It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Unsatisfied with store-bought Nutella, Carey Nershi of Reclaiming Provinicial is making a version that's a bit less sweet, a bit more sophisticated, and far superior. 

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I didn’t know Nutella existed until I spent a couple weeks in Germany my freshman year in college. (True story.) When I returned, eager to share tales of my European friends who ate chocolate for breakfast, I was shocked and delighted to learn that Nutella was widely available in the US, too. But, much to my dismay, it didn’t taste quite the same as the seemingly identical European variety: too sweet, too chocolatey. (I was happy to learn I wasn't just imagining things.) The only solution? Make my own.

This chocolate-hazelnut spread is a slightly grown-up version of the one you may be familiar with. It’s nutty and not too sweet, with equal parts milk and dark chocolate and the teensiest hint of almond. If you’d like to keep it dairy-free, you can substitute coconut oil and condensed almond milk. 

All in all, it’s a great (and dare I say far superior) alternative to the store-bought variety.

Homemade Nutella

Makes about 2 cups

To roast and peel the hazelnuts

1 1/4 cups hazelnuts
2 cups water
3 tablespoons baking soda

To make the nutella

1 1/4 cups hazelnuts, roasted and peeled
5 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons confectionery sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spread the hazelnuts out on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, stirring every 5. 

When hazelnuts have finished roasting, bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Prepare a separate bowl of cool water and set aside on the counter. Once the water on the stovetop is boiling, add 3 tablespoons of baking soda, followed by the hazelnuts. Boil for 3 minutes, drain, then add the hazelnuts to the bowl of cool water. Peel hazelnuts and discard skins.

Blend hazelnuts in a food processor or blender until they form a thick, smooth paste. This should take approximately 5 minutes. It will be crumbly at first but the crumbs will begin to come together to form a butter.

Add the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and extracts. Continue to blend until smooth, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. 

Melt together the chocolates and heavy cream in a double boiler, stirring until a smooth ganache forms. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. 

Once ganache has cooled slightly, add it to the food processor or blender and blend until just combined (around 15 seconds).

Transfer to jars and store in the fridge for up to 1 week. (The nutella will firm up slightly in the fridge, so let it sit out at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes to soften the consistency.)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Carey Nershi

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • ustabahippie
  • EatsMeetsWest
  • Callee Frith
    Callee Frith
  • catalinalacruz
  • Abby @ Happy Food Happy Home
    Abby @ Happy Food Happy Home
Lover of simple food and cocktails served with a single giant ice cube. Raised in the NY Schoharie Valley; currently residing in Burlington, VT. Blogger at


ustabahippie January 14, 2014
I might try this! I found Safeway brand hazelnut spread, right next to the Nutella, is less expensive and has real vanilla in it. Tastes pretty much the same though. I think I'll look for the Italian version before I try to make it!
EatsMeetsWest January 13, 2014
All I have to say is wow. I can't wait to try this suave, European Nutella in the near future! I tried making my own Nutella a while ago, but it just didn't have the same spreadable consistency and depth of flavour of the Nutella I was used to. Mine was a bit gritty and tasted just like nuts and chocolate, so I was hoping to find a way to make it so richly smooth, delectable and tempting.

I hope this recipe accomplishes all three :)
Carey N. January 14, 2014
The grittiness is definitely the downfall of many homemade nutellas — it takes a whole lot of blending time to make those hazelnuts as smooth as possible! (I'd love to give it a go using my mother's Vitamix sometime, as I'm sure it would produce even better results than my food processor.) I hope you enjoy this one! :)
EatsMeetsWest January 14, 2014
Yeah, I know what you mean about the grittiness. I'm sure there might be a magical way to smooth out the whole thing, but I tend to be extremely impatient when I can smell DIY Nutella in the air. Thanks for all the tips, and I really do hope this recipe is the answer to the world's DIY Nutella dilemma :)

Still, I did use a blender when I made my first batch, but a lot of the hazelnuts would get stuck at the bottom. I would keep having to scoop them up from the bottom and whirling again, then a minute later, having to push up some more and continuing to whirl. To save myself from such a fate, I was wondering if adding a bit of almond oil would help with the consistency.
Callee F. January 13, 2014
This is a fantastic recipe, not only because it tastes great, but because itt will save lives! Nutella contains Palm Oil, by eating this product we are contributuing to killing the Orangutan species. Scientests estimate in 20 years Orangutans will become extinct! Palm oil contributes to deforestation in Borneo and Sumatra, the only two places on Earth where orangutans live. Trees are cut down for Palm Oil Plantations, but these trees are the Orangutan's home. Orangutans are endangered!
catalinalacruz January 12, 2014
I, too, have made my own nutella, but with walnuts and toasted walnut oil -- Walnutella. Nothing to peel. I developed 2 recipes, one with Ibarra Mexican chocolate, one with cocoa.
Larry O. January 13, 2014
Thanks for the link, bookmarked as a resource.
Carey N. January 14, 2014
Ooo, love the idea of a walnutella, especially with Mexican chocolate.
Abby @. January 11, 2014
This looks really good! Now to just get over my fear of peeling hazelnuts...
Carey N. January 12, 2014
The baking soda boil makes quick work of those pesky skins! It's like magic...or maybe "science" is more accurate. ;)
Joy W. January 10, 2014
I would leave out the almond extract... that stuff is nasty.
Martin B. January 10, 2014
can it be safely canned?
Carey N. January 11, 2014
I'd advise against canning because of the dairy/fat content. Freezing would be the best way to store this for an extended period of time.
Kitty D. March 11, 2021
"...Extended period of time". You're joking, right? Nutella never makes it to the end of the month at my house, to be honest, rarely the end of the week. ;)
Kenzi W. January 10, 2014
This. Looks. Incredible. January 10, 2014
For a simpler and closer to the real deal version check out: