Recipe: Hazelnut Pound Cake

Sometimes there are things in life that seem to follow you around. Needling, restless things that haunt your brain.

Like, last week, I ran into the biggest spider I have ever seen in our bathtub. Normal sized spiders FREAK ME OUT, but this one was abnormal. It was the size of my palm and it’s legs stretched over the edges of the drain. It was a monster…and the memory of it is haunting me. I can’t stop thinking about it and I’m sure it’s friends are lurking somewhere in my home. Big sigh.

Pound cake is something else that has haunted me…for years! I have made pound cake after pound cake and none of them have turned out. Either they sink in the center, come out way to dense and wet, or just lack flavor. I want the perfect crumb and flavor–dense while still being light, buttery, and better after resting a day or two.

I found this pound cake recipe via Orangette. Not only is it the perfect texture, it comes with a heavy sprinkling of hazelnuts, my favorite–the original recipe call for pistachios, which I believe would make one special cake. So, even though I am still haunted by the spider encounter, I can get over my pound cake issue… finally.

Hazelnut Pound Cake

Adapted from Orangette

The original recipe calls for citrus zest, which I left out, but I think this version would be lovely with some orange zest. 

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

5 eggs

4 Tablespoons half & half or whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and chopped coarsely

Preheat the oven to 325*F. Spray a 9x5x3 inch pan with cooking spray and line with parchment, leaving an overhang on two edges.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with electric beaters, beat butter until creamy and light, 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat to incorporate, 1-2 more minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, to incorporate well, scraping the bowl as needed. Add extracts and half&half and beat to combine. Fold in the flour mixture and 1/2 of the hazelnuts. Scrape batter into the prepared pan, smooth top and sprinkle with remaining hazelnuts. Bake in the center of the oven for about 1 1/2 hours (I started checking it at about 60 minutes). Remove from oven and cool completely on a cooling rack. Can be kept, wrapped in plastic at room temperature, for a week.


  1. says

    Growing up, we had hazelnut trees in the backyard. My parents called them “filberts” and she had a Filbert Cake recipe that was always one of my favorites! This recipe reminds me of that – and looks amazing!

    Glad you’re breaking through the pound cake barrier. :)

    • says

      Oh, man! I would love a hazelnut tree in my yard! I’ve heard them called filberts before too, such quirky name :) thanks Kare!

  2. says

    Reading about your spider encounter sent a chill down my spine. Seriously! All bugs freak me out. Haven’t made pound cake yet, but it’s on my to-do list, so I might have to try this recipe.

  3. says

    The pictures of your pound cake are making me hungry and I just ate dinner! I love the idea of spreading nutella on top. Perfect with hazelnuts:) I too hate spiders, especially when they are in the bathtub. That is the worst.

  4. says

    Uh oh. I’m just finishing the LAST poundcake I made (a yummy orange zest ricotta one)and now clearly will have to make another.
    I heart hazelnuts!!

  5. says

    Another amazing recipe Cindy! Pound cake is one of the cakes from my childhood. I grew up in Singapore (I now live in New Zealand) and we could buy Sara Lee at the supermarkets. Mum used to buy the pound cake (both original butter and chocolate flavoured). I used to love eating it when it was cold from the fridge and then have each bite of cake melt with the heat in my mouth. Crazy huh?! :-)

  6. says

    Oh my….Such a big spider would freak me out as well! And it would be something I would think about for weeks….brrrr….
    This cake sounds amazing, it is something I would love to try for sure as I loooooove cakes with hazelnuts!
    Greetings from Switzerland

  7. boony says

    I love the cake. I’ve tried it several times now and it tastes delicious. I can’t seem to get the consistency right. It’s always way too moist in the middle. Any tips on how I can prevent that? I’m not very experienced at baking and don’t know if using more flour or less butter would to the trick…

    • says

      Maybe try baking it a bit longer? If you are worried about the top getting too dark, cover it in foil for the extra baking time. I am glad you like the cake, though!


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