Little Chocolate Layer Cake with Nutella Buttercream Frosting

by Natasha on April 17, 2013

Nutella Layer Cake

Today, I’m excited to be joining some of my favorite food bloggers to throw a virtual housewarming party for fellow food blogger Ashton. Ashton is the blogger behind Something Swanky, and while I follow her blog regularly, I’ve never met her in person. However, I know that Ashton and I share a love for Nutella, so I wanted to “bring” a chocolate layer cake with Nutella frosting.

Nutella Layer Cake

I wanted an intense chocolate cake to go along with the light and creamy Nutella frosting, so I chose David Lebovitz’s Devil’s Food Cake recipe. The original recipe makes a double layer 9-inch cake, but I halved to it to make a little 5-inch cake.

Nutella Layer Cake

I also split each layer in half to make a 4-layer cake so that I could have a higher frosting to cake ratio. Let’s face it, more frosting is always better, especially if that frosting tastes like Nutella.

Nutella Layer Cake

A 5-inch cake makes baby slices, but really, I have no shame in diving right into a cake this size with a fork. Or face first. Who can find utensils when you’re moving, anyway?

Nutella Layer Cake

Little Chocolate Layer Cake with Nutella Buttercream Frosting
makes one 4 layer 5-inch cake (double the recipe for a 9-inch cake)
cake recipe adapted from David Lebovitz


For the Cake:
4 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
3/4 cups cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup strong coffee (or water)
1/4 cup whole or low-fat milk

For the Frosting:
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup nutella
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt


For the Cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 5″ x 2″ cake pans and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar about 5 minutes until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, and beat until fully incorporated.
4. In a measuring cup, mix together the coffee (or water) and milk. With the mixer on low, add half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Add the coffee and milk, and then add the remainder of the dry ingredients.
5. Divide the batter between the two cake pans (I used a scale for this) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

For the Frosting:
1. With an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and creamy (about 2-3 minutes).
2. Add the powdered sugar, mix on low until combined, then beat on medium for an additional 2-3 minutes.
3. Add in the Nutella and vanilla, and beat to combine.
4. Add salt to taste, and beat until incorporated.

1. Use a serrated knife to divide each cake layer in half.
2. Place one layer of the cake on an 5-inch cake board. Place a dollop frosting on top, and spread evenly with a palette knife. Place the second layer on top of the first, followed more frosting, and spread evenly. Do the same with the third layer. Place the fourth layer on top and put a generous scoop of frosting on the top of the cake. Spread evenly across the top of the cake. Work your way around the sides until the entire cake is covered with a thin layer of frosting. I find that a turntable is helpful when frosting a layer cake. Let the crumb coat set in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
3. Once the crumb coat has set, spread a thicker layer of frosting on the top and sides of the crumb coat to create a smooth finish. Use the leftover frosting to pipe onto the cake and top with hazelnuts.

Want to see what everyone else is bringing to the party? Be sure to check out the links below!


Julianne at Beyond Frosting – Pound cake with Champagne Glaze
Kate at Food Babbles – Raspberry Lemon Coffee Cake
Anna at Crunchy Creamy Sweet – Glazed Vanilla Donut Muffins
Loretta at A Finn in the Kitchen – Caramelized Almond Nougat Mousse Ice-cream
Joanne at Fifteen Spatulas – Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake
Ashley at Kitchen Meets Girl – Blueberry Muffins
Amber at Bluebonnets and Brownies – Lemon Drop Cookies
Dorothy at Crazy for Crust – Reese’s Fudge
Joan at Chocolate Chocolate and more – Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Quiche
Roxana at Roxana’s Home Baking – Banana Sheet Cake
Julie at White Lights on Wednesday – Mocha Cupcake Milkshake
Hayley at The Domestic Rebel – Banana Split Poke Cake
Tanya at Lemons for Lulu – Lemon Muffins
Jocelyn at Inside Brucrew Life – Butterscoth Banana Muffins

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Averie @ Averie Cooks April 17, 2013 at 7:24 am

THIS is a stunning cake! And the frosting, wow! I made Nutella cookies yesterday but really, all I would need is your frosting :)


2 Natasha April 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Thanks, Averie! I am a fellow Nutella lover, and your cookies look divine!


