Filbert (Hazelnut) Torte

This is a light, beautiful cake made with ground nuts and frosted with whipped cream that is fairly simple to make.
Based on a recipe from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, Zoe Coulson, Hearst Books, New York, 1980.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Assembling and frosting time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Desserts - Cakes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano


  • 6 eggs at room temperature, separated
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup ground filberts hazelnuts are the same as filberts

Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 2 cups heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar


  • 1/3 cup ground filberts
  • 12 whole filberts



  • Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Gather a 10" x 3" spring-form pan. A 9" diameter pan is fine but cake will take longer to bake.
  • Add egg whites to large bowl of stand mixer. Beat at high speed, until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in 1/4 cup sugar, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until whites stand in stiff peaks.
  • In separate bowl, use stand mixer at medium-high speed to beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar until blended. Stir in bread crumbs, flour, and 2/3 cup ground nuts.
  • Use wire whisk to fold in a portion of beaten egg whites into egg yolk mixture. Add enough egg whites so mixture is less stiff and stirs easily. Then use whisk to gently fold in remaining egg whites; continue folding just until egg whites are completely combined. Pour batter into unlined and ungreased spring-form pan and spread evenly.
  • Bake 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched with finger. Invert cake pan on wire rack. Do not remove cake from pan; cool completely upside down.

Whipped Cream

  • Do not prepare whipped cream too far in advance of when you expect to serve cake. About 1/2 day in advance is fine. Combine heavy or whipping cream, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons sugar in bowl of stand mixer and beat at high speed until stiff peaks form.

Assembling and Decorating

  • Remove cake from pan; with a long sharp knife, slice cake horizontally into 2 layers. Set aside top layer on sheet of wax paper. Place bottom layer on cake platter. Protect edges of platter with torn strips of paper towel or wax paper tucked under edge of cake. Spread one-fourth whipped cream on bottom layer; top with second layer. Reserve about one-fourth whipped cream to decorate cake. Frost sides and top of cake with remaining whipped cream. Use a flat cake spatula to make top and sides smooth. Use spoon to sprinkle 1/3 cup ground nuts onto cream on sides of cake. Gently lift up paper protecting plate to help push nuts onto sides. Once nuts are on sides, carefully remove paper protecting plate.
  • Spoon remaining reserved whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tube. Decorate top of cake with a lattice crisscross pattern. Finish top edge as well. Decorate with whole filberts.
  • Refrigerate or store at a cool temperature until ready to serve.