Special case: yogurt cakes and buttermilk cakes. Yup, you can clabber soy milk with vinegar or lemon juice just as you would dairy milk when buttermilk is called for. Would probably work for a yogurt cake, too, but I haven’t tried it.)

  60. First, I want to tell you how much I look forward to your weekly post–it’s outstanding in common-sense deliciousness and feels like being in the kitchen with a friend. NOW: I actually made the torte this afternoon, and it looks wonderful and I’ll be surprised if it lasts until dinnertime. This was a dry run for a Passover/Easter dessert. I used hazelnut flour from the healthy store (no hazelnuts in the only “fancy” market in Roanoke, and no Trader Joe’s for 100 miles) and chopped Ghirardelli 72% choc–next time I’ll use 60%–it’s too dense for my taste. Thanks for another winner.

  61. Susan

    After years of managing to avoid the Passover Anniversary, we managed to hit Lucky #13 this year on the second Seder – boom! While I’d planned to make your lovely chocolate roll cake for our celebratory dessert, my husband spied this on the blog today and all but demanded it instead. So thank, Deb, for providing yet another terrific recipe, Passover or otherwise, and what promises to be a great anniversary dessert as well! Happy Pesach to you!

  62. Lucyj

    You’re the best, that makes sense. I’d been thinking of it more like a sponge cake and that the pans would be easier than trying to form it into free-standing circles. Thanks!

  63. Ash

    I may have just died upon reading this. I’m sure there is no more perfect combination than hazelnut and chocolate. Looking forward to making up any excuse to bake this.


  64. Erica

    HA! I told you that chocolate peanut butter cake was your best! Just made only the cake part, 1/2 recipe in a bundt pan for a friend in crisis. Nothing beats it.

    I was GOING to make your nutella hazelnut crepe cake for Easter dinner next week, but now you post this. I’m conflicted. So much hazelnut, so much chocolate, SO MANY GOOD OPTIONS! What’s a girl to do?

    I still have sour cream, maybe I’ll go make another of those chocolate cakes to console myself and help me think. It’s only one bowl and one pan …

  65. Hi Deb,
    Can you speak to how the cake eats please? Is it crunchy but then gets soft the longer it waits in the fridge? Does it stay crunchy? is it chewy/sticky? Given that you’ve made it once as a 4 layer cake, would you also try a two or a six?
    As for the ‘dacquoise’ vs ‘macaroon’ question, I believe you are correct in saying the layers are both. My understanding is that the former is the French definition, the latter an American word. I think this recice is more macaroon than dacquoise though because of the presence of fat/butter.
    Happy Pesach!

  66. Andrea

    I am an experienced baker and a first time poster to your site. I attempted to make this stunning looking cake earlier today. It did not turn out properly. Unlike the billowy appearing unbaked meringue in your photos, mine was too liquidy and looked pancake-like upon baking. (Also, the chocolate seized. In researching that issue I see in a number of books a caveat about adding liquid.) My main concern is the meringue. I believe I followed your recipe to the “T” and so am not sure what to do differently.

  67. zoe

    Yep. I hear that. I cannot abide matzoh meal in anything other than plain matzoh or matzoh ball soup, but it must be really GOOD soup. Have you ever tried matzoh pancakes? Awful!
    And I’m allergic to nuts, so most of the gluten free cakes are not allergy-friendly either.

    This year we’re going with an Asian inspired seder, with the classic flourless chocolate torte and green tea ice cream. Ice cream is always a good idea, right? Thankfully we only do veggie dairy seders!

  68. Brooklyn Jen

    I’m excited to make this for a seder dessert. Question: I have 12 guests and they are enthusiastic dessert eaters, so I want to increase the size. Do you think making 1 1/2 times the recipe and doing six layers instead of 4 would work, or are the layers too fragile to be stable at that height? Has anyone tried this? Also, has anyone tried using ganache on the outside of the cake instead of whipped cream, just to increase the chocolate factor, and was it good or did it overwhelm the macaroon layers? Thanks!

  69. This totally caught my attention. Working on this now. The making process is fun. I really hope it comes out. I already had two failed passover desert attempts. One was your & David’s chocolate matzo where I cannot get the caramel right ever and I don’t know what the problem is. It always comes out like grainy butter instead. The other were the raspberry macaroons where I used unsweetened coconut and could not figure out the correct sugar amount so they are slightly on the sour side although they look pink and adorable. They will go through the “husband” test. If that passes I will bring them to my parents house tomorrow. I am going to try the matzo again. I am not giving up quite yet.

  70. I used 3 eggs instead of six. I am sure I am the only one in the world. Attention is clearly not my strong point. What do you think will be the consequences? Too hazel-nutty, too sweet and too hard? I guess my question is will it still be edible and will it still taste decent?

  71. Mallory

    Just baked this today for Passover, looking forward to trying it! I doubled the vanilla and sugar in the frosting to make it a bit sweeter. Also, are the cake layers supposed to be very thin? Ended up making 2 instead of 4 because I was worried they would burn.

  72. veronica

    just wondering how the whipped frosting fares after some time? is it something that needs to be done at the last minute? or refrigerated? thank you! this cake looks AMAZING! can’t wait to try!

  73. Nancy

    I also have the same question as Brooklyn Jen. Can I just forgo the whipped cream on the outside of the cake. It looks like it would be difficult to frost the cake with chocolate ganache as the way the sides stick out. But, what about doing the layers as Deb did and then chocolate on top as well as huge mound of whipped cream and chocolate shavings? Was there a discussion of how to cut this cake with or without the whipped cream frosting?

  74. April

    Dude. Deb, don’t waste ANOTHER SECOND peeling hazelnuts that way! Every site, every book, every cook seems to think that roasting/rolling works, but it never dang does. It just ends in frustration. What really, honest-to-gosh works is boiling them briefly with baking powder. You should’ve seen how giddy I was the first time I tried it, the skins just literally slip of with a squeeze.

    For each 1/2 cup nuts: Boil 1 1/2 cups water, add 2 Tbsp baking soda and the nuts, then boil for 3 minutes. Rinse ’em under cold water, and then gasp in amazement as you pinch the skins right off!

    The tip’s courtesy of Rose Levy Beranbaum, by the way. =] Who else.

  75. Anna

    Deb love your site! Just made your Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake for Passover, substituting flour for potato starch—heaven!

  76. Ok mine is a disaster too. Completely flat and dry. Think main problem is probably one should not go to stiff peaks with eggs but keep them still nice and soft and cloudy. By the time I got to spreading the mixture was nuts vaguely held together by wet eggy stuff, not the cloudy-looking delight deb has above.

    And now it’s 2230 and seder is tomorrow and I have no dessert. Tarnation

  77. Sadie

    Love that you made the macaroons with hazelnuts. I’m allergic to almonds and find far too many that are made with almond. It’s a sad life for me.

  78. I have tried to follow SK via e- mail but the site won’t allow me to fill in answer in order to sign up??
    I s there something wrong I am doing…I tried a couple of times and the same thing happened?

  79. Elise Hiller

    Hey Deb-So excited to add another matzo-meal/cake-meal free dessert to my recipe file (and the gluten free husband is tickled!!). I made the cake today and like some of the other posts, my layers look quite flat. As two of them cooked too much on the bottom, I will make some layers again tomorrow, but they certainly were not very puffy and I am wondering how well this will slice. Any thoughts/suggestions would be a HUGE help. Thanks!!

  80. Rose

    Love the look of this torte, but hazelnuts are not a family favorite. Can you substitute hazelnuts with almonds or walnuts and get same effect?

  81. JenB007

    So, I think that I figured out part of what I did wrong. I forgot to lower the temp in my oven and baked my meringues at 350. But, I am wondering if it will still be good with the thin cookie like layers? I mean, hazelnuts, good, chocolate, good, whipped cream, good…. right? I really don’t have time tomorrow to remake this! I will take any opinion on this!

  82. Haley

    I tried making this tonight–the layers, like several commenters mentioned above, came out pretty flat and pancake-like…in fact, from the time I started adding the hazelnut flour in to the whipped egg whites, the texture was significantly different than the lovely pictures in this post. The mixture seemed to shrink in size considerably and just became sorta gummy and hard to spread. I’m not sure if I should even try stacking the layers and frosting them–it would be a very short stack! And the texture is questionable…don’t know if the torte will even be able to be cut without breaking apart. I’ve never had trouble with any of the recipes on this site before, but this one kinda tanked for me. I suspect I went wrong with the egg whites somehow, but the peaks looked pretty stiff to me! An expensive experiment, sadly, and not one I’m sure my ego can risk serving at Seder tomorrow…

  83. shuki

    wow looks prefect! the kit-kat almond macaroon torte is one of my favorites, can’t wait to try this version:) happy pesach!

  84. Jess

    I used whipped coconut milk for my cream layer. I put the can in the fridge for an hour and then scooped out the separated solids and whipped them with some sugar. Delicious and Passover-friendly!

    1. deb

      Those having trouble with the macaroon layers — Just a few things to clarify, and I hope, reassure: The macaroon layers are thin. (Mine were approximately 1/4 to 1/3-inch thick.) The mixture does lose volume as you fold the mass of hazelnuts and sugar in. This is not a towering tall cake (I’d say my total height was 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 2 1/4 inches). Folding the nuts gently into the egg whites is key. You want them distributed throughout, but beyond that, stop mixing it. Not even two more stirs. ;)

      Given this — For those of you have said your layers are “flat,” tell me more, please. Maybe share a link to a photo? I want to help. Are they flatter than 1/4-1/3-inch? Remember that a) these are cookies, not cake. They will make a cake once stacked. Fairly flattish is about right. b) They will be filled first with a thin layer of chocolate and then a slick of whipped cream, so those scant layers will become a 2 1/4-ish-inch rich layered cake.

      Slicing the cake — Although those cookies may seem firm when they come out, they soften quickly when they are layered with whipped cream. A sharp serrated knife and careful, light sawing motion will cut this nicely. The longer it stays in the fridge, the softer it gets but please note: the slice you see taken out in the photos above was cut immediately after the cake was finished, with no time given at all for softening. If mine was fine, yours will be too. :)

      Scaling the recipe — We are having a big crowd tonight, so I decided to scale my current edition to 150% and bake it in 10-inch rounds. Let me know if you’d like me to post the proportions for this size here in the comments.

      Parchment rounds — I mumbled in an earlier comment about how I found even with the oil, my macaroon layers didn’t release perfectly (no big deal) and suspected that it was that I wasn’t using a great brand of parchment. I’m making this again today with my preferred brand (it of the passive-agressive name, “If You Care”) and wow, it releases like a pro/cleanly. It does make life easier. P.S. Once the discs are fully cool, definitely remove the parchment. The longer they sit on it after they’re cool, the stickier they get and the more it is likely to take some crumbs with it when you remove the paper.

      Adam — The cake stand is from Martha Stewart’s line for Macys.

      Andrea — WHOOPS. Totally missed that in the recipe. Use this version instead. The corn syrup (only 1 tablespoon in this version) can be omitted or replaced with honey or golden syrup. If you find the technique simpler in the first version I shared (no thermometer), feel free to use that instead.

      Shuna and others that asked about the texture of the torte — The texture of the macaroons alone are dry outside (to the touch) but still tender inside. I’ve always been partial to meringues that have the marshmallow effect inside. (i.e. baked hotter and quicker, not low and slow, which makes them crisp and evenly baked through.) so these are on the chewy/sticky side, but, with such a massive quantity of ground nuts that it’s crumbly/cake-y, with a big, loose crumb. When you first stack it with the cream, it can easily be sliced with a serrated knife/gentle sawing motion, although I pressed right straight down with mine and there was no cracking or mess. After a day in the fridge, it was even softer but it never got mushy.

      Shuna — Since I am making it for a lot of people today, I debated making it with six instead of four layers. But, I actually think it is absolutely prefect at 4. I can’t explain it, it just doesn’t seemed like anything would be gained by increasing the height (and smaller, I don’t think it would be as interesting). So, I instead increased the circumference to 10″ — 150%-ing the recipe. Which led to a run to the cake and baking supply shop for a 12-inch cake box. Which they’re no longer selling individually, so, um, call me if you need a handful of them! If I were making it for a cafe or such, I’d go back to the loaf shape (12×4-inch rectangle layers) and cut it into 1-inch slices.

      And with that… Friends, have a lovely evening if you celebrating (I don’t think this is a celebratory holiday, right? But I’m always excited to see my family!). I’m off until tomorrow; will check comments again in the morning.

  85. @haley yes that perfectly describes texture of my layers as I spread them out. They actually seem to have come out of oven at least edible so I am going to try covering them with chocolate etc and just hope it will go down ok tonight!

  86. Lori

    My mother used to make a dessert just like this — a dacquoise (sp?) — for special occasions. Hers used almonds for the meringue layer (I think) and had a chestnut buttercream as the filling. It was one of her “special occasion” cakes. My parents 60th wedding anniversary is April 4th and you have inspired me to restore the tradition, but I am considering some changes to meet their current food favorites, so, I am thinking I will alternate fillers of chocolate ganache made with mexican chocolate (my current favorite) and dulce de leche.

  87. JenB007

    Well, mine was quite thin and spread beyond the circle that I had drawn on my parchment. I am glad to hear you describe them as cookies, as that is what mine are like. I was planning on just going on ahead with it. It seems like that is a good plan. I was worried about cutting into it. I could send you a picture, but I already covered them in chocolate.

  88. Amy P

    Dang I love how seriously you take this stuff. I always know your recipes will turn out, and your recipe book is the only one I’ve bought in the last three years (and was totally worth it). Thanks for all the work and effort you put into making each recipe foolproof and guaranteed amazing!

  89. renata

    Just one addition (being Russian) I made a pastry cream from the egg yolks that were left over and used that on top of the chocolate and it was great. I used corn starch to thicken the cream and it turned out amazing. We russians love that pastry cream!!

  90. Laurel

    I am about to leave for the Seder and bring this amazing dessert. Wish I could taste more Frangelica in the frosting. I added a little more, to no avail. Maybe later the flavor will come out more. I did trim my layers, with no problem, since they spread outside my parchment circles. No problem removing the layers from the parchment at all, I sprayed them w/grapeseed oil. Plenty of it! Will post results. Thank you for a great idea.

  91. Sarah

    Oh my word – skinning the hazlenuts was a DISASTER! Took me an hour and two baking sessions. Still have a ton of skin on the nuts and no choice to move forward or risk not having the dessert done in time for tonight! I hope the skins don’t make it bitter. Just a word of warning to others – PLAN AHEAD!

  92. This looks absolutely incredible. You are the coolest! Thanks, also, for the passover legal-ese. I’m a very bad Jew, and need all the help I can get. :)

  93. Mame M

    Agh! I am so excited to make this! You are beyond talented. I made something similar last year – with straight meringue instead of macaroon layer, and mascarpone filling instead of whipped cream frosting from Sweetapolita {which was diVINE} – I can’t wait to try it this way!!!

