Homemade Nutella

I am kind of freaking out at the moment. In a good way. Freaking out because I have a ton of posts lined up, and I want to show them all to you NOW. I sat at my computer this morning, downing coffee and staring at all of my unpublished image folders, contemplating which one to choose. Should I sneak some syrup from one of the three shrubs that are steeping in my pantry at the moment, and photograph it before the season has passed for its star fruit? Or should I snap some pictures of the recently bottled homemade version of everyone’s favorite spicy sauce? They were all so tempting, but this nutella won out in the end. And that’s because there’s a follow-up post. One that involves nutella contained within something. And pumpkin. And maybe also the words “doughnut” and “muffin.” OH YES. Pumpkin fever is upon us, and I’m ready to embrace the madness. So please, join me — let’s loosen our belts, hide our scales, and ready…set…TREATS!

Was nutella something that you grew up with? I didn’t even know it existed until I visited Germany the summer before my sophomore year of college. At the time, I was vegetarian. And my friend Fabian’s mother was pretty much mystified. (I remember she’d bought me this block of cheese filled with vegetables — I think it horrified both me and her equally.) So for the two weeks I was there, I lived off of yogurt (that came from a room-temperature cabinet), strawberries, grey bread, veggie-free cheese, and nutella. When I returned, I excitedly recounted tales of this delicious nutty chocolate spread in a white-labeled jar with red letters, until someone finally realized what I was talking about and said, “uh, yeah, we have that here too.” Really? It’s here? Where do I get it? The grocery store?! Seriously?!? TAKE ME THERE AT ONCE.

I bought a jar the next chance I had. As soon as I got back from the store, I popped it open, spread a healthy dollop over a slice of bread, took a bite, and…it wasn’t as good. I didn’t understand. Why was it not as amazing as I’d remembered? Was their nutella different in Germany? Did it simply seem delicious in comparison to scary vegetable cheese? And then I realized, it was the bread. Sturdy, hearty, slightly sour grey bread. That’s what was missing.

UPDATE: A reader has since informed me that American Nutella is, in fact, different from European Nutella! (This is good news, because I remember being very confused when I bought the American version in a plastic container, when I could have sworn what I was eating in Germany was in a glass jar.) Read more about the difference here, and find a history and side-by-side comparison here. And, if you’re looking to get your hands on the real thing, buy it here! (Thank you again, Robi!)

With the excitement suddenly crushed by unexpected disappointment, nutella and I parted ways. I just couldn’t deal. But then, over the past few years, I’d seen recipes for homemade versions popping up on various food blogs. My intrigue returned. I’d bought hazelnuts for a batch of bitters, and when I realized I had far more than I needed, the obvious choice for the leftovers was nutella. I was excited! But I was also lacking ingredients (mainly, semisweet/bittersweet chocolate), and I couldn’t be bothered with running to the store. So I googled, “homemade nutella cocoa powder,” and found this recipe from The Kitchn. Alas, I had no canola oil. But then I realized I had something better: coconut oil. This was going to be the best pantry-friendly nutella EVER. And it almost was. Almost.

The hazelnuts were peeled and toasted with relative ease (thanks to this neat trick). Into the food processor they went, followed by the rest of the ingredients. I blended everything up, and it was looking great. I excitedly removed the lid of the food processor, stuck my finger a nice clean spoon in, tasted the end result, and…oh god…why did it taste like bitter chocolate chalk paste? What in the world did I do?? I frantically looked around at all of my ingredients, until my eyes settled on the jar of white, powdery stuff that I’d assumed was confectionery sugar. I unscrewed the cap, took a small taste, and yep…cornstarch. Awesome.

