Skip to content

chocolate hazelnut spread

Many years ago I worked in a restaurant in New York with a group of other cooks, who were mostly women and we were all friends. We’d gather in the cold morning kitchen, working around a communal wooden counter near the warm stove armed with cups of strong coffee as we set about our various tasks while engaging in conversations while doing all the repetitive work of chopping the piles of vegetables we used for soups, salads, and other things that we were going to prepare the rest of the day.

One woman, who I’ll call Mary Smith (and who, for some reason, we all called her by her complete name, “Mary Smith”, rather than just “Mary”), was bookish and almost librarian in her demeanor, and she was attending a local Ivy league institution, getting her doctorate in Russian and Russian studies. She worked very efficiently with no unnecessary movements, and always had perfect posture, like a ballerina, along with pristine skin and straight brown hair pulled sharply back in a tight ponytail.

chocolate-milk and dark hazelnuts, toasted

One quiet morning we were all going about our usual business of silently peeling onions and chopping celery when Mary put her knife down on the counter, looked up, and simply announced, “Who do I have to bl-w around here to get some carrots?”

Startled at the suddenness of her request, as well as the straightforward delivery of it, we all just kind of froze for a moment in mid-action, and stared at her until someone broke the stone silence of disbelief.

As I’ve come to believe, it’s as if they’ve implanted something in my brain so stores in Paris can know what I’m out of so that when I get there, they can be sure to not have it in stock. So I went to G. Detou (which translates in French as “I have everything”, which they normally do) to pick up hazelnuts to try a recipe for World Nutella Day from the Encyclopédie du Chocolat that landed on my doorstep. Of course, they had every kind of nut and seed crammed onto their shelves; almonds, cashews, pecans, pine nuts, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, four kinds of pistachios, and even Macadamia nuts. They indeed have everything—except the one thing that I wanted: hazelnuts.

grinding homemade nutella homemade nutella

But lest you think I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, it’s not just me: a woman was there at the exact same time looking for the exact same thing as I was. So maybe, or maybe not, my paranoid ramblings of brain implants are just in my head. (Although I’d love to know how uncanny it is that this always happens to me.)

And I spent the second half of my day looking for these seemingly-common nuts…and after wondering what kinds of acts I’d have to perform to find some hazelnuts around here, I finally came across them at the Arabic market, which never fails me when I’m in desperate need of something. Plus as an added bonus for my troubles, they came already skinned. So at long last, with nuts firmly in my grasp, I finally headed home.


There were a few recipes in this book that raised an eyebrow: Lobster with chocolate mousse? Fish with a green tea-white chocolate sauce resting on a pool of milk chocolate sauce enriched with fish stock? Well, you likely won’t be seeing them on the site anytime in the near future. But being open-minded, if anyone does try them, I’d be interested in knowing how they turned out.

Yet I was interested in the recipe Pâte à tartiner maison, or “homemade spreading paste.” I’m not sure why they call for a small amount of almonds (to make me have to look for two ingredients instead of one?), and two kinds of chocolate—milk and dark—when you’re already adding fresh milk and milk powder. (Although I think the bigger question is who would mix chocolate and seafood?) But I’ve learned not to ask questions any longer and just deal.

chocolate hazelnut paste homemade nutella

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Adapted from the Encyclopédie du Chocolat under the direction of Frédéric Bau. As noted, I wasn’t sure why they called for a small amount of almonds so I think you could get away with swapping out hazelnuts for the 1/3 cup (40g) of almonds and save yourself a trip to the store. I also think you could use all dark chocolate, and perhaps skip the honey, but since I have two jars of this homemade Nutella in my refrigerator, it’s going to be a while before I make any more. Frankly, I was concerned when I was done at how liquidy the mixture was. But after a few hours of refrigeration, the spread was just the right texture for smearing on bread. Because a number of ingredient questions came up in the comments, so I’ve answered them at the end of the recipe.
  • 1/3 cup (40g) whole almonds
  • 1 1/3 cup (160g) hazelnuts
  • 1 3/4 cup (400g) whole milk, (see Notes)
  • 7/8 cup (60g) powdered whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons (40g) mild-flavored honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 5 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (use one that's at least 30% cacao solids), 140g
  • Spread the nuts on a baking sheet, keeping the almond separate, and toast the nuts in a 350ºF (180ºC) oven, stirring a few times, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the hazelnuts are browned.
  • While they are roasting, warm the whole milk and powdered milk in a small saucepan with the honey and salt just until it starts to boil. Remove from heat.
  • In a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, or in a microwave oven, melt the chocolates together until smooth.
  • Once the nuts are well-toasted, remove them from oven and use a spatula to place the warm hazelnuts in a clean tea towel, then fold them inside the towel and rub them vigorously to remove any loose skins. They don’t need to be pristine; just try to get as much off as possible.
  • In a food processor, grind the warm hazelnuts and almonds until they’re as fine as possible. You may not be able to get them completely smooth, depending on your food processor. (I have a brand new one and even after five minutes, there were little bits of nuts in mine, which is normal.)
  • Add the melted chocolate and continue to process the mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides of the work bowl, as necessary.
  • Once the mixture is smooth, add the warm milk mixture and process until everything is well-combined. (The original instructions here said to strain the paste, which I didn’t do because I don’t mind the little bits of toasted nuts, but you can.)
  • Transfer the mixture into two jars and refrigerate until ready to use.


Storage: The Chocolate-Hazelnut Paste will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

When I started gathering the ingredients in my kitchen, I realized I didn’t have any milk chocolate (although I did have almonds and surprisingly, powdered milk), so put my coat on and headed out in search for some. I won’t tell you what that entailed. But in the end, I was rewarded with a couple of jars of tasty homemade Nutella which are sitting in my refrigerator, so I know right where to find them.

