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Hazelnut Cream is an easy hazelnut pastry filling that tastes like buttery toasted hazelnuts. Use it in all the same ways you would use almond cream: a filling for croissants, tarts and puff pastry!
This hazelnut cream recipe makes an easy filling for tarts like this hazelnut pear tart or instead of almond cream in this cherry almond tart. It tastes like browned butter because of the butter and toasted hazelnuts.
While it is incredibly versatile, it is important to note that this hazelnut filling must be baked. It contains raw eggs, so it is not ideal for filling cakes or as a dip. Use it as a filling for tarts, croissants, Danish, or even a twist on the traditional King cake!
Table of Contents
Why you will love this hazelnut cream
- Flavorful & unexpected. This is an expected twist on the traditional French pastry filling, almond cream. Try it in croissants for a hazelnut croissant instead of almond!
- Easier than cookies. Made using the creaming method, hazelnut frangipane is just as easy a whipping up your favorite cookie dough!
- Versatile! Bake into cookies, bars, cakes, croissants, tarts or puff pastry for an easy, fancy dessert!
What is hazelnut cream?
Hazelnut cream is a baked custard that is made by creaming together butter, sugar and eggs before adding hazelnut flour. It is a light, flavorful filling that tastes like browned butter and hazelnuts!
How do you use hazelnut cream?
Hazelnut cream, like its cousin frangipane, must be baked. Here are some ideas for ways to use it in your next pastry!
- Tart Filling: Spread it in a partially baked tart shell like this almond tart crust recipe or this pâte sûcrée. Top with your favorite fresh or poached fruit (like these red wine poached pears) then bake until set and golden brown.
- Hazelnut croissants: Use this hazelnut cream in place of almond cream in croissants for an easy, unexpected twist on a favorite French pastry.
- Galette: Step up your galette (free form tart) game and use hazelnut cream instead of almond cream like in the nectarine blueberry galette! Hazelnuts pair beautifully with fall produce like apples, pears, and citrus fruits.
- Cake: You can even use it as a substitute for the frangipane in this rhubarb frangipane cake!
- Butter: I use unsalted butter for baking, because you want to control the amount of salt you are adding. Every brand is different and it makes adjusting the recipe a challenge.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar lightens the butter to help make this airy and light while adding sweetness.
- Hazelnut flour: I use untoasted hazelnut flour for this recipe because it will toast as it bakes. I buy pre-ground hazelnut flour but you could also grind your own toasted or untoasted hazelnuts.
- Eggs: This is a custard after all and the eggs are essential for getting the hazelnut cream to rise in the oven and set light and fluffy.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is a thickener like the eggs and it helps bind all the ingredients together when it is baked. It also acts as a stabilizer before baking.
- Grand Marnier or Frangelico: The alcohol bakes out in the final product but the subtle flavor remains. It augments the hazelnut flavor while rounding it out.
How to Make Hazelnut Cream
Use these instructions to make the perfect hazelnut cream every time! Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below!
Step 1: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Step 2: Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Perform this step just as you would for a cookie dough.
Step 3: Add the hazelnut flour and cornstarch, mix well to incorporate.
Step 4: Add the alcohol, if using and mix to combine.
That is it! Your hazelnut cream is ready to use or store!
Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip
Be sure to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This is not like making chewy cookies where you cream just enough to make a paste. Creaming traps air in the butter and sugar, which creates a lighter, fluffier filling.
Variations & Substitutions
- Almond flour: Obviously you can substitute almond flour here and it will transform into frangipane.
- Alcohol: The alcohol can be eliminated or changed to your taste. It really rounds out the flavor. Experiment and see which you like best depending on the fruit or other flavors you are incorporating.
Use immediately or store in a clean, sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
You do not need to chill hazelnut cream before baking it! It is ready for filling tarts, croissants or puff pastry! Spread with an offset spatula or transfer to a piping bag for a more controlled application.
You absolutely can make this ahead. This is an easy component to prep in advance especially when making a more complicated dessert like a tart. Store in a clean, sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
This recipe was developed in a commercial kitchen and you can make as large a batch as your mixer will hold.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This is not like making chewy cookies where you cream just enough to make a paste. Creaming traps air in the butter and sugar, which creates a lighter, fluffier filling.
- Slowly add the eggs in several additions, beating well after each.
- Add the hazelnut flour and the cornstarch, mixing well.
- Add the alcohol and mix to combine.
Before You Go
I hope you enjoyed this professional chef tested recipe. Check out our other delicious, chef-developed recipes for Custards!