Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cake (Best Ever)

This Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cake is rich, chocolatey and so moist with a delicious crumb and a chocolatey luscious frosting. Decorate this cake with a dark chocolate ganache, fresh berries and more hazelnuts for the best fudge cake.

Everyone loves a slice of chocolate cake, and this one is a cross between a cake and a brownie as it’s so rich, fudgy and chocolatey. With two layers, it’s sandwiched together with a luscious cream cheese chocolate frosting (or opt for my favourite chocolatey yoghurt protein frosting) and decorated with fresh berries (if it’s still summer as you’re reading this) and/or some nuts and more chocolatey. I love this mud-cake style cake for a real showstopper that is great for celebrations, birthdays and parties.

A cut up Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cake with frosting
Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cake

Why will I love this cake?

This cake is a real winner:

  • Rich, chocolatey and super fudgy
  • Moist, tender and with a great crumb
  • Nutty, chocolatey and indulgent
  • Made with simple ingredients, in one bowl
  • Naturally vegan, egg-free and dairy-free
  • Easy to make gluten-free
  • Delicious spread with a luscious chocolate cream cheese buttercream or a healthier yoghurt frosting
  • Topped with a 2-ingredient chocolate ganache
  • Great topped with fresh berries, more nuts and chocolate
  • A real showstopper for birthdays and parties
  • Easy and quick to make and decorate

If you already love the sound of this cake then skip ahead to the recipe card below. Or, first let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.

What ingredients do I need?

The ingredient list is fairly basic and you can see my favourites in the “shop the recipe” section below.

For the cake batters:

  • Plant-based milk with apple cider vinegar: this creates a dairy-free buttermilk which helps to bind the batter together. Use any dairy-free milk like oat, almond, soya or coconut (from the carton).
  • Sugars: I use both caster and light brown sugar for a rich flavour and depth to this cake. If using coconut sugar, you can use all coconut sugar, or half and half.
  • Thick coconut yoghurt: I love a natural or vanilla yoghurt to make the batter rich, moist and delicious. Make sure its unsweetened and really thick and creamy like the Cocos Organic coconut yoghurt or another Greek-style dairy-free yoghurt.
  • Olive oil: for a rich, delicious and moist batter, I love baking with olive oil. You can also swap this for melted and cooled coconut oil or another nut/seed oil like avocado or macadamia oil.
  • Self-raising flour: for a lovely rise and delicious texture. If needed, I think you can swap this for a gluten-free self-raising flour with a binder like xanthan gum. I have not tried this myself.
  • Cocoa powder: for a rich chocolatey flavour. I use cocoa over cacao powder as it’s more acidic and creates a better rise in the cake batters. Make sure it’s 100% cocoa as opposed to hot chocolate powder.
  • Ground hazelnuts: these add a lovely nutty flavour to the cake batter. You can make your own ground hazelnuts by blitzing skin-off hazelnuts to reach a fine ground-meal texture – stop before you start to turn it into hazelnut butter. If it’s easier, you can use ground almonds.
  • Raising agents and salt: for the rise and flavour.
  • Coffee: this works like magic when you add hot coffee to the batter as it allows the cocoa powder to bloom as well as adding a richer flavour. You can use decaf coffee, where needed, as it’s only for richness.

As for the frosting:

  • Vegan butter: allow this to soften to room temperature for the best textured frosting.
  • Vegan cream cheese: there are a few dairy-free cream cheese brands to choose from, I love the Cocos Organic or NUSH ones, best.
  • Icing sugar: essential for all buttercreams.
  • Cocoa powder: as above, to make the frosting chocolatey.
  • Optional frostings for a lighter option: you can also use my favourite chocolate protein yoghurt frosting instead of the cream cheese buttercream.

As for the dark chocolate ganache and decorations:

  • Dark chocolate: I use the dark hazelnut chocolate from Divine which inspired the flavour of this fudge cake. You can use any chocolate you like, as long as it’s dairy-free, where needed.
  • Coconut cream: this is the solid part from a tin of chilled full-fat coconut milk.
  • Fresh berries, nuts, chocolate: or anything else you’d like to top this cake with.

Is this gluten-free and nut-free?

This can be made gluten-free with your favourite gluten-free self-raising flour blend that you usually bake with. This is not nut-free as it contains ground hazelnuts, but you can swap these for ground sunflower seeds to make it nut-free, and check your chocolate, butter, cream cheese, chocolate and other ingredients for nuts.