  94. emily

    I made this today, too! I had to make the layers twice because the first time the edges were too thin. (My 5 year old was delighted that I spent so much time in the kitchen during her first day of spring break:) I found that making the circles closer to 7 inches allowed them to be thick from the center to the outer circle. Also, making sure the oil/butter on the parchment went all the way out to the rim of the circle was essential. I added a tiny bit of Earth Balance shortening to the chocolate to smooth it out which made it easy to spread and silky smooth. Thanks, Deb!

  95. Becky

    Deb you are amazing!!!I made this yesterday and served it tonight and it was absolutely incredible!! I used precut 8 inch round parchment paper which worked perfectly. I used butter not spray and had no problem getting the paper off. Two of my circles did spread a little but i was able to easily trim the layers once they were cool. Will definitely be making this again!

    1. deb

      Sarah — Snarky to Epicurious? I don’t think so at all; I am, in fact, one of their biggest fans (and briefly wrote for them). It’s not snarky to point out an error or a place where I had to change a recipe to suit what I needed to bake. It’s just framing the conversation and where I went with it.

      Sarah — Don’t sweat skinning the hazelnuts. Sometimes, they really don’t want to come off and you can see in the second photo in this post that I hardly did a better job.

  96. Liz

    Holy sweet mother of seven plagues and the parting of the Red Sea, this was fantastic. My husband’s birthday is falling mid-Passover this year, and so I made this as his birthday cake/my shiksa Passover gesture (I did your matzo ball soup tonight, too, with goose fat, ginger, and parsley for good measure). It will never leave my repertoire. You’re right, this is a cake for all seasons and reasons.

  97. Anna

    I made this over the weekend and it’s absolutely the most amazing and unusual cake I’ve ever had!!! It’s just perfect, light and airy and crunchy at the same time. My layers came out uneven but whipping cream made it look great, a bit messy and totally hand-made. Everyone LOVED it and I’ve already been asked to make it again next weekend. Thank you for sharing!!!

  98. Devi

    I made this cake tonight for seder, and it turned out wonderfully! I’d never made anything remotely like it, but everything turned out perfectly (well, the macaroons stuck a bit because I forgot to grease the parchment paper for the first three layers). This is so much better than the standard Osem cakes, and will definitely be a Passover staple from now on! Thank you for providing a Passover-friendly recipe that’s legitimately delicious!

  99. Wendy

    Made this for seder last night and it was amazing! I found the recipe easy to follow and the taste and texture both were out of this world. It is my new favorite cake for any occasion. Thank you.

  100. Rebecca

    I made this yesterday for my family’s seder and it was amazing! My whole family loved it!! My dad even made the comment that until I started making recipes out of this blog for passover, he had come to the conclusion that passover is just not a holiday where dessert is meant to be served. I did make one slight change – when I layered the macaroons, I didn’t put whipped cream in between the layers (because I was worried I didn’t make enough whipped cream). It made the inside of the torte taste like nutella which was awesome. Thanks for yet another amazing passover recipe!!

  101. I, too, made this for seder this year… we had 14 people there, and when I cut into it they burst into applause. (That has never happened before.)

    When everyone started eating, the table fell silent. Another good sign. :)

    The final seal of approval: Everyone began begging me for the recipe. And I should mention here that the large majority of seder attendants were not Jewish, proof that this recipe transcends Passover. My mother, meanwhile, could not stop raving about how it’s the best Passover-friendly dessert she has ever eaten. Thank you so much for this… I’ll certainly be making it again before next April!

  102. Claire

    I’m a big fan of your blog and have successfully made several of your wonderful recipes! However, I am literally in the middle of this one and am perplexed… I had such a hard time getting the macaroons into the oven without flexing on the oven racks / bending and the bottom 2 burned! Any my chocolate mixture was much less liquidy than yours, perhaps because I used bakers squares instead of chocolate chips? I am so sad – I have been so looking forward to making this. In hindsight, I realize I should have thought to pull out the oven racks and lay the parchment on top, the slide the racks in, rather than using a cutting board to -swoosh- the macaroon & parchment into the oven on the racks. le sigh… perhaps I’ll have to see how it comes out and try again another time. I also noticed that the parchment appears to be pretty stuck to my macaroons. I think I have just royally botched this… hopefully my Seder #2 guests tonight won’t be too picky. :) That said, please keep up the good work, I am such a fan!

    1. deb

      Claire — Yikes! The parchment rounds should be on baking sheets, not directly on baking racks. I realize that was not made clear in the recipe and apologize for any trouble (I just guessed everyone would, or, as you say, it is impossible! Not that this is any consolation to you now. Will fix in recipe.). The kind of chocolate you used should not have affected how liquidy the melted chocolate was. Nor do I think mine was terribly thin, it would not have rolled off when I spread it; it might just have looked that way in the photos.

  103. Jodi

    Made it last nite. Tweeted a photo of one of my macaroons to make sure it was ok & got reassurance. They are pretty flat but when layered with chocolate & cream, you achieve a nice height. And the result was perfect: dramatic presentation, a little surprise when guests saw all the layers, and delicious!

  104. Diana

    So while I was browsing recipes for Passover desert this one looked GREAT but my dad, get ready for it, does not love chocolate- gasp!! He does however really love this apricot macaroon cake we used to get but is no longer available so when I said ‘what about the chocolate hazelnut macaroon torte?!’ he said, ‘how about an apricot hazelnut macaroon torte?’ And so it began, we attempted a twist on your recipe. I made the macaroons following the recipe exactly and they came out great. I stored them in what I thought was an air-tight container over night, and they came out a bit on the moist/sticky side but nothing catastrophic. Then instead of the chocolate filling I simply spread kosher for passover raspberry and apricot jam (alternating each layer) and used triple sec instead of frangelico in the whipped cream. It actually came out pretty well! It was very popular and received much praise from most guests at the Seder. Being self-critical, I thought it was good but a little too sticky and sweet for my taste. I think if I were to try a non-chocolate version again I would try some kind of custard/cake filling rather than just simple jam from the jar (but then again maybe next time your chocolate recipe will slip in under my dad’s radar hehe) All in all, it was really quite good and people enjoyed it (my mom is looking for leftovers right now) Thanks for the inspiration and the consistently heartwarming posts! Happy Passover!

  105. Elise Hiller

    I made this for Seder last night and it was a BIG hit. I had to make a couple of adjustments, however.
    1. When I first made the recipe, two of my cookies burned on the bottom, so I had to toss them.
    2. Lacking more hazelnuts, I used almond flour for the next version.
    3. This time I added the whipped eqg whites slowly and gently to my ground nuts/sugar mixture and was able to keep a litte more volume.
    4. I made three cookies rather than 4 and they were puffy enough, without being too puffy. They did not spread out beyond the circle and looked and smelled great.
    5. Because I had 5 layers, I increased the amount of chocolate a little bit and added a small amount of heavy cream (would not work at a strictly kosher seder).
    6. To get more of the hazelnut flavor, I spread Nutella on top of the chocolate for the 2 hazelnut cookies I had made.

    The end result was delicious; not hard to slice at all, just take your time. I had put this in the refrigerator for an hour or so before dinner, so it was delicious. I would definitely make this again!!

  106. Wow, was this ever a hit at my Seder. Thanks ever so much for sharing this one as it was delightful and I loved not having to figure out how to make it gluten free. I cut out about half the prep time by using roasted hazelnut meal.

  107. Judy

    Amazing cake! I also made this for my seder last night, along with your raspberry macaroons (except with blackberries), and everyone was throughly impressed. My only hiccup was that I could only find hazelnut pieces. After toasting them, skinning them seemed impossible, so I just ground them up as is, and it worked just fine and tasted great.

  108. Deb, this sounds delicious. If you have a copy of the Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg, there is a recipe in there called Marjolaine we used to make in a bakery I worked in. Very similar to this, but more layers. It comes out looking like a tall Opera Cake as the sides are not covered. You would love it. Since you seem to be on permanent dessert duty, you might want to check it out.

  109. Bonny

    I’m actually a professional baker (8+ yrs) and I tried this recipe and the batter was much drier/thicker/stiffer than a normal dacquoise (or the one in your photo). Taking a closer look at the recipe, is it possible that you may have had a typo? 340g ground hazelnuts + 6 egg whites(approx 180g)? Most other recipes have equal amts of each, or more whites than nuts. I could be wrong but it sounds like a lot of readers are encountering a similar problem as I?

  110. Deb,
    I have been reading all the comments for the past couple of days because I wanted to see if anyone else made an egg mistake. I would like to let you know that my cake came out just fine. I bought toasted hazelnuts at Trader Joe’s and I did not remove their skins. I don’t know how it would have been if I toasted the hazelnuts and removed their skins but I did not find that pre-toasted, skinful store bought hazelnuts were that much worse. I only put in 2 cookie things in the oven at a time because I knew that if I did 4 the bottom 2 would burn. I buttered the parchment paper and nothing stuck to it. Not even a crumb. My layers looked similar to yours so I did not question the thickness. I also did not expect the layers to be thick because it’s really just a cookie. My chocolate melted fine with the water in it. I did use Whole Foods bittersweet chocolate which cost me around $8 for around 3/4 lb so maybe this is why. I used 1 1/2 cups of cream for the frosting but then did not have enough to cover the cake so I ended up whipping up the last 1/2 cup so I could cover the sides and the top. The cake is really fabulous and easy to make. The layers, the chocolate and the whipped topping all blended in wonderfully. It’s beautiful to look at and everyone in my family really enjoyed it.

  111. Sara

    Hi deb! This is my first time making of your recipes and my second night Seder was a complete success thanks to this stellar dessert. My sister made an amazing pareve white russsian sorbet that went perfectly with it! So excited to try some more of your amazing recipes!!

  112. Jenny

    Hi Deb, sorry this isn’t a question about the recipe (which looks delicious) but a problem with an advert on the site. Quite often when I visit now the page will suddenly get redirected to a Western Union advert, and I have to use the back button to return to the recipe. Is there any way you can block that advert? It’s quite frustrating! Thanks.

  113. Wow. This dessert was a personal challenge for me. Thanks to your great recipe I’ve impressed myself and feel inspired to try my hand at baking more often. It’s definitely a recipe that requires a patience and gentle touch and plenty of time. I completed the cake in two parts. Sunday night I made the macaroon layers alone. My layers came out a bit crispy on the edges and dry to the touch as you described. After a night sealed up they definitely softened and peeling the parchment paper off was a bit tricky but I found flipping them over and working with them that way helped a lot. I found the chocolate worked beautifully and the time in the freezer was a great trick for speeding up the whole assembly process. Since I needed a parve (dairy free) dessert I opted for coconut whipped cream with fresh vanilla bean. I used 2 cans and it turned out to only be enough for the layers and a generous topping. Honestly it was just the right amount and still looked beautiful dusted with chocolate shavings. Happy to say everyone loved it and were in disbelief it was Passover and dairy free. Deb, thanks again for the great recipe, happy I was able to do it justice and share it with family and friends in Jerusalem, Israel :)

  114. Lisa

    I made this cake For Passover, and it was amazingly delicious! WOW – and Kosher for Passover too! A miracle! No problem cutting, as some posts above feared. As for quickly cooling the layers and the chocolate, I simply sat everything on my back stoop, since the weather here in New York is still chilly. BUT the icing – I whipped an entire pint, and it still was not enough to thinly fill and cover the cake. Maybe skip the side icing altogether, and enjoy the haimish (yiddish for cozy and homey) look of the dessert. ALSO, to be Kosher for Passover, one should use a Parve (Kosher neutral) version of whipping cream, i.e. cream substitute which is widely supermarket-available and works just as well.

  115. This. cake. was. amazing! It has been requested that I make it every year for sedar for the rest of eternity. It’s beautiful, it’s DELICIOUS, and it’s not the standard meh Passover-friendly dessert. I would eat this on any day of the week. Everyone was so impressed and I really didn’t feel as though it took that much effort! The steps are pretty easy.

    A piece of advice to anyone else making this cake: buying the hazelnuts already toasted and peeled will shave about an hour off the total time this will take you. It actually took me an hour to peel all the hazelnuts and next time I will be paying the premium to save myself the trouble. I highly recommend going that route. I also used the vanilla in the whipped cream rather than buying a bottle of Frangelico, which I didn’t have on hand, but next time I think I will try it with the Frangelico, because I’m sure with it the cake would have been absolutely mind blowing.

    Thank you Deb, you rule!

  116. This looks so good! What a gorgeous torte! I love the Phoebe reference! {I LOVE FRIENDS and own all 10 seasons…just, felt like I had to tell ya that} :)

  117. Rose

    Thank you, thak you, thank you!!! I made this torte ( but used walnuts rather than hazelnuts) for 2nd nigh Seder and I’m now a STAR…as is THIS outstanding torte. It looked very professional and guests couldnt believe it was homemade; in fact it looked and tasted much much better than the desserts guests brought from high end bakeries. I followed your instructions to the t and had no difficulty. This is a sure keeper!!! Happy holiday!

  118. Katie

    This was, without a doubt, one of the greatest dessert successes I’ve ever had! Everyone at the Seder said it was the most delicious Passover dessert they’d ever tried, some said the best dessert period.

    I had a similar issue of waiting too long to remove the macaroon layers, so it was a bit sticky/lost a few crumbs, but definitely didn’t hinder the taste. Really an amazing recipe, I’ll be sure to make it for many Passovers to come!

    For those debating whether to use the coffee/espresso, I would highly recommend it. Of course, I also love the combo of coffee/chocolate, but I really thought it added a nice flavor/aftertaste to the cake.

    So, our (fairly small) group polished off the whole thing in roughly 24 hours, but it was still as delicious Day 2 as it was day 1 (although maybe a little less firm).

  119. Sarah

    This is awesome – but how the hell am I supposed to use your damn book when you keep posting things like this!
    PS chicken, olives and grapes – divine, daughter poopoo-ed – then scarfed the lot! and made it for her friends (twice)

  120. Valerie

    I have been so eager to make the Chocolate Hazelnut Crepe cake from your fabulous cookbook, which I use A LOT! I will take it to an Easter brunch and want to know is there any part of it that I can the night before. Make the crepes? The pastry cream? Can I assemble it the night before, refrigerate it, and then do the chocolate draping in the morning? Or should I make the components and then assemble it?
    Thank you for your amazing cookbook and your delightful blog! I really enjoy it all!

