One of the most stunning and epic cakes I’ve made to date! I present to you my latest cake creation – Tatyana’s Torte. This incredible hazelnut and caramel coffee cake is made with rich and moist coffee cake layers which are soaked with Kahlua liqueur, crunchy hazelnut meringue layers, frosted with a salted caramel version of my favorite French Buttercream and topped with a simple chocolate ganache, a golden crown and my Caramel Coffee Macarons. You’ve never had so much goodness in cake!! I had the idea for this incredible cake recipe a few months ago when I wanted to create a cake using all my favorite recipes! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
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Recipes for Hazelnut Coffee Cake
I put together this cake with the following recipes! I have a separate video recipe for each one:
- French Buttercream – I made 1 1/2 portions of this incredible buttercream for this recipe; ingredient amounts listed below! Instead of the melted chocolate I used in my original recipe, I added dulce de leche. If you can’t find this thick caramel made from sweetened condensed milk, you can use my ‘Home-Made Caramel Sauce‘ recipe instead. Also, try adding a teaspoon of coffee extract for more coffee flavor!
- Chocolate Ganache – this incredibly simple cake garnish is one of my favorite ways to finish off a cake! It’s super easy to make, too!
- Caramel Coffee Macarons – my all-time favorite macarons! These coffee cookies are perfect for this coffee cake recipe!
- Gold Crown – the beautiful gold crown was gifted to me from Lea’s Sugar Flowers. Check out her online Etsy store for more incredible toppers!
How to Make Hazelnut Meringue
One of my favorite parts about this coffee cake recipe is the crunchy hazelnut meringue layers! These meringue layers were inspired by the iconic, Ukrainian Kyiv Cake. This recipe is also similar to Pavlova but baked for longer, until the meringue is crunchy all the way through. The flavor is beyond amazing! Because the meringue requires 3 hours baking time, it can be prepared ahead of time, up to 3 days in advance. Allow the meringue to cool completely, then store at room temperature in a sealed ziplock bag. Here are some tips to get the best results:
- Always start with a super clean mixing bowl. Even a tiny drop of grease will cause the egg whites to fall flat. Wash your mixing bowl with white vinegar and degreasing soup for a super clean bowl.
- Try adding cream of tartar to stabilize the egg whites. The cream of tartar will help get the egg whites to stiff peak stage faster, too.
- Ever made meringue and get pools of caramelized sugar? That’s because the sugar crystals didn’t dissolve completely. To avoid this, first whisk the egg whites and sugar on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until you can no longer feel the crystals between your fingers. Then turn up the mixer to high speed and continue with the recipe.
- Bake the meringue low and slow!! I recommend baking at 230F for 3 hours and allow the meringue to cool in the oven to avoid cracks!
The Best Coffee Cake Layers
I love coffee cake and this recipe does not disappoint! For Tatyana’s Torte, I used a version of my ‘Basic Vanilla Cake’ and increased the size and added coffee. It’s an incredible coffee-flavored cake option for any cake recipe. I also soaked the cake layers with Kahlua coffee liqueur for even more moisture and coffee flavor. If you don’t want to add alcohol to your cake, make this simple coffee syrup instead!
Non-Alcoholic Coffee Syrup
To soak the cake layers and add more coffee flavor, I used Kahlua coffee liqueur. Here’s a quick recipe for non-alcoholic coffee syrup you can use for this recipe:
- Combine 3/4 cup boiling water with 1/3 cup sugar and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add 2 tablespoons instant coffee and stir again until it’s combined. If desired, add 1 teaspoon rum extract for more flavor. Allow the syrup to cool completely before using in this recipe.
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Enjoyed this incredible cake recipe? Check out some more ideas on my blog!
- Coffee Tres Leches Cake – coffee-flavored sponge cake soaked with a tres leches syrup and frosted with coffee whipped cream frosting!
- Chocolate Coffee Eclairs – delicious eclairs filled with coffee filling and glazed with chocolate!
- Chocolate Coffee Cake– rich chocolate cake filled with coffee pastry cream and chocolate French buttercream!
- Coffee Caramel Macaron Cake – just a giant macaron in cake form! Perfect for a special occasion!
- Triple Layered Coffee Cheesecake – one of my all-time favorite recipes! So delicious!
