Hazelnut Icebox Cake with Chocolate and Tawny Port

This Hazelnut Icebox Cake with Chocolate and Tawny Port may well be one of the most delicious desserts ever!

Let me see how many things it has going for it besides the most amazing flavour!

  • You use an Angel Food Cake mix to make the cake layers
  • The egg custard filling is pretty easy.
  • You can omit the Tawny Port if you want to keep it kid-friendly.  You will still have the maple syrup component!
  • It is make ahead!  It is frozen -you can make it well ahead if you are serving it as part of a large gathering.
  • It is so delicious it is worthy or entertaining or any occasion.
  • This recipe makes 2 icebox cakes!

Even making 2 icebox cakes you may have some sheet left over.  You may choose to double up the base cake layer in one or both of the loaf pans.

Using both icebox cakes you will get about 12 servings.  that makes each slice just barely wider than 1″.  It is fairly rich so that is actually a nice serving size.  Having said that you may choose to have fewer servings and wider slices.

You have to take it out of the freezer about 20 minutes before you want to serve it.

You will want to melt the chocolate drizzle topping just before serving. If you are serving as part of a large meal or for a crowd you might consider a commercial chocolate syrup if you want to keep the fuss to a minimum. The only thing here is the chocolate in the recipe format is bittersweet which counteracts some of the sweetness of the icebox cake. I am not sure there is a commercial chocolate syrup that is not super sweet.

Wine Pairing for Hazelnut Icebox Cake with Chocolate and Tawny Port

If you used Tawny port to spread on the cake layers then that same Tawny Port will be a wonderful accompaniment. The nutty flavours will complement each other beautifully.

Frangelico liqueur would be another obvious match made in heaven! (Hazelnut liqueur!)

Baileys or a walnut liqueur or a chocolate liqueur would also go well.

Hazelnut Icebox Cake on a platter drizzled with melted chocolate.

Icebox Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate and Tawny Port

A delicious, make ahead dessert worthy of entertaining.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 35 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
ChillingTime: 4 hrs
Total Time: 5 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 12 servings


  • 2 Loaf pans 4.5" X 8.5"


Hazelnut Sponge

  • 1 Angel Food Cake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted hazelnuts, skins removed chopped finely See Note 1 below.°
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 4 Tbsp Tawny Port optional
  • 4 Tbsp maple syrup

Egg Custard

  • 8 egg yolks reserve whites for other use.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsps corn syrup
  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup roasted, skinned hazelnuts finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated bittersweet chocolate

Chocolate sauce

  • 1 cup bitter sweeet chocolate in rough chunks
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream


Hazelnut Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line an 11.5 X 17" rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the parchment with cooking spray.
  • Prepare Angel Food cake according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups finely chopped hazelnuts and the 1/4 cup melted butter the batter. Stir just enough to mix evenly.
  • Spread batter out over the baking sheet.
  • Bake 10-13 minutes until top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to thoroughly cool. Remove parchment paper.
  • Using your loaf pan bottom as a guide cut out 4 rectangles of the dough. You will have some left over.

Egg Custard

  • Whisk the egg yolks in a medium sauce pan. Add the corn syrup and mix well. Whisk in the whipping cream and heat to 170°F on a candy thermometer or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and a finger swipe leaves a clean swath.
  • Add the salt and vanilla. Remove from heat. Set pan in a sink of cold water to help it cool quickly. Refrigerate a few hours to allow the custard to thicken.


  • Line your loaf pans with plastic wrap with enough excess to be able to fold over the top of the assembled cake.
  • Place a rectangle in the bottom of each pan. Brush the Tawny port/maple syrup mixture over the cake bottom. Spread half of the egg custard over each bottom. Brush the remaining 2 rectangles with more port/maple syrup. Place the last 2 rectangles, port side down over the filling.
  • Gently cover the top with the excess plastic wrap.
  • Freeze at least 4 hours or several days.
  • Allow cake to sit at room temperature 20-30 minutes before serving.
  • For the chocolate sauce, heat the whipping cream in the microwave and stir in the chocolate chunks. You may need to heat on medium heat to fully melt the chocolate. Heat one minute and stir thoroughly until the sauce is smooth and can be drizzled over the cake.
  • Drizzle sauce over the cake just before serving. Slice cake and enjoy!


Note 1:  To roast hazelnuts preheat oven to 350 .  Lay hazelnuts out in single layer and roast 8-10  minutes.  Watch carefully so they don’t burn.  Turn hot nuts out on to a clean tea towel.  Fold the cloth over and gently rub cloth over the nuts and nuts together.  Filter out the skins.  Don’t worry about the odd skin that sticks to a nut.


Calories: 574kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 229mg | Sodium: 230mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 1243IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 1mg
Hazelnut Icebox Cake with Chocolate and Tawny Port

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating