Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake – Low Carb and Gluten-Free


Creamy and rich low carb chocolate hazelnut mousse on a layer of gluten-free hazelnut sponge cake. The ultimate I Love You dessert.

Low Carb Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake

There’s no denying it; I am a mousse-aholic.  I love the stuff and could eat it anytime anywhere, in any form.  Put in a cup, I will eat it. Put it in a cake, I will eat it.  Put it in a tube that I can cut off the end and just pour it straight into my mouth, I will eat it.  Except for the high blood sugar-inducing, organ and nerve-damaging part.  That part might give me pause, if it wasn’t so darn easy to make low carb chocolate mousse.  I honestly believe I have perfected the stuff…it’s light, it’s creamy, it’s melt in your mouth.  Everything a good mousse should be, minus the sugar.

Low Carb Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake

I appear to have passed on my mousse-aholic tendencies to the rest of my family.  My son gets positively giddy when he knows I am making chocolate mousse.  And my husband gets a happy grin on his face.  Knowing that, when I decided to make a “welcome home” dessert for my husband after he got out of the hospital, making some chocolate mousse was a no-brainer.  Except for the fact that I’ve done several variations of mousse on All Day I Dream About Food already.  Being ever a multi-tasker, I wanted to bake something delicious for my husband AND get a good new recipe out of the deal.  How to change it up a little?

I’ve long thought about putting it into a cake, so that was one little variation.  And then I thought about flavours.  Beyond peanut butter, I think hazelnut  might be my favourite flavour to combine with chocolate (coffee and mint rank up there too…hard to say!).  And I do make a FABULOUS low carb hazelnut cake.  Why not just make a layer of that and layer it with a hazelnut-flavoured chocolate mousse?  That’s super new and different for my readers, right?  Well that’s my story and I am sticking to it.

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake Slice

There are definitely some specialized ingredients in this recipe.  One is hazelnut oil (I pick it up inexpensively at TJ Maxx).  You don’t absolutely need it, you could sub butter or another oil into the cake part.  But if you can get your hands on some hazelnut oil, you will take that hazelnut flavour to the next level.  I also used hazelnut extract to flavour both the cake and the mousse.  Again, you could use vanilla but it won’t have quite as much hazelnut flavour.  And I used some Scharrfen Berger 82% Cacao chocolate I picked up at IFBC for the mousse.  You can use other high cacao chocolate but I have to give a shout out to Scharrfen Berger because my, oh my, that is good chocolate.  It’s also certified gluten-free, which is hard to find.  You know I love my husband that much, since I decided to put my last bar of Scharrfen Berger in his welcome-home dessert!

Low Carb Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake Recipe

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Yield: 12 servings

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Creamy and rich low carb chocolate hazelnut mousse on a layer of gluten-free hazelnut sponge cake. The ultimate I Love You dessert.


    Hazelnut Cake:
  • 1½ cups Hazelnut meal
  • 3 tbsp unflavoured whey protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup Swerve Sweetener or granulated erythritol
  • 2 tbsp hazelnut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp hazelnut extract
  • 1/8 tsp stevia extract
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • Mousse:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 oz high % cacao, chopped (I used Scharffen Berger 82%
  • 3 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 4 to 6 tbsp hot water
  • 1/4 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener or powdered erythritol
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp hazelnut extract


  1. For the cake, grease a 9-inch springform pan and preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine hazelnut meal, unflavored whey protein powder, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sweetener until well combined. Beat in hazelnut oil, egg, hazelnut extract and stevia extract.
  4. Beat in hazelnut meal mixture, then beat in almond milk until batter is well combined.
  5. Spread batter in prepared pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until top is set, lightly browned and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
  6. For the mousse, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate together, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks together until smooth. When chocolate is lukewarm, whisk in egg yolks. Mixture will become very thick and chocolate will seize. Add 2 tablespoons of hot water and whisk vigorously. Continue to add 1 tbsp water at a time until chocolate mixture becomes smooth (will still be quite thick). Set aside.
  8. In a large bowl, beat egg whites with powdered sweetener, the salt and the cream of tartar until they hold stiff peaks but are not dry.
  9. In another bowl, beat cream with hazelnut extract until it holds soft peaks.
  10. Stir a couple of large spoonfuls of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then carefully fold the chocolate mixture back into the egg whites. Fold in the cream thoroughly but gently.
  11. Spread mousse over cooked cake in springform pan. Let set in refrigerator at least 2 to 3 hours.
  12. To remove, run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan sides and gently loosen. Remove sides and serve.


