There is nothing more elegant, sophisticated or brilliant than the Opera Cake.
Four thin layers of moist hazelnut cake with mocha and chocolate buttercream in between each layer.
Iced with silky chocolate ganache
And then to prove just how rich this cake is, each slice gets bedazzled with gold leaf.
When I owned my bakery I sold this cake in 3 different sizes.
As an entremet or a whole cake
Individual slices and then petit four sized.
At first glance this cake may seem like an impossible project
And while it is an intense recipe, this cake really deserves that extra effort.
Plus we have building on recipes on our side so if you prepare your buttercream ahead of time, the rest is a breeze.
I am using my Aquafaba Swiss Buttercream recipe this time
After baking the cake layers, the assembly of the cake is done in minutes
Because Opera Cake is traditionally displayed open sided, could this be the original naked cake?
Note for Success:
I understand many of you cannot get the Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg or just don’t want to buy it;
You can switch that out for Just Egg, Bob’s Red Mill or another proprietary blend in the same measure.
Flax meal reconstituted with aquafaba with also be a great sub!
Quite honestly since Follow Your Heart changed it formulas years ago I have not been using it either!
For the Raspberry Sauce I made a simple compote of about 1 cup of fresh raspberries a bit of water to help them cook down with a tablespoon or two of sugar
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL YOUTUBE STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL FOR HOW TO MAKE THIS CAKE!
For more nut cake recipes click the links below!
Hazelnut Sponge Cake with Truffle Ganache Filling
Vegan Ferrero Rocher Mousse Cake
Chocolate Mousse Cake ~ Almond Sponge Cake
If you do not want to make the Aquafaba Buttercream, you can choose your favorite one here, they all work interchangeably
- For the Cake:
- Hazelnut Flour 1½ cup (145g)
- All Purpose Flour ¾ cup (94g)
- Confectioner's Sugar 1 cup (120g)
- Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg 4 Tablespoons (32g)
- Cold Water ⅓ cup (80ml)
- EnerG Egg replacer 2 teaspoons
- Flax Meal 3 Tablespoons (24g)
- Warm Water 6 Tablespoons (90ml)
- Baking Powder 4 teaspoons (20g)
- Vegan Butter 6 Tablespoons (85g)
- Granulated Sugar 6 Tablespoons (85g)
- Vanilla Extract 1 Tablespoon (15ml)
- ½ Recipe Aquafaba Buttercream
- Instant Coffee Granules 3 teaspoons
- Hot water 1 Tablespoon (15ml)
- Cocoa Powder ½ cup
- For the Ganache:
- Semi Sweet Vegan Chocolate 4 ounces
- Soy Milk ¼ cup (60ml)
- For the cake:
- Sift the flour, confectioner's sugar, baking powder and EnerG egg replacer together and then add the hazelnut flour.
- Combine the vegan egg with the cold water, whisk smooth then add the vanilla extract
- Combine the warm water with the flax meal and whisk smooth
- Cream the vegan butter with the sugar on medium to high speed for about 3 minutes until fluffy
- Add the vegan egg mixture and whip on high speed for another 30 seconds
- Add the flax paste and mix smooth
- Add the sifted dry ingredients all at once and mix on medium to high speed to combine well.
- Pour batter into a lightly greased and parchment lined sheet pan (12" x18")
- Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 minutes then turn the oven temperature down to 300°F for another 8 minutes.
- Cool completely while you prepare the Aquafaba Swiss Buttercream according to the instructions on that blog post.
- Divide the buttercream into ¾ and ¼ and add ½ cup cocoa powder to the larger portion, whisk smooth
- Add ½ cup of the chocolate buttercream to the smaller portion of buttercream and then combine the coffee granules with the hot water and add that to make mocha.
- Cut the cooled cake into 4 equal squares (as shown in the video) and assemble by layering with the chocolate and mocha buttercream
- Prepare the ganache by combining the semi sweet chocolate with the soy milk in a small saucepot over low heat and whisk smooth stirring constantly
- Freeze the cake for at least 1 hour and then ice with ganache
- Trim the edges and garnish as you like
- I used a ganache rosette and a hazelnut with a sparkle of gold leaf
It can stay at room temperature for up to a day as it is best served at room temperature.
You can freeze wrapped well for up to 2 months
hi.would like 2 try this recipe but dont have veganegg.can i do without or replace with more egg replacer
Yes ( I meant to note that in the blog post thanks for the reminder) You can use 2 Tablespoon Cornstarch and increase the EnerG Egg replacer by another 1½ tsp
Hope you’re well.
I had forgotten all about Opera cake for a good four years!! And now you’ve made a vegan version? Double love!
You, Gretchen, are magic. I can’t wait to try this. It looks amazing.
Hi! thankyou! I am slowly slowly feeling better! thanks for asking! You are going to LOVE this cake! I guarantee it!
Looks fab! Can I sub almond flour for the hazelnut?
What is the difference between the two egg replacers?
Since the original recipe called for egg yolks and whole eggs, I decided to use both replacers.
The enerG is more like a binder similar to whole eggs, and the FYH Vegan Egg resembles the yolk.
I made this! And it was a hit. I love it so much I’m making it again as a birthday cake in a week. Thank you so much.
I used vegan egg by fyh and I subbed bob’s egg replacer for energ egg replacer. And followed everything pretty exact.
My cake wasn’t as pretty but it good. I especially love the taste of the buttercream and the hazelnut flour.
awesome! thanks for the feedback!
Found your lovely cake after watching the Great British Baking Show. Thanks for showing we can do it without eggs and dairy! Looking forward to trying it. Your cake is so even and professional. Star Baker! ?
hey finally made this cake after a whole year.
made it without vegan egg and used the substitutes
instead.it was awesome.
thxs so much
Great! thanks for the feedback!