Tatyana’s Torte – Hazelnut & Caramel Coffee Cake (video)
For Hazelnut Meringue:
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup diced hazelnuts
- 1/2 to 1 tsp hazelnut extract
For Coffee Cake Layers:
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 tbsp instant coffee
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
For Caramel French Buttercream:
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 13.4 oz can dulce de leche
- 1 tsp coffee extract, optional
- 1/4 tsp fine salt
For Chocolate Ganache:
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup Kahlua coffee liqueur, for soaking cake
- chopped hazelnuts, for garnish
- Caramel Coffee Macarons, for garnish
- chocolate covered coffee beans, for garnish
- Prepare the hazelnut meringue layers first; these can be prepared up to 3 days ahead of time. Preheat the oven to 230F/110C. On the back of a large sheet of parchment paper, trace two, 7-inch circles for; one for each layer. Also, prepare a large pastry bag tipped with a round or star tip. Into a super clean mixing bowl, add the egg whites, cream of tartar and granulated sugar. Whisk on low-medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until sugar crystals are dissolved, then increase speed to high and whisk for 6 to 8 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Meringue should be thick, glossy and hold its shape very well. Next, fold in the chopped hazelnut and hazelnut extract.
- Transfer the meringue into the prepare pastry bag and pipe two even layers onto the prepare paper, about 1-inch thick. Pipe dollops with any remaining meringue. Bake the meringue in the preheated oven for 3 hours; when done, the meringue will sound hollow when tapped on top. Turn the oven off and leave the oven door closed and allow the meringue to cool completely; overnight or for at least 3 to 4 hours.
- Next, prepare the coffee cake layers. Preheat the oven to 350F/177C and prepare three, 8-inch (20-cm) cake pans – line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray the sides with a baking spray. Place the softened butter and sugar into a mixer bowl and whisk for 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl often, until the butter is light and fluffy. Next, add the eggs and vanilla and whisk again for 3 to 4 minutes, until smooth. Heat the milk in a the microwave for about 1 minute, then add the instant coffee. Stir until the coffee is dissolved, then pour the milk into the cake batter but do not mix.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour to the cake batter and stir just until the flour is incorporated; do not over-mix. Divide the cake batter evenly between the 3 pans and level the batter with an off-set spatula. Bake the layers in the preheated oven for 28 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled completely, use a long serrated knife to level off the tops.
- For the Caramel French Buttercream: place the egg yolks into a stand mixer bowl and whisk on medium-high speed for a 3 to 4 minutes until thick and pale. Meanwhile, combine the water and sugar in small saucepan. Heat the sugar, not stirring, over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 238F/115C, about 5 minutes. Keep the mixer running on medium speed and pour the hot syrup in a slow and steady stream into the egg yolks.
- Once all the sugar syrup has been added, turn the mixer up to high speed and whisk for 5 to 7 minutes, until mixture is thick and pale in color. It also needs to be just lukewarm to touch. Begin adding the butter, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing for about 15 to 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl often to get all the butter mixed in well. The buttercream will start to thicken as more butter is added. Once all the butter is added, add the dulce de leche, salt and coffee extract. Continue whisking on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes and scrape down the sides of the bowl often to get a uniform buttercream.
- To assemble the cake, first soak the cake layers generously with the Kahlua liqueur, using a dispenser bottle or a pastry brush. Spread a generous amount of buttercream between each layer. Layer the cake alternating with the coffee cake layers and meringue layers. The meringue layers will be slightly smaller than the cake layers; fill the space with buttercream. Use flat and off-set spatulas to frost the top and sides of the cake. When finished frosting the cake, allow it to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before adding the chocolate ganache.
- For the chocolate ganache, combine the heavy cream and chocolate in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Heat the mixture for about 30 seconds, then stir and heat again until the chocolate is melted. Stir until the ganache is smooth and silky. If ganache is too thick, add more cream; if it’s too thin, add more chocolate chips. You can also add 1 tsp shortening to make the ganache shinier. Allow the ganache to cool for at least 15 to 20 minutes, then pour over the edges and over the top of the cake and use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate evenly.
- Garnish the top of the cake with caramel coffee macarons, chopped hazelnuts, chocolate covered espresso beans and dollops of the remaining buttercream.