Despite the horrible, unsweetened chalkiness, I could taste the potential. Soon enough, I had more hazelnuts, a bag of confectionery sugar, and I was ready for round two. And this time, it was good. So good. I really think that the coconut oil plays a big role in taking this stuff to the next level. Oh and BONUS ALERT: It’s vegan! (Provided you can find vegan powdered sugar, which shouldn’t be too difficult to come by in any natural foods store, and possibly even in some grocery stores. Look for evaporated cane juice. If you can’t find a powdered version, you can always buy granulated and pulse it in your food processor to make it finer.) Just a note about consistency: This nutella has a tendency to become pretty solid in the fridge, but rather liquid-y if left at room temperature for too long. To get it to the perfect, spreadable consistency, I leave it out at room temp for around an hour, then give it a good stir.

Homemade Nutella
(slightly adapted from The Kitchn)

makes: 6 ounces

  • 1 cup of hazelnuts, peeled and toasted
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder (high quality cocoa powder is key! I used Valrhona)
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil

Place hazelnuts in the food processor and blend continuously until a smooth butter forms (around 3 minutes). Add the rest of the ingredients and continue blending until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Store for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. (I actually think it’s possible this could last longer, considering that there’s no dairy. But best to err on the side of caution.)

Enjoy on toast, waffles, spoons, fingers, etc. (But save some for pumpkin doughnut muffins — coming soon!!)

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Comments

  1. Alexis says

    This looks fabulous. I didn’t know about Nutella until I was in college working at a cereal store (yes, this existed) and we made Nutella Banana oatmeal. I highly, highly recommend it for breakfast or dessert. I also really like Tierra Farm’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter for its texture.

    Also, you sent me down an Google rabbit hole learning about why powdered sugar isn’t considered vegan. The more you know!

    • says

      Thank you, Alexis! I had no idea white sugar wasn’t vegan until a few years ago. Bone char! Whodathunk?

      Wow, why aren’t there MORE cereal stores? That sounds so good!

  2. Amber says

    I also know another super super quick vegan nutella recipe, it sounds absolutely disgusting, but it is delicious!
    Avocado, Cocoa Powder, and powdered sugar! Kind of just guess everything and taste as you go, but it is surprisingly delicious, and easy peasy to make! It also works well as icing (instead of using dairy products) :D

    • says

      I totally believe it! I’ve read about using avocado as a butter replacement in things like brownies and frosting, and I’m super curious. Thanks for the inspiration, Amber! I can’t wait to try this. :)

      • says

        While avocado, cocoa & sugar makes a tasty chocolate mousse-like dessert, I wouldn’t say it was close to Nutella. Nutellas distinct flavor is from the toasted hazelnuts paired with the chocolate. Maybe if you added toasted hazelnuts to the avocado & cocoa & sugar that might be better, but it’s not going to be any easier than just using the coconut oil instead to emulsify it all. So I’m looking forward to trying this recipe anyway! If I do, I’ll link back to this! :)

    • Rebecca says

      Without hazelnuts its not nutella, what you have described is just a chocolate spread, also the above recipe is vegan anyway.

  3. Andreas Duess says

    If you live in Canada, Redpath Sugar is not filtered with bone char and is vegan friendly.

    Full disclosure, they are a client of mine.

    • says

      Thank you, Dionna! I ate so much of it during the photo shoot, I thought I’d never want to see it again. Then I put it in muffins…and now it’s almost gone! :)

  4. Robi says

    NICE!
    Of course it is not the same Nutella you got. It is not from Europe. North American Nutella comes from Canada I think. But I bet yours is better. :-D
    I miss German hazlenuts. ;-( They are sweeter.

    • says

      Ahhh! So I’m NOT (completely) crazy. After reading your comment, I did some serious internet research on the difference between American Nutella and European Nutella. I am now determined to get my hands on the latter (especially since there’s a grey bread recipe I’ve been eying for a while now). Thank you so much for the insight, Robi!

  5. says

    Oh my, I must try this! I have always loved Nutella and your version looks absolutely delicious! I loved reading about the story of how you discovered it in Germany. Yum! xx

  6. Anna says

    This sounds absoulutely delious! I was wondering whether you have to melt/heat up the coconut oil so that it becomes a liquid or not?