Hi Gretchen! First of all, thank you for all your hard work in sharing your wonderful and delicious recipes. Every year, my daughter keeps requesting me to make your Christmas log but this year, I would like to try your Opera cake as hazelnut cake is also her favorite. But I just want to know how to convert it to non-vegan as I find it easier for me to use eggs. I still use your old and very reliable recipes. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!!
Just wondering about the calculations for the hazelnut Flour. According to Bobs Red Mill, 1 cup of hazelnut flour is 89 grams. That would mean 1.5 cups as you mention in the recipe would be 133.5 grams but you have it listed as 245 grams. So just wondering which measurement is correct for your recipe. Should I follow the cups or the grams?
Thankyou for double checking me!! I always say “when converting recipes from double batch to single or even half recipes, MATH is the biggest cause for recipe failure!! ” And I know this first hand because I do it often!
It looks as if I had the larger recipe in my brain and forgot to HALVE the flour weight back down. So thanks again, and whichever method you prefer to measure will be fine, and I will go ahead and update the post for the 135g weight of hazelnut flour!
Thank you for the recipe. I made the cake few days ago and it turned out really nice. I did not use any store bought egg replacer because there wasn’t anything available; instead, I used flax and chia seed meal to replace Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg and Energ Egg. Altogether, I used 5 tablespoons of flax meal (so one more tablespoon of flax meal in addition to the 4 mentioned in the recipe) and 3 tablespoons of chia seed meal with 20 tablespoons of water. I guess I could have put even less of either because it held together really well and there wasn’t any risk for the layers to break when I assembled the cake.
Somehow I managed to kind of kill the buttercream, though. The buttercream turned out just perfect, but when I had refrigerated it overnight and started to prepare the cream for the cake, it just didn’t mix at all, at first. I suspect it came down to the vegan margarine I used, but I am not sure because the original recipe turned out just perfect. The fat did not mix at all with coffee or cocoa. I thought the mixture was too cold, so I left everything to warm up more, but nothing. The cream became all runny and did not mix at all. I left everything in the fridge overnight and tried again in the morning. Whipped everything when the cream was still quite cold, added some more confectioner’s sugar and finally it begun to mix more, but not completely; it also stayed quite liquid. It did not completely regain this sturdy original consistency, but it worked well in the cake because it was nice and somewhat moist as I like. Do you have any idea what might have ruined the buttercream?
Hi Chris! Thanks for the feedback, it sounds as if you sure do know your stuff as you did wonderful substitutions for the recipe with great success. Im sorry about the buttercream, yes vegan buttercream can be tricky since there is such a high moisture content in the “margarines” that we are now using, and then the addition of literally anything can tend to throw of the balance of the base recipe
But it sounds as if you did everything I would have suggested to do! CLICK HERE For an in depth look
Thank you, Gretchen, for the reply and the link. I checked the ingredients of the margarine and indeed the first one in the list was water. The list of possible vegan butter/margarine options is rather limited here in France and as I try to avoid products with palm oil it limits the choice even more. Next time when I will prepare the buttercream I will test with solid coconut oil and coconut cream. I have understood that due to the low melting point it is not very stable, but as I keep my cakes always refrigerated and not on the counter, it should not be a problem.
Hi! I am super delighted to have found a vegan opera cake recipe- thank you for sharing. I would be serving to a crowd that includes a nut allergy, is there a different flour you would recommend that would work similarly?
Hi Great! Well the Opera cake IS a hazelnut cake, so to make it with another recipe (sans nuts) would not really be the Opera Cake anymore. But of course you can tweak this to suit you. I would not recommend to sun in another flour for this recipe though (like coconut for example) I cannot guarantee that would work, this was a tricky recipe to veganize in the first place so to say you can just sub this or that, I don’t feel comfortable doing so.
You can of course use another recipe for the layer cake though, and just use the fillings and ganache as I do here and call it “in the style of Opera Cake” 🙂
Hi Gretchen…making this cake right now and realized that your video says to bake 15 mins @ 375 then another 25 minutes at 325 BUT your written instructions say an additional 10 minutes at 325! Which is correct?! I don’t want to over bake OR under bake! Thanks! Can’t wait to see how this turns out….the batter tasted delicious 😉
Hey sorry for the last reply, I am sure you are done by now! Sorry for the confusion, the written blog post is correct.
I do always dislike giving EXACT times for baking as it can vary for so many reasons. Best to just check at 20 minutes, then you can see how far you need to go from there
I am planning on making this tomorrow and don’t have vegan ‘egg’ replacers available nor flaxseeds. I do happen to have chia seed which I could grind into a meal yet was wondering if that substitution would work for both of the ‘eggs’ listed in the recipe.
Thank you in advance and happy Holidays!
Also, after removing the cake from the oven, should it be cooled on a cooling tray? Or would it be fine to leave it on the hot pan?
I leave it in the pan to cool completely
Hi Again, I mimicked this recipe as close to the original as possible & the original Joconde has whole eggs as well as egg yolks. I like to use FYH Vegan Egg for replacing Yolks, but you can try to use another replacement, I am sure it will work, but since I have not tried – I can’t say for sure!
Also just curious, why do we need confectioner’s sugar rather than caster?
You can use either, I just literally followed my original recipe (from like 20 years ago!) for Joconde, and veganized it as close as possible!
Hi there! Thanks so much for the recipe!!
I’m making it now and noticed that there are 2 different times for baking?! Your blog has one (which I followed) and the YouTube vid has another time?
Hope mine turns out yummy!
Uggh yeah I do that sometimes, in a video I say something that I correct myself here on the blog- rule of thumb for Me & my sometimes mistakes.. THE BLOG IS ALWAYS CORRECT! 🙂