Notes: A few people left questions in the comments about ingredients and substitutions. You can read what I say at Baking Ingredients and Substitutions, especially the section about using lower-fat dairy products than recipes indicate. As noted, this recipe is adapted from another one and although I made a few adjustments, I kept the ingredient list fairly intact. I did suggest some possible modifications in the headnote of the recipe of variations that I am pretty certain will work.

For those with questions about whole powdered milk, I have seen it at Indian and Latin markets, sometimes under the Nido brand. (A Nestlé product.) It can be ordered online through Amazon, or another brand can be ordered through King Arthur Flour. A number of readers in the comments noted that they made the spread with low-fat powdered milk and had success with it.

This recipe is part of the round-up for World Nutella Day. You can see the rest of the entries at the round-ups at Ms. Adventures in Italy and Bleeding Espresso.

Related Links and Recipes

Milk Chocolate-Black Pepper Ice Cream

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread

Askinosie Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread

Chocolate Sherbet

Chocolate FAQs

Baking Ingredients and Substitutions



    • Three-Cookies

    I suppose you have never travelled on Turkish airlines! On board you get hazelnuts and there are many ads (on inflight magazine, onboard TV) associating Turkey with hazelnut. Its the worlds largest producer I think.

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Yes, I’ve been to Turkey and have had their wonderful hazelnuts…and I even remember the word for them because I ate so many: findik.

    (Which is also a fun word to say!)

    • Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy

    I got the hazelnuts together but didn’t have time to do a homemade version next year…I sense it will be in the works for next year :)

    • Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy

    Er…I didn’t have time this year, I meant. :)

    • Tuti

    Oh yum!! Sorry for not being so original ;-), but these are the first words that spring to mind. I have now decided to make this today! Must find some bio or fairtrade nuts … Oops, have you got an alternative for the powdered milk please? Could I use condensed milk?

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Sara: I’ll be your swimming in gianduja this week!

    Tuti: I don’t know a substitute, but if anyone else does, they are welcome to chime in. Since the recipe is an adaptation, I wanted to stick pretty close to the original the first time I tried it.

    I’ve found dried milk powder in shops that sell Indian foods as well since I guess it is an ingredient used in some of their dishes.

    • Tuti

    Thanks David! I think that maybe I have to pass on the idea of making a bio or fairtrade version and find some powdered milk in my Asian supermarket.

    • Helene

    David, I don’t get the link between the beginning of your story and the end… What happened to the carrots of Mary Smith?

    • Veronica

    I can buy bio powdered milk in my local supermarché if it’s the bio-ness you are concerned about …

    This looks very tempting, but I’m going to use my chocolate & almonds to make some Belgian fudge cake :)

    • Kasia Dietz

    After I perfect my chocolate mousse I’m going to try my hand at this recipe, nuts and all.

    Speaking of Nutella, have you ever tried the Nociolatto at ‘Il Professore’ in Naples, Italy? It’s a combination of coffee, a nutella type mixture and pure ecstasy. It’s worth the trip alone!

    • Earl Lee

    Smitten Kitchen recently posted a Nutella recipe. Also, what kind of food processor do you have because when I tried to grind nuts into a paste with mine, some of the plastic parts melted, so my food processor is no longer functional.

    • Joanna

    love this! am gonna definitely try it.

    and helene.. if you don’t get the link of mary smith to finding hazelnuts; you don’t get David. ;)
    typical, brilliant writing.. thoroughly enjoyable! cheers!

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Earl Lee: Deb did post a chocolate spread recipe, but she used peanuts which a few Italians (and/or purists) would not put in the same category as gianduja or Nutella. But I think she pointed out that it wasn’t meant to the be the same, but was riffing off a similar idea.

    I have a KitchenAid food processor which I used for this. Many food processors (especially older ones) lack powder to let them run for five minutes or so. But sometimes folks can ‘tune up’ their current machines by either sharpening or just replacing the blade.

    Helene + Joanna: As a discretionary measure, I’ll have to leave that (as well as how I got my hazelnuts) up to readers imagination ; )

    • Jenny @ Musings and Morsels

    The word “sexy” gets thrown around a lot when one attempts to convey the gratifying nature of a food item but this, THIS, is something well deserved for that title. Look at it, all voluptuous and teasing on the slice of bread. Brilliant.

    • Margaret

    This is probably a healthier recipe than nutella. They list sugar as their first ingredient.

    • Pinar


    I can send you some findik next time because I’m from Turkey.

    By the way, it’s believed that findik is very useful for men in bedroom. If French people knew it, you didn’t have to search.

    • Michelle | Bleeding Espresso

    Wow David, thanks so much for scouring Paris for all the necessary ingredients…looks fabulous! And Happy World Nutella Day :)

    • Christine

    I have the very same problem. Every time I go out in search of something specific, most recently raw beets (everyone has an abundance of vacuum-sealed boiled ones) but this has also been spices and nuts too, it feels like a quest. Lo and behold, the next day I’m in a nearby neighborhood, La Chapelle, and voilà: raw beets. powdered mustard in vrac. pistachios, etc.
    If it weren’t just a lil too far to be convenient, I would just do all my shopping at VT Cash & Carry.
    I keep on trying to get over to G Detou, but they close so early, as French shops are wont to do.
    I’ll make it my quest for the week.

    • nazli

    Yummy recipe :) David I am ready and willing to send you findik too :) I am looking forward for your recipes with Turkish findik..:)

    By the way, homemade recipes are always my best. Thanks for your all posts again and again..

    Nazlı from Istanbul/Turkey! :)

    • my little expat kitchen

    It’s so frustrating when you are searching for a common ingredient in the most likely places and you just can’t find them! It has happened to me so many times so I can totally relate with you David.
    I have tried a number of versions of homemade nutella but have always been let down by either texture or taste. I will definitely try yours next.

    • Victoria (District Chocoholic)

    I like how, unlike the American version of Nutella, this recipe doesn’t involve palm oil. Much tastier.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite

    Yeah, um, ok. I need both the Encyclopedia and to try this for myself! The texture looks superb!

