DIY Nutella

When we went to Italy last summer, I learned what a fanatic my daughter is about Nutella. She would get so excited to see Nutella in all its shapes and sizes. She even brought back little packs of Nutella with cookie dippers. Since we’ve been back, I’ve been buying Loacker’s hazelnut spread (they don’t carry Nutella at Whole Foods), which I think tastes a little less sweet and a little more nutty. But, I’ve had it in the back of my head that I should try to make my own.

Now, I should mention the fact that I’m not really a Nutella fan. I don’t hate it, but I’ll generally pass. It’s the hazelnuts. Alone, they are just a little too bitter for me (even with all those nasty skins removed), and most chocolate hazelnuts spreads I’ve had balance that out with way too much sugar.

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So, why would I want to go about making it at home when I don’t even eat it and Cole is crazy for the store bought stuff? Well, guess I’m just the kind of a girl that gets an idea stuck in my head and can only avoid it for so long.

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Today, I got busy trying to figure out that right combination of nutty and sweet and chocolatey that Cole would be happy to wake up to each morning. I may, in the process, have made myself a convert. I can’t seem to help licking it off my fingers, or the spoon, or the inside or the bowl.

Instead of balancing out the bitterness of the hazelnuts with sugar, I’ve bumped up the salt. Just a bit. But that bit brings out the sweetness and the nuttiness in that wonderful salty-sweet way. It highlights the hazelnuts instead of masking them. Well, that and I used really yummy dark chocolate.

I think Cole will be in for a nice surprise!

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Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

150g raw hazelnuts (about 1 cup)

4 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 oz butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 t salt

Spread the hazelnuts out on a baking sheet and toast in a hot oven (about 450F) until the skins darken but don’t burn. Let them cool for about 5 minutes and then rub them in a dish towel to remove the skins.

Blend the hazelnuts with a food processor until they are basically liquified. This will take some patience. Scrape down the sides of the food processor several times during the process to keep them blending, and eventually they will start giving off oils, and become smooth. It may take about 5 to 10 minutes.

While those are blending, melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler, stirring until it is smooth. Add the cocoa powder, and mix until there are no lumps. Add the chocolate mixture to the hazelnut paste (still in the food processor bowl), and blend. Then, add 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar and the salt. Blend. Then, taste the mixture, continuing to add the powdered sugar in small amounts until it reaches the desired sweetness (the amount of sugar you need will depend on the sweetness of your chocolate as well as your own personal tastes). If you want a slightly thicker texture, you can add a bit more cocoa powder… but the spread will thicken as it cools and sets.

It’s best to store this spread in the refrigerator since it has butter in it. Also, if want a vegan version, substitute a good nut oil (like hazelnut or walnut oil) for the butter. Let it come to room temperature before serving.

  • tara

    When I was little, my Italian neighbors would give their kids Nutella at breakfast, and I thought that they were the bestest parents ever. You, my dear, just took their crown. Your daughter will surely swoon.

  • justcooknyc

    beautiful photos, and I’ve done this a couple of times before. peeling the hazelnuts is a chore, but it’s worth it

  • Simone (junglefrog)

    Love the photos Lara! It’s real brave that you start out making something you don’t even really like and as an end result making it so that you DO like it! I wouldn’t even start I think…:)

  • Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy

    Another homemade Nutella recipe! It looks nice and creamy, something that I think is hard when making it at home! I’ve added it to the recipes page on :)

  • Dominique

    What an excellent idea! my sons eat two jars of nutella each week. I’ll try youre homemaid reciepe: i hope they will appreciate it. I feel rather worried when I read the list of ingredients… (of Nutella of course!)

  • Culinary Cory

    I agree, I’m not a fan of Nutella either. It seems like I’m starting to see it everywhere. I like the idea of trying to make it from scratch. That way, you are never always stuck with the store bought stuff.

  • Hillary

    Oh wow, never even thought to make nutella from scratch! You should make a chocolate nutella dessert pizza. I had one once and it was incredibly good!

