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Nutella Layer Cake

Nutella… such a wonderful creation. It holds a special place in my heart, and I absolutely love baking with it! I almost feel like I’m cheating every time I add it to a cake, because I know it’s going to be so delicious!!

For this cake I used my go-to chocolate layer cake recipe, which is is made with black cocoa to give it an extra chocolatey flavor! The layers are so delicious, and easy to work with.  This cake is frosted with three different types of buttercream.

I used a black cocoa buttercream, Nutella buttercream, and vanilla buttercream to create a textured buttercream look, inspired by the wonderful @KarleesKupcakes! The full tutorial is included below:


Bake 4, 7-inch round cake layers using my chocolate cake recipe and instructions. Allow layers to cool fully before leveling. Place pans into the freezer for 1 hour, to accelerate the cooling process, and lock in the moisture.

While the layers cool, make the frosting! Once the vanilla frosting is made, place 1/5 of the frosting into a bowl. Add 1/2 cup black cocoa, and 1 extra Tbsp of heavy cream. Mix until fully combined, then cover with saran wrap and set aside (be sure to place the plastic wrap directly on top of the frosting to prevent crusting!).

Place 1/5 of the vanilla frosting into another bowl, and also cover and set aside. Add 3/4 of a jar (roughly 1 cup, give or take) of Nutella into the remaining frosting, plus and extra 2 Tbsp heavy cream. Mix until fully incorporated, and cover with plastic wrap.

Adding simple syrup to these cake layers in optional, and I normally don’t add it to my chocolate layer cake recipe. However, I wanted this cake to be extremely moist, and to really melt in your mouth with all the wonderful Nutella. If you do chose to use simple syrup, be sure to make it in advance so that it can cool before you add it to your cake layers!

To make the simple syrup, pour one cup of water and one cup of sugar into a small pot, and bring to a boil at a high heat. Remove from heat and turn off your burner as soon as the mixture starts to boil.

Once the layers are fully cooled, remove cake layers from pans and level the tops using a serrated knife. Use a thick, sterile brush to douse the cake layers with simple syrup.

Stack and frost they layers, using the black cocoa buttercream on the first layer. Spread a generous layer of frosting, then drizzle warm Nutella over the frosting using a spoon. Sprinkle toasted hazelnuts over this. Repeat on the next layer using the Nutella buttercream, and on the third layer with vanilla frosting.

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Cover the cake in a thin layer of frosting (crumb coat) to trap any run-away crumbs. Chill the cake in the freezer or fridge for about 5 minutes, until the buttercream is firm to the touch.

Next, add a thicker, second layer of Nutella buttercream. Use a bench scraper to smooth the sides of the cake, and a small offset spatula to smooth the top of the cake. You can see a full tutorial on how to frost a cake with smooth sides here.

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To create a textured buttercream look, use a small offset spatula to spread white s buttercream smears around the cake.

Thin these out using a bench scraper, to created rougher edges on each bit of white frosting.

Layer the black cocoa frosting onto the cake next, using the same technique. Chill the cake for 5 minutes in the fridge, the add some Nutella buttercream streaks.

Swirl together the remaining frosting colors into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 4B tip.

Pipe buttercream swirls onto the top of the cake, leaving about an inch of open space between each swirl. Top each swirl with a chocolate truffle (I used Ferrero Rocher).

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Use a squirt bottle to drizzle the chocolate ganache between the swirls, to make some short drips.

To learn my tips and tricks on adding chocolate drips to a cake, you can click here.

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It was so fun to mix up the look of this cake with this textured buttercream look! While perfectly smooth sides on a cake are wonderful, it’s exciting to try different techniques.

Using three different frosting types inside the cake made the slices look beautiful!! They almost had an ombre effect 🙂

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This cake feeds 20-25 people, so be sure you have lots of friends or family around to help you enjoy it!!

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Tuesday 10th of March 2020

hi chelsa ..please can you replay back ..l made a chocolatr cake but the frosting it has tu much smell of butter and taste is well can l fix that ..because l have taste other cakes (not mine) and the frosting it doesn't taste butter ..what am l doing wrong please ?


Monday 16th of March 2020

Hi Marta,

Did you make any substitutions? Did you add in all the powdered sugar and other flavorings into the frosting? You can add in some melted dark or milkchocolate if you feel the frosting needs it. You also may need to add a bit more heavy cream if you add additional chocolate. Hope that helps, happy baking!


Thursday 11th of April 2019

Hello!! If I'm going to make this a 6 inch cake, do I still need 1.5x of buttercream?


Sunday 21st of April 2019

not at all! you only need one batch, if that!

The Best American Buttercream Frosting Recipe - Chelsweets

Tuesday 19th of February 2019

[…] Nutella […]

Kathleen Furman

Friday 14th of December 2018

Why do you add the simple syrup? you drip on top after layers have cooled? Im trying to decide whether to use your chocolate cake recipe or Yolanda's....can the simple syrup be left out?


Thursday 3rd of January 2019

It's really a matter of preference! I usually don't, but with Yolanda's cake recipe, it needs the extra moisture! I add it to the layers once they've cooled and I level the tops using a serrated knife. If you use my go-to chocolate layer cake, the simple syrup can be left out :)


Tuesday 2nd of October 2018

hey i was wondering if 1 1/2 batch of your buttercream be too much for this cake?plus how many kgs is this cake for?


Monday 15th of October 2018

I usually need more than one batch, but do have some leftovers once I'm done frosting! But it's way better to have some leftovers than to run out! especially when you're making different colored frostings like this :) I don't really measure my cake by kgs, so I don't have an answer for that, sorry!