    • The Blue-Eyed Bakers

    Oh dear, knowing we can now make our own Nutella could be a very VERY dangerous thing…

    • piccola

    Can this freeze? I can’t imagine eating a whole jar of Nutella in a week, so even if I gave one away, I feel there would be some waste…

    • SoupAddict

    I had to go to five stores to find hazelnuts to make my contribution to World Nutella Day. (And I think they were a little past their prime, since the skins didn’t come off as easily as they should.) I like the bit of irony here where you made a homemade spread on Nutella-endorsed (the company) World Nutella Day.

    • Marco Morillo

    I never really enjoyed nutella until my partner served it on toasted brioche + Caramelized banana + smoked eel and saudade foie gras. I guess I’ll have to make that tonight as a special!

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    piccola: I don’t know, but I am considering giving the second jar away to a (lucky) friend. So perhaps you can find a friend who will take one off your hands ; )

    But if you do try freezing it, I’d be interested in knowing how it turns out, so let me know.

    Christine: I love VT cash & carry! (11-15 rue de Cail) They have the most amazing stuff. And it’s also a good resource for ‘anglo’ (British) items as a lot of them carry over into the Indian repertoire. I also like all their stainless-steel dinnerware.

    Victoria: I’ve not seen recipes with palm oil but there is some ‘vegetable oil’ listed in the Nutella sold here in France and I’m not sure what it is. I don’t eat that much of it to be all that concerned.

    But now that I know how to make it myself, well…all bets are off!

    • Nanette

    Perfection in a jar!


    oh my goodness, my daughter and i just looove nutella. how wonderful that you can just make it like that in your kitchen! i’m getting addicted to your blog. and i still have that goat cheese souffle you posted about a couple weeks ago in my brain. i think it will forever be there. :)

    • K Thompson

    A wonderful blog to wake up to, as always.
    -Though the chocolate with fish may sound less desirable, if you think about mole, it’s not such a leap.

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    K: That’s why I’m intentionally reserving judgment on those recipes. I could see a meaty fish like eel with a thin glaze made with a bit of unsweetened chocolate and vinegar. A white fish filet or lobster? Well, I’m not quite sure about those. But if someone tackles them, I’d be interested in hearing about their results…

    • Belinda @zomppa

    I’m already addicted to Nutella, but this might actually knock it out of the park. It’s funny when you think you will just find that one ingredient easily and then end up spending half a day in search of it! I would easily get addicted to this.

    • Candela

    David, your homemade Nutella looks delicious. Couple times i was tempted to try it doing it at home, but I’m in Italy!…wouldn’t be that ironic? now with your recipe in my hands,i’m fearless… My husband can eat Nutella almost everyday,only his conscience say Not !! Happy Nutella Day. :)

    • Lucy

    This looks yummy :) I am definitely going to make this, hopefully my mum’s blender will be able to cope with the nuts!
    Do you think this might work as a cake filling too, sort of like a ganache or would it be too rich?
    Enjoy your nutella!

    • Sini

    I love Nutella so why not try a homemade version of it? Bookmarked!

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Lucy: It would, however it’s quite liquid at room temperature. So perhaps something like a Tiramisu or something on containers would work.

    • Daniel

    Would it be possible to preserve the jars in a hot-water bath like you do for jam, and then keep the unrefrigerated jars in the pantry for months?

    • Caffettiera

    I can’t believe you had problems finding hazelnuts in Paris.. It must be something wired in your brain, then :) You had trouble with kale, possible, citron, likely, but hazelnuts?!
    You’d think Paris was a heaven for all sorts of foods, but probably it is easy to get lost in the variety. Still, I have to reconcile this with the hours I spent the first time I went to a supermarket there, and I hate supermarkets!!

    By the way, if I may boast a little: in the small German town where I live, there is a maroccan guy at the market who has the finest nuts and dried fruits ever. He sources them from all the right places and every time I’ll taste a handful of mixed nuts before leaving his stall (and most likely buy them, because they are always delicious). Never go there after breakfast!

    • Allison

    Oh, my! This is fantastic. My 2-year-old daughter recently took a shine to Nutella, and while I love it myself, I have grown more and more concerned about the ingredients and was thinking about how I could make my own homemade version. I’ve already got visions of Sunday mornings with this drizzled over crepes and swirled into coffee (maybe?) and, let’s be honest, spooned straight from the jar. Thank you for this post – it came just in time!
    Zum Wohl!

    • Margaret

    The LA Times posted a nutella recipe that included 3 T of hazelnut oil in it.

    • Barbara

    I’ve never seen WHOLE powdered milk, just part skim – do you think it would work just as well, – or should I add something else to richen it up?

    • La Rêveuse

    David, this looks wonderful.

    I’ve always liked my nutella with a little sprinkle of salt–I wonder if that would be a nice addition? Or use the Lindt with Fleur de Sel as your chocolate? I think it just enlivens the flavor. :)

    We’re moving soon, to a much bigger kitchen, so I may have to buy a new food processor. I burned mine out and didn’t replace it–but this is a good excuse!!!

    • ChocolateCentral

    This is the recipe I’ve always been looking for and didn’t even know it! As much as I love Nutella, I rarely buy it and have never used it in my baking. I’m the kind of gal who likes to torture myself and make everything homemade. I can’t wait to see all of the recipes I can make with my own homemade chocolate and hazelnut spread. Thank you!

    • Joseph

    How much must I pay you for Mary’s phone number and address?

    • Silvia

    Thank you for that recipe! I’ve been looking for something similar to Nutella but not Nutella, and now I think you gave me a solution!

    • My Kitchen in the Rockies

    I need a lot of hazelnuts for all my traditional German baking. It was a task to find them also in Denver, CO. Now I stack up and know a good source, but it wasn’t easy and I know what you must have gone through. Glad you were successful.
    Is there a way to make this Nutella spread less liquid? I am asking because I would never think of putting my Nutella in the fridge nor eating it cold. It is stored at room temperature and that is also how my mom always stored it. Would using less milk work?