  121. Marlene

    I also made this to take to the Seder, as I am the “dessert maven” every year. Like a previous poster, I wonder about the large quantity of nuts to egg whites. I ran out of hazelnuts–fortunately had nut meal I’d made up for another recipe–and added a bit of almond meal. I also increased proportions accordingly to use 8 egg whites for 9″ rounds. My macaroons were not crisp but worked fine. (Several cracked but I was able to patch them in. The Seder is kosher so I used the coconut whipped cream–many thanks to those who shared this suggestion!–and it worked well (even though mine didn’t harden up upon chilling so i used the whole can which was pretty thick and it whipped). When I arrived with the dessert, the hostess looked at it with a bit of shock, even though she knows that I cook kosher for her Seders, thinking I’d put real whipped cream on it!!!! It was a hit, everyone raved. It tastes very similar to my mom’s special “family cake,” a Viennese nut torte made with hazelnuts. I”ll make it again, for sure. Thanks, Deb, for a wonderful Pesach recipe!

  122. Emily

    Hey Deb! This looks delicious and I have passed it on to many of my gluten-free friends. I did notice, however, that you forgot to include the chocolate filling in the “assemble” portion of the directions. The pictures make it clear, of course, but for those just printing the text it might be confusing. Thanks for all the deliciousness you provide!

  123. Jessica

    This “cake” looks amazing, in fact I was going to make it for passover. That is until, I saw the EXACT same one in this months issue of the Food Network magazine that I have a subscription for. I notice that you didn’t say anything about that; derived from, adapted from..nothing. This cake is the exact same cake featured in this months section of non-floured cakes. The only difference is in the ganache that you used water for? Have no idea why as water isn’t good for chocolate in any way. You should give credit where it is deserved.

    1. deb

      Emily — Sorry that was confusing. I put the directions in the “Make chocolate filling” section but it does relate more to assembly, you’re right!

      Valerie — You can make the whole thing in advance. It keeps, assembled, for a couple days.

      Jenny — Yikes! I haven’t seen that ad but will definitely remove it if I do. In the meanwhile, it would be a HUGE favor to us if you didn’t mind, if you see it again, send me a screenshot of what you see: thesmitten/

      Bonny — This is not a traditional dacquoise; I was aiming for a macaroon texture, as I find them more interesting.

      Jessica — Whoa. This recipe wasn’t copied from the Food Network Magazine. Not only do I not receive that magazine, I don’t ever pass stuff off as my own when it is not. I clearly (repeatedly) note where this recipe was derived from in the post and under the recipe’s title — a Gourmet cake from 2003 and a Bon Appetit cake from 2010 — a system I have followed since I launched the site in 2006. Anyway, if anyone has a link to the FN version, I’d love to see it because now I’m super curious!

      Update: Just found it online. That’s wild! I can’t believe how close they are in idea. Nevertheless, that’s where the similarities end. The cake uses roughly one-third as much hazelnuts for the same amount of egg (that cake is a dacquoise, this is a macaroon), includes potato starch, cooks the egg whites before making the cake, the discs are a different size, the parchment isn’t greased, there’s a soft ganache rather than a hard chocolate coating, there’s no hazelnut liqueur, etc. There are not two measurements or directions that match. Given this, it seems especially impolite to not look more carefully before leaving an accusatory comment.

      If I sound irked by this, it is because I take sourcing recipes on Smitten Kitchen very seriously. It’s extremely important to me that if I use even a fraction of a recipe for inspiration that I cite it clearly, partly out of respect for that recipe’s creator but mostly because it’s really important to me to be a decent human being, and I enjoy sleeping well at night. I don’t think that you need to pretend you’ve invented from scratch every single thing you’ve ever cooked to have a career in food. If you look back over any of the 800-plus recipes on the site, you will see in virtually every case (where I didn’t come up with the the recipe myself) some credit line given for all or partial inspiration. I didn’t suddenly decide 6.5 years into this gig that I no longer cared about this or the person that I am professionally … for a single Food Network cake that a) I source to Bon Appetit and Gourmet, so I’m hardly showing a desire to hide influences and, b) that is, in fact, quite a bit different from what I shared here.

  124. Scott

    Making some adjustments because I live in the middle of nowhere and my grocery store options are severely limited… But I bought ground almonds today, toasted them in the oven, then made them into meringues. They came out not crunchy at all, more soft and cakey, but amazingly fabulous. I have the chocolate spread on top, and it’s looking beautiful. I’m going to use 7-minute frosting because I have bad luck with whipped cream and also because I’d love it to be a little less rich after the meal I’m serving. I. Can. Not. WAIT! This is looking to be pretty much the best passover dessert ever. Thank you!

  125. Lisa Cornely

    This Torte looks/sounds/smells wonderous. I gathered all of the ingredients, and baked this earlier today (I love baking on a vacation day). My house smelled amazing while it was in the oven. I seriously don’t know if I can stand waiting until desert tonight to try this. Thanks for another amazing recipe.

  126. Chocolate Cake Wednesday

    I just made the macaroons and the chocolate filling. Am going to ice with the whipped cream tomorrow a few hours before our dinner party. Another terrific recipe. So far everything has come out perfectly, just as you describe it! I already know I’m going to love this cake! Thanks so much!

  127. Holly Fawcett

    This recipe is a serious contender for a family party this weekend, as my mum is a coeliac. However, it has to feed rather a large amount of people! Judging from the size of the rounds and you specify that each macaroon is thin, do you reckon it would suit a large gathering?

  128. Susan

    Hi Deb,

    I left a comment the other day (pre-Seder) and just had to report back with the results, which were . . . fantastic! This cake was SUCH a hit with everyone – even the perpetual dieters went back for seconds. It was light, not too sweet, the perfect ending to the meal. And, of course, a lovely anniversary dessert as well for the hubby and myself. (I hate to admit it, but the sponge cake and Passover brownies were kind of inedible for the first time ever, so I was thrilled that this cake was rather on the humongous side. :)) Thanks for offering up such a wonderful holiday recipe. I can’t wait to make it again, and I certainly won’t be waiting until next Passover to do so!

  129. Jen

    Just finished assembling my cake and boy do I feel proud! Followed the directions exactly except (there’s always an except, right?) I had purchased chopped hazelnuts and was too lazy to toast or remove skins further. Didn’t seemed to affect it.

    I think next time I’d cook my macaroons a bit longer (did 25 mins) and grease my parchment better. I had a heck of a time getting them off- they were super sticky at the centers- and maybe trim my macaroons. But all’s well that ends well and no one can tell they’re a bit messy/broken once the whipped cream is on! The real test will come tonight at our (belated) Seder, but I have no doubts!

  130. elyse

    just wanted to say that this cake is delicious! also, it came out exactly as pictured. i was originally going to make it for our second seder with the 7 minute frosting, but then changed my mind and went with the whipped cream, and we’ve just been snacking on it during the week. i’ve been keeping it in the freezer, and its actually holding up quite well! although i doubt it will be around much longer. . .

  131. The cake looks wonderful and I can’t wait to try it.

    I just purchased your cookbook and have been spending the weekend reading it. I have 1 question: in the recipe for coffee toffee you call for 8 tablespoons or 2 sticks of butter. The problem is that 8 tablespoons is 1 stick of butter. I know I’ll make this toffee so if you could just clarify – is it 8 Tablespoons or 2 sticks of butter? Thanks so much! Love the cookbook!

  132. Hi Deb…i’m about to start making this for Easter Sunday…but wondering…my husband brought home hazelnuts with the skins already off. should i assume they are already toasted? should i still toast them? i’ve tasted them and while i’ve never before tasted a raw vs. toasted hazelnut, they don’t seem to have that “nutty sweet” flavor that toasting brings out in other nuts. how would you proceed? is the toasting for the flavor, to remove the skins or both? thanks!

  133. Hi again Deb – I just want to say THANK YOU so much for sharing this amazing recipe! I made this cake today and it is a knock-out! Your instructions were spot on and it was easy. The assembled torte looks so beautiful and the combination of flavors and textures is even better. I can hardly believe I can make such a restaurant-quality dessert at home. I was worried about slicing the cake and was amazed by how easy it was to cut through!

    Since it was just for 3 of us and we won’t be around more than a day for leftovers, I scaled the recipe down by half to make a 4-layer six-inch round cake. The height came to about 1 3/4 inches. I made slightly more whipped cream (1 cup) so I’d have a little extra to play with. Everything worked out really well and I think your use of water, instead of cream, with the chocolate is perfect because the chocolate layer is just ever slightly hard.

    Regarding the above question about using already toasted hazelnuts. I bought the same kind of pre-skinned toasted hazelnuts (lucky us). I popped them in the oven to toast anyway for another 8-10 minutes just so they’re slightly brown. That’s what I usually do…

  134. Maura

    Oh my god, I just finished the macaroon layers and I can’t stop myself from picking at them! Unfortunately I won’t be making the rest until tomorrow night. I used Bob’s Red Mill brand hazelnut meal which as far as I can tell (and as far as the internet tells me) is just ground hazelnuts.

  135. Anna

    Deb – Just wanted to update my earlier comment and let you know that we did go through with making it with coconut* whipped cream for our second seder. It tasted amazing, and took about two 14 oz cans to frost the entire cake.

    *I asked my fiance if there was anything else that we needed to substitute (I’m not Jewish), and he assured me that there wasn’t. I asked about the vanilla, and he said that it fell under some corn syrup exception since it’s not being used as a grain. Then his sister arrived and was like what?! and we had to go back to the grocery store for brandy instead (we didn’t end up using it). Then we discovered that of the two types of chocolate we had in the house, one had milk fat and the other had vanilla extract, so we had to go back for more chocolate. That aside, it was great!

  136. Petra

    I searched for hazelnut flour in all the big name stores – no luck. But many health food stores carry the flour (no tedious nut preparation required :-) ) in their gluten-free section.

  137. Petra

    … and I also had to tweak the egg white-hazelnut ratio. More egg white and then the hazelnut added until the texture felt about right. About 1/5 less of the hazelnuts, and one additional eggwhite.

  138. Alyona

    I made this cake last night. Followed the recipe precisely. Parchment paper needs to be removed from the cookies as soon as possible, while they are still hot. I assembled the cake with whipped cream layers and frosting and left it covered in the fridge overnight. We ate the cake this morning – it wasn’t crunchy and yet it wasn’t mushy. The texture was just right! I am impressed with the taste and presentation. It was an amazing cake without flour or butter! Thank you very much for the great recipe!

  139. I’m always the dessert person too. I have a carrot and pineapple cake that I knock out if I’m in a fluster.

    This looks like it is going to be fun to try out this weekend.

  140. Kim

    I am rolling my eyes at the “you stole from Food Network” comment. Anyone who has visited this site more than once knows you always (when applicable) cite the recipe from which yours was adapted.
    Anyway, I made this tonight and it was partly hellish (ran out of vanilla, spilled all the shaved chocolate on the floor, etc) but in the end delicious! Question: why was it okay to melt the chocolate/water over direct heat? I thought all stovetop chocolate-melting had to be done in a double boiler.

  141. How do you think this would be with pecans in place of the hazelnuts? Good with strawberries, I guess, if the strawberry plants would hurry up and DO SOMETHING. Surely they know there are pecan macaroon cakes to be enjoyed.

  142. Mindy

    I would like to use blanched almond meal. What is the flour replacement measurement to hazelnuts?

    Cake looks beautiful! Thank you!

  143. Sarahb1313

    Update now that I have made the torte…


    How fabulous. It lived up to all of my expectations with regard to taste. I wasn’t really sure what to expect with regard to texture, but as I was making it I realized it would be more macaroon and less daquoise. I almost was going to imagine it a “Macaron” like cake, but it was not.

    What I did do was fold half the nuts/sugar with half the egg whites in halfway, then added the balance in two more parts with just a few turns of the spatula between to try to keep the air in.

    What a great cake. Thanks again Deb!

    BTW- I found blanched hazelnuts at Fairway that I could toast without having to peel them…. love this so much as I HATE peeling hazelnuts!!

  144. Nia

    Made the cake, it turned out exactly as expected. The cake was delicious, and it sliced up beautifully. (Our hosts happened to have a small bread knife that worked perfectly). My only tweak was that I used more whipping cream and I stabilized it with KAF’s gelatin based stabilizer.

  145. Hannah

    Made it. Loved it. I might dial back the sugar in the cakes, it was very sweet – and I love sweet. But I thought it went over the edge ever so much. the chocolate was a great counter to the sweet though, and I didn’t ice the whole cake, just the middle and top. everything else had no difficulty. Used the trader joes toasted hazelnuts, didn’t worry about any extra skinning, it was fine.

  146. Wow! this is something really great and what I am looking for.. I am excited to try this healthy yet delectable cake. Thanks :) I hope I could make it just the way you do and how I see it in the picture, this surely will become remarkable once done right.

  147. Kimberley

    Deb, I just wanted to thank you again. I tried a recipe from Sprinklebakes (gorgeous blog, but apparently not for every baker) for Easter and it didn’t turn out how I had hoped. Your recipes on the other hand have never let me down. Thanks again.

  148. Kristen

    This was fantastic! I brought my boyfriend (who is observing Passover) to my parents’ house (for the first time!) for Easter dinner last night and made this cake with 7-minute frosting so everyone could enjoy dessert. It was a big hit!

    Your recipes never let me down. Thanks so much!

  149. brooklynjen

    Thanks for a great recipe – made this for a seder and it was a huge hit. I made 1 1/2 times the recipe and bigger rounds as suggested, and it worked very well. The only thing I’d do differently next time is that I’d cook the layers a little longer; mine were golden and dry to the touch but still quite moist inside, and absorbed the whipped cream between the layers pretty quickly so the contrasting crunch and airiness of the macaron was lost a little; the texture was more one of a very dense and moist cake. But it was delicious.

  150. NancyR

    Made this for our Easter dinner, and it was excellent! I didn’t do a good job of quartering the batter, so I ended up with 5 slightly thinner layers, but it worked out just fine.

  151. Chocolate Cake Wednesday

    Update to previous post-This cake received rave reviews all around. It iced beautifully. I did add just a bit more sugar and Frangelico to the whipped cream but other than that your instructions worked like a dream. This is a keeper! And so beautiful.

  152. Adria

    I made this for Easter dessert and it came out wonderfully! My family members were fighting over who could bring home the leftover slices!

  153. Gillian

    I made this a couple of days ago and forgot to grease the parchment rounds. Two of the rounds stuck miserably and two came off just fine (different kinds of baking sheets in different parts of the oven). When I make it again, I will definitely remember the oil! So, apart from hazelnut skins all over the kitchen and a piecing together a couple of the layers, it was a bit success. I would make a little more chocolate filling and more whipped cream the next time.

  154. Jenny

    I made this for a Seder and everyone really enjoyed it. I was also proud of myself for (finally!) mastering how to fold flour into egg white properly. Here are my thoughts:

    – These macaroons are sweet! I added a few more pinchfuls of salt
    – I’ve had bad luck with water seizing my melted chocolate, so I went the ganache route for the filling and used 1/4 c of the whipping cream instead of water. Came out perfect.
    – I would’ve preferred more whipped cream for frosting and filling (since this cake is so dense). Next time I’ll 2c it.
    – Maybe I’m an alky, but I wanted a boozier kick to this cake. Next time around I might make a simple syrup, add some Grand Marnier (which I used in place of Frangelico), and brush the layers.
    – I’ve never made a macaroon cake before and I expected the cream to soak into the cake more and make it softer? But the layers were chewy and crunchy, more like a thick torte. It wasn’t unpleasant, just unexpected. But if you’re looking for an angel-light cake, try a different recipe.