  • matt wright

    LOVE this. Like you, I am so so about Nutella, I will eat it, but I honestly prefer chocolate by itself. I had never thought about making it before – until now that is.

    Love the shots of the hazelnuts. Might be interesting to try with some different nuts, see what happens..

  • Lacey

    Yum! I made sandwich cookies with Nutella for the holidays last year. They were a hit… and could be an even bigger hit with homemade Nutella. Can’t wait to try it out!

  • lisa (dandysugar)

    Peeling the hazlenuts is a chore but it’s so worth it in the end! I love this recipe. Gorgeous shots too!

  • Pia

    I’m with your daughter, I think Nutella is probably the best invention on earth.

  • Carlota

    I wasn’t a Nurella fan but with this fantastic photos I must change my mind :)) looks amazing!!

  • Veronica

    Thank you for this posting. I fell in love with Nutella during my vacation to Italy years ago. When I later saw it in stores here, my son loved it. He loves in it place of jams in PB&J’s. I will definitely try making this at home and have him help me. I know he’ll love the homemade version much better than the store bought. I’m dreaming of the crepes I’ll enjoy with this. I loved your photographs. I’ll alos have to make the crustless toasts from your pics. Great site! I’ll definitely be visiting often.

  • Teri @ Make A Whisk

    Seems like it would be a really nice gift recipe. I’m not crazy about Nutella, but I know plenty of folks who are!

  • Laura [What I Like]

    Ah wonderful! I used to love Nutella but then ten years or so ago I felt like they changed the formulation and made it too sweet so I stopped eating it. I have a hunch yours is exactly up my alley in terms of taste…I can’t wait to try it!

  • latifa

    yummy………looks delicious
    must try for my kids!

  • Kieran

    My God! I know what I’m doing tonight!

  • Heather

    wow. my mouth is watering. I’m a total nutella nut. This is definitely on the must make NOW list!

  • Sarah

    I grew up in (West) Germany, and Nutella was a staple in our house. I haven’t yet introduced my kids to it, well, because I like having that yummy jar all to myself. My oldest is starting to enjoy cooking though, and this seems like a neat activity to do with her. And who know, maybe its time to introduce the other kids to the Nutella club. My favorite way to have it was on a fresh brochen (sp?) that had been slightly toasted.

  • pigpigscorner

    I actually love nutella and I eat it with oats. This looks yum!

  • Christine

    I find that when you take hazelnuts out of the oven and wrap them up in a dishtowel and let them cool in there, the skins generally come right off.

  • Dayna Jondal

    Nice idea, but I found that the hazelnuts were very overpowering.. nutella should still taste like chocolate!

  • Jim G

    We go through more Nutella in a year than most American households do in a lifetime. The kids have long cook oatmeal every morning and we put a spoonful of the stuff in the pot when it is cooling down. But I am concerned about the processed oil ingredient, so I tried making this recipe.

    Maybe I have to use a better food processor, the hazelnuts did not liquefy and the mixture is yummy but gritty.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • L

      I know when I made mine, it did take a while before the hazelnuts really broke down. And, even then, it’s certainly not going to be as smooth as Nutella is… so expect a little bit of nut texture. But, it wasn’t really gritty when I made it… so maybe try again but just keep the food processor going until it really turns to liquid. If it seems to dry for that, you can add a touch of nut oil to help.

  • Lani

    Fantastic post. I made my own hazelnut spread, too, after reading a wonderful blog post off David Leibovitz’s site. Instead of granulated sugar, I carmelized it to the point it was slightly bitter, then added sea salt, and added that to roasted hazelnuts ground in the processor. Lovely, unctuous stuff.

  • shayli

    We have three Hazelnut trees in our yard which yield loads of nuts every fall. We have made dozens of different recipes to utilize the nuts. We always have a jar of ground nuts for our cereal and salads. I was looking for a recipe that was as low in carbs as possible for nutella, but that would still satisfy my husband love of the nuts and chocolate. Will try yours only lower the sugar and try using a sugar substitute.