    • says

      Hi Anna! The consistency of the coconut oil doesn’t seem to make a difference. My cornstarch fiasco happened on a very hot day, when the coconut oil had turned to liquid on its own. With this batch, the oil was solid, and the consistency turned out exactly the same.

  7. says

    Thanks for sharing this delicious looking recipe. Gonna check out the aisle for Nutella from different countries of origin and compare! But I do have a penchant for glass jars :-) Lucky for me.

  8. Simone says

    I would like to tell you one thing:
    Nutella is from Italy and made with best hazelnut in the world again from Italy (Piemonte region)
    So doesn’t come from Germany ;)
    I found many products being strangely different in taste between nations and I don’t know why in America usually they taste less good, mostly swiss chocolate bars or italian sauces or German and Austrian sausages or English scones … But ok they’r all European products so could be acceptable, the fact I really don’t understand and stand is The taste of coca cola light and zero in America is not good compared to the same product in let’s say Europe or for sure in Italy at least.
    Probably industries think Americans won’t taste differences so they go cheaper ingredients I don’t know but listening from you it is evidently false! You should go pretending the same quality level in your food, go claiming it!

    • says

      Thank you for your comment, Simone. I would just like to note that I never stated anywhere in my post that Nutella comes from or originated in Germany. That is simply the country where I discovered it, and the only place I’ve had it in Europe. (One of the links I provided in my post actually mentions its origins in Italy as well.)

      The difference in seemingly similar products from one country to another is both odd and interesting, and it boggles the mind to wonder how many of these variations we’re unaware of. But with many of us beginning to find joy in creating things from scratch, and the internet making the world seem a little bit smaller and more accessible, I think we can hope things may take a turn for the better. :)

  9. says

    This is great. David Lebovitz’s version used dairy, so I’ve shied way, thinking that after so much effort I’d have to throw some away when it sat there too long (I mean, who am i kidding, really). I will attempt yours before David’s. Love new blog!

    • says

      That’s especially why I was so excited about this one. I wind up throwing so many things away because I’m paranoid about spoilage. Thanks, Whit!! :)

  10. Lars Clausen says

    A Danish supermarket chain started making what we called “Nutella for grown-ups”, with dark chocolate so somewhat similar to this. There’s also (in Germany at least) the Chocoreal brand, which is much better than Nutella. But the best one was the one that had a hint of coffee to it, sadly it got discontinued.

    • says

      Ooo, I didn’t get a chance to try to Chocoreal brand when I was over there — that’s a shame. Also a shame that they discontinued the hint-of-coffee version, since coffee + chocolate + hazelnuts is divine!

  11. brad says

    i make homemade nutella using almost this exact recipe except i use maple syrup instead of powdered sugar which may have a wee bit more nutritional value.

    • says

      I do think that coconut oil makes this nutella taste especially good. The original recipe called for canola oil, however, so that could be used as a substitute. I would avoid using vegetable if at all possible. (I’m sure there might be decent varieties out there that aren’t made from a mishmash of mystery ingredients, but I’m always pretty skeptical of the stuff.)

    • says

      Thanks, Maya!

      I plugged the ingredients list into one of those nutrition calculators, and here is what it calculated for the entire batch:

      1,232 calories (927 from fat)
      total fat: 103g
      saturated fat: 52.2g
      cholesterol: 0mg
      sodium: 587mg
      total carbohydrates: 84.4g
      dietary fiber: 14.4g
      sugars: 62.8g
      protein: 15.4g

      Of course, a serving would be a fraction of these totals. Hope this helps!

