You know those moments when you’re eating a dish that someone else has made and you’re expecting one thing and then are caught totally off-guard because of how amazing and delicious and unexpected it is? To be clear: we weren’t surprised that our friend made something incredible, just that it looks like a standard cake on the outside, but then we sliced into it and saw that it wasn’t your typical, run-of-the-mill cake at all….
Instead of cake, we went with 10-inch round, wafer cookies instead as the heart of the dish. Pair that with a rich and creamy chocolate hazelnut frosting and you’ve got yourself a heck of a dessert! The crispy, crunchy wafer crackers are a totally delightful twist here and they really nicely absorb some of the moisture from the hazelnut frosting, so they soften beautifully and actually become more “cake-y.” This isn’t a cracker-cookie type cake, the wafers turn into moist, dense layers and you get a layer cake that looks as good as it tastes!
Chocolate Hazelnut Wafer Cake
- 2 packages 10-inch round wafters (using 8 wafers)
- 2 cups hazelnuts
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup hazelnut spread
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- hazelnuts or walnuts, garnish
- Pour hazelnuts into a large pan or skillet and toast for 6-8 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently so they don’t burn. Once toasted, place in food processor and pulse until finely ground, but not a paste.
- In a large bowl or mixer, beat butter for 2-3 minutes, or until fluffy and smooth.
- Whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl, then gradually add into beaten butter.
- Beat in heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat for another 3-4 minutes, or until completely smooth and combined.
- Spread 2 tablespoons frosting onto cake stand or serving plate and place one wafer on top.
- Spread a thin, even layer of frosting over surface of wafer.
- Repeat with 7 more wafers (or remaining package, if you have enough frosting to cover all the layers).
- Spread another even layer of frosting over the top and sides of wafer cake until fully covered.
- Take handfuls of ground hazelnuts and gently press them onto the sides of cake, sprinkling a border around the top as well.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight before serving, giving wafers a chance to absorb moisture from the frosting.