    I’ve never made a recipe from this blog that I didn’t love. Thanks Deb!

  155. Teresa

    Hello from Portugal! I made this for Easter and it was a hit! I used almond meal (from our almond tree’s) and it was really wonderful. Thank you for another great recipe. I receive your book for Christmas and since I have made several recipes, all great! Thank you Deb!

  156. leslie

    Deb I have made dozens of your recipes and just like Ina, I have yet to make one I did not love and recommend. But this cake got me to write for the first time. I tried it for Easter dinner at a friends instead of Passover with my family because my family has nut allergies galore :(!. Everyone at the table agreed with your conclusion that a Passover cake must be something you would eat anytime. It is double yum. thanks so much.

  157. Rachel K

    We’ll have to try this next year for Passover. Our solution to the vanilla extract issue is we’re going to try to make our own vanilla extract this year for next year. We bought Kosher for Passover Vodka and I have some OU vanilla beans.

  158. Betsy

    This cake came out just about perfectly – I forgot to oil the parchment, but found that it peeled off fine if I put the chocolate layer on the macaroons and then froze them for about 15 minutes – sets the chocolate and firms up the macaroon nicely. I made it for both Passover AND Easter and it was devoured by happy guests each time. The few leftover slices were also good the next day, just a little softer and less crispy, but no less tasty. And the whipped cream survived surprisingly well.

    I would love to try this in the future with either walnuts or almonds for my non-hazelnut-eating family – both go so nicely with dark chocolate that I think it would be a win. Thanks for the recipe – it’s definitely a keeper!

  159. Ivy

    You never let me down with your recipes. This was amazing! I made it Friday. I was initially a little intimidated by the “free-form cake” , but it looked so great, i gave it a try. It came out just like your pictures and it really wasnt hard at all. I used hazelnut extract instead of Frangelico in the whip cream and I actually ended up needing to use 2 cups of heavy cream to frost the whole cake. It got devoured in one night with several people wanting 2 slices and one person telling me i am in the wrong profession (lol) !! Thanks again!

  160. I made this last week and it was simply one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. I made it for friends and unbeknownst to me it had been one of the guests’ birthday two days earlier. For many years his wife has made him THIS cake (he swears it’s identical) and she hadn’t had time this year and there it was. He was so very happy and I sent him home with a piece for breakfast. I had a slice for breakfast the next day too. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  161. Britt

    Yum! I made this for Easter with a few substitutions (due to the fact that I forgot many of the ingredients at home and had to make due at my parents’ house – oops!)
    I subbed almonds for hazelnuts, and coffee for water and didn’t add any of the instant espresso. I also ran out of whipping cream by the time I reached the sides, which clearly means that I used too much between the layers, so we made due with a more rustic looking torte.

    It was delicious and got rave reviews, and was delicious even the next day (what little was left). I can’t wait to try it with the original hazelnuts! Thanks for another knock-your-socks-off gluten free recipe.

  162. Would never think this was an intentionally Passover friendly, gluten-free dessert it looks so decadent! I think with dietary restrictions like that the best thing is to use recipes that are just naturally free of gluten or leavening (like this one!) and not try to pulverize matzoh crackers into weird cake forms or something to that effect.

  163. Jessica

    Usually, I find your recipes very inspiring, lovely, and refreshing; but the similarities in yours and what was written was just a little too much to handle. If i did say EVERYTHING about your cake was exactly the same, I apologize as I did not examine every single tiny piece of the recipe to yours, as you did. From a distance(and I mean a very miniscule distance), it looks highly similar. I did not mean that EVERYTHING about your recipe was the same as the one listed in the magazine; I simply meant that it looked very similar and loosely based. If anything, it looks like you derived your recipe from it. From someone who hasn’t read your blog for years and years and years, that recipe looks mighty similar to what I had seen in the magazine. The only differences being the in the way the meringue was made. The fact that you are calling it a “macaroon torte” and NOT a dacquoise doesn’t make any sense because what you made, in fact, was a dacquoise. By definition, a dacquoise is a french layered dessert used with meringue, chocolate, and either whipped cream or buttercream. I should know, I am a professional pastry chef and if anyone knows about creating recipes, it’s me. See, in the restaurant world, you can’t imitate things off the blog world or from other chefs because if you do, you will simply be labeled as a fraud because you couldn’t create recipes on your own. Frankly, it doesn’t really matter what you say as it won’t change my assessment of you. In my opinion, you replicated this recipe, but made a few minor adjustments so it wouldn’t seem like you did. The fact that you listed out every single ingredient and/or step that was different just displays what a spectacle this really is! I’m sure this comment won’t really affect you in the long run. At the end of this, it doesn’t really matter what I say, or anyone says for that matter because you are still going to “create” recipes and pass them off as your own. I only hope the susie-homemakers don’t catch on and really give you a piece of their minds.

    Your lost reader.

  164. Ellanaël

    I tried it for my friends and we all fell in love with it! Thanks for this awesome gluten-free recipe! It’s the best i’ve had for ages :’)

  165. Andreea

    I made this for my boyfriend’s birthday today.. a couple of notes: I used 9 inch parchment rounds and this meant that I only had 3 layers instead of the 4 that Deb had. My wax paper sucked because it stuck horribly to the cakes. Don’t usually have this problem with parchment paper when I butter and flour it; I wonder if that would’ve helped, or if my parchment paper is just of the cheap varierty. Pieces of the cake fell apart as I was tearing wax paper off of it, but I didn’t worry to much knowing that I’d layer it with chocolate and cover it with the whip frosting to hide any flaws. I did use 2 cups, as suggested by many posters for the whip frosting instead of the 1.5 cups and was happy I did that. We tried a slice of the cake last night (so tonight, we’ll be putting candles on a cake with a slice missing, lol) and I found it much more moist than I expected and the flavors together were delicate and delightful. If I could do this again, I wouldn’t skip over adding espresso to the chocolate, or frangelico to the whip; I think this would have added another dimension of flavor to the recipe. This is definitely going into my repetoire. Deb: I think I’ve made your chocolate peanut butter cake about 6 times already.. it’s a solid one, and so good, I have a hard time allowing myself to experiment when I know what I want, but I’m glad I went in a completely different direction and tried this out. Thank you!

  166. Emily

    I made my macaroons and they completely stuck to the parchment…:-( I oiled them too. Do you think I could put it straight on silpat? I feel like I could trim them to size after?

  167. Jessica

    If your macaroons stuck to the parchment it means the recipe is off or you aren’t letting them cool completely. I make them plenty of times on parchment and you just have to let them cool before you try to remove them at all. I let them chill in the refrigerator if I’m in a rush and I need them sooner though. If you have access to a silpat, those make the bottoms a little more smoother but silpats are more expensive; parchment works just as well the bottoms just won’t be perfectly flat. To remove the macaroons, try using a mini offset spatula; it lets you loosen the cookie straight from the bottom to prevent breakage.

    1. deb

      Jessica and anyone having trouble with sticking — Sadly, I have found that the quality of parchment varies greatly. When I use a generic brand of white parchment paper that feels more porous, the macaroons stick a bit. When I use a great one with a more evident slick of silicone (that “If You Care” brand I both tease and adore), they release well. I’m only mentioning this, because I’ve received so many comments over the years from people frustrated when their parchment sticks on this and other recipes, and have found in my own experiments that it’s really about the parchment quality. I made this cake again a few days later and baked two of the macaroons on the not-great parchment and two on the better parchment and the former stuck much more. In both cases, a little slick of oil on top of the parchment made everything release almost perfectly.

      Emily — See above, but also yes. I didn’t test this with a silpat but in a case like this, it should be able to be used interchangeably.

      Jessica — I am sorry that your belief that I stole this from a magazine and didn’t give it credit has caused you to no longer want to read the site. I don’t wish to go endlessly back and forth about this, as there’s little benefit, but what I am wondering from your perspective is what you think I’d have to gain by adapting a recipe from one magazine but pretending I adapted it from two others? (Because I do, indeed, credit the two magazines that helped me create this recipe. Just not the one you insist it is from.) It baffles me. I cannot see a single way this would benefit me, my professional reputation, the site or its readers.

      Believe me, considering that quibbling with a commenter is at the top of my list of tacky things to do on one’s website, it sure would be easier to end this conversation and say, “Okay! You got me!” But it wouldn’t make it the truth. I don’t subscribe to the magazine. Were it the source, I’d simply say it, as I have the better part 800 times before on this website. But if you look at the magazines I did credit — Bon Appetit and Gourmet — you’ll see that this torte looks really just about exactly like the one that inspired it, and the recipes (macaroons from the BA “macaroon torte” and the rest from the Gourmet layer cake) align perfectly as well. I wish you’d look again.

  168. I made this last weekend for my birthday party and it was a SMASHING success! It definitely was a lot of work (I made the macaroons the night before and then made and assembled everything else the next afternoon), but it felt so worth it when I cut that baby open and everyone was like “You made that?!?!!!”

    Also, I subbed Bob’s Red Mill almond flour for the hazelnut and it was all good.

  169. Katherine

    Ami, my mum has one of those pans and she used to bake a sponge cake in it and then turn the cake over and fill the hollow with – whatever you like. She would tend to use a red fruity mixture and there might be some cream somewhere.
    Or, bake two and then hide a filling in the two hollows when you sandwich the cakes together hollows facing each other.

  170. Julie

    I am making this for the second time. The first time, on Easter Sunday, was a massive hit with everybody, and it was even better in the evening.
    But what I meanly wanted to say is that Jessica’s accusations are preposterous. I am really annoyed by them, as I am sure are all your regular readers. I am sorry this is happening to you – you so don’t deserve it.
    Many many thanks for all the wonderful recipes and writing over the years.

  171. Carol

    I wonder what Jessica, the “professional pastry chef” was doing snooping around on your site. Getting ideas maybe? And she never has to credit anyone after she does, since in HER line of work it is all assumed to be original recipes. That was really a frustrating read just now. I am just going to assume that Jessica just lost a loved one, her boyfriend dumped her, or some other hard thing, because those comments were ridiculous. Keep up the good work, Deb! Your reputation is intact.

  172. Hannah

    Well iv just covered the macaroon layers in the chocolate can’t wait to assemble and finish off!! I’m taking to friends tomorrow for lunch it’s very similar to one that a super market used to carry but they discontinued it :-( but now I have the recipe :-D woop woop!! Ill let u know what they all think!!

  173. Tim

    Hey, Deb! I made this and it turned out AWESOME! Oh yeah! It looked so good and tasted even better! Thanks to your easy-to-follow instructions and the beautiful pictures, you “helped” me to make something truly fabulous. Yea us! WE make a great team! LOL ;-) Thanks!

  174. Shelly

    Hi. I have a question about the chocolate, as I made a somewhat similar cake last year and had some issues.

    I made an entremet for my daughter’s softball team dinner. Since it was an “away” tournament, I knew I’d have to freeze the dessert. The entremet was essentially layers of ground almond macaroon/meringue with a layer of dark chocolate mousse (I use an swiss meringue in addition to whipped cream for the mousse, because I find it has a nice texture even when frozen), milk chocolate mousse, and peanut butter mousse. All assembled in a bombe shape and coated with a glaze.

    Now for the problem – I assumed the meringue layers might dissolve if they spent too much time in contact with the mousse, so I coated them with melted chocolate. It all LOOKED great, but when it came time to serve, it was REALLY hard to cut through the meringue layers (an electric knife would have helped). The chocolate was rock hard.

    Does the addition of the water to your filling result in a somewhat pliable chocolate coating? I noticed you didn’t use cream for more of a ganache.

  175. Casey

    Made this with a friend for a seder, using the 7-minute marshmallow icing (and hazelnut meal, as we couldn’t find any whole). It was a fun project and a big hit! My only regret is that none of us thought to snap a photo until there were but a couple of measly slices were left on the platter, as it looked gorgeous – and far more impressive than anything in my normal dessert repertoire.

  176. Sarah

    Yum! Two questions, will there be a UK book tour and, with the chocolate chip brioche pretzels, mine did fine with the first rise but there was no real puff or rise when baking. Any tips? I was not sure where to post cookbook recipe questions…..althought I found new bits on your website while looking!

    1. deb

      Sarah — We are looking into the UK for early this fall as we speak (yay!) and the pretzels should puff a little, but perhaps not a ton, in the oven.

      Shelby — I am not sure which macaroon recipe you used, but I think proportions and baking times have a lot to do with it. The meringues/macaroons here have a ton of ground hazelnuts in them; so much that they’re quite tender and cake-like when you cut them. (It’s easy.) I also bake them crisp/soft style. Meringues are often baked long and at a low temperature so they become fully crisp, but I prefer them in a hotter oven for a shorter period of time, so they get crisp on the outside but stay soft, chewy and even marshmallow-like on the inside. I imagine that a macaroon that’s more crisp and has a lower proportion of nuts would be more likely to be difficult to cut.

  177. Anita

    Made this last night and it was wonderful. The dough didn’t spread significantly (I drew out 8 inch circles and filled in 7 inch discs), they came off easily off the (Reynold’s, greased with canola oil) parchment paper, and they weren’t “too flat.” They took about 25 minutes to reach that golden color in my oven. I do think the key is not mixing the eggs and hazelnuts too much before spreading them. I was a little dubious about mixing the water and chocolate, and although it did make for a slightly bumpy chocolate texture, it created the perfect chocolate spread to coat the cakes while they cooled. I used amaretto in the whipped cream, which was delicious.

  178. Jen

    I made a scaled down 7″, 3 layer version for my folks tonight, swapping out hazelnuts for almonds, and adding the zest of an orange to the whipped cream in lieu of liquers or extracts. It tasted amazing! it was very hard to slice though, and we all ended up eating our slices layer by layer. My macaroon batter looked a lot more grainy. Not sure if I messed up a measurment and had too much nuts relative egg whites, didn’t grind them fine enough, was too rough in my folding or all of the above. Either way, it was very enthusiastically received.

    Just a note, you can make ganache with water (or strained fruit puree, as is or cooked down to a syrup to concentrate the flavour.) Probably someone is going to swoop in and say that it’s not by definition ganache if it’s not with cream, but I use David Lebovitz’s proportions from this recipe: It’s a great spreading consistency after about an hour, but also pours to a beautiful smooth glossy finish when warm. For the most flawless look, crumb coat with cooled ganache, and then rewarm and pour a layer.

  179. Lily C

    I made this recently.

    This is simply just lovely.

