Homemade “Nutella” Chocolate Hazelnut Spread: A Simple Pleasure

I have a peanut butter problem.

Though, it’s not necessarily a problem. I just find that I could live off of the stuff. Is that really a problem?

Depends who you ask.

Vertical image of a white ceramic bowl of chocolate hazelnut spread with a knife sticking out of it, on a white wood surface with a black background, printed with white and orange text at the midpoint and bottom of the frame.

Thanks to my longtime loyal friendship with the sweet spread, I’ve always been somewhat hesitant when it comes to peanut’s distant cousin: the hazelnut.

The buttery flavor is blissful in my coffee, but the chocolate-infused version of the condiment has always puzzled me.

Nutella came spiraling down to earth years ago and all of a sudden, it was as if it had been here all along. I had tasted the packaged variety a time or two and found that I could take it or leave it.

Then I made a creamy chocolate hazelnut spread from scratch, and when I was supposed to bring it over to a neighbor’s house, I left it.

At home. For myself.

Vertical image of a knife lifting chocolate hazelnut spread from a white ceramic bowl, on a gray background.

There was something therapeutic about making this chocolate hazelnut spread from start to finish. It might have been the fact that I was always a little weary of the jarred kind, so everything from the earthy aromas to the first lick off the spatula was somewhat of a surprise.

I knew that this dark, mysterious nut butter wouldn’t be cloyingly sweet, and that turned out to be my favorite thing about it.

As the perfume of rich roasting hazelnuts came billowing out of my oven, I realized that I might have underestimated Nutella all along. When I shared with a group of friends that I had made (not bought) it, they asked if it was an arduous process.

Horizontal closeup overhead image of a homemade chocolate and hazelnut spread in a white bowl, on a black and white background.

As I described roasting and skinning the hazelnuts, they suddenly looked at me as if I were the female hero in a rom com.

Cool. I could be Katherine Heigl.

The majority of the shells blistered and were easily shed when rubbed inside of a dish towel, but those that wouldn’t lose their skins got some extra TLC between my hands.

Arduous? Nah. My idea of a fun Wednesday morning? Yep.

Overhead closely cropped vertical image of a white bowl of chocolate hazelnut spread with a knife stuck into it for serving, on a folded blue cloth against a black background.

If you’ve ever wondered what true joy feels like, try rubbing warm hazelnuts together in your palms.

You could just call it a day right there, but I would take the next steps of dumping the naked orbs into a food processor and pulsing them into submission along with cocoa powder, vanilla, and woody maple syrup.

Lightly sweet, divinely bitter from the cocoa, and with a rustic texture that screams, “I was gently loved by somebody’s hands!” this homemade Nutella copycat is worth every second.

Vertical image of a hand holding a cracker with a smear of chocolate hazelnut spread on top, with more in a bowl in the background.

I like to smear it on toast with sliced bananas and honey, dollop it onto salty crackers, and occasionally use it to brush my teeth.

In place of peanut butter, of course.

Print
Overhead closely cropped horizontal image of a brown chocolate hazelnut spread in a white ceramic bowl with a knife, on a blue cloth.

Homemade Nutella


  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x

Description

What’s toasty and vanilla-ey and chocolatey all over? This homemade “Nutella” loaded with cocoa, maple, and freshly roasted hazelnuts.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole hazelnuts
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch coarse salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread the hazelnuts onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast, shaking the pan once halfway through, until lightly golden and toasted, about 10 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool slightly and then, using a clean dish towel, rub them gently to remove the skins.
  3. Add the nuts to a food processor and pulse until the consistency reaches a thick butter. Pour in the cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt and process until very smooth and spreadable. Spoon the mixture into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate.
  4. Allow the spread to come to room temperature before use.

  • Category: Sauces and Spreads
  • Method: Baking, No-Cook
  • Cuisine: Snacks

Keywords: Nutella, chocolate, hazelnut, chocolate hazelnut spread

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Toast

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spread the hazelnuts onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast, shaking the pan once halfway through, until they are lightly golden and toasted.

Hazelnuts with skins on, toasting on a metal baking pan.

Some of the skins will look slightly blistered and a deeper brown.

Be sure to keep an eye on them, set a timer, and do not allow them to burn!

Step 2 – Remove Skins

Allow the nuts to cool slightly and then wrap them in a clean dish towel. Rub them gently in the towel to remove the loose skins.

Horizontal closeup image of a hand holding five toasted hazelnuts with the skins partially removed, against a beige background.

For any skins that don’t peel off easily, you can rub them together between your hands. Don’t worry if all of the skins don’t come off.

Step 3 – Grind

Closeup overhead horizontal image of toasted blanched hazelnuts in a food processor.

Add the skinned nuts to a food processor and pulse until they take on the consistency of a thick butter.

Horizontal closely cropped overhead image of toasted hazelnuts blended into a paste in a food processor.

It will be slightly crumbly and not as smooth as traditional store-bought nut butter.

Step 4 – Add the Remaining Ingredients

Vertical image of a hand pouring a measuring cup of maple syrup into a mixture of nut puree, cocoa powder, and other ingredients in a food processor below, on a gray kitchen countertop.

Pour in the cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt and process until smooth and spreadable, scraping down the sides of the food processor as needed.

Horizontal oblique overhead image of a mixture of nut paste, maple syrup, and cocoa powder in a food processor.

