How to Make Homemade Nutella
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A recipe for homemade hazelnut-cocoa spread — utterly delicious and good for you!
What comes to mind when you think of culinary pairings that seem to make magic together, so absolutely made for each other you can’t imagine tasting one without the other?
I can think of a few right off the bat, like:
- lime + ginger
- basil + tomatoes
- olive oil + garlic
- and last but not least:chocolate + hazelnuts.
In one of my favorite new books, The Flavour Thesaurus, author Niki Segnit writes that when cocoa became scarce and expensive during the late 19th century, chocolate manufacturers in the Italian Piedmont “bulked out” their product with a paste of hazelnuts, which grew plentifully in the region, thus introducing to the world the taste sensation known as gianduja.
All I can say to the genius who stumbled upon this marriage of convenience is THANK YOU.
Millions of hungry, sugar loving children and their families are grateful, since the discovery eventually led to the production of Nutella, and from there, well, we all know the story.
Let’s just agree that chocolate-hazelnut spread on a piece of bread kicks the ass out of your every day PBJ sandwich.
I love the idea of making my own version of Nutella – as much as I adore the store-bought version, it can be a bit cloyingly sweet. Also when I check the label I’m a little dismayed to see that these days the spread can be ‘bulked out’ with partially hydrogenated oils.
I was inspired by a few different recipes here – one from a raw food chef and another from the LA Times.
After applying my appropriate tweaks, I’m happy to share the results with you. Be aware that the texture is not completely velvety smooth, like the stuff that comes out of a jar. Food processors are a wonder, but can’t completely pulverize the nuts to an ultra fine puree.
However, I enjoy the resulting texture – plus the flavor of this homemade version is so real and luscious it’s almost beyond comparison to anything you can buy.
- 2 cups toasted hazelnuts *
- ½ cup agave nectar
- ¼ cup neutral vegetable oil
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- about 1/4 cup cold water
- Process the hazelnuts in a food processor workbowl until they form a coarse paste. You’ll need to scrape the bowl down a few times to fully incorporate.
- Add the remaining ingredients except the water and continue to process until somewhat smooth.
- Slowly drizzle in the water until you achieve a smooth, emulsified consistency, keeping in mind that you might not need all the water, or might need a bit more.
- Scrape the spread into a container and chill in the refrigerator until spreadable. It will keep for about a week. Bring to room temperature before spreading on toast, pouring over ice cream, or spoon directly into your mouth.
Karen’s Notes and Tips
Hey, I’m Karen
Creator of Familystyle Food
I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.
This was great! I grew up on Nutella and peanut butter is very foreign invention to me, but gave it up two years ago, as I could not ethically support the hydrogenated palm oil and its devastating cost on the rain forest and its animal world. Every time I walked by a Nutella jar, I got on my soap box and reminded myself why I just could not be a hypocrite… Wonderful 1st world problems to have ;O). Plus the sugar and hydrogenated part helped along to say NO. Fast forward, I saw this recipe and I think I heard harps go of in my head. So… I tried this and it turned out brilliantly! Thank you. I made a few modifications, I had hazelnut oil, I figured why not, pulverized the nuts to a buttery state and used maple syrup instead. Next time I am going to try to make it with a vanilla bean instead
i just made this with honey (since i don’t have agave) and LOVE IT!
The texture issue, though not a problem for me, could be solved with a mortar and pestle(did i spell that right?) what is your opinion on that?
Awesome … and I love Nutella! I just posted a recipe for an awesome wonton dessert: Easy Nutella Recipes
How much does this recipe make? That is, what size jar should I have if I want to give it as a gift?
Hi Karen – I would use a 4 or 8 ounce jar. The recipe makes about 2 cups.
very interesting. i’ve made the more normal gianduja spread at home from chocolate and roasted hazelnuts. your version sure is different, but now i’m curious. if looks count, it’s clearly a winner.
Yum! I am so excited about this and can’t wait to make my own version. With diabetes running in our family I am always looking for ways to cut sugar without sacrificing flavor!
I’m definitely going to try this recipe! I love nutella but it’s a bit too much sugar for my waistline these days. I haven’t used Agave nectar before. Is it in regular grocery stores (what section?) or specialty health food stores? Thanks!
I hope you try this homemade version and like it. Agave nectar can be found in some grocery stores with other sweeteners, like honey, and definitely at Whole Foods or other natural food-type stores…pure maple syrup will work too, BTW…
I recently picked up a jar of Nutella because I was making crepes for houseguests. Because of all the sugar I hadn’t had it in years and was reminded of how much I like it. Will definitely have to try making my own!
By the way, you can get the Italian version in the US– just look in Italian specialty stores!
Agave nectar is what tequila is made from. It is a natural sweetner that is okay for diabetics to use as it does not raise blood sugar. I am excited to try this recipe as I love nutella. I have found it made with regular sugar and less sweet at World Imports – the imported version.
THANKS CAN’T WAIT TO TRY IT….MY MOTHER HAS BEEN BUGGING ME TO BUT IT EVER SINCE SHE SAW IT ON TV SHE IS A CHOCO-AHOLIC…LOL…WOULD RATER MAKE MY OWN….THANKS AGAIN…
Okay, I give up. What is agave nectar?
Shirly, agave nectar is a liquid sweetener similar to honey derived from the agave cactus. It’s considered to be a more “natural” sweetener than regular sugar. You can use maple syrup instead..here’s more info
I agree – the storebought version can be way too sweet. In Italy, it’s less sweet, but the good old US of A has a sugar addiction. This looks fantastic! I’ll definitely try it.
Kat, I’m curious to taste the Italian version…makes sense that we get the sweeter version on this side of the pond.
Liza, I love to bring out the F word in you! I think you will really like this spread on your toast…
OMFG (I don’t know how that “F” got in there, but it truly belongs). That looks stupendous. And living in the land of the hazelnut, I’ll have to be making me some of this!