    I worried about the macaroons a little bit, because I had used extra-large egg whites since I ran out of large eggs. This turned out to be a non-issue. I divided the macaroons evenly into four with a scale. I had two or three spoonfuls of leftover chocolate filling; no biggie (used with fruit).

    And, from what I gleaned from the comments, I made upped the amount of whipped cream to two cups. (More to be used with fruit or sweet granola!) I only ended up using the 1 1/2 cups of whipped cream. Maybe less. I spread a thin layer of whipped cream as filling between each macaroon, followed your directions to first create a “crumb” layer, and the final product was magnificent.

    I only wished I had some Frangelico, because this would have been divine.

  180. Lily C

    Also, a sharp, serrated knife and cold cake makes the cake easier to slice. Slice it slowly, sawing across each slice.

  181. Magosia

    I did it this weekend and it was awesome ! Really, my friend just got crazy about it ! Thank you for recipe. I’m here at the first time but not the last one for sure :)

  182. Holly Fawcett

    I made this cake last weekend for a large party and, taking cue from one of the other commenters, I doubled the recipe and made 5x 11″ macaroon rounds and baked each for about 25-28 minutes. It worked absolute perfectly, and the cake was just amazing. My mum was so pleased it was gluten free (an actual coeliac, none of your “I’m intolerant to gluten” lark) and all 25 people at the party thoroughly enjoyed it!

    Thank you so much for creating such an excellent recipe Deb, keep up the amazing work!

    H x

  183. Abigail

    I can’t say enough about how much I loved this recipe. I keep thinking about when I should make it again. What’s so amazing about it — other than how GOOD it tastes — is that it looks amazing and my friends all thought I was a baking genius, whereas the recipe itself is actually not terribly complicated. This is not a Passover recipe just for Passover; I would happily make and eat it any day of the year.

  184. Sarah

    “Best birthday cake ever.” I made this cake yesterday for the first time to bring to work today for a gluten-free coworker’s b-day. And, this comment was NOT from the birthday girl (but she loved it as well)! Everyone, gluten-free or gluten-full, loved this cake. It was moist and flavorful and a lovely birthday treat! I am sure I will be forced to make it again – just because.

  185. Jess Jo

    I’d love to try this – it looks amazing! My family loves anything hazelnut-ty.

    I was wondering why you chose not to use a Nutella filling instead of chocolate? Do you think that might work too?

    1. deb

      Jess — No reason you cannot use a Nutella filling. The one I used differs, however, because a) it firms up. It becomes a coating on the macaroon cookies, and I love this. b) It’s more bittersweet. I like Nutella, but I find it on the sweet side. I like the idea of getting the hazelnut flavor from hazelnuts and the chocolate flavor from chocolate, rather than already merging the two.

  186. Laurel

    This was the best dessert ever at the Seder. Already requested for next year. I think I will double the chocolate in the filling, however, ’cause that’s just what we like. Still want more hazelnut flavor in the frosting. Any suggestions are most appreciated.

  187. Rachel

    I made this for Passover. & it was a HUGE hit! I have never made anything like it before, and generally opt for simple desserts, but it was so worth it. Every recipe of yours I have ever tried has been a success – it’s so nice to have full confidence in a cooking blog! (Ps Recently made the potpie from the cookbook & we felt like we were eating at a restaurant, but at home. So good!!)

  188. I love the idea of ‘humble-bragging’ – I must do that more often :) I also agree that something should be delicious, simply because it’s delicious, and the health/ritualistic elements are after-thoughts. Beautiful photos too. Beautiful piece.

  189. Deb,
    I made this today to take to a party and it was outstanding! Thank you for such an excellent gluten free dessert. The cake was greatly enjoyed and EVERYONE went back for seconds ;)

  190. I made this cake for my birthday party yesterday, with almonds instead of hazelnuts because my sister is allergic. It was incredible AND it survived 5 hours in a warm car! Thanks for the great recipe!

  191. I made this for my gluten-free colleague’s baby shower today. It looks beautiful and the scraps I cut off the edge to get a nice round cake were absolutely divine. CAN’T WAIT for the reveal and to try a slice. And I know my colleague is going to just love it. Thanks!

    Funny side note – I was actually going to make it for Passover since a couple people at work are observant. I’ve made it a tradition to bring in a Passover-friendly dessert each year (all from your website). After my peer messed up and brought in cookies for our group meeting, however, I decided it’d just compound his error to show up the next day with this bit of heaven.

  192. liniv

    Listen. I know that everyone loves this cake, so I was not even going to leave a comment, but we have made this cake for family, coworkers, more family, more coworkers, and everyone, EVERYONE, declares that this cake is heaven. You are a baking genius and how this cake isn’t talked about all around the world, I don’t know. I read your website every day, but this is the first time I’ve been inspired to comment, because 319 comments is not enough to celebrate how amazing this cake is. It just isn’t.

  193. Rachel

    I’m making this for my hubby’s birthday tomorrow. He’s not a big chocolate guy, so I’m making this with almonds and using almond extract instead of vanilla and white chocolate and amaretto in the whipped cream and then might serve with fresh berries (thinking it will need a kick with the dark chocolate removed). Think that’ll be good? Wish me luck! Deb, I’ve made 3 of your cakes in the last month (4 now) for a rash of spring birthdays. I love your style in every way!

  194. Rachel

    Have you made the French Moroccan dessert Le Reusse (I think that’s the name)? I made that for hubs last year. Instead of in the meringues, the ground hazelnuts and chocolate are blended with the whipped cream and spread between the layers and over the whole thing. My friend made it and served with blood oranges. Yum!

  195. ashley

    Hello I was just wondering if you left the dough like in picture six and baked it, and it flattened out (like a cookie would), in picture 7? Or if you spread the dough to the outer edge of the circle before baking? Im looking forward to making this cake for my mother for mothers day! thanks for the help

  196. Claire

    I made this for Mother’s Day and it was a hit!! So delicious. The only change I made was to swap out half of the heavy cream with creme fraiche, which made it tangy and a really nice balance to the nutty sweetness of the macaroon part. I love this site, by the way. Everything I’ve tried out has been delicious and I appreciate what you do!

  197. Ilona

    Deb, I made this today for my parents’ birthdays, and it is one of the best cakes I’ve ever made – right up there with your Tiramisu Cake! It was a hit, and I’ll definitely be making it again. My layers came out much flatter looking than yours, though; I will try being even more gentle when folding in the nuts next time, but I am wondering, would whipping the egg whites stiffer also help?

  198. Abigail

    I made this again last night, for my father-in-law’s birthday. SO good, and really not very difficult to make, despite looking so fancy when it’s done. Unfortunately, it was completely devoured by our guests, and now that I’m talking about how good it was, all I want to do is go home and make another one.

  199. Dee

    Hi Deb, not sure if you check comments on old posts or not, but I have a question – please don’t laugh, it might be a bit silly but I am new at this! My question is: does one bake ALL four of the macaroon rounds at the same time in the oven? I noticed you mentioned putting the oven racks at the “top and lower third” position, so is the idea that you put two macaroons on the top and two on the bottom? My oven is tiny and I am afraid I will only be able to fit in one at a time – would the macaroon “batter” (for lack of a better word) suffer if I had to let it sit while they bake off one at a time? Please advise if you can!

    1. deb

      Hi Dee — You can do them two at a time. If your oven is too small, just one at a time. Either work — not a silly question. Nothing will happen if they have to sit a little while.

  200. Vicky

    I made this cake on the weekend and it was so damn good! People were asking for seconds, and that always makes me happy!

  201. Katerina

    Hi Deb,
    Do you think I could use 4 equal size springform pans to make meringues or will I have issues with sticking on the sides of the pans?

    1. deb

      Katerina — I never did try it that way. I think you could, but I was so worried about sticking to the sides that I didn’t try. Oiling them should prevent sticking, however. I’d love to hear if you try it, if it works out for you. Good luck! (P.S. This is still one of our favorite cakes, ever.)

  202. Laura

    Hi, I just made this a day ago as a trial run for a potential birthday cake, and yes, it was wonderful!
    I served half of it for dinner, and half of it to my youth group the next day (they gobbled it up and came back for the cream and crumbs).

    I must thank you for the well-written recipe: having never baked a cake, or made meringues of macaroons of any sort, I was pleased at how well this turned out for my first attempt. The macaroons turned out slightly darker/crisper then yours and were a little sweet for my taste (I’ll adjust the baking time and sugar accordingly and see how that goes), but it was delicious nonetheless. I also need to try more coffee with the chocolate.
    I did find that 1 1/2 cups of cream was not enough to completely cover the cake, so more next time! I could also do with some cake-frosting practice :)

    Again, thank you for the recipe! I enjoyed it immensely.

  203. Ava

    I made this cake last weekend, it was delicious and a huge hit with my family and coworkers. Everyone was really impressed! I made it exactly as described and it looked just like the photos! The only thing I added was some chopped up hazlenuts sprinkled on top, which worked very well. Thanks for the great recipe!

  204. Jessi

    I absolutely love this cake – I have made it four times now! However, I must admit that the whipped cream frosting hates me. It tends to melt whilst assembling the cake (even though I follow the instructions to a tee!) so I have to pop the torte in the freezer before I serve it. It still tastes great nevertheless – maybe it is just not cut out for the Australian climate?

  205. Expat Eric

    Wow, fantastic interpretation Deb! This reminds me of a couple of roulades I make in as much as it’s a meringue/macaroon/dacquoise with chocolate and cream. The one is with a hazelnut meringue from Delia Smith, the other replaces the ground hazelnuts with ground cocoa nibs, from Alice Medrich. For both I find that a ganache that has been chilled, and then carefully whipped until it is soft and light, spreads beautifully under a layer of plain whipped cream. The hazelnut version comes out crisp and chewy, and has been dubbed ‘Actual Heaven’ by a few people. Cocoa nibs yield a softer, cakier result, with the obvious bitter chocolate notes.

    Just an aside, I can’t believe I missed you coming to the UK!

  206. MoranSha

    so i baked this for a friend’s birthday – i was looking for an oportunity to bake this :D – and it’s indeed an amazing cake!
    i didn’t have much time so i stuffed every layer that baked into the freezer and it cooled down real fast! this is even the first time i frosted a cake properly :)

  207. Heather L

    Yum! Made this for Sunday dinner tonight and it was scrumptious. It did take ages to peel the hazelnuts but even after I gave up and the last third had the skins on, it still worked out fine. Fantastic flavour and love the lightly sweetened whipped cream “icing”. Will definitely make again!

  208. Elizabeth V

    Hi Deb, I made this cake for my boyfriend and my anniversary a while back, subbing the 7 minute frosting and chocolate ganache from that self-same recipe, and it was awesome! I’m planning on making it again next week for our Thanksgiving get-together contribution, this time using the whipped cream topping. I have a question for you. After I made the cake, I made a bunch of chocolate pudding with the left-over yolks, and was thinking that might be a nice thing to put between these macaroon layers. I’m wondering – do you think it’s worth glazing the layers with some sort of citrus (marmalade for example, as I’m thinking about adding some zest as I did last time to the macaroons themselves) glaze before laying on the pudding? Secondly, do you think the pudding and whipped cream will play well together, whipped cream on top of the pudding? I’ve never layered pudding in a cake before, so was just gonna try and wing it, but thought I’d ask your opinion. I’m planning on making the pudding at least a day ahead so can set up to be spreadable.

    Thanks for whatever ideas you have to share, and thanks again for the awesome recipes, I’m looking forward to adding your cookbook to my library!

  209. Rebecca

    I am Jewish, but I cook a dinner on Christmas Eve for my family because so many people are otherwise occupied that night. I plan on making this for dessert.

  210. Rebecca Brown

    I just finished making this beautiful torte for my Christmas dinner for the Jews (not a reference to Jews for Jesus) that I make each year. I think everything worked the way it was supposed to. Will cut into it later tonight. The only thing I did differently was to use 2 cups of whipping cream. Can you ever use too much whipped cream?

  211. Jaclyn

    Deb- I have been following your blog for years and love the cookbook, but have never commented. Thank you for delicious recipes I can always trust. I made this last year for the seder and it disappeared in minutes. I also made one with coconut meal instead of the hazelnuts for some guests with a nut allergy and it was fantastic. This year, I want to make it again, but it needs to serve over 30 people. You mentioned that you were trying to make this in a large size for a birthday party. Was it successful? If so, please tell me how to adjust the amounts and baking times, and if not, I will make two (or three. . .) of the regular size. Thank you!

    1. deb

      Hi Jaclyn — Thank you for the reminder. Yes, I made a MASSIVE version of this last weekend. I tripled the whole recipe (every ingredient) to make a 6-layer 9×13-inch rectangular cake. It was a hit. Here’s a photo of the finished cake. One change: I did swap out some of the whipped cream for the frosting with a whipped chocolate ganache (i.e. the same heavy cream but with melted chocolate, chilled, then whipped) because my family are chocolate junkies, but prefer the whipped cream. Ah, one more thing: The hardest part for me was lifting the layers on top of one another. This isn’t a big deal with an 8-inch round, but as they’re kind of soft the larger size will dip and break between two hands. I solved this by freezing each layer for 15 minutes before lifting it. It really helped.

  212. J

    Deb – I just halved this recipe for a “tester” version to try on my immediate family before the big day next week and everything came out perfectly and it was super delish! It is an incredible recipe and I should have known I didn’t need to test it! (it was really more to test my assembling and frosting skills than anything!). Thank you so much for this recipe; I have a feeling when I bring it to my cousin’s next week it is going to be a huge hit and one that will forever bind me to making dessert for these gatherings : )

  213. Hazel

    While your 9×13 6-layer cakes sounds incredible, I think I need something in between that size and the 8-inch 4 layer recipe for my seder. More like an 8 inch 6-layer? Or do you think it might be better to do a 9-inch four layer? I assume for an 8-inch 6 layer I would just do 1.5 recipes? Thank you as always for being the BEST!

  214. Nadia

    Made it. Loved it. As written, though I didn’t frost the sides. Even better than I thought! Yum, and thanks for the recipe.

  215. Jamy

    Hazelnuts and dark chocolate– what could be better? I’m excited to make this for a seder next weekend but I’m worried about transporting it. Do you recommend compiling the different layers and frosting the torte before transporting it (by car) or would it be a safer bet to bring the various components and build it once we’re at our destination?

  216. Sarah

    I’ve been eyeing this up for a year now, and finally had a good excuse to make it for Easter. Unfortunately due to some negligence on my part, two of my layers were slightly burned, and the other two stuck since I forgot to spray my parchment. So, what do you do when life gives you cake that sticks to the pan? Make cake balls. The crumbled creeps were just sticky enough on their own to form little bite sized balls, which I coated in melted bittersweet chocolate. My husbands uncle swore I should go into business, and my grandpa said it was damn good candy that would have made my grandma proud. I was very pleased with the end result of my happy little accident!

