I’d never say no to a nice piece of homemade vanilla loaf with a cup of tea. But let’s take this up a notch (or three!) by swirling Nutella through it and squishing hazelnuts on top. Sweet, warm, melty, buttery deliciousness!
So I thought I’d make the most of my lucky streak and have a go at another one; this time a loaf cake, because I haven’t made one of those in a while. And let’s face it, they’re the easiest sort of cake to make. Just whisk a few ingredients together, pour into loaf pan, shove in the oven, and you’re less than an hour away from a yummy cake to go with your cuppa.
I have no idea where the inspiration came for this one. You just can’t really go wrong with Nutella now, can you? Swirl it through a really well made rich and buttery loaf cake, scatter a few hazelnuts on top, and you’ve created something much more impressive than the sum of its parts.
You make this in a classic sponge cake way by first creaming the butter and sugar together so it’s light and fluffy, then you add the eggs one by one and finally stir through the dry ingredients. Nothing more complicated than that.
Then comes the fun part. Roughly split the cake batter into three (just in the bowl – nothing fancy). Spread the first third over the bottom of the loaf tin, then warm some Nutella for a few seconds in the microwave before pouring it over. Perhaps leave a bit of a border between the Nutella and the edge of the loaf tin so that it doesn’t all ooze out – but don’t worry about getting it perfect.
Cover with a second layer of cake batter, a second layer of Nutella, then a final layer of cake. Don’t worry that the cake layers are thin – they’ll rise up beautifully!
Just one thing left to do before tossing the cake in the oven – press a big handful of hazelnuts into the top. They add a really complimentary crunch.
There’s no doubt about it – this isn’t one of the lightest cakes you’ll ever eat, but we aren’t going to worry about that. We’re just going to have a small piece, and focus on savouring each sweet, chocolate-hazelnut-y, super buttery mouthful.
Just look at those swirls!
Nutella swirl loaf cake (with hazelnuts)
- 8 ounces butter (or 2 sticks)
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 8.8 ounces Nutella
- 1/3 cup whole hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 160C / 325F. Line a loaf pan (roughly 9 x 5 inches) with baking paper and set aside.
Leave the butter out of the fridge for a while to soften, then add it to a large bowl with the sugar and cream it together with a hand-held whisk until light and fluffy (two or three minutes).
Add in the eggs one by one and whisk until well combined, then whisk in the vanilla.
Tip in the flour and baking powder and stir in with a wooden spoon until well mixed (don’t be tempted to over-mix).
Pour roughly 1/3 of the cake batter into the bottom of the loaf pan. Then warm the Nutella in a microwave* (15 seconds or so should do it) and pour half of it over the batter in the pan.**
Pour another 1/3 of the batter over the Nutella layer, followed by the rest of the Nutella. Finally, top with the last layer of cake batter.
Sprinkle with hazelnuts, pressing lightly into the top, then bake the cake for about fifty minutes or until the cake is well risen and has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Let cool for ten minutes in the pan, then remove and let cool on a wire rack before slicing.
*If you don’t have a microwave, just warm it slightly over a pot of simmering water.
** Try to leave a small border between the layer of Nutella and the sides of the pan. This will stop it running out of the cake too much, but don’t worry if you don’t get it exactly right. It won’t really matter.
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