Orange Chocolate Hazelnut Bread

Orange Chocolate Hazelnut Bread Recipe whole wheat spelt

Does that hazelnut oil in the picture look familiar to you?  That’s right!  You saw it in my Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies where I lavishly praised its name.  Hazelnut oil is simply too good to let sit unused in the refrigerator, so I wanted to put it to use.  And since I love the flavor of hazelnuts, why not make it something really hazelnutty?  If you’re a hazelnut fan like I am, you’re going to love this cake!  It combines just the right amount of orange and chocolate to still allow the hazelnut to shine through as the starring (and might I add, oscar-winning) character.

Oh, and did I mention that this Orange Chocolate Hazelnut Bread is made with 100% whole grain flour?  Yep, and you won’t be any less “wowed” by it!  Quite the contrary, the rich earthiness of the whole wheat or spelt flour combines beautifully with the hazelnuts to bring you a truly delicious treat.

Hazelnuts are grown commercially here in Washington and in Oregon.  Evidence has been found on the island of Colonsay near Scotland that hazelnuts were cultivated at least as far back as 7000 BC.   Hazelnuts are also known as Filberts, the name believed to have come from St. Philibert’s Day (August 20) because it is around that time that hazelnuts mature.  Some historians believe that the name derived from the German vollbart, meaning full beard, an image resembling the appearance of the husked shell of the hazelnut.

Hazelnuts are rich in protein and unsaturated fat.  They also contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and other healthy fats, and are especially high in vitamin B6 (essential for red blood cell and protein metabolism and immune health) and thiamine (essential for cardiac health).

Combine these beautiful nuts with chocolate and orange and a few other ingredients and just look at this gorgeous outcome!

Hazelnut Orange Bread 3 smHazelnut Orange Bread 4 sm

Ready to make this Orange Chocolate Hazelnut Bread?

Then let’s get to it!

Grind the hazelnuts (use raw hazelnuts for maximum flavor).  Or buy pre-ground hazelnut meal.  For optimal flavor toast the ground hazelnuts in the oven.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Set aside.


In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and brown sugar.  Cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs, hazelnut oil, and vanilla extract.  Beat until combined.


Zest the orange.  Add the zest and buttermilk and beat until combined.  Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and use a rubber spatula to combine the mixture.  Some lumps of flour will remain and that’s okay.  Use the rubber spatula to fold in the ground hazelnuts.


Next, prepare the topping & swirl mixture.  Chop the hazelnuts.  Combine the chopped hazelnuts with the chocolate chips, brown sugar, and flour.  Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.  I used Fat Daddio’s pan for this – great pan!  I also regularly use and love the pans from Magic Line.


Spread 2/3 of the batter into the loaf pan.  Sprinkle evenly with half of the topping & swirl mixture.  Add the remaining batter on top.  Spread the batter out evenly using a rubber spatula.  Sprinkle with the remaining topping & swirl mixture.


Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean but moist.  Be careful not to over-bake or the cake will be dry.  Allow the cake to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Hazelnut Orange Bread prep 21  Hazelnut Orange Bread prep 23Hazelnut Orange Bread 7 sm

And don’t forget to check out these delicious Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies:

Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies

Orange Chocolate Hazelnut Bread
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons hazelnut oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup ground hazelnuts
  • 2 cups whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • For Topping & Swirl Mixture:
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped hazelnuts
  • ⅓ cup chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Add the eggs, hazelnut oil, and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  3. Add the orange zest and buttermilk and beat until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir with a rubber spatula just until combined. Stir in the ground hazelnuts.
  6. Prepare the swirl mixture by combining all ingredients.
  7. Pour ⅔ of the batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle evenly with ½ of the swirl mixture. Pour the remaining batter over the top and spread with a rubber spatula to even it out. Sprinkle with the remaining swirl mixture and gently press it into the batter.
  8. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean but moist. Be careful not to over-bake or the bread will be dry.
  9. Let the bread cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Remember to also try these Mega Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies!

22 Responses

  1. wrote on

    I really like how you made it so easy to understand the recipe and the process. As soon as I saw the word chocolate in the title you had my attention. Your bread looks so perfect!
    This is definitely something my family would love to eat

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks so much for the compliment, Megan! I would love to hear your feedback once you’ve had the chance to try it!

  2. Adrienne

    wrote on

    That looks amazing!! Will have to try it. What brand is the hazelnut oil? Thanks so much

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks so much for the compliment! The particular brand I used is Saveur, from France, because that’s what I happened to find in the store. There are cheaper hazelnut oil brands out there though that have just as good of reviews. I look forward to you giving this cake a try – let me know what you think when you’ve had a chance to make it!

  3. wrote on

    What a great combination of flavors. I’ve never used hazelnut oil, I’m sure it adds a great depth of flavor. Looks delicious!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks, Sherri! I had just used it for the first time in baking a few weeks ago when I made the Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies. I knew about using it for salad dressings, but I’m so glad I thought to try it in baking – it really does add a wonderful depth of flavor. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. Anonymous

    wrote on

    Ohh I can’t wait to make this with my wee one looks scrummy xx

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thank you! Let me know what you and your little one think once you’ve both tried it! :)

  5. maggie

    wrote on

    This is the first time I’ve seen your website; & I can’t wait to try many of your recipes. They sound amazing. Will let you know what I think after I’ve tried some of them–this weekend!!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Yayyy!! Maggie, I’m so happy you found my site and am really looking forward to your feedback! I hope you’ll be a regular visitor :)

  6. wrote on

    Magnificent, Kimberly! Lovely combination of flavors :) I wish hazelnuts weren’t so hard to find in this area. Great recipe!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thank you, Michele! I love hazelnuts. They remind me a lot of Germany where they’re a staple in baked goods. And of course they’re an integral part of Nutella, which I can never resist ;)

  7. wrote on

    This looks amazing! I really must find some hazelnuts soon… bookmarking it now!



    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks, Felicia! I LOVE the flavor of hazelnuts in baked goods!

  8. Melinda

    wrote on

    I am going to try this recipe today, can’t wait!
    I was wondering if this recipe could make muffins as well?if so, how long do you recommend cooking them so they don’t dry out?

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Melinda! I haven’t tried making muffins with this batter yet, but yes, it should absolutely work. I would increase the temperature to 375 F and bake (regular-sized) muffins for 18-22 minutes or so. Check after 18 by doing the toothpick test.

  9. Marie

    wrote on

    Hi, I am a beginner, is that 1/3 of a cup of hazlenuts before they are ground or after? If it’s after how much hazlenuts should I use? Can I use hazelnut meal? I don’t have wholewheat flour so can I use selfraising or plain instead? Thankyou.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Marie! For the cake batter it’s 1/3 ground hazelnuts and yes, you can absolutely use 1/3 cup hazelnut meal. Don’t use self-raising flour, but yes, you can use plain white flour. Happy baking!

      • Marie

        wrote on

        OK, thankyou for replying Kimberly:)

  10. Rita

    wrote on

    Hi, just love the sound of all the ingredients and the look of the cake, absolutely amazing!! Can the hazelnut oil be substituted with anything else asits not available where I live ?

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thank you, Rita! The purpose of the hazelnut oil is simply to give it an extra hazelnut flavor boost. You can certainly omit it if it isn’t available and just substitute regular oil for added moistness. Happy baking!


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