    • robynski

    I’m wondering if boiling the nuts would help get them to the paste consistency better. I do that with pistachios for pistachio puree. But who am I to argue with the encyclopedia of chocolate??! Still, I’m thinking of giving it a try. Thanks David, I wasn’t liking another version most recently posted with in light of the national Nutella day.

    • diana

    Note to Sara: when you come down and Fabio comes up next time, we can do a whole homemade Nutella trial, film it, blog it, podcast it. As I live in the vortex of Nutella-land (that would be Piemonte) there is hardly a pasticceria here that does not make some version of their own, some better than others. Also, Novi makes a killer version.

    I’m up for the challenge, girls.

    David, I would even comp you one of my lux rooms if you would come and be our taste tester. Being surrounded by so much Italian expat love and gianduja might be overwelming but unforgettable.

    • Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy

    That would be an awesome weekend….David, you don’t know what you’re missing – Diana is the ultimate hostess :)

    • Marly

    David, while this is a fabulous recipe, please don’t judge my aversion to hazelnuts (long story, and not as juicy as yours).

    That said, do you think replacing all the hazelnuts with almonds in the recipe would work, regarding fat content and consistency of that nut vs. hazelnuts? I honor that Nutella is made with hazelnuts, so of course I would call a version made with chocolate and almonds something else!

    • renee

    First off, thanks for the nutella recipe without copious amounts of sugar. This is the recipe I’ve been looking for, for years. Also did you ever think the reason everyone was out of hazlenuts was because of world nutella day? Just a thought. ;-)

    • marla {family fresh cooking}

    I would much prefer this homemade chocolate hazelnut spread to anything in a store bought jar. Always.

    • Isabelle

    Oh my god, you just screwed my weekend I can’t think of anything else now, I’ll have to try it out right away and change the plans I had…

    Thanks ;-)


    • Mark – The Urban Eater

    That looks great Dave! This seems like a much healthier version than the jarred stuff. Will definitely have to try it.

    • Michelle | Bleeding Espresso

    Oh my, I’m so in on the Nutella trial in Piemonte! I was nostalgic for Diana’s B&B & hospitality looking at my photos just days after I got home….

    • Jean Marie

    Joseph (above) is such a dirty boy. (snicker) Love this recipe and will get about making it soon. I am looking forward to settling into my comfy couch with a jar of my own homemade Nutella and a spoon.

    • Ig

    David, have you tried Nudossi? A friend of mine from work raves about it but I have never tried it (though I suspect I would love it, I would prefer to use your recipe to make a similar one at home). It is also known as East-German Nutella and has 36% hazelnuts instead of the 13% of Nutella. You could try to get hold of it for World Nutella Day next year maybe. :)

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Joseph: I just have to say that your comment is the best of the day.

    Actually, I’m declaring it the comment of the year.

    Michelle, Sara and Diana: Sure! Let’s plan a weekend of gianduja madness. I’m up for it..


    A number of you had questions about ingredients and substitutions so I added a few Notes at the end of the recipe, especially in regards to the powdered milk.

    • Charity

    I love Nutella, but can’t stomach the weird ingredients in it, so I’ve been wanting to make a chocolate-nut spread for a while now~ thanks for sharing!
    Also, hilarious story about “Mary Smith”… For some reason it’s always the people you’d least expect who have the filthiest mouths in the kitchen. And, after some thoughtful reminiscing, it’s even more odd how 9/10 times (at least in my experience) it’s the person you call by their first and last name.

    • Meg

    While I was in Paris last spring I came apond a product called “Chic Choc”, It was some sort of dark chocolate spread maybe with almonds. In the fall I gave my friends in Paris a mission to find it and bring it back to me. It seems it was a one time thing, no “Chic Choc” to be had. If you come across it, get and eat it!

    • Justeen @ Blissful Baking

    Oh my goodness, this looks absolutely divine! I loveee Nutella, and could eat it out of the jar with the spoon! I can’t wait to try this recipe :)

    • Jesse

    Regarding texture at room temperature, the issue is that none of the fats are saturated enough and there’s a fair bit of liquid. Maybe increasing the milk powder and decreasing the milk would work, but you could also try incorporating a bit of vegetable shortening (I have some organic coconut shortening from Spectrum) to get that thicker Nutella-like texture.

    • Carine_07

    I think they use honey to better preserve the nutella. I have read that somewhere in that book.

    • L

    This is a great recipe for Nutella.

    I just bought your recipe book “Ready for Dessert”; I love the Chocolate Orbit Cake simple and delicious, perfect treat for chocolate lovers.

    • Melissa

    David, I used your suggestions and only used dark chocolate (Valrhona 85%) and I added extra hazelnuts instead of the almonds. However, I did use the honey because the chocolate was so heavy. I think it depends on your taste. I love milk chocolate but sticking to the darker stuff gave the spread such a wonderfully deep flavor.

    I quartered the recipe and it fit perfectly in an old jam jar. More dangerous than the jam, but at least I won’t be eating nutella for all my meals this week.

    • E

    Glad you finally had those nuts firmly in your grasp…what a relief.

    • Joy @ TheHerbedKitchen

    I bought hazelnuts with the purpose of making a cow’s milk-free nutella-like spread but then the inevitable happened: I ate them as a coping mechanism while the kids rampaged with wrapping paper rolls. I honestly had no idea how I was going to make my nutella-chocolatey spread of goodness but I’m pleased you did so. Quick question, I was going to make the nutella with goats milk because everyone in the family (but me) is dairy intolerant, they can tolerate goat though. Will it work? It’s nearly impossible to find goat cream (in fact, my cheese guy laughed at me when I asked.) since it is naturally homogenized, is there an alternative? I’m not adverse to any of the other alternative milks I just have the best luck with it.

    • Amanda

    I have made a similar version of this for my kids (and, if I’m honest, for me) using a little fresh milk. I have a Thermomix and am able to grind the nuts down very well so the paste is beautifully smooth. Just the thing for a warm croissant on a Sunday morning!

