Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Just the week before last, my favorite food writer from the LA Times came up with a brilliant recipe for homemade Nutella.

I haven’t had Nutella since I was a student traveling in Europe decades ago with a EuroRail pass, sleeping in youth hostels. Back then we used to eat the chocolate stuff for breakfast. These days, I find the real thing a little too sweet for my taste. So I was happy to see Amy’s Scattergood’s Homemade Nutella recipe in the Los Angeles Times –what a great idea! And the perfect starting point for a version of my own.

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
Serves: cups
  1. Roast the hazelnuts at 350° for 8-10 minutes until they darken a bit and smell fragrant
  2. Transfer the hazelnuts to a towel and rub off the skins if you can (I didn't have a lot of luck with this)
  3. In a food processor, grind the hazelnuts to a smooth butter, about 5 minutes, scraping the sides as needed
  4. Add the cacao, agave, vanilla, oil and salt and process until well blended, about a minute
  5. Store in a glass mason jar in the refrigerator
  6. Bring to room temperature prior to serving

My chocolate hazelnut spread had a consistency that was a bit stickier or gummier than peanut butter. If you want to thin out your spread, add more hazelnut oil. I think this treat has a very similar taste to Nutella, though find the consistency not as creamy. Everyone in my house still seemed to enjoy it as this hazelnut chocolate spread vanished pretty quickly. Even though it’s not exactly the same thing, I like having a decadent treat and at the same time knowing exactly what’s in it!

We’re off to baseball practice. It’s a gorgeous 70 degree day perfect for our first day of spring training in Boulder!


  1. Stephanie says

    Hi Elena,

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I just made it today and it tastes absolutely delicious! I noticed that the consistency of my spread does not look as smooth as yours, it’s actually rather crumbly. The change in consistency happened, once I added all the other ingredients (cocoa powder, hazelnut oil, honey, vanilla extract). It’s almost as if the spread segregated a bit. Do you have any idea what I could have done wrong?



  2. says

    This is your second nut butter recipe that i’ve come across. I really like your recipes especially stuff like this that’s easy to make and store for a while for quick snacks.

  3. Theresa Pelletier says

    You have the best recipes… Just about everyday I find something I like or need to share with friends. Thank you so much for sharing…

  4. says

    Since my two years old son must eat gluten-free foods, your gluten-free recipes are valuable to me. He will be delighted with gluten-free Nutella. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!!!

  5. Ste K says

    The tip above about using baking soda to get the skins off of the hazelnuts? TOTALLY WORKS. I highly recommend it.

  6. Pamela says

    Oh,Elana!! I just had to respond to this post.I also discovered Nutella as a student traveling Europe on a Eurail Pass and staying in youth hostels! We would eat it for breakfast and then smuggle sliced baguette back to the room and snack on it spread thickly with Nutella: heaven. Thanks for the memories :)

  7. Amber says

    Elana first off I absolutely LOVE your website. All your recipes are amazing.

    I just had a question about this Nutella recipe. I know you say to roast the hazelnuts BUT, if I buy them already roasted, can I just skip this step? Or would that ruin the recipe?

    Also I think if I buy them roasted, the skins are usually already off too, right?

  8. odessa says

    I feel terrible saying this, but I liked this much better than the store version — it’s less sweet (I did cut the agave by 1 Tbspn) and the flavor is really, really nice.

    As for the hazelnut skins, I found keeping nuts in an unsealed bag in the refrigerator for a day or two and then toasting them makes the skins come off fairly easily.

  9. says

    Hi Elana!

    I FINALLY whipped up a batch of this stuff (it’s been on my list of recipes to try FOREVER), and it is absolutely delicious! I really miss Nutella, and this is the perfect substitution. I used blanched hazelnuts so I did not have to worry about skins and it worked perfectly. Thank you so much for this recipe!


  10. Chaplin says

    To remove those pesky hazelnut skins, bring 3 c water to boil and mix in 1/4 c baking soda. Add your 1 C hazelnuts and boil 3 minutes. Remove 1 and put under cold water, the skin should slide off, if not, boil another minute or 2.

  11. says

    Elana, along with the cuisinart food processor, I would recommend to your readers to try recipes like this with a Blendtec Blender. It will handle ingredients like nuts very easy and can replace many other appliances in the kitchen.

  12. sarah says

    I just found your website because I was searching for nutella recipes! Now I must try at least a dozen of your recipes! I was wondering why you used your food processor for this rather than your vitamix, since the vitamix makes nut butters so well?

  13. Dominika says


    What food processor do you use? I have been dying to make this recipe along with my own almond butter but I doubt that my Magic Bullet will suffice.
    Btw, I am new to your website but I am already addicted and eagerly await each new recipe!!