  12. says

    Hiya!
    I actually live in The Netherlands, close to the Dutch/German border. My kids always eat Nutella. It’s on our weekly shopping list.
    May be I can send you a jar? :-)

  13. Katherine says

    I found your post through a friend of mine who suggested it to me and may I just say I LOVE IT! My mother is a HUGE fan of Nutella and to make a homemade version for her would just be a fantastic gift to give for Yule or even Mother’s Day. I just have one question, what if I don’t have coconut oil? What could I use instead? Thank you again for this wonderful story you shared and the equally wonderful recipe! ^-^

  14. liz says

    I agree with most of your readers about the difference between ingredients available to the manufacturer’s in different area’s, as well as the packaging. Until a couple years ago you could not buy Nutella in the US in a plastic jar either. The packaging industry is improving due to waste, recycling, etc so many companies that can are moving to plastic. It is lighter to ship and easier to compost.

    One thing that we all need to remember that hazelnuts, fruit and even chocolate can taste different from one crop to the next. Have you ever tasted two peaches that taste exactly the same? One can be super duper sweet off the same tree and the other make you pucker up like mad. The same can go for nuts, etc.

    On the Vegan-ness of sugar. Most sugars are refined using the bones of animals and this is what causes them to lose their vegan status, among other things. There are many unrefined sugars though available just like you said in your blog and the knowlgable Vegan knows just where to find them!!

    If you should ever try this with real chocolate give me a buzz. I have and learned some valuable lessons in the process!! Thanks for a fantastic post!! :)

    • says

      Thanks, Liz! It’s a good point regarding the hazelnuts varying in taste from season to season. I am definitely interesting in trying a version using chocolate rather than cocoa at some point. If I do, I’ll let you know. :)

  15. Abby says

    I LOVE this!! My daughter is allergic to palm and palm kernel oil, and so she cannot have the stuff from the store. I made your recipe this afternoon and I’ll never go back to buying it again!! I had to slightly warm the coconut oil to get it to blend well, but other than that your recipe is spot on!! The one thing I would suggest is that you can take the finished product, roll it into a tube in parchment paper, (sort of like a round stick of butter) then chill it. It will solidify pretty well, and so then when you want some, just slice a bit off- it will warm and soften quickly without having to warm the whole jar every time for an hour ahead of time. Thanks so much!! :)

    • says

      Thank you Abby! When I made this, it was during a real hot spell — the coconut oil had liquified on its own. :) I also like the idea of making it slice-able!

  16. Ela says

    I am really excited to try this recipe! I love the taste of Nutella, but as I grow older, I find that it is getting too sweet for me. Do you find that this recipe is less sweet than the store bought stuff?
    When I make it, I’ll probably add the sugar in increments to make sure I don’t over do it…

    • says

      Hi Ela! I think this version is a lot less sweet than the store-bought, but that will also depend on the type of cocoa powder you use. The Valrhona is super rich, and the sugar could barely overpower it. Adding in increments and tasting as you go is probably a good method, just to make sure you get it right where it should be. :)

  17. jennifer says

    I tried making this today and didn’t have much luck, nut issues. I couldn’t get them to cream, just very finally chopped. I tried food processor first, mine is bigger, so once it threw the nuts to the side it was done. Then I tried the blender, pretty much the same thing. So I reverted to the handy chopper(like a mini food processor). 10 minutes later and 2 attempts on each appliance, I gave up and left them just finely chopped. I did toast the nuts after boiling ton peel.
    so it’s not creamy, just a bit gritty, but the taste is good.

    • says

      Hi Jennifer — Sorry to hear this didn’t work out quite the way it should. In a situation like that, it might not hurt to add a little bit of water to the nuts as you blend them, which should help make them creamier. I also know that when people make things like almond or cashew butter, they will actually soak the nuts overnight to soften them up and make them blend easily. Perhaps letting the hazelnuts soak for a few hours or overnight after toasting them would help as well.

  18. Liz says

    Hi, great recipe, I’ve actually made the Kitchn version (before I found this post) but have to admit I was a bit disappointed, while very tasty, it still has a kind of powdery texture? Does yours have this or how did you manage to get rid of it? I’m thinking of giving mine a burst of the microwave to see if I can get rid of the texture which I find a bit off putting. My husband doesn’t care though! The kids, alas, prefer nutella to my version!