    • Georgia Pellegrini

    This homemade nutella looks rich and dreamy

    • KosherCorvid

    Mmm, Nutella! My problem is, if there’s any in the house, I will eat it all like a ravening beast.

    • olga

    aha! the recipe with the powdered milk!! i’ve been playing around with a few batches of homemade nutella and nothing QUITE got me to the place i wanted… i was looking for the taste replica of the original thing :) I saw on the ingredients list that powdered milk was used and that was my next step. this is so awesome I can’t even tell you – I’m going to play with it tomorrow morning. I missed world nutella day, but can’t it just be world nutella month in February? It’s cold as sh*t here in the northeast – and i need a reason to celebrate :)

    • David B

    I used skim powdered milk, and I think it turned out nicely. Good texture and taste. I did deviate though–I made it from just almonds, with no hazelnuts, since I have two different brands of Nutella already. Highly recommended.

    • Dr Sarah

    I have abandoned my friends and family and taken to the kitchen since finding your blog here, and this recipe is just one of the many reasons! I long for France and you are simply stoking the flames. This nutella recipe is just so straight forward and so fabulous, I may just have to put my weekend macarons on hold to make it.
    Here in the outer NY burbs hazelnuts are not that easy to find unless you trek in to a more upscale supermarket, but I keep a stash in the freezer for those must have moments. I may even get the kids to chip all the ice away outside if I hold this as the reward.

    • ButterYum

    This is an excellent post and I look forward to giving the recipe a try.

    • Hannah

    Oh my heavens – the homemade Nutella recipes I have stored away to make in the future all use cocoa, not actual chocolate! That’s it… I’m deleting all those recipes and using this one next time :)

    • A Canadian Foodie

    Good job! You should see how smooth the Thermomix can get this! I am truly amazed at the lovely texture you acquired with a food processor. (I love my Thermomix – and I love nutella – but Nutella Day? Now, that is brilliant!)

    • Cait

    I loathe hazelnuts. Not even chocolate makes them better, hence Nutella falls into the loathing category. I’m a tried and true peanut butter gal. That said, my 10 year old won’t go near peanut butter and would eat an entire jar of Nutella with a spoon if I’d let her. I’m going to try making your recipe as it seems much healthier than the jarred stuff she inhales when I turn my back. I think I’ll try making the all almond version mentioned above as well.

    Thank you for keeping us drooling with your blog :)


    • katie

    Just made this, and it is fantastic! I’ve been looking for a nutella recipe that doesn’t rely on a ton of confectioner’s sugar, and this came out perfect! Many thanks.

    • Patricia Zhang

    My mother LOVES hazelnuts, but doesn’t like/has never tried jarred Nutella because it’s too sweet and she’s diabetic and Chinese, haha. (No seriously, Kraft even make special Oreo wafer things in China that are less sweet.) Thanks for the recipe that uses way less sugar :D

    I simply used nonfat milk powder. I couldn’t be bothered to wait and order it online.

    To make up for whatever fat wasn’t in the nonfat I added a little bit of heavy cream to the milk and reduced the milk a tad. I really don’t think it made a difference, they’re both milk powders! Or I’m just lazy.

    I made one and a half batches and they’re currently in the fridge. Why won’t it firm up quicker so I can spread it on filling-less Oreos instead of tempting me to drink it???

    PS: It’s funny that you say it took more than five minutes to grind up the hazelnuts. I have a cheap, crappy, and now cracked (I dropped it today while making the Nutella because my hands were slick from the Nutella, how sad and pathetic is that) Black & Decker food processor from Macy’s of all places and it took about thirty seconds on high speed for it to get fine and pasty. Hmm.

    • Rita RD

    I’m def going to make this for V-Day….BTW, I made the Goat Cheese Souffles (my first souffle) w Meyer lemons since i missed your Central Mkt class here in Houston….so so good. Grazie!

    • Sharon T

    Oh my goodness…how can I not make this? Yet another recipe for the “definitely make” stack that is growing be leaps and bounds while my kitchen is under construction! Thank you David :)

    • Victoria (District Chocoholic)

    Regarding the palm oil (which I hope you’ll never find in a recipe because it’s just gross, and why bother to make it yourself if you’re going to do that) – in America, the ingredient order is: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals, whey, soy lecithin, vanillin.

    So, palm oil is ahead of hazelnuts, cocoa, and milk. And is only behind sugar.

    Needless to say, I like the ratios in your recipe far more.

    • Sara

    I just had salmon with a lemon white chocolate sauce that had pink peppercorns in it. If no one told you there was chocolate in the sauce, I think more people would have been into it. It was a sweet(er) lemon cream sauce with peppercorns, and actually so so tasty. It helped that the salmon was cooked perfectly. It was a total surprise hit at my company’s chocolate fest the other night.

    • Epicure on a Budget

    David, there’s a Greek epicerie in the 2nd that sells every nut you could want, including hazelnuts. I stumbled upon it and took there business card so that I wouldn’t forget…now if I could just remember where I put the card. I’ll look for it and come back to post the address. Cheers!

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Joy: It’s likely goat milk will work and I have seen goat milk powder in American health food stores, so I would give it a try for sure.

    Victoria: I’ve not seen recipes with palm oil as an ingredient since I’m not sure home cooks could even find that in stores. I know that some people use coconut oil in their baking, most often by people who are vegan to replace butter in recipes, and it’s used in Indian cookery as well.

    Patricia: Thanks for reporting back. I would imagine even nonfat powdered milk has the protein solids, which are likely what the powdered milk in this recipe provides. Glad it worked out for you, but sorry you have to wait for it to firm up : )

    A Canadian Foodie: Yes, I would imagine it would work very well in a Thermomix. Unfortunately the company once offered to send me one to try out, then revoked their offer for an unexplained reason, so I didn’t get the chance to experiment with it.

