This vegan homemade Nutella is creamy, rich, chocolaty, and so addicting! We spread the Nutella on crepes, dip fruit in it, drizzle it on top of a bowl of oatmeal, or just eat it with a spoon. I would argue that this homemade Nutella tastes better than the store-bought version. Honestly. We’re almost through my last batch I made two days ago? Yes, it’s that good.
Have you ever seen a deconstructed jar of Nutella? If not, it’s essentially a photograph of a Nutella jar filled with its raw ingredients – sugar, hazelnuts, cocoa powder, skimmed milk powder, and palm oil. The image was first published in January 2017 and left many people in shock. While most consumers probably know that hazelnut-chocolate spread so sweet contains a fair amount of sugar, the visual breakdown can still be quite shocking. In the image, more than half of the jar is filled with white sugar and third of the other half is filled with oil.
Based on the Nutella nutrition label that states each two-tablespoon serving has 21 grams of sugar, there is approximately 210 grams of sugar in a 13-ounce jar of Nutella. That’s more than quadruple the sugar in a 16-ounce of Coca-Cola. So yea, having Nutella for breakfast probably isn’t the healthiest choice.
While this homemade Nutella still contains sugar (coconut sugar, that is), it’s made with real food ingredients. The best part about this recipe is sharing it with my kids, especially my daughter who is now 3. There are times that I wonder if she feels like she is missing out because I’m such a health food nut. It just feels good to share with her some of my favorite treats when I was growing up. And yes, Nutella was definitely one of them.
Tips for Making Homemade Nutella
Unlike the original Nutella recipe, the main ingredient in this homemade Nutella are hazelnuts. I always roast the hazelnuts first to enhance their flavor and allow any excess water to evaporate. The bonus of roasting hazelnuts is that you can then also remove their somewhat bitter skins.
As far as the sweetener goes, I prefer finely ground coconut sugar. The only disadvantage of using coconut sugar in this homemade Nutella is that you have to grind it very finely. Sugar doesn’t dissolve in fat (including nut butters). So, your Nutella will only be as smooth (or grainy) as the coconut sugar. If you’re wondering about using liquid sweeteners, such as maple syrup, agave, etc. in this recipe, I would highly recommend against it. The reason is that nut butters are fat-based whereas liquid sweeteners are water-based. Since oil and water do not mix well, the addition of liquid sweetener causes the nut butter to ‘seize up’. (The same applies to tempered chocolate, BTW).
To compensate for the creaminess dairy would normally provide in this chocolate spread, I used raw cashews. I know, I know. Not a traditional ingredient, but it works great. If you’re not a fan of cashews, you can just skip them.
Finally, some Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Not raw cacao. Not natural (non-Dutch-processed) cocoa. Dutch-processed cocoa. Yes, there is a difference. Dutch-processed cocoa is darker in color and less bitter than the other two. It’s not a deal-breaker if you use regular cocoa, but just something to note.
I should also mention that homemade Nutella is thinner than regular Nutella. That’s because we’re not using any fat. Palm oil, remember? So if you want your homemade Nutella to be thicker and smoother, add a few tablespoons of coconut oil or melted chocolate. Another option is to add a few Medjool dates (in place of the coconut sugar). However, note that dates do contain water, up to 20%. So if you add dates, the Nutella will seize (just like if you added a liquid sweetener). To make it pourable again, you would need to add water.
Admittedly, the most consuming part in this recipe is removing the skins from the hazelnuts. There are two ways you can do this:
- Roast the hazelnuts in the oven and then rub the skins off with a clean kitchen towel.
- Roast the hazelnuts in the oven and then place them in a mason jar. Put the lid on and then shake the jar vigorously, until most of the skins have fallen off.
The next step is to process the hazelnuts into nut butter. Keep in mind that his recipe does require a heavy-duty food processor…less powerful processors aren’t robust enough to make nut butter. A good way to tell you’re are the right consistency when processing the hazelnuts is when the hazelnut spread starts having an almost oily, sleek or shiny surface.
As I already mentioned, you’ll need to grind the coconut sugar into a very fine powder before adding it to the hazelnut butter. Please, don’t skip this step (unless you’re fine with grainy Nutella).
Tools You’ll Need
1. Food Processor (Breville Sous Chef) | 2. Blender (Vitamix 5200) | 3. Baking Sheet (Pampered Chef, Stone) | 4. Measuring Cups (Set of 6, Bellemain, Stainless Steel) | 5. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1Easylife, Stainless Steel)
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- 2 cups raw hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup coconut sugar (or to taste)
- 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil (optional)
- melted chocolate of choice (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and roast the hazelnuts for about 15 minutes, watching closely, until the skins have darkened and are starting to peel away from the nut. Shake the pan every 5 minutes to make sure the hazelnuts are evenly roasted.
In the meantime, add the coconut sugar to a blender and blend until fine and powdery. Don't skip this step. The Nutella will only be as smooth as the coconut sugar.
When the hazelnuts are done roasting, transfer them onto the center of a kitchen towel. Gather the corners of the kitchen towel, enclosing the hazelnuts, and then rub vigorously for 1-2 minutes until the skins fall off. It's fine if not all skins fall off. Pick out the nuts (leaving the skins behind on the towel) and place them into a heavy-duty food processor. Another option is to place the roasted hazelnuts into a mason jar, put the lid on, and then shake the jar vigorously for 1-2 minutes until the skins fall off. Pick out the nuts (leaving the skins behind on the towel) and place them into a heavy-duty food processor.
Add the cashews to the food processor and process the nuts until they turn into nut butter. A good way to tell you’re are the right consistency when processing the nuts is when the nut butter starts having an almost oily, sleek or shiny surface. Depending on your food processor, this should take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.
Now add all the other ingredients and processor and process for another 5 minutes or so, until the spread is smooth.
Store leftover Nutella in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks. The Nutella will thicken when chilled. Simply bring it to room temperature to soften.
*Coconut oil help thicken the Nutella. It also makes the Nutella smoother and creamier.