    I’m thinking maybe it would be better to add the cocoa powder to the chocolate to get it to melt or maybe even melt it in some water before adding it?

    Will definitely try it with coconut oil next time.

    • says

      Hi Liz! I would say for my batch, a thorough spinning in the food processor blended in the cocoa powder well enough, and I didn’t really notice a powdery taste. (Although it certainly wouldn’t hurt to whisk together the cocoa and the oil first before adding them to the rest of the ingredients, just to make sure that they’re thoroughly and evenly combined.)

      Another reader mentioned that their hazelnuts refused to blend smoothly and lent a slightly gritty texture to the finished product, so I’m wondering if something like that could give an impression of a powdery texture? To correct that, I suggested letting the hazelnuts soak overnight to soften them up a bit before blending. (Alternatively, adding a little bit of water while blending them in the food processor might help as well.)

      If it is the cocoa powder that’s causing the texture issue, heat probably won’t do much to fix the problem. (Cocoa powder is created from the solids of the cocoa bean, whereas cocoa butter is the fatty component of the cocoa bean that does all the wonderful melty stuff.) If this is the case, you might be able to fix it by taking the whole batch back to the blender and incorporating a little bit more fat. The easiest option would be more oil, but I’m not sure how that would affect the taste (perhaps not much at all). Alternatively (although this recipe didn’t call for any solid chocolate), you could try melting a little bit and blending it in as well.

      Hope this helps!

      • Liz says

        Maybe you’re right on the blending, ican’t tell if it’s nut or cocoa, the texture made me blame the powder!

        I might try and give it another blast in the blender and see if that helps.

        Thanks for your response!

  19. says

    carey, beautiful photos and blog! This is on my list of things to make ever since I saw it on the kitchn a few weeks ago. Your post will help! :)

  20. Alexis says

    You could substitue the powdered sugar for agave syrup and it would be a healthier version of Nutella. Coconut oil is good for you even though it’s saturated fat.

    • says

      I do love agave. In this case, however, I’d be worried that substituting a liquid ingredient for a dry one would make this less of a spread, and more of a nutty syrup. (But a delicious syrup, for sure!)

  21. says

    I’ll have to try this recipe since my son practically lives on Nutella!! He is 4. If it was around when I was 4, I would have been smart enough to make this my main food group as well.

    • says

      Hehe, I definitely would have been out-of-control obsessed with it if it’d come into my life when I was four! Hope you guys enjoy it, Erin!

  22. Marley says

    I made nutella once with a recipe that called for olive oil. Everyone thought it was great but I couldn’t manage more than a spoonful, it was just nasty… who would think of olive oil for this??? I’ve never made it since. I guess I’ll have to go coconut-oil hunting :)

    • says

      Oh boy, I bet that was intense! I like a little bit of olive oil in sweets now and then, but I could definitely see how it could be too much for this stuff! :)

  23. Janiece says

    Some of the differences between the European-created and the North American created Nutella’s may have to do with the type of hazelnuts (aka filberts) that are used in the spreads. In the USA, 99% of all hazelnuts/filberts grown here are done so within the state of Oregon (I grew up picking them, so I was in on their tastiness from my wee years). As the appearance of Oregon hazelnuts doesn’t appear to me to look the same as several European hazelnuts I’ve seen, I suspect there are differences in the types that are grown and used on different continents and within different countries. I just wanted to let you know why hazelnuts appear challenging for some people in North America to locate in their grocery stores. My guess is the cheapest place in the USA to buy them is in Oregon, but I can’t say that for certain. Thanks for putting together the DYI Nutella recipe for all of us! :)

    • says

      Thanks so much for the insight, Janiece! The disparity in taste being due to a difference in US and European varieties of hazelnuts makes a lot of sense. And I didn’t realize that the majority of hazelnut crops were concentrated in Oregon! They are definitely pretty pricey here on the east coast, so that makes sense. :)

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