    Dr Sarah: I think hazelnuts are harder to find because they tend to go rancid quickly. (It might be due to the pocket of air in the middle?) I know some bakeries get fantastic hazelnuts packed in air-tight tins, which are amazing, but I’ve not been able to find a source for them suitable for home cooks, so I just buy them as I need them. (And from a trusted source, because there’s nothing worse than paying for a bag of nuts, getting ready to bake with them, and finding out they’re rank.)

    • The Good Soup

    I’ve been planning on starting a crepe stall at a local farmer’s market in Brisbane (Australia), and I was planning on homemade nutella- you’ve just made my job infinitely easier! I love finding a recipe for something I need from someone I trust- you’re the best. Thanks David, Cheers, Angela

    • Michal

    Who eats Nutella when you can get PLAISIRMIEL! This spread by NEWTREE is just heavenly! David, PLEASE try and recreate it as we can’t get this wonderful spread in Israel…

    • Audrey

    I’m sure one could substitute condensed milk for the milk and milk solids. Maybe leave out the honey because of the sugar in CD milk.

    I’m sure the recipe you gave would last longer than 1 week in the fridge. How do they work out these times anyway?

    • Erica Howat

    David~ Thanks for your culinary memoirs. As a young culinairess myself, who was learning the ropes and paying my dues in the late 70’s early 80’s, I value your musings of life in the kitchen. I can picture ‘Mary Smith’ with a smiles & lol! Too funny those old days of hard wonderful work! Thanks for reminding me!

    • The Flexitarian Cook

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane; I used to go to the boulangerie after school and would get one of those foil-top mini containers of Nutella that I would then eat on my way home. I just can’t get enough of the stuff. No problem finding hazelnuts here (NY) so I’ll be sure to give this a try soon. As far as fish on chocolate sauce goes, yeah, I think I’ll pass too. :)

    • Colby

    You aren’t the only one this happens to. My daughter lives in Paris and she is always complaining about stores not having the one item she went shopping for. The strange thing is it is almost always something simple – sugar, toilet paper, etc. I wonder if they somehow implant the chip when you are waiting in line for your Carte de Sejour?

    This recipe looks wonderful. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Simian

    Dear David
    Regarding Nutella – most processed food listing vegetable oil as an ingredient uses palm oil as it’s by far the cheapest -so the French Nutella is most likely using palm oil too as it’s legal in the EU to just list it as just veg oil. Nestle is known for being unscrupulous when it comes to making profit. It’s great you list the recipe, so people can make their own jars. The main issue with palm oil is not that it’s unhealthy, but that it’s a direct cause for deforestation in Asia and therefor the main factor for having pushed the Orangutan population to the brink of extinction.

    Another good reason for a total boycott of Nestle and in fact all processed food.
    The BBC made a documentary about it :

    • Katie K

    No need to remove the almond skins?

    • Tags

    Homemade Nutella?

    Where’s the hydrogenated oil?

    • Montse

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! Terrific blog post, David! The bit about Mary Smith was quite amusing.

    • T Pilate

    Humm….”was bookish and almost librarian in her demeanor”. We should meet and you will see the “Librarian Demeanor” blown to bits. I’m a librarian, loud, have a wicked sense of humor and love to eat AND read. And I used to cook for a living before I went back to school for the Masters in Library Science. Thanks for the tasty recipes!

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    T Pilate: Between you and Mary, librarians seem like a much wilder bunch than I thought!

    Colby: It’s quite interesting, the supermarket will be completely out of sugar or something really basic. And it’s uncanny how it’s nearly always exactly what I really need for testing a recipe or something. Maybe you’re right about the implants taking place when we’re all waiting for our carte de sejours. Although that should only take a few minutes, at most…whereas what are they doing the rest of the time that we’re all waiting?

    • Holly B @ Recipes from a Normal Mum

    Wow! That’s a lot of Nutella for one person to eat in a week but I’m always up for a challenge. And I guess it would do just nicely for making Nutella swirled ice cream? And on a librarian note, they are indeed wild. A friend of mine is a librarian and what happens at their Christmas get together would make your milk curdle…

    • Fiona

    I feel guilty every time I buy a jar of Nutella for my teenage boys – I’m just feeding their sugar addiction. I’m going to buy the ingredients and tell them they have to make their own – much healthier. I think they’ll manage to get through a couple of jars in a week!
    Great post – thanks

    • Fazal Majid

    I made a batch once with half pan-roasted hazelnuts (skinning them is indeed a major pain in the backside) and half pistachios, plus a sprinkling of pecans. Just pour the ingredients in a Vita-Mix and follow the instructions for nut butters. No sugar or milk needed beyond that supplied in 70% chocolate. I didn’t keep track of proportions and just winged it, but the result was delicious. As you, the mixture was alarmingly liquid (and hot), but refrigeration took care of it.

    I grew up on Nutella growing up in France in the 70s, but now that I live in San Francisco, I prefer the Rongoni di Asiago “Nocciolata”, which has significantly more hazelnuts and less sugar or oil. Nutella in the US used to have peanut oil, which alters the taste, not to mention its incredibly bad nutritional profile, but they seem to have rectified that in more recent batches.

    • Georgette G

    WOW David,

    Thanks for posting this recipe on your site. I was looking for a recipe like this for quite awhile (I received various recipes from different resources, but none were as perfect as this one). The only thing I miss is the ability to obtain real Piedmont hazelnuts (I had a resource for that while living in New York City; they imported vacuum-packed hazelnuts for chocolatiers directly from Italy); but I can not locate them anymore.

    Thanks again for making my grandchildren very happy

    • Colin

    “…with nuts firmly in my grasp…”

    that you typically strike me as being so vanilla just makes your subtler, edgier, tonge-in-cheek moments really shine, dear David. I chuckled aloud when I noticed that you snuck that one in there.

    • Colin

    especially considering you censored even the word “blow” but a few lines before

    what acts indeed?

    • Jane in Denmark

    Once I tasted Nocciolata, I knew I could never go back to Nutella.