How do I make this?

This is easy to make:

  • Whisk together the milk and apple cider vinegar: to curdle and create a buttermilk.
  • Whisk all of the wet ingredients together: to combine.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients: and begin to whisk.
  • Add in the hot coffee: and continue to whisk to a thick batter, being cautious to not over-mix the batter.
  • Divide between two cake tins: and bake for 27 minutes or until well-risen and baked through.
  • Allow the cakes to cool: first in the tins and then on a wire rack.
  • Beat together all of the buttercream ingredients: until light and fluffy.
  • Warm together the dark chocolate and coconut cream: for the ganache.
  • Place one cake down and spread over half the frosting: to make an even top.
  • Sandwich together with the second cake: and more frosting.
  • Pour over and spread the ganache: and decorate as you please.
  • Enjoy straight away: or allow the ganache to set.

How long will this last?

Once decorated, keep this cake in a sealed container, in the fridge overnight, for 2-3 days. you can freeze the unfrosted cakes for 1 month, wrapped well, and allow to defrost before decorating.

Lifting up a slice of Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cake
A Slice of Chocolate Fudge Cake

What other cakes can I make?

If you are looking for more cakes to try:

A cut up Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cake with frosting

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cake (Best Ever)

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes

This Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cake is rich, chocolatey and so moist with a delicious crumb and a chocolatey luscious frosting. Decorate this cake with a dark chocolate ganache, fresh berries and more hazelnuts for the best fudge cake.


For the Cakes:

  • 360ml plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 75g caster sugar (or agave sugar)
  • 75g light brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 80g thick coconut yoghurt
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 50g ground hazelnuts (or almonds)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 ½ tbsp espresso coffee (or 1 tsp coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water)

For the Buttercream*:

  • 75g vegan butter, softened
  • 50g vegan cream cheese
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder

For the Ganache:

  • 60g dark chocolate, chopped small
  • 30g coconut cream**

To Serve:

  • Hazelnuts, berries, extra chopped chocolate


  1. Line and grease two 8-inch round cake tins and preheat the oven to 160Fan/180ºC.
  2. Prepare the buttermilk: stir the milk and vinegar together and leave to curdle for 5 minutes.
  3. For the cake batter: add the buttermilk, both sugars, yoghurt and oil to a large mixing bowl and whisk till smooth. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and add the ground hazelnuts, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Begin to whisk and then add in the coffee and whisk again till smooth and thick.
  4. To bake: equally divide the batter between the two tins and smooth over the tops. Place in the oven for 26-28 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out basically clean and they are well risen and firm to touch.
  5. Allow to cool: first in the tins for 10 minutes and then carefully remove and cool fully on a wire rack.
  6. When ready to decorate: if the cakes have domes slightly, slice off the tops so the cakes are flat. You can now store them in the fridge to make them easier to frost.
  7. Make the buttercream: beat together the butter and cream cheese in a freestanding mixer or using an electric handheld mixer till smooth. Gradually beat in the icing sugar and cocoa powder until fully incorporated and beat again for 1-2 minutes until really fluffy. Add 1-2 tbsp milk, if needed to make it thinner.
  8. Make the ganache: add the chocolate and coconut cream to a bowl and microwave in 10 second increments until melted and whisk till smooth. Warm again until it is pourable but still quite thick.
  9. To decorate: place one cake down and cover with half of the buttercream. Top with the second cake and spread with the remaining buttercream. Pour over the ganache and spread it gently over the top. Decorate with berries, hazelnuts and extra chocolate.
  10. To enjoy: slice and serve straight away or keep well covered or in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days. The ganache will firm up as it cools, so use a warmed knife to slice it later on. You can freeze the unfrosted cakes, wrapped well, for 1 month and allow to defrost before decorating.


*For a lighter, frosting, use my chocolate yoghurt protein frosting.

**For the coconut cream: chill 1 tin of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Without shaking the tin, remove the lid and scoop off 30g of the solid cream part. Keep the leftover cream and liquid for smoothies and soups.

Shop the recipe

Stay in touch

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cake so please let me know in the comments below and leave a star review above. If you do make this, I’d love to see so please tag me, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With choc hazelnut fudge love x

  1. Anonymous says:

    how much salt?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Two questions about this recipe: (1) The Fahrenheit temperature doesn’t seem correct – what should it be – 360? (2) It doesn’t state how much salt should be added to the cake batter. Thanks!

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