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No-Bake Vegan Nutella Cake

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An indulgent No-Bake Vegan Nutella Cake that tastes like Nutella but is not only dairy-free and vegan, but also gluten-free, paleo-friendly, oil-free, soy-free, and refined sugar-free! Plus, the food processor does 95% of the work and there’s only a handful of ingredients required!
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
1 hour 15 minutes
5 from 9 votes

I recently came up with the EASIEST recipe for a Nutella-flavored dessert, and I am beyond excited to share it with you.

The idea for this No-Bake Vegan Nutella Cake came from two sources. First, I noticed that A LOT of you really love my No-Bake Cookie Dough Bars, so I wanted to make another easy, no-bake vegan dessert. Second, I have been wanting to make (and eat) Nutella-flavored brownies for a long time, so there’s that.

And you could just as well call these brownies instead of cake because they are rich and dense, just like brownies. But I prefer to call it a “brownie cake” because it’s in the shape of a loaf cake. Whatever you call it and whatever type of pan you use, I am 100% confident you will love it!

Table of Contents:
1. Why you’ll love this recipe
2. Ingredient notes
3. Frequently Asked Questions
4. Video: How to make this cake
5. Recipe card with notes

Two slices cut from nutella cake on parchment paper.

Why you’ll love this recipe

It’s rich and Indulgent AF. It’s like eating the densest, richest brownie, except all of the ingredients are wholesome and nourishing. Yep, this cake is vegan, gluten-free, paleo, oil-free, soy-free, and refined sugar-free. So unless you have a nut allergy or are on a keto diet, you can happily enjoy this recipe!

Just a little goes a long way. Because this cake is so rich, even a small piece will satisfy even the most intense chocolate cravings. Trust me, I have the biggest sweet (chocolate) tooth and a small slice was enough satiate my inner chocolate monster.

It’s SO easy to make. All you need is a good food processor – it really does 90% of the work in this recipe.

Close up of two slices cut from nutella cake on parchment paper.

Ingredient notes

Hazelnuts. Hence, the Nutella flavor! I use raw hazelnuts and roast them in the oven. It takes only 10 minutes or so, and it will have your kitchen smelling like heaven.

Almond flour. I usually have store-bought almond flour on hand, but if you don’t have any, here’s a really comprehensive guide on how to make your own almond flour.

Raw cacao powder. Or cocoa powder. The choice is up to you (unlike cocoa powder, cacao powder is unprocessed, but cocoa powder is cheaper).

Medjool dates. Yes, there are A LOT of dates in this recipe, but dates are the only source of sugar in the cake. So if you don’t make the Chocolate Avocado Frosting, this cake is free of any added sugar (plenty of natural sugar in them dates).

The reason I use Medjool dates instead of, say, the Deglet variety, is because they’re naturally plump and soft.

If, however, your dates aren’t soft, soak them in warm water for 5 minutes and then thoroughly pat them dry.

Cacao nibs: These get folded into the batter at the end and could be optional, but I love the crunch they bring to the sticky, dense cake batter.

Chocolate Avocado Frosting. All you need is a ripe avocado, cacao or cocoa powder, maple syrup, a little bit of salt and a food processor to make this silky, creamy, and luscious yet nourishing frosting!

Overhead shot of two slices cut from nutella cake on parchment paper.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use in place of the maple syrup in the frosting?

If you don’t have maple syrup on hand, you could also coconut nectar or agave nectar (use a bit less of agave since it is sweeter).

I don’t have a loaf pan, can I use a different sized pan?

I used this standard loaf pan (hence brownie cake), but you could easily use an 8×8-inch square pan instead. The slices won’t be as tall/thick and they’ll look/feel more like brownies than cake, but they will taste just the same (and let me tell you, they taste ahhh-maaaazing).

How should I store leftovers? Can I freeze this cake?

You can store the leftovers in the freezer for 2-3 days, but if you want the leftovers to last even longer, just frost the portion of the cake you plan to eat in the next few days.

The unfrosted cake will stay good in your freezer for a month or two.

When you are ready to eat the leftovers, thaw the cake in the fridge and make a fresh batch of frosting. The frosting is avocado based, so it doesn’t freeze well and won’t stay good for more than a few days in the fridge.

Video: How to make this cake

I hope you give this No-Bake Vegan Nutella Cake recipe a try! If you do, drop me a comment down below and tag me with your recreations over on Instagram!

Big Vegan Flavor

Techniques and 150 recipes to master vegan cooking.

No-Bake Vegan Nutella Cake

5 from 9 votes
An indulgent No-Bake Vegan Nutella Cake that tastes like Nutella but is not only dairy-free and vegan, but also gluten-free, paleo-friendly, oil-free, soy-free, and refined sugar-free! Plus, the food processor does 95% of the work and there’s only a handful of ingredients required!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Baking
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 16


Nutella Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups (~200-220g) raw hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups (~168g) cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup (~60g) raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 24 ounces (~680g) Medjool dates, pitted
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (~65-75g) raw cacao nibs

Chocolate Avocado Frosting*

  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 1/3 cup (~26g) raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons (~68g) pure maple syrup
  • A generous pinch of sea salt