    • K

    Are you talking about Moosewood? I used to cook there in the early 90’s, and it sounds very close to what you described. I have a guess as to who “Mary Smith” is, if that’s the case. It was a great place to work, probably still is.

    • Wendy @ Obesebaby

    Wow awsome, so you don’t need to buy jar Nutella anymore. Next time maybe try peanut butter ?

    • Frokostplatter

    That “Nutella” or hazelnuts-cream seems very delicious.

    • Paige

    I would give my right arm for a jar like yours with the “Fermer” and “Ouvrir” on the lid! I love it! Also, thanks for the recipe! It sounds heavenly!

    • Jade

    Why, oh why, are you writing such good recipes?!?! :) It’s not so good for my “tour de taille”!

    • The Teacher Cooks

    Your story was very entertaining to read and am very happy to get the nutella recipe!

    • sandy

    is there anyway of making it keep a little longer. Because if I only have one week to eat it… it could be dangerous to my middle. thank you for the great recipes!

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    sandy: I don’t know but if someone wants to try freezing it, I’d be interested in hearing how it turns out. Another option is to just cut the recipe in half, although I had zero trouble giving away extra jars : )

    Colin: Oh, the stories I have about my restaurant days. However there’s quite a few readers with sensibilities different than mine (and yours, most likely as well.) Someday maybe I’ll start a top-secret blog under a pen name and reveal everything. But for now, it’s about hazelnut paste (and carrots, where applicable. )

    • kayenne

    i don’t see any issue with using low-fat or skimmed milk in this recipe. in a pinch, i think you can even use non-dairy creamer – like the ones for coffee. the powdered milk’s purpose seemed to be to give the spread more body and keep it from getting too runny.

    going further, i would be interested to try going dairy-free (or even vegan – just skip the honey and use another liquid sugar) and swapping the whole milk with nut milk – maybe almond and using all-dark chocolate.

    • Norine

    soooooo who delivered the carrots?

    • iris

    wowwwwwwww!!! I love Nutella !!!! looks yumm

    • Vicki

    None of my cookbooks have a nutella recipe in them — thanks David. Speaking of cookbooks, I have an embarrassing number of them. I can’t buy anymore because there is NO PLACE to put them in my house — they’re stacked in closets as it is. I’m starting to wonder if I have a problem….

    • Stephanie

    Lovely recipe David :)
    My entire family gave up hydrogenated oils so sadly Nutella has been off of our shopping list for a while. I never got around to looking for a recipe and am so happy to hav ethis one. I totally agree with your thoughts of omitting the almonds and one of the chocolates….I will try it and let you know.
    Oh, and I am sure you have heard of it, but at Le Pain Quotidien in Paris they do have nice chocolate/hazlenut spread…..among other things.

    • Colleen

    I am certain that this wasn’t the problem on your search, but I have to share: When I was in college, I worked for an upmarket cooking store in Denver. Very near the end of a long day, an exasperated woman came in, looking for hazelnuts. She’d been all around town on her search and had reached her wit’s end. Rather tentatively I asked her (fearing for one of our lives), “Did you happen to see any filberts?”
    “Why, yes.”
    “They’re the same thing.”
    “You’re kidding me?!”
    She blushed and was out the door like a shot.

    • deedee

    Has anyone tried powdered goat’s milk in place of whole milk? Do you think it would change the consistency much? I have all of the ingredients, just powdered goat’s milk (bought for a homemade facial mask recipe). Should I try, or hold out for the whole dried milk? That might be a search, I work at Whole Foods and we only have non-fat powdered at my location. Does anyone else think this recipe might need a little vanilla extract as well?

    • molly

    bless you bless you bless you …

    just landed 4# of hazlenuts last week from my favorite dealer, Holmquist Orchards in Washington State.

    hazlenuts, meet your destiny…

    • Tenina

    Hi David, your nutella looks fantastic….cannot buy the stuff any more. Have to make it and I use ALL dark chocolate. Then I can claim it as a health food…all those antioxidants!

    • arline of va

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. My family and I love Nutella and this home-made version will be healthier for us. I will make it soon. I’ve been trying to convert the little kids from peanut butter to Nutella. I miss the street vendors in Paris selling Nutella crepes!

    • Dean

    I recently started a list of blogs & sites to feed my daily insatiable quest for recipes, techniques and anything food…David, your on the list, and I have enjoyed the site so far.

    Today, I headed to Chef Central in Paramus, NJ after a half-day of mundane, but not required, so-called work. I planned the night of super bowl sunday (I won $$$$) to buy some kitchen gadget…so I perused my wish list: immersion blender, food processor, vita-mix blender. I bought a Cuisinart and immersion blender and traveled home to chop, slice, grate, puree, and FOAM something…anything. YES, HOMEMADE NUTELLA…thank you, David. 2 jars will work just fine.

    • Dean

    shoot, btw, I did use non-fat powdered milk, non-instant by Organic Valley…purchased at a Whole Foods.

    • Seth

    I’ve been using Kettle (potato chip brand) hazelnut butter for buttercream, cake and gianduja. Just ground hazelnuts. Sounds perfect for this. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Jennifer

    This is so fantastic…but can you add to your list of future kitchen endeavors to recreate a homemade Speculoos cream? The jar we brought back from Paris in December is dwindling and there are no American suppliers to be found. Kthxbye. xoxo

    • Jen

    Great post! I live in the Netherlands and I am frequently frustrated by the seeming disappearance of ingredients as soon as I go look for them… such as almonds, which have somehow disappeared in the past few weeks. Now when I go home I’m struck dumb upon entering a Safeway, Whole Foods or TJs. So much choice, all of the time!

    But luckily I have an amazing Arab grocer down the street — they typically have everything, including hazelnuts! Can’t wait to try this recipe.

    • Vidya

    I find it hilarious that you had trouble finding milk chocolate in Paris when Milka is available practically everywhere. Man they really must have implanted something in your brain. I would make this but it’ll last approximately two hours so I’ll save myself the trouble.