3 Jennifer April 17, 2013 at 11:05 am

This is gorgeous… and looks oh so chocolatey!

New bloglovin follower, found you via Roxana at Roxana’s Home Baking… and so glad I did!

¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·`¤… Jennifer
Jenn’s Random Scraps
Jennifer recently posted…Look for the HelpersMy Profile


4 Natasha April 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Thanks for the kind words, Jennifer!


5 Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking April 17, 2013 at 11:06 am

I could eat the whole cake all by myself! Nutella and chocolate – stay still my heart!!
Thanks for sharing Natasha and thank you for being part of this party
Roxana | Roxana’s Home Baking recently posted…Banana sheet cakeMy Profile


6 Natasha April 17, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Thanks so much for including me, Roxana!


7 Ashton April 17, 2013 at 11:48 am

This cake is STUNNING! Oh. Em. Gee. I mean… I am speechless! I want to dig into it RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND!!!! Chocolate and Hazelnut is seriously my favorite flavor. Oh how I wish we were neighbors so I could gobble this up! And thank you so much for being a part of this!! I can’t believe how sweet you all are!!!
Ashton recently posted…Rolo Stuffed Monkey BreadMy Profile


8 Natasha April 17, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Thanks, Ashton! I wish I could share it with you for real, but I’ll be sure to have a few extra slices on your behalf!


9 tanya April 17, 2013 at 11:48 am

This is no ordinary cake, this is so incredible! The cake looks so chocolatey and rich and that frosting is creamy and light! I’m speechless! Beautiful job.
tanya recently posted…White Chocolate Chip Lemon Muffins with Macadamia Nut StreuselMy Profile


10 Natasha April 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Thanks, Tanya!


11 Medeja April 17, 2013 at 8:35 pm

This cake looks just beautiful!
Medeja recently posted…Stebuklingas Pyragas/ Magic CakeMy Profile


12 Natasha April 18, 2013 at 10:01 am

Thank you, Medeja!


13 Kate | Food Babbles April 17, 2013 at 9:52 pm

That is one serious cake! Seriously decadent. Seriously gorgeous! It’s just picture perfect and I can only imagine just how lovely it must taste. I adore Nutella. This is a must make!
Kate | Food Babbles recently posted…Raspberry Lemon Coffee Cake & A Special HousewarmingMy Profile


14 Natasha April 18, 2013 at 10:03 am

Thanks, Kate!


15 Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust April 17, 2013 at 9:55 pm

This is beyond stunning. I want to dive into my computer and smoosh my face in it!!
Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Reese’s FudgeMy Profile


16 Natasha April 18, 2013 at 9:59 am

Thanks, Dorothy! That’s pretty much what I did. :)


17 ashley - baker by nature April 17, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Whoaaaaa, this cake is leaps and bounds beyond any beauty I can put into words. I love it.
ashley – baker by nature recently posted…Chocolate Krantz CakeMy Profile


18 Natasha April 18, 2013 at 10:03 am

Thank you, Ashley!


19 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl April 17, 2013 at 11:23 pm

High frosting to cake ratio is always good! :-) This cake looks just stunning, and your photos are amazing. So glad to have found you at Ashton’s party!
Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl recently posted…Guilt-Free Blueberry MuffinsMy Profile


20 Natasha April 18, 2013 at 9:58 am

Thanks for stopping by, Ashley!


21 Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen April 18, 2013 at 4:43 am

Your cake looks absolutely divine!
Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen recently posted…Lemon and Raspberry BarsMy Profile


22 Natasha April 18, 2013 at 9:58 am

Thank you, Rosie!


23 laurasmess April 18, 2013 at 9:35 am

Wow. This is one of the most beautiful cakes I’ve ever seen… an elegantly stacked layer cake of insurmountable deliciousness! I love Nutella, and any cake made with dark cocoa, so this combination sounds perfect. It’s been lovely discovering your blog… it’s my first visit courtesy of the virtual housewarming (I love this idea!). Thanks for sharing the recipe.
laurasmess recently posted…Apricot, Coconut and Cacao Nib TreatsMy Profile


24 Natasha April 18, 2013 at 10:04 am

Thank you, Laura! I’m so glad you stopped by.


