Chocolate Hazelnut Spread aka Nutella
Unfortunate fact: I was well into my 20’s before I ever tried Nutella for the first time. Thankfully, I’ve long-since made up for time and enjoy the chocolate hazelnut spread stuffed in everything from brownies to crepes, and even the occasional (or not so occasional) scoop eaten straight off a spoon – don’t even try to tell me you’ve never done that!
This Nutella recipe is my preferred way to enjoy the chocolate hazelnut spread these days. I love that it satisfies my craving for the sweet spread, but allows me to better control the ingredients to fit my own dietary and sweetness preferences, avoiding the sugar-bomb that you’ll find in the classic store-bought jar.
The early iterations of Nutella date back to the Napoleonic era of the late 1700s. Known then as Guanduja, it was created as a solution to the shortage of chocolate entering French-controlled European harbors. A chocolatier in Italy named Michele Prochet extended his chocolate supply with 30% hazelnuts, effectively creating a chocolate hazelnut spread that would eventually evolve into the Nutella we know today.
My Nutella recipe is closer to 70% hazelnuts, with the other 30% comprised of Valhrona cocoa powder, coconut oil, vanilla, sea salt, cinnamon, and just a bit of sweetener. This gives the Nutella a thicker, more spreadable consistency when stored in the refrigerator and a thinner drizzle-worthy consistency when brought to room temperature.
I’m lucky to live in Oregon, where 99% of the U.S.’s hazelnuts are grown, so sourcing good-quality hazelnuts is as easy as a trip to my local farmers market. If hazelnuts are not as plentiful at your market, my favorite ones can be ordered online too.
Let’s talk about sweeteners
So long as you keep the base of this Nutella recipe as directed, you can adjust the sweetener to your own dietary preferences and sweet tooth.
For those following a low-carb or Keto diet, liquid Stevia drops work really well in this because they give you a lot of incremental control over the level of sweetness. For this recipe, I used about 30 drops to get the mixture to my own preferred level of sweetness.
If you prefer a granulated option, Stevia in the Raw or Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener are also great zero carb options, but you’ll want to start small and build incrementally as they pack a sweet punch. I prefer to stay away from Xylitol completely because it is highly toxic to pets. When using a zero carb sweetener, I estimate that the net carb count for this recipe is 2g per 2 tbsp serving.
If you are not adverse to a few carbs, but want to keep things refined sugar-free and Paleo-friendly, this Nutella is particularly delicious sweetened with a bit of raw honey or pure maple syrup. I estimate that using 2 tbsp of raw honey brings the net carb count to 5g per 2 tbsp serving. Alternatively, I estimate that using 2 tbsp of pure maple syrup brings the net carb count to 4g per 2 tbsp serving.
Do you need any special equipment to make this recipe?
This recipe is best executed using a food processor because it blends the ingredients into a smooth and even spread with little fuss. Though I have not tried this myself, I would imagine that a traditional blender “might” work in a pinch, though I cannot advocate for the efficacy of this method or the ease of clearing the spread out of the blender once mixed.
You’ll also need a baking sheet and a towel. I prefer using a flour sack towel because they are a bit thinner and less fluffy so I feel like they do a better job at providing friction when removing the skin of the hazelnuts, but any kitchen towel should work.
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5 gluten-free ideas for using this Nutella
- Swirl it into a batch of GF brownies (recipe coming soon!)
- Spread it on top of Paleo pancakes or Keto pancakes
- Dollop it on top of a hot bowl of oatmeal
- Layer it in a yogurt parfait – add this Grain-Free Granola for a little crunch!
- Drizzle it on top of fresh fruit – strawberries are a favorite!
Bonus idea: If all else fails (or your dietary preferences don’t allow for the ideas above) eat this stuff straight off a spoon. No judgement here!
A note for special diets
This Nutella is grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and can easily accommodate low-carb, Keto, Paleo, and Vegan diets depending on the sweetener you opt to use. See the “Let’s talk about sweeteners” section for further info.
Yield 15 servings
Avoid the sugar-bomb of store-bought Nutella and make this delicious refined sugar-free version thats adaptable for Paleo and Keto diets.
- 2 1/2 cups dry roasted hazelnuts
- 7 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- sweetener of preference - remember to start small and add incrementally.
- liquid Stevia drops (start with 20 drops and build from there)
- granulated Stevia (start with 2 tsp and build from there)
- granulated Monkfruit (start with 2 tsp and build from there)
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F (150 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner.
- Although the hazelnuts are pre-roasted, I like to roast them a 2nd time to deepen the flavor and help them break down better when processed into nut butter. Roast for 10-15 minutes or until they are beginning to turn golden and fragrant.
- Remove the hazelnuts from oven and transfer to a thin towel while they're still warm. Rub the towel-wrapped hazelnuts firmly by hand to remove any excess skin the hazelnuts may have. Don't worry about getting every last bit, a few pieces here and there won't matter.
- Transfer the skinned hazelnuts to your food processor. Pulse until the nuts begin to break down into a nut butter.
- Add cocoa powder, coconut oil, vanilla extract, sea salt, and cinnamon. Pulse until well-combined.
- Sweeten to taste using your preferred sweetener. I've included several Keto-friendly and Paleo-friendly options above as well as suggested amounts to start with. I suggest you start small and incrementally add more, pulsing as each increment is added until it's reached your desired sweetness level.
- Continue pulsing until smooth.
- I prefer to store mine in a glass Weck jar or glass Snapware container in the refrigerator so that the mixture stays thick and spreadable. I've had good success keeping this Nutella recipe for up to one month if stored this way. The spread will thin and become drizzle-worthy at room temperature, but I do not suggest you store it at room temperature as it will significantly shorten the shelf life.
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
For the nutrition count below, I used 30 drops of liquid Stevia as my sweetener of choice.
Serving Size 2 tbsp (sweetened with liquid stevia)
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 13 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Sodium 117 mg
Total Carbohydrates 5 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Sugars 1 g
Protein 4 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.