    • Tracy in Seattle

    This recipe is amazing! For those who want a vegan alternative, the following also is lovely, and I have no trouble giving it away. It keeps a month, but it generally doesn’t make it that long.

    8 oz. raw hazelnuts
    ¼ cup vegetable oil
    ½ t. vanilla
    1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
    ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    Preheat oven to 350

    Roast Hazelnuts: Lay hazelnuts on baking sheet. Bake until the skins are very dark and nut is dark brown, about 12-15 minutes. Halfway through baking, stir nuts to ensure even heating.

    Remove skins: Let hazelnuts cool until you can handle them. Wrap in a clean kitchen towel and rub until the skins come off.

    Process: Process the hazelnuts in a food processor, scraping down the sides when necessary. The hazelnuts will progress from chopped to a finer texture and then clump around the blades. Continue to process until the oils are extracted and they are liquefied, a total of about 4-6 minutes of processing.

    Flavor: Add sugar, vanilla, and cocoa, processing briefly. Scrape down the sides if necessary.

    Adjust consistency: If the mixture is too thick, add small amount of vegetable oil (1 t. at a time) and process briefly until desired consistency is reached.

    Store in refrigerator in airtight container up to 1 month

    • Christine

    Fantastic recipe and my daughter will love it! I see friends of mine getting jars of this as hostess gifts. Thanks so much for posting this!

    • Sucia

    Incredible! I can’t wait until I get to try this out. It would totally beat jam when it comes to giving Christmas spreads. Thanks for figuring this out.

    • holly

    another spectacular-sounding recipe, david! can you think of any reason it would only last one week in the fridge? seems like something that would keep a long time, if one had the gumption not to eat it all up…

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      All I can think of is that there is a lot of fresh milk in there, and not a lot of sugar which would preserve it, hence the one week advisement.

    • Deena

    We love to eat bread especially with yummy spread or dip… This homemade nutella is definitely worth trying and I can’t wait to buy all those ingredients and try making our very own spread. It is really a great feeling to make things on your own especially if you have kids and husband to impress.

    • Sian Breslin

    Yum…..Homemade nutella don’t think it gets much better

    • porkchop

    My introduction to David !!! love the carrots and nuts comments ( Colin) – and the comment policy advice to ‘don’t be a douche’ I can tell this site is gonna rock- and homemade Nutella with DARK chocolate – heaven ! merci shlomo !!

    • Heather

    I ate an entire jar of David’s home made Nutella in two days (I was leaving for vacation for a week, so I had to finish it, right?) As someone who loves the nuttiness, I thought this was even better than the stuff in the stores…perhaps there’s less sugar than in the commercial stuff, because I didn’t feel sick at all!

    I know, David, maybe that sounds like a backhanded compliment, but wouldn’t YOU buy a jar of Nutella that said “Eat the whole jar and you won’t fall into a sugar coma!” on the label? ;-)


    • Laura

    Laughed out loud at the “Mary Smith” story and think there may be another book brewing about your restaurant days, David….Just made your homemade nutella this morning as a little Valentine’s Day gift for my family. I used only dark chocolate because I didn’t have any milk chocolate, and everyone loved it. Thank you for your wonderful recipe.

    • Amy

    What does “librarianish in demeanor” mean, exactly? I’m a librarian and, honestly, we’re not all alike.

    • cathy lee

    I just made nutella the other week, except without milk, powdered milk, almonds, honey– I followed the LATimes recipe from a year or so ago and put hazlenuts, powdered sugar, and valrhona cocoa powder but found it intensely hazlenutty but lacking the yummy milk quality of nutella. So.. I added two Lindt milk chocolate bars and found the flavor more to my liking. Your recipe sounds great, except my concern would be that it wouldn’t keep as long (perhaps not a problem though if it tastes as good as it sounds). BTW- you saved me once by posting a fabulous german chocolate cake recipe; would you please consider posting a chocolate malt biscuit recipe, like the biscuits used in Tim Tams (but perhaps less sweet)? There seems to be high demand out there for a homemade Tim Tam recipe. Martha Stewart and Nancy Baggett both have recipes on chocolate malt cookies, but somehow, both don’t seem like they would capture that ethereal candy crunch of Tim Tams. And their filling contains cream cheese, which I am not terribly fond of. I am certain you could do better than both of them!

    • Nouk

    Does it taste as Nutella?

    • Pinar

    Hi David;
    Great recipe! I’d like to try it. However, I wonder what happens if powdered milk is omitted from the recipe. Is it absolutely necessary to use it?


    • sheila @ Elements

    I would love to make this one day, and I hope that when I do that I’m able to find some pre-skinned hazelnuts. I tried removing the skins once when I made a hazelnut cake, and after an hour of trying and barely getting the skins off, I just gave up. I’m not a quitter but it was 3 a.m. and I was getting sleepy.

    Anyway, the combination of chocolate and seafood doesn’t sound appetizing to me either. Although I must say that chocolate and chicken goes together quite nicely, and that was an unexpected surprise. I just made it way too spicy and that kept me from enjoying it the way I would have liked.

    Anyway, your homemade spread looks divine! :)

    • Taschl

    Just tried the recipe with low fat powdered milk and it worked out perfectly. (Though I don’t have the comparison how it would be with whole fat powedered milk)
    Next time I would only use 350g whole milk since for a spread it was a bit too liquid.

    Great recipe!

    • The Jewish Hostess

    I just gained 10 pounds reading this recipe but I still cant wait to try it!

    • Tricia

    There’s a recipe for homemade Nutella in Baked’s new cookbook Baked Explorations, in case you want another for comparison. In my humble opinion, one can never taste-test too many types of nutella.

    • Jiahui

    Thanks for this recipe! I made it almost 2 weeks ago, with all hazelnuts, no honey, and all dark chocolate. I only had 2% milk and nonfat milk powder on hand, did not strain, and it turned out wonderfully.


Get David's newsletter sent right to your Inbox!


Sign up for my newsletter and get my FREE guidebook to the best bakeries and pastry shops in Paris...