25 Jocelyn @BruCrew Life April 18, 2013 at 1:34 pm

You had me at Nutella…then I scrolled down farther and saw the deep dark cake that it was covering and I am in love!!! I want to dive headfirst into that cake and never come out :-) It is great to “meet” you for the house warming!!!
Jocelyn @BruCrew Life recently posted…Coconut Oreo FudgeMy Profile


26 Natasha April 18, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Jocelyn. It was great to “meet” you too!


27 Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen April 18, 2013 at 8:41 pm

I love that you made this cake teeny-tiny! Now I kind of want to keep my eyes peeled for small pans…Especially since layer cakes are a little hard to eat without a bunch of people to share it with! What an adorable solution :)
Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen recently posted…Cashew Chicken Stir Fry (Guest Post on Savory Lotus)My Profile


28 Natasha April 18, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Thanks, Loretta! I actually use my 5 and 6-inch pans more then my regular sized cake pans!


29 Monica April 18, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Nutella frosting?! I’m sold. This cake looks so divine!
Monica recently posted…Scone – ology Part 3: Cinnamon Apple SconesMy Profile


30 cupcake with filling April 19, 2013 at 2:10 am

hi! I love those creamy frosting looks attempting to me…. but I think for me I will get rid of the hazelnut topping it really didn’t give any good in its presentation. sorry but it’s just my opinion. what do you think?
cupcake with filling recently posted…Traditional Homemade Cake : Mom’s Swirl Cake with Sun Dried RaisinsMy Profile


31 Lokness @ The Missing Lokness April 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm

There is no better combination than chocolate and nutella. I adore nutella. A slice of heaven! I will be making this cake soon. By the way, your cake is stunning!
Lokness @ The Missing Lokness recently posted…Baked Pork Chop with Fried RiceMy Profile


32 sally @ sallys baking addiction April 21, 2013 at 8:08 am

I love Nutella frosting! I could honestly eat the Nutella frosting I made last month on anything. :) What a beautiful cake! Layered cakes are so fancy looking – I think having more than one layer makes them taste better. ;)


33 Kammie @ Sensual Appeal April 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Wow, holy crap this cake looks amazingg… I love Nutella, it’s so addicting and so delicious. I bet this cake was mindblowing.
Kammie @ Sensual Appeal recently posted…Dining Out in NYC (pt 2) – Brazilian, Mediterranean Druze & Country GrillMy Profile


34 Emma April 24, 2013 at 4:46 am

This sounds so good! Definitely in the running for my sister’s birthday cake.


35 Megan April 27, 2013 at 7:39 am

I went in search of Nutella cake recipes for my husbands birthday tomorrow and came across yours. This looks like a perfect combination of dark chocolate (my fave) and Nutella (his fave). I will let you know how he likes it. Thank you for posting pics and recipes for your beautiful cakes, truly works of art. :)


36 Natasha April 27, 2013 at 8:21 am

Thanks for your kind words, Megan! Please let me know how it turns out.


37 Joanna May 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Dear if I also want to make the frosting for the 9 inch cake, should I also double the recipe for the frosting? or is it enough as it is?


38 Natasha May 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm

If you plan to make a 4-layer 9-inch cake, I would double the frosting recipe. If you are doing a 2-layer cake, I would make 1.5 times the frosting recipe. You will probably still have some left over to pipe decorations.


39 mahal July 9, 2013 at 4:54 am

This sounds really good.
I want to make it but I only have non-fat milk at home. Can I use that instead?
Any adjustments you would recommend?
Thank you so much.
This would be my first cake :)


40 Natasha July 18, 2013 at 8:01 am

I’ve never tried it with non-fat milk. I’m assuming it would still turn out, but possible be a bit dry. Here’s a post from Baking Bites that you might find helpful


41 Becca March 23, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Should I refrigerate after frosting, or is it okay to place it in a glass cake dome?


42 Natasha March 25, 2014 at 12:44 pm

You can leave it out for at least a day. After that, I would refrigerate it.


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