  217. Emma

    Making this as an alternative wedding cake for a dairy free friend. Going to use the 7mins marshmallow dairy free frosting. Just wondered if frangelico can be added to that at all for the hazelnut taste?
    Thanks so much for the recipe. X

  218. irma

    Ha! I was going to ask if we were supposed to bake 4 of the macaroon layers all at once. I thought it was a silly question so I searched the page for “silly” and boom! – someone (comment 329, thanks Dee) asked it already, thinking it was a silly question. Not at all silly! Thank you command+F :)
    I will make this tomorrow for dessert. This night I made your lasagna bolognese. Deb, I love the way you write. I never get bored reading your posts; even if I am reading it for the fifteenth time. You are like that book you like so much, that you read it every once in a while.

  219. Irma

    So, this is the best looking thing I have ever made. I received many compliments – thank you! It’s so pretty and cute. Do you think the meringue layers could work with less sugar? I found them too sweet for my taste.
    Also on another note, I got a bit worried about the recipe at first reading because I didn’t know what whipping the egg whites “stiff, but not dry” meant but I decided to go for it. Now I know what it means ;) but it worked out in the end.

  220. Katerina

    Hi Deb,
    This cake is amazing! I have already made it twice!! If I were to double it in order to feed 20 for my bday what size/shape and how many layers would you recommend?

    Many thanks
    Katerina xx

  221. Kris M

    I made this in April for my husband’s birthday and it was the biggest hit ever. Now I’m thinking this would be great to bring to Christmas dinner, but the guest list is up to 13. Did you end up printing the scaled up version of the recipe and I missed it? If not could you post? Thanks so much.

  222. Ethel B

    I did this as a 1.5x recipe in 6 layers for my mother’s birthday last week. It came out beautifully – very tall, making it even a little more special. I served it to 6 adults and 1 kid, and we ate about half the cake. So tasty!

    I used hazelnut meal which made it faster, but since I had also bought whole hazelnuts, I wanted to use them as a garnish. I did the boil in water and baking soda tip I found earlier in the comments – it worked well but they did not taste as nice as they would have if toasted.

    Overall, a big hit.

  223. Diane

    Deb, need to make this ahead as I don’t have time next Fri afternoon to make the whole thing. Do you think I could bake the layers and freeze them and then defrost them in fridge, frost with whipped cream and decorate just before serving?

    Chag Sameach! Diane

  224. Cindy

    I really want to try this but I don’t yet have a food processor. Do you have recommendations for what brand works well? What brand/model do you own?


    1. deb

      Cindy — I have only tried the brand I have (Cook’s Illustrated is better for comparative reviews) but I’ve used Cuisinarts my whole life and been happy with them. I haven’t yet tried to grind nuts in the Vitamix dry bowl (yes, I know they’re fantastically expensive, but if someone was considering the purchase, it might help to know the dry bowl does many things that a FP will!) but I bet that would work well too. I used a mini-prep food processor for years. You have to do things in several batches, but it’s much more budget-friendly and takes up less space.

  225. Carol Hickman

    This cake made me want to skip work and start baking. I’m thinking any left over would turn a Passover breakfast from”ewwww” to “ahhhhh!”

  226. Anna

    Do you think I can do this cake and use matzo sheets instead of the macaroons for layers? I did this one year for passover and it came out beautiful and delicious but this year I have this vision of using matzo sheets as the cake layers and am not sure what kind of filling to put in between.

  227. deb

    Anna — I don’t have a lot of experience using matzo as cake layers; it might work better if you dip them first in something (coffee? cream?) and then coat them with the chocolate. You may not need the whipped cream; might just turn it to mush.

  228. D

    Anna (#367) chocolate matzah cake is a popular Israeli dessert often made by kids, soak the matzah in wine (or grape juice) until it is wet but not soggy, shake off access, and then cover each piece with the chocolate (whipped cream like here, or strawberries or walnuts can be added too), repeat 4 or five times, let rest in fridge for a few hours, so all the flavors mingle and the matzah gets a little soft.

  229. deb

    D, Anna — This explain a lot about this, which is from a bakery with a lot of Israeli and Mediterranean influence on East 9th Street. They soaked theirs in coffee, I think, and I think the chocolate might have had some tahini in it (which I know not everyone eats on Passover). It was wonderful. Maybe I’ll try a version for next year.

  230. Carol

    I made the cake for the first time and served it last night for Passover to swoons and all sorts of rave reviews. Not having made it before the big night, I was worried that the macaroon layers would absorb too much moisture and be soggy or worse, but they held up beautifully. I made the layers two days ahead and stored them wrapped individually in foil, then in an airtight cake holder. Added the chocolate about five hours before serving, then did the whipped cream almost just before serving. My hazelnut-chocolate obsession has reached new heights.

    THIS IS A NEW “MUST” in my house, any time of year.

  231. Missy

    Some WholeFoods sell jars of hazelnut butter (i.e. the hazelnuts already ground). Perhaps this too could speed up the making of the recipe.

    1. deb

      Missy — I’m a little nervous about hazelnut butter here because it often has added oil, and we really don’t want oil here. However, I have seen (at some WF, and other stores too) that Bob’s Red Mill has a packaged hazelnut meal that would definitely save time. Not sure it it’s toasted first (probably not) so it may not have the same depth of flavor, but ease counts too. Use the weight to make a swap.

  232. Carol Dannenbrink

    Fabulous recipe! Made it for Easter dinner, and my youngest requested it for his birthday cake. Thank you! A break in the chocolate cake with chocolate frosting lineup! The first go around was made with freshly toasted hazelnuts and whipped cream finish, and the second with Trader Joe’s already toasted hazelnuts and seven minute frosting. Delicious again, but the flavor of the freshly toasted hazelnut version was cleaner than the already toasted hazelnuts. If you’re uber pressed for time, it was still delicious. 7 min frosting recipe is flawless. Thank you!

  233. Shoshonah

    Loved this inspiring recipe! Thank you Deb. I switched up the chocolate filling with apricot low sugar spread which gave it a citrus taste and used lots of butter on the parchment which gave a caramel taste sprinkled curled chocolate liberally around the edge covered it with edible botany! mint, violets, roses. It was more delicious and nutricious than imaginable the celebrants raved and we all got high! Love.

  234. Anil

    I just made this torte for the first time. I was extremely nervous prior to and during the process. Once everyone tried a piece it was an instant hit! I was so relieved and I am very grateful for this recipe. Thank you so much!

  235. Marissa

    I’m using this recipe again for a gluten free pacific northwest wedding cake. I used it last year, too it’s really delicious and un expectedly cake like. thank you so much for this!

  236. Ruth

    Hi Deb!

    I need to make a cake for my future sister in law’s bridal shower and I was dreaming about something topped with fresh strawberries, but then I stumbled upon this beaut. In your opinion, flavour profile wise, would this cake taste good topped with strawberries? lol


    1. deb

      Ruth — It might be fine, but in general, I like to keep fresh fruit away from meringues and whipped cream except at the last minute because wet stuff will dissolve baked egg whites and makes whipped cream watery. I might serve berries on the side, though.

  237. Jan

    Lots of comments… So many that I may have missed someone telling the same thing I am about to… 7 minute frosting is also great made with brown sugar!

  238. Duckie

    If you crumbled or broke your macaroon spheres, don’t despair: I made this last year with almonds and over toasted the cookies a little. They turned into crisp brittle spheres that tasted delicious but didn’t survive 3 subways, Amtrak, and a cab to my sisters house. So we crumbled them a bit more and served them in a trifle bowl with whip cream and sliced strawberries. Total cake fail but tremendous dessert hit. I’m trying again (with a cake carrier) this year, wish me luck.

  239. Bonnie

    I’d like to try dairy-free for Passover and prefer whipped, sweetened coconut milk. How much frosting is yielded in this recipe and wondering if I’d need more than two cans worth of coconut milk?

  240. Hila

    Deb, I already have preground hazelnuts, though I don’t think they’ve been toasted. can I use that instead of the toasted whole hazelnuts?

  241. Marisa Carder

    Hi Deb! You forgot to put in the “spread chocolate on each layer” step. It’s in the pics but not in the text. =)

    1. deb

      Florina — Sugar is a big part of structure, so I wouldn’t be confident that it will work if halved unless I tested it first. Maybe try it with a single-disc batch and see?

  242. Myrna Uhlich

    Hi Deb, I am still having no luck saving a recipe from SK to my NYTimes recipe box. Might someone provide an update. I am now printing each one. If needs be, perhaps if we can’t save to NYTimes Recipe Box as we used to be able to do, can your techies set up a recipe box for us on your site.

    I love SK

  243. Erica

    Wow! This was so good! I didn’t have enough whipped cream to “frost” the sides, but it didn’t matter since the layers were so pretty. I had a friend who is gluten free among my guests tonight, and this was such an easy way to make an all inclusive dessert. I’ve never made macaroons before, but now that I know how, it will happen again, maybe with icecream between two of them. Thank You!

  244. Made this yesterday for my birthday cake. I mean, I figured, since I’m always cooking treats for others, I may as well for once make MYSELF a proper layered bday cake. :)
    Anyway, the macaroon layers came out waaay thin (much thinner than in your photos) and I was kinda worried, but I assembled the cake anyway and left it to set in the fridge while we had dinner. A few hours later, when we cut into it, I couldn’t believe my eyes – the macaroon layers had sort of “inflated”, and they looked at least twice as thick as when I had baked them! No idea what kind of magic this is, but it was awesome. And of course, needless to say, it was delicious. :)

  245. Hello!
    I just made this torte and I had a very different outcome compared to the other commenters who made this. Similar recipes across the web call for half the amount of hazelnuts or hazelnut meal! I went ahead and followed your recipe to a T and my batter was tough and dry (I successfully make macarons often, and did not over whip the egg-whites or over mix the batter), as if there was just WAY too much hazelnut flour. I went by weight instead of cups, so perhaps there is a typo in the recipe or the proportion of nuts to egg-white is off? I don’t often comment on recipes because yours turn out so excellent, but I felt the feedback might be helpful for this one.

    1. deb

      This doesn’t compare to other recipes (I mean, I haven’t vetted them all) because it’s more of a hazelnut meal cookie that’s a bit soft inside, not like the usual meringue disk with nuts in it. It means that it seems especially cake-like when softened. You say the batter was tough and dry but how were the finished cookies? How did it taste?

  246. blue

    Like another commenter, I made this for my own birthday. I hesitated because 1) I’ve never made a macaron nor a meringue cookie in my life, and 2) your pistachio petit-fours cake didn’t have the layer proportions I wanted last year.

    Y’all, this cake. THIS CAKE. Is my one cake now.

    I thought I screwed up in the following ways, which were fine, and in fact amazing:
    1) I used way too much nut, probably about 14.5 oz, and I skinned them poorly.
    2) I accidentally liquified the nut-sugar in the food processor. (THIS IS DELICIOUS)
    3) My layers were not smeared around evenly, and browned quite a lot on the edge, which it turns out creates a beautiful chew.

    I’m never making cake with flour again.

  247. After lurking this recipe for a few years, I finally convinced myself to bake it and I’m so glad I did. It was a hit at our Seder! Follows directions exactly as written and didn’t find it too sweet or anything. Used vanilla extract instead of frangelico. Thanks for another great recipe!

  248. Kate Deery

    I am an “honorary Jew”, having been married to a genuine Jew for over 36 years. Being selected to bring Passover dessert was the equivalent of “drawing the short straw.” But I will happily bring this dessert to every Seder from on. It was UNIVERSALLY loved– even by people that don’t eat dessert when it HAS flour in it. Many thanks to Smitten KItchen for improving Passover fare! Next year in Jerusalem with this torte!!!!!!

  249. Kelly

    I love this recipe. It is a bit time consuming, but totally worth it. I made it for Passover one year and my entire extended family still talks about it! I actually like it best once it’s been in the fridge a few hours, the layers all soften together and just tastes fantastic.

  250. Bradley

    I don’t want to be pedantic, but aren’t these ‘macarons’ and not ‘macaroons’? Macaroons are the coconut cookies, and macarons are the meringue cookies.

    1. deb

      Macaroons can be made with coconut or any ground nut. Coconut is most common. Macarons have those domed lids and “feet,” usually served as sandwiches. Btw, one is a translation of the other! But, when referring to baked goods, the “French” one are “French-style” and the American ones are… oh man, now I’ve tied myself in my own knot of pedantry. Actually, this cake has a French name too: It’s a dacquoise. Dacquoise are made with meringues with ground nuts in them, usually almonds or hazelnuts, as per the most common definition. They’re filled with whipped cream or buttercream.

      Sometimes I wonder what other things I’d keep in my brain if it weren’t filled with things like this. Like where I put that invitation I was mailed a few weeks ago…

  251. Angharad

    What would happen if l were to add cocoa to this tort? I don’t much like all that chocolate layered between. I’d rather use just whipped cream.

  252. EmilyS

    I asked my mom to make this for my birthday this year and it is undoubtedly my new favorite dessert. My husband and I have savored the leftovers in 1/16th pieces every night for the last three nights. I guess I need to learn to make it myself now!

  253. I’ve successfully made this several times over the last couple weeks because I was addicted and each time it came out better!! I’ve learned I like it baked in the oven just a tad longer to give it the crunchy on the outside feel. I also discovered that by replacing the parchment paper with wax paper after it’s baked (sandwiching each layer with wax paper) allows you to flip the torts back and forth with your hands fingers spread wide apart. This way you can carefully place each layer on top of each other without breaking them. You can also cut the bottom wax paper in half just before placing on the next layer so that you can easily pull out the wax paper once it’s placed in the middle of the previous layer. Thanks so much! It’s a hit! And will be for Thanksgiving as well.

  254. I have made this cake so many times now. It is probably my favorite. One thing I never get quite right though: the chocolate. I heat it with water, it’s very smooth, then I add the second half of chunks and stir and it almost always goes from smooth to grainy. What am I doing wrong?

  255. A

    Hi I have a question. Why are you not whipping the sugar with the egg whites rather than mixing the sugar with the hazelnuts and then adding it to the egg white? In other similar recipes the instruction is to whip the sugar with the egg whites. I followed your recipe and the macaroons are in the oven but I’m a bit worried they are not going to come out rights as I wasn’t sure the whipped egg white was the consistency is should be….

  256. Jenn

    I just tried to make this for a holiday party. It was AWFUL. The macaroons were disgusting and fell apart at the slightest touch. Never attempting a torte again.

  257. Mer

    We made this for a Christmas Eve dinner and it tasted lovely (though, I am glad we ate it the first night as the leftovers didn’t hold up that well). However, we had only enough “batter” for 3 layers and still they were thinner than those pictured. I haven’t seen this as a problem any others experienced. All I can think of is that maybe my folding wasn’t so expert and I deflated the batter so there was less of it to spread around?

