Toasted Hazelnut Pumpkin Cake with Espresso Icing

This cardamom scented nutty pumpkin cake is baked with ground and chopped hazelnuts, while it's crispy exterior gets drizzled with a deliciously-fun espresso icing. A slice of this cake can make for a nice treat with coffee in the morning or served as a special dessert.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
  • Time(Other): plus cooling time
KEY: Desserts, Baking, Snack, Breakfast, Web Exclusive, Fall, Winter, Thanksgiving

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  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 7 ounces hazelnuts, about 1 1/3 cups 
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup demerara sugar plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil 
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
espresso icing
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons liquid espresso 
  • 2 teaspoons almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

How to make this recipe

  1. Make the Cake Preheat the oven to 325° and line the bottom of a deep 81/2-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt and set aside.
  3. In a small frying pan over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer half of the nuts to a small food processor and pulse until a coarsely ground flour forms. Roughly chop the remaining hazelnuts over a cutting board into small sized pieces. Add both the hazelnut meal and loosely chopped pieces to the bowl of dry ingredients.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugars, coconut oil, pumpkin puree, and vanilla until very smooth. Gently fold in the dry ingredients until incorporated. Using a spatula, scrape the batter into the parchment lined pan. Smooth out the surface of the cake batter with the spatula and sprinkle the remaining two tablespoons of demerara sugar evenly over the top.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top of the cake should be crispy and cracked from the scattered sugar coating. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. Gently peel off the parchment paper from the bottom and let stand.
  6. Make the Icing Mix the confectioner's sugar, espresso, almond milk, maple syrup, and salt together until smooth. Drizzle over the cake and serve.

Make Ahead

The cake can be made in advance up to 24 hours. It's best served within a few hours of being made. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Contributed By Photo © Sarah Bolla Published November 2014

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