  14. Melissa says

    This looks delicious! I just saw it at the store the other day and wished I could have it. Thank you so much for your website! I found it a couple of weeks ago and have been THRILLED! I’ve been on a strict Candida diet for months and have had a hard time with feeling deprived. Your recipes have changed that. This is the only place I can find good recipes that use the 2 flours I can have, coconut and almond. I just replace the agave nectar with powder stevia and they work great. My family loves your recipes! Thank you!!!!!

      • says

        I came over from the Pioneer Woman’s website, wondering if this could be shelf stable…if somehow canned? I’d love to send it to some friends for Christmas/Birthday/Tuesdays!

  15. says

    Looking to take out sugar and eat more optimally, we said goodbye to our household staple of Nutella. Just made the recipe…with these variations: Added a bit more oil (macademia is what I had on hand)and unsweetened chocolate almond milk (about 2 tbsp), which achieved the spread like consistency, and an addition of 2 tbsp honey.

  16. says

    Thanks for all your feedback and suggestions everyone (especially on removing the hazelnut skins)! I’m glad I could satisfy all of your Nutella urges with this healthier homemade version :-)

    To answer a couple of your questions:

    Where do I purchase hazelnut oil?
    I buy my hazelnut oil at the local health food store.

    How do you store your brownies?
    I usually just leave my Brownies out on the counter and they are gone in no time.

    Would replacing the hazelnuts with almonds and the hazelnut oil with coconut oil work?
    I’m not sure really. But, It’s definitely worth a try!

  17. camille says

    I made this last night. Wow. I must say this was really good. I changed the recipe a little to fit ingredients I had. Used 100% chocolate no sugar added dark choc bar, and melted it then adding to nut mixture. Then i added canola since i didn’t have hazelnut oil. I didn’t want to wait to make it. This is fantastic. My nutella loving son just adored it. Thanks so much for a much healthier version of a family favorite. That I have to add took only tops 10 minutes to make.

  18. says

    Okay, made this last night. Yummm. I needed a quick, easy treat that was decadent. It hit the spot just right. This one is going to be made often, I can tell.

  19. Sally says

    I actually hate the taste of hazelnuts (gasp). But I’m wondering if this would work by replacing the nuts with almonds and the oil with coconut oil…worth a try, you think?

  20. says

    This is a great idea, I need to try this with peanuts. Or perhaps I could use an all natural peanut butter instead, although I would imagine it might be difficult to mix cocoa powder into peanut butter for some reason…

  21. Caro says

    Another way to get the skins off of nuts is to put them in a colander and rub them around the bottom with a flat hand… this way all the skin falls through the holes.

    I’m totally making this!!!

  22. Barbara Filteau says

    I’m really enjoying your site and the many baked goods. I’m going to make the brownies but how do you store the leftovers?

  23. says

    I’ve been missing nutella lately and was drooling over it the other day in a store wishing I could eat it. But the refined sugars in it are a no-no. I have a whole bag of hazelnut meal in my cupboard. I wonder how I could make that work. Yum!!

  24. Shenan says

    Thank you for being a psychic chef! As we are in Europe, Nutella is plentiful…and just this week I was looking longingly at the jar and thinking how that is one treat I actually miss now that I am on a food sensitivities diet. I guess all things ARE possible! :-)

  25. Tracee says

    Wow, I haven’t had this since my college Eurotrekkin’ days as well. I was excited to see this recipe! I loved this stuff on pretzels, but now I know I am allegic to gluten and yeast, so I’ll have to find an alternative to dip into it.

  26. says

    Last week we found out that our son is highly reactive to peanuts and this would be a treat for him. He was asking for something with chocolate and now we have your delightful recipe to try! A big thank you!

  27. Beth says

    My husband used to eat Nutella all the time as a child. Every time we see a Nutella commercial he is whisked away to happy memories.

    Now I’ll be able to provide him with a healthier version.
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  28. says

    a trick I learned from my chocolate truffle making days for removing hazelnut skins: Save one of those plastic net bags, Whole Foods produce section uses to bag their lemons and limes. After you toast the hazelnuts and cool them. Pour into the plastic net bag and rub the net bag full of hazelnuts between your hands over the sink or cookie sheet pan until pretty much all of the skins flake off. It works quickly and easily.

  29. says

    Oh. my. goodness. Excuse my drool!! I’ve longed over and wished I could try those chocolate swirled peanut butters and the grind your own almond butter mixed with chocolate chips for so long!! I never thought of using cocoa powder!
    Way to go Elana for eliminating the dairy and cane sugar from this treat! You have made my week… no month :-)

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