  258. emilyklash

    Deb – hi! I’ve made this cake several times, and it is truly glorious. I’m making it again in a couple of weeks for my grandma’s 95th birthday! Hooray! I’m thinking about making my “discs” rectangular, mostly because I think slicing it will be more straight forward, and because the other cake of the day will be a jelly roll, and we can present them side-by-side. Do you have any thoughts on the rectangular shaping? Obvioulsy square corners will be tricky, but too tricky? Am i going to end up with an oval mess (insert politcal joke here)? Thanks!! Happy snow day!

    1. deb

      I have made it in all shapes. Keep in mind that even if the shape isn’t perfect, when it comes out of the oven, it’s still (because it’s not crumbly hard, as you know) very easy to re-trim into a neater line. I’ve made this as a 9×13 with 6 or 8 layers for my FIL’s birthday.

  259. Rebecca

    Hi Deb – I love your recipes! Was looking for Passover dessert inspiration and this looked so amazing! However I’m traveling to a Seder this year – is this cake too delicate to travel well on the train? If so, would you recommend a denser cake like a flourless chocolate cake or cheesecake?

  260. there is a french cake like this whose name escapes me right now. I have made it. It IS THE BEST CAKE EVER.
    Your version is easier. when I made it the meringue mix stuck to the parchment, I hadnto butter it.

  261. Karianna

    I think you mean “macaron” – not “macaroon” – as I don’t see any coconut? Macarons and macaroons are very different.

  262. Amy Rubin

    I just read the recipe for the 7-minute Frosting you suggested as a Passover non-dairy substitute. It contains corn syrup, which is a big no-no for Passover. Is there a substitute for that?

  263. Linda

    I am so distraught! I just tried to make this for a birthday tomorrow. I used preground hazelnut flour, a package of 14 oz and I measured out 2 oz, and processed with sugar and salt, etc. folding the hazelnut into the stuff egg whites in three portions immediately deflated the eggs whites. I wondered if that was supposed to read to mix one third cup at a time but kept going at folding it in, in thirds, and the result is a thick paste. I don’t know if I can do anything with this mess but it is not gong to be merengue cake, for certain. So many eggs and all that hazelnut flour wasted. It really seems like far too much hazelnut mixture. What went wrong?

  264. I made this cake for a friend’s birthday and it was a big hit! It was gone in no time and more than one person asked for the recipe. I did use more cream and was able to frost it completely with it (500ml), less hazelnut (270g) and 2 table spoons confectioners sugar for the frosting. It was soft, creamy and super delicious. It turned out to have 6 8-inch layers which looked very elegant. Loved it!

  265. Marahak

    Hi Deb!
    I’m planning on making this for my husband’s birthday party on sunday noon. My plan is to bake the macaroon layers and coat them with chocolate on friday. Should I assemble the cake on Saturday night or early sunday morning? Which do you recommend, considering I’d like it to be cake- like but not mushy by sunday noon?

    1. Marahak

      Also, since my oven is timy, can I bake the macaroons one at a time? Will the waiting time affect the unbaked macaroons?

    2. deb

      Saturday night is just fine; I don’t find that the cake gets really mushy but it will be more structurally differentiated after just a single overnight. Hope it’s a hit.

  266. Marahak

    What an amazing recipe! I was very nervous making this for my husband’s birthday party but everything turned out perfectly! The macaroon layers were done in 18 minutes in my oven. I baked them individually since my oven is tiny, while the batter rested. The finished cake was spectacular and loved by all. Thank you Deb!

  267. ljatkins

    I made this and it was lovely! — One question: I was expecting the macaroons to be dry and crunchy when first out of the oven (softening a bit after assembly), but after 25 minutes mine were more of a chewy consistency. Is this right? Should I bake longer next time?

  268. Anne Hanson

    Hi – I just found this recipe while browsing for Christmas dessert recipes (early!).
    I generally like to make and freeze a dessert for Christmas – a week or two in advance. I have done this before with meringue layer cakes and dobos torte cakes, but you seem to suggest that this cake won’t freeze well (I’d also be most interested in making the dairy-free version). Do you think it will affect the resulting texture of the cake to make the whole thing in advance and store it in the freezer? Thanks for your help!

  269. Erica

    Deb, your blog is my go-to whenever I need to make a special dessert!
    I have made this twice and both times it was amazing! It is such a great torte to serve if you have gluten-free guests.
    The first time I made this torte I had some leftover salted caramel frosting from some cupcakes, so I added it as a layer on top of each the chocolate layers. It was delicious!
    The second time, I doubled the recipe and made it into a rectangular shape, more like a sheet cake. I only managed to get 6 layers, but that might have been because I wasn’t gentle enough when incorporating the hazelnut meal. I will mention that I made it on a very humid day and a couple of the layers weren’t baked dry enough (which I realised in retrospect). It was very forgiving & easy for me to smush the broken bits together, so although it was difficult to work with (my fault and the weather), it was easy to fix my mistakes.
    I will definitely make this torte again!

  270. sabcurrie

    I just had this cake made by a coworker and WOW! This is so, so delicious! I loved the textures in the layers and the rich yet light chocolate hazelnut flavour, this is just an all round fantastic recipe and a bonus that it is suitable for many with dietary restrictions. Well done :-)

  271. Anne

    Any tips about slicing this? I don’t want to disgrace myself in front of my daughter-in-law by reducing the cake to crumbly portions.

  272. Erica

    I find this quite easy to slice, because it softens up nicely with the cream overnight. it’s never been crumbly for me, more like cutting into a normal cake. You’ll be fine!

  273. Samantha

    I just made this for an early Passover gathering yesterday and it turned out amazing!! I used the 7 minute frosting which was great too. Subbed almond flour for the hazelnuts and toasted it before using. Also subbed almond extract for vanilla. I highly recommend this if you need a gluten/dairy-free dessert!

  274. celconin

    Hi Deb! I gaffed this major: I subbed in a pre-made flour (Bob’s Red Mill super-fine almond flour) to save time but used the equivalent whole nut volume (2 1/2 cups), not weight, which I realized when the macaroon batter was too grainy and sticky. I incorporated two additional whipped egg whites to salvage. Not the same loft as your layers (I overzealously folded, in retrospect) but baked, released from parchment, stacked, and sliced just fine, and met raves at our Seder. Frangelico whipped cream hides, heals, absolves many sins. Thank you and as we say in our mixed family, Chag Everything.

  275. Jody

    Made this last night and it was excellent! Huge hit at our seder, many thanks!

    Once caveat; I would use 2 cups of whipping cream and adjust the other ingredients accordingly to make a bit more frosting to ice the outside of the torte.

  276. Patricia

    Just made this and couldn’t be more excited. First off. Frangelica where have you been all my life!!?? Directions were perfect. Instead of parchment, I used non stick aluminum foil and the macaroon cooked perfectly and slid right off. Otherwise no changes. Can’t wait to serve this little beauty.

  277. Maro

    note to self for next time, I want a little more whipped cream in the layers. and too much alcohol breaks the whip (liqueur is better than flavored spirit)

  278. zlota Stromberg

    Hi Deb could you give me any advise to make this delicious cake but in 9 inch pans? i am afraid to make the reciep as is and use 9 inch pans dont knw it the layers will end up ok or if I have to adjust the amount of the ingredients!

    Thank you so much

  279. Ellen

    I used 330 grams of hazelnut flour but I feel it was too much. Once folded in with the egg white it looked more like a sand cookie and fell apart. I had to really press it into a round shape. The taste was good. Next time I’ll use less hazelnut flour

  280. Sophia

    Hi Deb, I just made this recipe today and was surprised to see that there was just enough meringue mixture for three 8″ macarons. My cake had only 3 tiers and tasted great, but I just wanted to let you know that either the measurements on the meringue are a bit off, or (and it’s very possible!) the mixture has to be spread extremely thin, in which case maybe you should precise the thickness (or, rather, thinness!) of the meringue mixture. Thank you!

    1. E

      It made four (thin) ones for me—best bet is to lay out your four circles and divide the batter among them, rather than eyeball them one or two at a time.

  281. Zuzana

    Thanks for this one Deb! Just made it with a different filling for a birthday party and I was pretty happy with it. My father in law didn’t feel like chocolate (strange times), so I filled it with coffee whipped cream (4 shots of espresso reduced to about 1 1/2 tablespoons, 250g mascarpone, 1 cup whipping cream, powder sugar), the middle layer also included sour cherries (sour cherries, sugar, cinnamon) and toped it with plain whipped cream (1 cup whipping cream). Everything was very lightly sweeted to balance the sweetness of the macaroon. Decorated it simply with dusting of cinnamon and a few candied hazelnuts. It was very light, insanely hazelnutty (=good) and the flavor combination worked very well.

  282. Deva Dasha

    Wonderful cake, thank you for sharing! It pleased my Scandinavian crowd.
    I had only milk chocolate on hand, and to compensate decreased the sugar to 2/3 cup in the base + 1 spoon in the cream. Was very happy with the result (I don’t like my cakes too sweet).

  283. E

    Hi! Quick question: is there a reason you’ve called for 1/4 cup water and instant espresso in the chocolate filling, rather than 1/4 cup espresso? Could I use the latter? (Don’t have the instant stuff.) Thanks! I’m planning to make this lovely dacquoise this week, for my husband’s birthday.

  284. E

    Delicious! We loved this cake. I followed the recipe closely, though I used a bit more cream (2 cups, whipped), espresso rather than water + instant espresso, and a titch of Kahlua rather than Frangelico (what I had). I found there was no need to oil the parchment paper. It feels fancy, but the recipe is not difficult if you know your basic baking techniques.

    It’s elegant, sturdy, and flavorful. I would not substitute the freshly roasted hazelnuts (that’s where most of the flavor comes from) or the bittersweet chocolate (anything sweeter would be cloying). The one suggestion my hazelnut-fiend of a husband made is to try it with coffee cream rather than plain whipped cream. Thanks, Deb!

  285. Margaret

    Really good! I made this for a friend’s birthday. Didn’t include the alcohol or the coffee, and it was a hit with all my friends’ children. I made the macaroons & chocolate topping the day before, and assembled the cake a few hours before serving.

  286. Rahma

    I made the disks one day in advance. I didn’t have an airtight container so I wrapped them in foil and laid them out on the counter over night. Next morning they were sticky 😭
    We live in a very non-humid place and it’s super cold nowadays. Plus I wrapped them well so I don’t know how it got sticky. What did I do wrong? I’ve assembled it and haven’t eaten it yet. Hoping it turns out okay

    1. deb

      All nut macaroons will get sticky in an airtight container — the humidity comes from within the cookie. You can try letting them dry a bit a room temp; you could also warm them gently again in a low oven until they feel less tacky. Or you can ignore — it should still work fine.

    1. deb

      I haven’t tried freezing them. My biggest concern is that I think they’d stick to the plastic terribly after defrosting. I might freeze them first, so they’re dry to the touch, and then wrap. Unwrap before defrosting.

  287. Bonnie

    Love your recipes and this one seems like it would be right up my alley but I’ve had the same issue both times I attempted. I’m somehow making nut butter instead of ground hazelnuts as shown in your picture. I’m wondering if the nuts are too oily or if it’s that I’m using something closer to a blender than a food processor

    1. deb

      I’m not sure what machine you’re using but you want the nuts to be finely chopped, but not clumping at all. Once they’re clumping, the oils are being released and it’s getting closer to a nut butter.

  288. Susan Galligan

    This torte was amazing! I followed the directions exactly and it turned out perfectly, definitely impressing the guests at the Passover dinner I attended. Next time I’d make a little bit more whipped cream – the amount I had just covered the cake and I would have preferred more. A definite hit and I will certainly make it again.

  289. Viola Toniolo

    Hi! Hi make this recipe a lot, and I love it unequivocally. I do have one question that is more about aesthetics: I can never get my chocolate and water mixture to look smooth, it’s always super grainy because the chocolate seizes when in contact with water. Is there any way to avoid this? I usually melt half the chocolate with water and then add the rest of the chocolate slowly.

  290. Limor

    WOW! I made this cake for our Seder this year and it blew everything else out of the water. Probably the best cake I’ve ever had. Period. Thank you!

  291. LiZ

    Incredible! Made for passover and was a hit with everyone from 15 months to 71 years. I boiled the nuts with baking soda to help get the skins off but it did increase the toasting time and I feared they would turn to paste with much processing so I stopped at a course grind. Next time I’ll use store bought hazelnut meal just to cut down on time. I spread my layers thing enough to get six layers and upped the chocolate to 8oz and whipping cream to 3 cups to account for the additional height. Cut into 16 slices it served our group of 10 perfectly. Everyone asked for the recipe and I know I’ll be tasked with this cake every year!

  292. Juliet

    I made this for Passover this year and wow! So yummy and it was a big hit! I doubled it and after my 6 year old tasted the melted chocolate (with coffee in it) and made a face, I worried it would be too bitter, so I made the second one with layers of the macaroon, whipped cream and sliced strawberries. Well, once stacked the chocolate one was plenty kid-friendly. Still, the strawberry one was also a hit, and what a wonder it was — light and delicious (I mean, strawberries and whipped cream — what is better?)! I will definitely make this again but it might be the strawberry version when they’re in season.

  293. Genevieve

    I was so excited for this recipe- making a birthday cake for a dear friend and chocolate hazelnut is her favorite combo- but sadly it was a disaster. All of your baking recipes have always been winners for me so I’m not sure where I went wrong… I couldn’t find whole hazelnuts so bought hazelnut meal instead and followed the recipe by weight, but there was so much hazelnut I might have deflated the egg whites trying to incorporate it all? Mine looked nothing like your smooth, silky disks but were instead a craggy paste…
    they never rose in the oven so I added more time and ended up burning the two on the bottom rack meanwhile the two on the top remained an undercooked mess…
    a total failure and I’m so bummed…

    1. deb

      The eggs do deflate a bit when the meal is added, but I wonder if it just… clumped too much and took the whole batter down with it?

  294. Kristen

    This is one of the BEST desserts I have ever made and eaten! Everyone loved it. Taste and texture all on point. Thank you Deb!!

  295. Rita

    I have made this cake multiple times and it is amazing. Deb, your recipes never fail me. Your directions and tips are always on point. Thank you!

  296. Nancy

    So so so so good. Have made it twice so far – even better the 2nd day (leftovers have never made it past day 2). Made a ‘mistake’ and used 1 TB Frangelico in the macaroons, and liked it even more. Again, thank you Deb!

  297. JRS

    I made this in the 12×4 rectangular shape and did some pretty piping with the whip cream. I followed the directions completely except for making an additional whip cream for the piping. Looks great…relatively easy too. I was tempted to double the chocolate like another poster did but found it was enough chocolate as written. Quite delicious and presents beautifully. Could be a knockout dessert for passover. Deb I always go first to your site for recipes because I can count on you making sure they are great recipes and the comments are super helpful. Thanks Deb for all your great creations I’ve made many.

