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Cooking Tips

Love Almond Flour in Baked Goods? It's Time You Tried Hazelnut Flour

This nutty-sweet, gluten-free flour is found in many Italian baked goods and can be a terrific alternative to almond flour. Try it and see for yourself.
By Published Oct. 28, 2022

For years now, almond flour has been an important staple in the test kitchen's pantry. We love to employ it in gluten-free recipes and nutty desserts.

But this is not where the nut-flour train stops. If you’re not yet baking with hazelnut flour, you should be.

Fans of Nutella and Ferrero Rocher gather round!

Hazelnut flour is found in many Italian baked goods, including biscotti and baci di dama. The flour is sweeter and more buttery than almond flour and can make an excellent sub for it in cookies and desserts.

The key is to understand when such a swap is possible.

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What is hazelnut flour?

Hazelnut flour, also called hazelnut meal, is 100-percent nut flour. Because it’s created without wheat or any other grain, it’s naturally gluten free.

Hazelnut flour is made by grinding whole raw nuts to a fine nubbly texture. Like almond flour, it may be blanched before grinding or pulverized with the skins on.

What is the difference between hazelnut flour and almond flour?

Besides having a sweeter, more buttery taste than almond flour, hazelnut flour contains 20 percent more fat and 28 percent less protein.

How to substitute hazelnut flour for almond flour

Given the differences in fat and protein between the two flours, we felt some testing was in order to make sure a substitution didn’t cause problems.

Cook’s Illustrated Associate Editor Erica Turner substituted hazelnut flour for almond flour in our Best Almond Cake, Financiers (Almond–Browned Butter Cakes), and Cranberry Curd Tart with Almond Crust.

In the financiers and almond cake, a 1:1 swap went off without a hitch. We also loved how the hazelnut flour lent its distinctive, sweet-nutty notes to these items. 

However, in the tart, the switch to hazelnut flour yielded a crust with badly slumping sidewalls that were crunchy, rather than crisp, and crumbled when sliced.

The bottom line: Because hazelnut flour contains more fat and less protein, it adds more tenderness and creates less structure in baked goods. Therefore, it’s important to use it as a sub for almond flour only in recipes where there are other structure-building ingredients, such as all-purpose flour and eggs.

When the nut alone is responsible for setting the structure (as was the case in the tart crust), it's best not to make this switch.

Want to try swapping these two flours for yourself? Give it a shot in these recipes.

Love hazelnuts in general? Try these other recipes.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.