Spoon the mixture into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate.

Horizontal overhead image of a chocolate mixture in the clear plastic canister of a food processor, with a metal S-blade attachment.

Allow the spread to come to room temperature before you use it, to make it easier to spread.

Hazelnuts + Chocolate = Best Friends for Life

When you make nut butters at home, you get to build your snacks from beginning to end. Give your peanut butter a rest and let this chocolate hazelnut spread take the wheel.

No maple syrup on hand? Sub in some orange blossom honey or a few squirts of smooth agave syrup.

Overhead closely cropped horizontal image of a brown chocolate hazelnut spread in a white ceramic bowl with a knife, on a blue cloth.

Want to know what other goodies you can manifest with ground nuts? Check out these protein-packed productions:

What’s your all-time favorite way to enjoy Nutella? Do you double up on the sweetness and swipe an apple through it, or go savory and dab it inside a grilled cheese?

Share your nutty combos in the comments below. And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it!

Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on March 4, 2010. Last updated: June 27, 2019 at 19:03 pm.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Fanny Slater

Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”

29 thoughts on “Homemade “Nutella” Chocolate Hazelnut Spread: A Simple Pleasure”

  1. Nutella is my weakness. I love it so much!!! I was eating it before it became popular in the states. My grandparents used to bring it home from Italy. I can’t wait to try making some of my own! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  2. I am inspired to make nutella and then see what else I can do with it. I want to make my own hazelnut chocolate ice cream.

    About that waiting. I never seem to be ready early enough. Now, getting to work later, I go workout, cook, photo, but something is nagging at me. I used to read the bible every year, and I’ve drifted away from that morning routine. How about you?

  3. I love Nutella. When I have visited Vienna there is a gelato place called Zanoni Zanoni’s. They have vanilla gelato with Nutella ripple. My absolute favorite! I get it whenever I am there – even in the wintertime!

  4. i hate waiting! but you make it seem not so bad. and so i’ve waited long enough: i will try nutella for the first time. i can’t say that i will try the homemade version first — i will most likely cheat and get the store-bought (any store? jewel?) — because oh! did i tell you? my food processor just stopped working. just like that. but anyway, the point is, nutella. yes. it’s time.

  5. I’ve been waiting to hear someone else talk about waiting. I often say it on my site, but to know I’m not alone feels great. I need to get better at waiting-I often awake out of anxiety to get the day started and disregard the simple pleasures.

    Plus, I have been noshing on Nutella and thinking about making my own so this is exactly what I need right now. Thank you!

  6. I can so relate to the wait. And I like that you ask how better to enjoy the wait than get frustrated with the waiting

  7. You know, I don’t think I’ve ever tried hazelnuts. Almonds and walnuts definitely, but not hazelnuts. I’ll let you know how this works out in my blender, if it doesn’t break, or I might have to go with the mortar and pestle to have a small fix. Hehe.

  8. Lisa, The first time I had it was in Europe when I was about 17 (I want to say it was in Germany?) and I was unimpressed, ha! It took a few years but I became a full-on superfan. Your story about your grandparents bringing it back from Italy makes me wonder when Nutella became available in the States? I’m sure glad it did!

    Janet, Do you use your mortar and pestle often? I’ve thought of getting one but so far have told myself I don’t need it… but they look so cool!

  9. Now I feel like I need Nutella. I have to say, I really like the stuff you buy, I’ve never had homemade. What is the difference in taste, texture?

  10. sitting down and eating breakfast before work is a simple pleasure, your spread looks like jsut the treat. I wish I did that more often. This morning, driving to work with a breakfast burrito in one hand, coffee splashing out of my cupholder and business call at the same time was NOT working for me.

  11. Every time I’m in the peanut butter aisle (which is every time I go grocery shopping because I think I have a hoarding problem with peanut butter) I gaze longingly at the Nutella, then exercise a great deal of self-restraint for the sake of my health and my wallet. It would not last long in my house! I would probably feel less guilty, financially and health-wise, with this homemade Nutella 🙂 Hazelnut and chocolate were made for each other.

  12. Niki, As far as the diff in taste, I think it’s a little less sweet and a little more coarse, prob because this version is made without sugar and instead with maple syrup (or honey/agave). It’s seriously pure chocolate-hazelnut goodness though!

    Lisa, Well thank you!

    Nicole, Hope you get to savor some of this (or whatever comes your way) this weekend!

    Vicki, Glad to know another Nutella lover!

    Sara, Ha! What a visual! Here’s to better things ahead for you–and soon, sounds like!

    Postcollegecook, Right? The ingredients aren’t exactly cheap (the hazelnuts and the honey/maple syrup, I mean), but there is a mental sense of doing better by making it. I’ll take Nutella anywhere I can get it!

  13. Don’t know how I missed this post! I’d been waiting for it 🙂 When I made “nutella” I didn’t rub off the skins. I think that part’s important. Even though it isn’t exactly like the real thing, yours looks delish.

  14. Ashley, I bet that’s exactly what the problem was! Those crazy skins are a pain to rub off, but the results make up for it. 🙂

  15. Very interesting! Have you tried the Bruntte spread at Le Pain Quotidien? It sounds like you could tailor your recipe to taste like that too! I’ll have to try it!

  16. Aron, I’d never heard of it until you said that, but a quick Google search showed me it’s like a praline spread? Sounds delicious!

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