In The Kitchen - Cocoa Hazelnut Spread

Did you know that February 5th was World Nutella® Day? There is an entire day dedicated to the wildly popular chocolate spread and thousands of people paid homage to it's chocolate-hazelnut goodness.

We don’t do a ton of sweets in our home and I try my best to avoid pre-packaged ‘treats’, but one of my daughters was always asking (aka begging) for Nutella. Honestly, I don’t love the idea of buying something that can sit on the shelf for months and months without going bad…just doesn’t sound appetizing to me. And while there isn’t really anything crazy listed in the ingredients, I decided to search around for a homemade version. I also wanted to show my girls that making something from ‘scratch’ doesn’t have to be overly complicated or difficult.

I found a solid recipe from Brown Eyed Baker and made it my own. I added ground cinnamon and tried to make it with a little less sugar (wink, wink!).

My recipe includes hazelnuts, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, hazelnut oil, cinnamon, salt and of course my favorite Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract. Once it’s complete, we store it in one of the plastic containers and keep it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for a month – if it’s not totally gone before then. We eat it on whole wheat crackers, bananas, strawberries, and apples. I have to admit, it is delicious and addicting!!

The full ingredient list and directions for preparation are below. Enjoy! And please let us know how your chocolate-hazelnut spread turns out.




2 cups hazelnuts
3/4 cup powdered sugar
⅓ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Spread the hazelnuts out in a single layer on a half sheet pan and roast until dark brown and fragrant, about 12 to 15 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through. Keep a close eye on them – hazelnuts go from perfectly roasted to burnt quickly.

When hazelnuts are cool enough to handle, place them in a container with a lid and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds to remove some of the skins. Our 32oz plastic container works great for this.

Put the skinless hazelnuts into the bowl of a food processor. Continue the process of shaking in the container and removing hazelnuts until most of the skins are removed. Don’t fret, if some skins/shells get in the food processor bowl, it’s not a big deal. 

Process the hazelnuts until oil is released and they form a smooth, loose paste. Should be about 2 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl often.

Once hazelnuts are processed, add powdered sugar, cocoa powder, hazelnut oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt and continue processing until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl as needed. The mixture will loosen and become glossy. Transfer the spread to a jar with a tight-fitting lid or an airtight container. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker:

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Paula, I’m so happy to hear that you tried it! We found that you really need to process the hazelnuts alone first, until the oils are released and you begin to see it come together like a nut butter. It goes from textured to smooth pretty quickly. Then add the other ingredients until combined. Hope this helps!

Cassandra's Kitchen

I just made this. It’s good, I was not able to find hazelnut oil so I used coconut oil so it’s not the exact taste of Nutella but good nonetheless. I think if I had processed the hazelnuts with the oil they may have gotten more processed, my final product was slightly textured. Each little bag of hazelnuts were on 1/2 cup so I had to buy 4 bags and that was $10.00, so certainly this may not be a cheaper option, but a fresher option.

Paula Suter

Laurel, we’ve actually made it with regular unsweetened cocoa powder and it was equally as delicious. Let us know what you think!

Cassandra's Kitchen

Marcia, it can definitely stay out of the fridge for a few days! Putting it in a holiday package is great idea!

Cassandra's Kitchen

Will this keep for few days outside the refrigerator if I want to mail a jar as part of a holiday package?


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