Torta di Nocciole

Torta di Nocciole

Located in the northwest corner of Italy, and isolated from most of Europe by the Alps, is the region of Piedmont.

For centuries, residents of the hills of Piedmont would journey into the woods each autumn to gather hazelnuts, which flourish here due to the ideal climate and topography of the region. They would then dry and roast the nuts, using them as a key part of their diet all year round.

Torta di Nocciole, like many old-school Italian recipes, is based on “cucina povera,” a concept that we often feature in Libellula dishes. “Cucina Povera” is Italy’s “poor cooking” method, where peasants created inventive (and delicious!) recipes born out of necessity.

Due to the exorbitant prices of flour in the 1800s, the Piedmontese were forced to stop baking cakes. As Christmas approached, however, this became a critical issue.

Cakes were a key element in the region’s festivities, and an Italian Christmas without cake would be a true travesty! So the bakers of the small town of Coremilia put their heads together to try and come up with a tasty solution…

After much experimentation, their substitution for flour was an ingredient that was right under their nose: hazelnuts.

Needless to say, the cake successfully saved Christmas! Torta di Nocciole then quickly spread in popularity throughout the region. Almost every village or town soon had its own, distinct recipe.

And now the Libellula family has their own! :)


¾ Cup of Plain Flour

½ Cup of Sugar

1 Cup of Hazelnut Flour

1 egg

¼ Cup of Milk (or any plant-based milk)

¼ Cup of Classico Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

Juice of ½ a lemon

Zest of ½ a lemon

1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp of Baking Powder

Pinch of salt 

Powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 356 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  2. Beat the sugar and egg thoroughly with a whisk until smooth and pale yellow. 

  3. Gradually add the liquids. Start with the milk, then lemon juice, and the Classico extra virgin olive oil, stirring everything well. 

  4. Next, add the dry goods: pour in the plain flour, hazelnut flour and baking powder, whisking thoroughly. 

  5. Finally, add the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. 

  6. Beat everything together before pouring the mix into a baking tray lined with parchment paper.  

  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when poked in the middle and the top of the cake is golden brown. 

  8. Once cooled, sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar and serve!

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment