I spotted a version of this cake in a German cooking magazine years ago. In making it, I've added a few tweaks and ingredients and am super happy with the result.
Three things I love about this cake. The first is, no electric mixer needed. Everything can be hand mixed in bowls. That's the first good part.
The second is the cake itself. It's not too sweet but packed with lovely flavor, this is a perfect dessert for your Thanksgiving table.
The third good thing - the orange sugar crunch on top. The cake is doused in an orange juice, powdered sugar mixture right after it comes out of the oven.
A bonus good thing is you can make this cake two days before your dinner or event and it stays fresh.
Oh, orange hazelnut molasses cake, where have you been all my life?
Orange Hazelnut Molasses Cake
- 1 cup whole raw hazelnuts
- 1 orange
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown or demerara sugar
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- Place the raw hazelnuts in a naked frying pan and roast until the skins have loosened. Transfer the nuts to a cutting board and when they have cooled roll them with your hands to separate them from the skins.
- Return the hazelnuts to the pan and toast over a medium heat until they are lightly toasted.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Zest and juice the orange.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange zest, flour, baking powder, ground ginger and salt and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter molasses and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Stir to combine everything well.
- Remove from heat and fold in the sour cream.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 8 or 9" springform pan and line the bottom with baking paper. Grease the baking paper as well.
- When the liquid sugar mixture has cooled, whisk in the beaten eggs.
- Add the dry ingredients in thirds and combine thoroughly.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
- Chop the toasted hazelnuts into small pieces and mix with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the ground nutmeg.
- Sprinkle the hazelnut pieces evenly over the top of the cake.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice and the powdered sugar.
- When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately pour the orange juice/sugar mixture evenly over the top
- Let the cake cool completely before de-panning. Slice and serve.