  298. Rebecca

    This was so delicious. I made this a couple different ways. Hazelnuts are better than almonds (if anyone was wondering, you can substitute) and I made one dairy free by whipping coconut cream with a coconut sourcream. They were all amazing but hazelnuts definitely win and also, dairy free was actually a favorite. The tang of the sour cream added a bit of contrast to the dessert that was so so lovely. The dairy folk voted the non-dairy one the best which is the best compliment I could ask for.
    Also, I was very nervous about my meringues but they actually turned out great. I think I folded a little too judiciously with the almonds but still my layers were really good.
    Thanks for a great recipe!

  299. Connie

    Everyone loved the taste of this combination— the sweet nutty layers with bittersweet chocolate and barely sweet whipped cream were wonderful. A special treat for my daughter’s 40th!
    I would have preferred the hazelnut layers to be a little lighter in texture. I think I beat the whites as much as needed but after adding that much hazelnut meal (which I bought from it was fairly dense. Would this come out more airy if I added less nut meal? I may try it since the flavors were such a hit. [I also made more whipped cream so I could frost it more artfully and I cut the sugar in the whipped cream by half].

  300. Gregory Tomkiel

    Although I am not required to follow Passover dietary restrictions I do follow a ketogenic way of eating every verse my type 2 diabetes this dacquoise cake was so simple to Keto-ize. I used Lily’s bittersweet chocolate bar chopped up for the chocolate glaze, for the meringue base I sweeten that with powdered lankanto monk fruit/erythritol sweetener one to one measure and because it’s powdered it does not recrystallized when chilled. For the whipped cream topping I switched everything into the food processor because that makes instant stabilization I sweeten that whipped cream allulose which lends itself to softer items such as whipped cream custards cheesecake excetera. Although it’s 70% as sweet as sugar I still did a one-to-one ratio because I like that whipped cream frosting a little less sweet. I did chocolate curls from the leftover second Bar of the Lily’s. I served this for dinner party no one even knew that it was Keto. Thanks so much Deb I love your recipes and I try to convert as many as possible.

  301. john burke has blanched (peeled) hazelnuts for $13.99 a pound. It’s a lot more than Trader Joe’s, but always available and their shipping is very fast, (I have no connection with except as a longtime customer.)

    1. Connie

      That’s where I got mine already ground up! They worked great. I have no affiliation but I have to say that is the most reputable company I have ever dealt with.

      1. john v burke

        When I fiirst discovered them they carried DuChilly hazelnuts, a variety I had never heard of; I tried them and though they had the peels on, and were even harder to peel than ordinary ones, they had a LOT of flavor. But they disappeared from the catalog several years ago and haven’t come back, and I can’t find them anyplace else. Anybody got any suggestions? I’m happy with the regular blanched kind, but I miss those DuChillys.

        1. john v burke

          I did some Googling and learned that used to get their DuChilly hazelnuts from a grower named Holmquist. At some point in the past few years the FDA decided raw hazelnuts were a safety hazard; Holmquist now offers them dry roasted in order to comply with this, but decided to discontinue them tather than offer the dry roasted in place of the raw. I routinely toast the blanched ones in a dry skillet (following Deb’s excellent advice) and I’ll go on doing that rather than buy the dry roasted.

  302. Jason

    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! And your fantastic instructions, it was so well documented it made creating this beauty helpful! It was so delicious we all agree!

  303. Sarah

    This recipe is a little bit of a miracle. I think I messed it up in every way imaginable and it still turned out delicious. I didn’t get all the skin off the toasted hazelnuts. I don’t think I whipped the meringue long enough. I definitely overheated the chocolate. I stored the layers in not an airtight-enough container for two days and it definitely cracked while I assembled it. I don’t have a cake stand and my decoration skills are laughable. AND YET! it still tasted great. Maybe a little too sweet.

    I definitely want to try it again soon.

  304. Vanessa Shkuda

    Just made this for Passover dessert- huge success! Recipe is pretty easy, perhaps didn’t come out quite as perfect as the pictures but everyone was impressed!!

  305. Madeline

    Made this for 2nd night of Passover – used almonds since I forgot to buy hazlenuts (oops) and made extra whipped cream to ensure a nice thick coating lol(used 2 cups of heavy cream w/a little extra sugar & vanilla) OUTSTANDING! This was a huge hit with all and even my son (who thinks he hates nuts) loved it! Definitely not a strictly for Passover dessert:)

  306. Karen

    I made this exactly as written, using roasted skinned hazelnuts I bought online, vanilla extract instead of liquor, and no espresso powder – it was fantastic! I made the macaroons and glazed them with chocolate the day before assembling the torte. They got a little sticky so peeling them off the parchment to stack them without breaking was tough, but I was mostly successful. I doubled the whipped cream based on comments of not having enough, but I’d probably only increase by 50% next time. Freezing after the first “crumb layer” of whipped cream was very helpful for making the final layer look good. This was just sweet enough and not too dense after a heavy holiday meal, so it’s a real winner!

  307. Maylian

    Made this for Passover Seder and it was a big hit. Followed the instructions precisely, except I didn’t put the whipped cream around the edges as my circles weren’t as beautifully uniform as the ones in the photos.

    If I do it again, I may reduce the amount of sugar in the whipped cream – it was delicious, but I prefer desserts a bit less sweet.

  308. Sarah Eisinger

    Made this for Passover 2022 and it was a big hit. It was slightly intimidating at first but in the end fairly easy and forgiving. Very delicious and I’ll be making this again for non-Passover occasions too!

  309. Sophie Pfeiffer

    I made the torte exactly as directed for our Easter gathering…everyone absolutely LOVED it- people were swooning! As a gluten free option this is wonderful for everyone. However, I don’t think I will make it again without finding pre peeled hazelnuts- haha :)
    First I toasted them but the skins were barely coming off so then I tried the blanching with baking soda method….this got the skins to come off but it was still a putsy mess. Luckily the torte was amazing so it paid off. I was worried that the torte would be small but when frosted it looked like a typical layer cake and fed a group of 10 after a large meal easily.Thanks for yet another great recipe!

  310. Sarah D

    I tried SO hard to follow the instructions, but I missed the (obvious in hindsight) proper parchment setup method. I cut out 8 inch circles instead of just drawing and filling them in. Now I have 4 hot cake layers that spread beyond the greased parchment and are stuck at the edges to my ungreased baking pan!! Here’s hoping I can fix this. If anyone happens to see my post, I’d love suggestions.

      1. Sarah D

        Thank you! I managed to salvage the cake after my panic post, and it got rave reviews. Hopefully someone will learn from my mistake :)

  311. Eliza

    This is one of those cakes that looks complicated but it’s really simple… it just has a few steps. The adults loved it, the kids liked it. I will probably make it again but hope to get the hazelnuts finer as the texture of them was mostly what the kids didnt like.

  312. Kathy L

    I made this torte for Passover this year and it was a giant hit with everyone from 3-75 yo. I cheated and used Bob’s Red Mill fine-ground hazelnut “flour” and measured out 340 grams. My macaroons turned out darker than the pictures on the blog, I’m guessing because Bob’s hazelnuts were not as well shelled as Debs but totally worth the cheat because they still tasted great. I also ended up doubling the chocolate sauce. I made the original amount but then felt the chocolate layer seemed so measly so I made some more lol. I was worried I wouldn’t have enough whipped cream but I had jussst enough. Next time I might make 1.5x so I can have a little more in the layers. SO GOOD. Deb is right that this is a cake for any occasion, no need to relegate it to “just” kosher or gluten-free times.

  313. lex

    i made this for our passover seder a couple weeks ago and we all loved it! i made a chocolate ganache with 1:1 chocolate and heavy cream and i think it worked great. i’m getting back into the swing of baking after dealing with a rough couple of years, and decided to finally take the plunge and post the recipe on my blog that i’ve been wanting to start. thanks for always having the best recipes <3

  314. Benan

    I made this cake because I have had 4 egg whites. I was eyeing this recipe for a while but looked too complex and time consuming and I didn’t have the time to do it correctly. When I started yesterday I warned myself not to be disappointed if the results came out poor because, let’s be honest, I was not going to put the time. But I have the egg whites.
    Everything went wrong, the hazelnut were not ground finally, my whipping cream was not sufficient and I didn’t have four baking sheets and after 23 minutes the layers were still not browned.
    Anyway, to make the story short I baked a fabulous cake that didn’t resemble anything I baked before. It was surprisingly easy once you have the nuts ground. I didn’t cover it with cream, so it is naked and you could see the layers. It was beautiful and super tasty. This will be my go to cake when I have gluten intolerant guests

  315. Lisha

    A labour of love that was so worth it! I misread the weight for the hazelnut and ended up with just under 300g. So I used one less egg white and eyeballed 10% less sugar as well. I kept everything else the same. There was no noticeable difference except perhaps my cake layers came out thinner (and a couple minutes less in the oven). But it worked out well because I had more than enough frosting to get the whole cake beautifully frosted. I decorated with a ring of sprinkles instead of chocolate shavings. Cake recipient says it’s the best cake he has ever had!

  316. H. Bayer

    I absolutely love this recipe!
    I have made it for so many occasions in all sizes. Especially during COVID I made personal sizes for Passover.
    Has anyone ever frozen the macaroon? I am traveling to my vacation home and the oven is not as good as my home one. I would like to take it deconstructed and but it together before my company arrives.
    Any suggestions?

  317. Candace Jackson

    I’m confused about the size of the macaroons. Two large sheet pans won’t fit on a single rack in the oven (I’m using half sheet pans) but two 8 inch circles won’t fit on a single half sheet pan. What am I missing? Is your large sheet pan smaller than a half sheet? How do you get 4 discs in the oven at once?
    I’m excited to try this but not sure if I need to purchase some pans.

  318. ClippyZ

    I’m wondering if you’ve experimented with this with a non-chocolate filling? I’m making this for a gluten free and non-chocolate loving (gasp!) crowd, and I was thinking maybe some kind of raspberry filling or lemon curd might work? Thoughts from those who have made it?

  319. Danielle

    I’m hoping to make this for Passover this year. I would need to make it the night before and then travel with it in the car for an hour the next day. Do you think it will hold up?

  320. April

    I made this one ack in 2013/2014. I misread the measurement for hazelnuts and bought 2.5 lbs of hazelnuts! Hahaha 😆 😂 everyone was very curious about why I needed so many, it never occurred to me that I was buying an absurd amount of hazelnuts.

  321. Steph

    This turned out absolutely fantastic — followed the recipe to a T, and it was delicious and beautiful. The only hiccup I faced was spreading the chocolate: I found it difficult to manipulate, and I ended up using my hands to spread it as much as possible. I am thinking I let the chocolate cool too long before I spread it. Next time!

  322. sophie pfeiffer

    Just made this cake for Easter, again, after last year’s rave reviews! I made it just according to directions. People who say they don’t like cake absolutely loved it. Wonderful GF option. Re peeling the hazelnuts I have not had any luck peeling after roasting them, I used the boiling in baking soda method. I would say that it is still a putzy process but the end result is really worth it!

  323. Kristin Batson

    Excellent recipe and near perfect outcome. Deb’s guidance to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, yet still somewhat wet, is critical to the success of the hazelnut layers. I was out of instant espresso, so used a quarter cup of brewed coffee to replace both the coffee/espresso granules and the water in the chocolate mixture. The torte got rave reviews from all.

  324. Lorraine Manglos

    Hi Deb, I can’t wait to make it.
    With the chocolate filling, won’t it seize by adding water & coffee to the chocolate?

  325. kaytee

    i made this for my own birthday. i had a small amount of mascarpone to use up, so put it in the filling/frosting, à la deb’s gingerbread yule log recipe, and it was great. i wanted to make the frosting chocolate by adding cocoa powder, but decided against it as i was sharing this with some family who are not admitted chocoholics like myself… we all thought it was best after a day of rest (as we all are), it has softened just the right amount. thanks deb!

  326. BEH27

    Holy shmoley! This is such a delicious cake! And beautiful. And easy. Wowzers. Made it for my birthday which often happens during Passover. So happy to have an alternative to flourless chocolate cakes! Yummmm!

  327. Peggy Hamilton

    Love-love-love! this divine and wonderful torte! But wait until you hear what I did. For my event I brought two half-cakes: half of a hazelnut torte and half of a single-layer carrot cake. When I cut the torte in half I decided I should taste some (quality control is soooo important before serving guests ;-) I cut a piece from my half, and when I bit into those marvellous chocolate-coated macaroon cream-filled layers I discovered that I had LEFT THREE OF THE WAXED PAPER LAYERS INSIDE THE CAKE!!!!! And it was mere moments to show-time! I then cut the guest-half down to two quarters to make it more manageable and very carefully pried each layer up and peeled the waxed paper off the bottom of each macaroon disk. Carefully plopped the macaroon disks back onto their creamy platforms and smoothed it all over with a little more of that hazelnut-liqueur-cream. Looked like a perfect half-cake again with not a trace of the disaster – but you should have heard the yelling until I got through it. Oh and I think I misunderstood the “1/3 increments” for incorporating the hazelnut mix into the egg whites – should it be 1/3 cup increments? I saw a lot of deflation and my disks were half the depth of yours. Let me know and thanks again for all your reason-for-living gifts to us!

    1. Peggy Hamilton

      And that was parchment paper I left behind, not waxed. Used waxed to store the disks overnight. The things I do when rushing to the finish line!

  328. Richard Clingerman

    This most delicious cake was surprisingly easy to make and so beautiful to look at. I baked the macaroons for 20-minutes and thought they may have been undercooked but changed my mind after actually eating it as a cake. 20-minutes or 23-minutes would be slightly different creations, however I bet, equally as good either way. Next time I will try the longer bake and experience the difference for myself. Thank you for a great cake recipe! 8-D

  329. Carolyn Gidyk

    This has become THE family birthday cake at our house. Started off as an Easter treat and morphed from there. As intimidating as the merengue was the first time, I’m getting more and more confident. I LOVE how light this cake is – not too sweet, not super heavy – the perfect dessert.

  330. Charlene Pries

    Made this to take to a dinner party yesterday and it was a massive hit. I had a few finicky moments, trying to peel the parchment off the macaroon discs, but I think that was down to not using enough oil, and also to making this cake on a sticky, humid day – I did see Deb’s warning/advice about that and decided to proceed anyways. Totally worth the effort, this cake was a stunner. The recipe has been on my list to try for a long time, and now I’m kicking myself for not making it sooner because I could’ve been having this cake all along.
    The only modification I made was to the whipped cream – I started with 2 cups of cream, made it in my food processor which makes super thick & stable whipped cream really fast, and added a few tablespoons of cocoa powder to make chocolate whipped cream. Oh, and I forgot to add the Frangelico (this, after going to 2 stores to find it -guess I’ll just have to make it again to see what a difference the Frangelico makes). Thanks for another keeper, Deb!