Serves 12. Each serving has 6 g of carbs and 2 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 4 g.

249 Calories; 23g Fat (80.9% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 98mg Cholesterol; 179mg Sodium

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    • Carolyn says

      Yes, I think you can. Try to get them ground as finely as possible but don’t let them turn into butter! Also, grind them raw. No need to roast them first.

  1. Susan says

    okay, I want to run into my kitchen and get this started….
    but, please clarify your second ingredient…just how much
    whey protein powder?

    This look awe~mazing, Carolyn!

  2. Ivonne says

    OMG this looks amazing! Question: can I replace the hazelnut extract with sugar free hazelnut syrup (DaVinci) I don’t have the extract and really want to make this. Also what would be the conversion if I wasn’t going to use stevia? (how much sugar replacement?)

    Thank you and I’m glad your husband is back home. :)

    • Carolyn says

      You can try…I am not sure the syrup will have quite enough hazelnut flavor but it’s worth a shot. The stevia is worth about 2 or 3 tbsp sugar.

  3. Susan Hayes says

    Oh my, what a way to celebrate! Fetching me some hazelnut extract on my very next trip out for groceries. Might have to be tonight;-)

  4. Lou says

    The picture shows some type of glaze on top of the mousse – can you tell me what it is and how to make it? It makes the cake looks so much more delicious!

  5. Donna says

    My own husband (French) would simply keel over at the taste/visual profiles of this showstopper torte….Luckily, here in France the huile de noisette/extrait de noisette are easily obtainable…Do you use or suggest a certain type or brand of whey protein powder?

    Fingers crossed that my attempt is as breathtaking as your beautiful results!

  6. Jill says

    this looks absolutely amazing!! this just became our Christmas dessert. I cannot wait to make this! it just looks so rich and decadent. It’s going to look so pretty on a Christmas platter w/ a little bit of holly for decoration.

    On a side note, thank you for sharing all your wonderful recipes! I’m new to low carb, so your site has helped me tremendously. Honestly, I don’t think I could go back to eating carbs all the time again…. you help make it easy.

  7. Joann says

    Is the whey protein powder necessary? Is there something else that I could substitute for it? It is not something that I use because of allergies, but I would love to make this recipe for Thanksgiving.

    • Carolyn says

      It’s necessary to add protein, to help the baked goods rise and hold their shape. Gluten is a protein so that’s what you are replacing. However, you can use hemp protein or even powdered egg whites (meringue powder…just make sure it’s not sweetened).

  8. Deborah says

    Just want to ask a question about all your baking, and thought it suitable here – when you use whey protein powder, would that be easily replaceable with another protein powder? If I want to make something dairy free, could I use rice protein powder for example? And that question extends to all your recipes, not just this one… Thanks!

    by the way, I made your peanut butter caramel shortbread squares the other day and oh my goodness, they were divine!

    • Carolyn says

      Yes, you can replace the whey with any sort of protein powder. It’s about replacing the protein that’s in gluten, to help things rise properly and hold their shape.

  9. Shyla says

    Do you often use the Bakto extracts? They don’t have amazing reviews but there is a flavor set I’ve been eyeing on Amazon so I thought I’d get your opinion since you linked to the hazlenut extract in this recipe.

    • Carolyn says

      I just ordered a flavour set from them! The sweet brown set, I am eager to try it. Their hazelnut extract is better than the other one I bought at my local grocery. Can’t remember the brand but it didn’t give much hazelnut flavour at all.

  10. debkayburke says

    Could I swap out almond for hazelnut and corresponding flavor I want to make this for our 37 Ann April 1 no joke lol and my hazelnut won’t be here in time.


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