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Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Cake

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This pumpkin cake is an ode to one of my favorite childhood treats, Nutella. That rich, creamy paste of chocolate and hazelnuts spread on toast was a snack that I looked forward to at tea.

Every slice of this cake reveals a gorgeous marbled pattern created by alternating swirls of bright orange pumpkin and dark brown chocolate-hazelnut mixture if you make your gianduja feel free to use that here.

  • Yield: One 9 in/ 23 cm loaf


⅓ cup/80 ml extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for greasing the pan

1 ½ cups/210 g all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

7.5 oz/212 g pumpkin purée

1 ½ cups/250 g packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup/240 ml Nutella

½ cup/60 g whole hazelnuts, coarsely ground


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
  2. Line a 9 in/23 cm loaf pan with parchment paper and grease lightly with olive oil.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, dry whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the pumpkin, sugar, eggs, and ⅓ cup/80 ml of olive oil until smooth. Dump the flour mix in and whisk until combined and no flecks of dry flour are visible.
  5. Divide the cake batter into three parts by volume. Now begin layering the cake batter and Nutella. Pour one portion into the bottom of the prepared pan. Using a teaspoon, drop half of the Nutella at random spots over the cake batter. Cover with another part of the cake batter, repeat with the Nutella and then top with the remaining third of the cake batter. Run a skewer through the cake batter, swirling the cake batter and Nutella in a zigzag manner three times. Don’t overdo the mixing. Sprinkle the ground hazelnuts all over the top. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The nuts should be golden brown and toasted, the cake should spring back readily when gently pressed, and a skewer should come out clean when inserted through the center. If you use a thermometer, the internal temperature of the cake should read 212F/100C. Remove the baked cake from the oven and leave in the pan to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving. The cake will stay good for up to 4 days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature.


  • Don’t overdo the zigzagging, or the marbling pattern won’t be as prominent in the cake.
  • Because this cake contains Nutella, it can be tricky to determine when it is baked properly, as the skewer can come out sticky if it passes through the Nutella. Measuring the cake’s temperature is a better indicator of doneness.
  • You don’t need to use Nutella; you can use your own homemade version or gianduja.

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