This recipe might look intimidating, but it only takes 2 hours total—and it's well worth the effort.


Credit: Photography by Johnny Miller

Recipe Summary test

2 hrs


Hazelnut Crunch


Instructions Checklist
  • Line a baking sheet with foil. In a small saucepan, stir the sugar and 2 tbsp. water over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, occasionally swirling the pan and brushing down the sides with a wet pastry brush, until the syrup is deep amber, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the nuts; spread the hazelnut crunch on the foil. Let cool completely, about 45 minutes, then coarsely chop.

  • For the cake, in a small saucepan, stir the butter and chocolate over medium-low heat until melted. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray a 10 1/2-by-15-inch pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper; spray with cooking spray.

  • In a small bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Gently fold in the dry ingredients. Gradually drizzle in the melted chocolate and fold just until blended.

  • Pour the batter evenly over the prepared pan and gently spread to cover the pan. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 3 to 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Invert onto the rack. Peel off the paper. Let cool completely. Halve the cake lengthwise, then crosswise to make 4 rectangles for the layers.

  • For the frosting, using an electric mixer, in a medium bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup jam, and the vanilla. Beat in the remaining 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar.

  • Spread 2 tbsp. jam each on 3 cake layers. Dollop 2/3 cup of the frosting on each layer and spread evenly. Chop enough of the crunch into 1/4-inch pieces to measure 9 tbsp. Top each of the 3 layers with 3 tbsp. crunch. On a plate, stack the 3 layers. Top with the remaining cake layer; spread with the remaining frosting. Top with the remaining crunch.