Dark Chocolate & Roasted Hazelnut Spread


We used to love Nutella. So much so, that one Christmas, my brother-in-law bought us a humungous jar (3 kg, 6.6 lb) from Luxembourg. Let’s say that jar didn’t last very long!

When we relocated, we ceased to consume it. The Nutella available in the Americas contain modified palm oil, whereas the European variant contains vegetable oil. I would have liked to say that the European stuff is better, but sadly, it’s not. I was blissfully ignorant of the ingredients at the time. All variants of Nutella, regardless of which country it’s sold in, contains soy lecithin and synthesized vanillin – two ingredients that I choose not to eat.

We missed the chocolate and hazelnut goodness, so I decided to make my own “Nutella”. How hard can it be? It’s just chocolate and roasted hazelnuts and a few add-ins, right? The recipe I stumbled across was from Zen can cook – it’s wonderful. The beauty of making your own chocolate and hazelnut spread is that you can control what you put in it. I substituted the icing (powdered/confectioner’s) sugar for finely ground turbinado that I pounded in my pestle and mortar.

NOTE: The resulting spread tastes far better than Nutella, although a little grittier/coarser than the store-bought version, but we like it that way.



Makes around 400 g (1 ⅓ c)

Adapted from Zen can cook – Zenutella



  • 270 g (2 c) hazelnuts, roasted, de-skinned* and cooled
  • 33 g (⅓ c) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 80 g (⅔ c) icing (confectioners) sugar*
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 1-2 T peanut oil

* Most icing (confectioners) sugar contains corn flour (corn starch). If like me, you want to avoid such an ingredient, you can grind your own powdered sugar in a food processor. I’ve recently seen some specialized food markets selling icing (confectioners) sugar, that uses tapioca starch for its anti-clumping agent.



1. Pop the hazelnuts into a food processor. Blitz until they release their oil and a mass begins to clump together.

2. Add the cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, salt and oil. Process further until you get the consistency similar to nutella.

3. Place into a jar and store in the fridge. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

* To roast raw shelled hazelnuts – pop them on a tray in a single layer, and into an oven at 180°C/350°F stirring occasionally, for around 8-10 minutes. When they’re ready, there will be a delicious aroma emanating from your oven and their skins will be cracked. To de-skin, simply rub the cooled nuts between a tea-towel (kitchen towel). Allow the nuts to be fully cool before grinding them.


6 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate & Roasted Hazelnut Spread

  1. Homemade nutella is so yummy. I first made it last year in July, ever since I’ve made it a couple of times. Roasted hazelnuts cost 11 eur/kilo so I more often make peanut butter (peanuts cost 3 eur/kilo). Have you tried adding dried fruits (raisins, dates) to the mixture before mixing? Great as well.
    Thanks for the link, it inspired to make a batch last week!

    • Hi Damjana,

      Hazelnuts are expensive aren’t they? The organic variety are close to 11 euro/kg here too. I have never tried to add dried fruits to my nut mix – it sounds intriguing! I may just have to try that and let you know :).

  2. Pingback: “Nutella” and Roasted Hazelnut Filled Dark Chocolates « Honey and Spice

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  4. Homemade nutella is awesome! If you want it smoother/ closer to the real deal, try melting some chocolate (I used dark but milk would be more like the real thing) in hot (but not boiling) skim milk and then blend in the warm nut butter!

    • Hi Natalie, you’re right homemade “nutella” is awesome. I love your suggestion regarding the melted chocolate and milk, but I actually find something moreish about the slight grittiness in this spread. Yes, I’m a little weird. I also don’t eat milk and soy (most chocolate contains this) – wah wah.

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