  • Flaky sea salt


  • Prepare the Nutella Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Place the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking tray and spread out evenly. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned and very fragrant. Allow the hazelnuts to lightly cool.
  • While the hazelnuts are roasting, line a 9×5-inch loaf pan (23 x 13 x 8 cm pan) with parchment paper, with the ends hanging over sides of the pan. If you don’t have a loaf pan, you can use an 8×8-inch square pan (20 x 20 x 5 cm).
  • Place the hazelnuts on top of a clean kitchen towel and wrap into a bowl. Rub vigorously to remove the hazelnut skins. It’s not necessary to remove all the skins.
  • Place the hazelnuts in a food processor or high-powered blender until finely ground (but don’t blend too much, you don’t want it to turn into nut butter).
  • Add the almond flour, dates, cacao powder, salt, and vanilla and process until you have a sticky dough that you can press together with your fingers Stir in cacao nibs with a silicone spatula.
  • Transfer the Nutella cake dough to the lined pan. Using your hands and/or a silicone spatula, press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan until it is flat and firm.
  • Freeze the cake for 30 minutes to set, or refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  • When ready to serve the cake, make the Chocolate Avocado Frosting. Place avocados, cacao powder, maple syrup, and salt in a food processor and blend until creamy and smooth. You should get 3/4 -1 cup of frosting.
  • To serve the cake, spread the frosting on top of the cake and sprinkle a generous amount of flaky sea salt on top. Store leftovers in the freezer for 2-3 days. If you want the leftovers to last longer, just frost the portion of the cake you plan to eat in the next few days. The unfrosted cake will stay good in your freezer for a month or two.


*I doubled the frosting recipe for the purposes of the video + photos, but 1 batch of frosting is sufficient for most needs.

Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 115mg | Potassium: 536mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 84IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 2mg

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5 from 9 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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24 comments on No-Bake Vegan Nutella Cake

  1. Nancy Levy

    5 stars
    This is a great recipe, but the amount of dates recommended is way over the top for my taste. I use about half that. It’s still plenty sweet and quite delicious. You can keep blending/tasting/
    adding until you’ve got it right for you. I sprinkle finely chopped walnuts on top of the frosting.

  2. Emily Hess

    This looks so delish! Not to be *that* person, but is it possible to make this without the cacao nibs? Maybe chocolate chips or shredded dark chocolate bar in its place?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Emily, yes that would work!

  3. Janine

    OMG, this looks so good!!!! I definitely want to make it. Do you think it would be ok to substitute the almond four with cassava flour? I have some in the house. Can’t wait to indulge in this healthy treat! 🥰

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Janine, so glad you think so! We haven’t tried this ourselves but from what we read online it could work. It may change the flavor and texture of the final product, though. Let us know if you try it out!

  4. Shivany

    5 stars
    Decadent and rich indeed! 😍
    Love it:-) the avocado frosting tasted too much of avocado though, any tips on how that can be avoided? Overall, repeat recipe for sure :-)

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Shivany, we are glad you love the cake! You could try using another of our icing recipes! The coconut whipped cream icing recipe with added chocolate would be tasty:

      This cream cheese icing recipe found in this blog post could be tasty as well:

  5. Luz


    I would like to know if there’s any substitute for dates, and, if so, what would you recommend?

    Thank you for your help.

  6. Bianca

    5 stars
    Can I use something else instead of dates? My husband is intolerant to any kind of fruits. Thank you!

  7. Sharwari Salvi

    This is one of the most decadent desserts I’ve ever made. Worth every ingredient you buy

    1. Nisha Vora

      YAS! Happy to hear that. It is pure decadence, I agree!

  8. Angie Hemphill

    You are amazing!!! I love everything you do! I made this today and it is insanely delicious and I feel so good about putting it into my body! Super dense and filling so just a small portion at a time is more than satisfying. I love that it keeps in the fridge or freeze too! Thank you so much!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Angie! That’s so wonderful to hear :) I am so happy you love it. I also love how dense and rich it is, so a little bit goes a long way! Love having it in my freezer for when those chocolate cravings arise!

  9. Marta

    How many calories does this have ?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Marta, I don’t count calories and don’t promote that as part of my lifestyle so I don’t share that information here. I’m sure you can plug in the ingredients into a calorie counter app or website like myfitnesspal to figure it out.

  10. Amy

    Can I use something other than the almond flour? Allergic to almonds but can do other nuts…

    1. Nisha Vora

      Yes, walnuts would be good – use the same amount in weight as the almond flour called for in the recipe! You just need to grind them up in a food processor, so you can add them towards the end of blending the hazelnuts – they are softer than hazelnuts so won’t need as much time to pulverize.

  11. Sabrina

    About how many dates might this be? Looks great!!!!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Thanks Sabrina! Dates are really variable in size, which is why I didn’t include the quantity. But I would estimate ~30-35 large dates.

  12. Cindy

    When you convert the whole hazelnuts to flour, is it equal. 1 1/2 cups nuts = 1 1/2 flour? I too have hazelnut meal and would like to use this.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Cindy, according to my online sleuthing, 1 1/2 cups whole hazelnuts will actually produce quite a bit more hazelnut meal, closer to 2 1/2 cups. Hope that helps!

  13. Hind

    I have hazelnut meal In the pantry already. can I use this instead of buying and roasting the hazelnuts?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Yes that should work just fine!

  14. Noelle / Too Precious For Processed

    This Nutella Cake looks decadent and dreamy in every way! The good news is, I have all the necessary ingredients so I can feed my craving for this ASAP.

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