Homemade Nutella · GF ( 5 cups. Yup.)
Homemade “Nutella” compares to store bought as a butterfly to a moth. As a Thoroughbred stallion to a mule. Dr. Pepper to Mister Pibb. Something amazing to something mediocre. You get it.
Photos and musings on the matter here, but long story short, this is crazy easy to make. You don’t need any special culinary skills or a ton of advance planning. Just perhaps some brioche or a fresh baguette on which to spread a thick, creamy layer of the stuff…
This recipe does make a lot, 5 cups, but I didn’t cut it in half because a) it stores quite well b) once you taste it, you’ll be glad you have five cups and c) you can easily halve the recipe if you feel the need.
7 ounces water
15 ounces sugar
6 ounces corn syrup or honey
3 ounces butter (you may omit the butter for vegan/lactose free)
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, bean minced (directions below)
10 ounces hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and roughly chopped
8 ounces dark chocolate (preferably not from chips), melted & cooled
1 ounce cocoa powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
6 to 8 ounces hazelnut oil
Lightly grease a sheet pan with butter and set aside.
To prepare the vanilla bean, split it in half and scrape; add the bean paste into the sugar. Now, cut the bean halves in half, lengthwise. Now mince these four strips as finely as you can. Rub your vanilla coated fingers in the sugar to “clean” your fingertips without wasting the vanilla
Combine the water, sugar and vanilla bean paste, corn syrup, butter, and minced vanilla bean in a sauce pot. Turn the heat to medium and stir gently while heating to dissolve the sugar. Once the mixture starts to boil, stop stirring and let it carry on, undisturbed.
Cook until the mixture has a pale golden color, about 300° on a candy thermometer. This temperature yields the most authentic “Nutella” flavor. If you’d like a more pronounced caramel flavor, let the mixture darken to a foxy amber.
Shut off the heat, add in the toasted hazelnuts and stir thoroughly. Pour the mixture onto the sheet pan and spread it out with your spatula. Compared to the average batch of nut-brittle, there are a lot of nuts and not so much brittle. So the mixture will seem quite thick, but that is quite fine.
When the brittle has cooled completely, chop it roughly with a knife to make it a little more manageable for your food processor. Take care if you break it up with your hands. I’ve actually cut myself pretty badly before with a sharp piece of brittle. (Brutal brittle!)
Put about half the brittle in the food processor and begin pulsing to chop it into smaller bits. Add the rest of the brittle in, pulsing the blade all the while, and then just let the processor run until it begins to form a paste.
Shut off the processor, pour in all of the cooled chocolate, cocoa, and salt. Replace the lid and continue to run until the mixture is homogeneous. Then, with the mixer still running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Use the full 8 ounces if you would like a thinner texture, use less for a thicker, more traditional spread.
If you’re anything like me, you will immediately begin dipping any available food stuffs into the mixture, baguette being the first and best option. Bananas second. Followed by pretty much anything. Once you’ve had your fill, transfer the mixture to jars. You’ll have about 5 cups, depending on how hard you snacked first.
When it’s fresh off the food processor, the mixture will be disturbingly liquidy. But it will set up to smooth, creamy, Nutella-like texture as the chocolate cools. If your kitchen is quite cold, it will set up much faster. I made this at work where it is about 60° and it set up fast. Whenever I make it at home (a balmy 72°) it can take several hours.
Store at room temperature, for up to two weeks. Refrigerate or freeze indefinitely. Just take care not to microwave the mixture if you are thawing it out, the heat will cause the crystallized sugar to melt out, destroying the additively crunchy texture of the paste.
If you’re looking for clever ways to use up a good portion of your Nutella, try layering it with the vanilla wafers in banana pudding!
Pumpkin Seed Variation
Use toasted pumpkin seeds in place of hazelnuts and replace the hazelnut oil with pumpkin seed oil. Couldn’t be easier!
Jan 31, 2011 · 7:46 PM
Sally, thanks for your comment! I’ve updated the recipe to take the assumption factor out! I formulated this recipe using a 72% dark chocolate. Because the recipe already has a decent amount of sugar, the bitterness of dark chocolate brings the whole thing into balance. Of course you could use a sweeter or milk chocolate if you prefer, but I think you will find you need to increase the salt to compensate for the additional sweetness.
Thanks again for your comment, the recipe really did need that clarification!
Jun 26, 2011 · 2:28 PM
I kinda love that this recipe is a cinch to veganize. I grew up on Nutella but when I went vegan, I found myself missing it—until I discovered Valsoia vegan hazelnut spread in Italy. I’ve literally brought home jars of the stuff—which doesn’t contain the freaky ingredients of Nutella—each time I visit Italy, but it’s great to have this recipe on hand. You are a rockstar. Thank you for sharing this!
· lavegetaliana · http://veganinsuburbia.blogspot.com
Jun 26, 2011 · 2:40 PM
@lavegetaliana, I haven’t noticed any difference between making it with and without butter, sometimes I leave it out, just on a whim. I may remove it from the recipe to further streamline the process, since its absence isn’t missed. We could all save some calories and have a purely vegan recipe to boot! Lemme know if you make it, I’d love your feedback. Cheers!
Sep 29, 2011 · 4:22 PM
if the lack of butter doesn’t really seem to make a difference, what is its actual purpose in the recipe? i’m all for butter, butter, and more butter, where ever it makes life more tasty, but what is its purpose here?
· threeblondesandatomas · http://threeblondesandatomas.wordpress.com
Sep 29, 2011 · 9:08 PM
@threeblondesandatomas, You could say the butter is a vestigial ingredient. The recipe started out with me seeing my hazelnut brittle and thinking, “Hmmm, if I ground this up with chocolate I bet it would be Nutella-y!” And I did, and it was. Of course, once you pour in that much chocolate and oil, the butter gets lost, but I write these recipes to keep a record of exactly what I do at work.
I almost always make this Nutella as a way to use up leftover hazelnut brittle, which I make with butter to give it opacity and that buttery crunch. But since most people will probably make this from the ground up, and I thought it was only fair to let them know they could leave the butter out if they wanted. Sorry for the long winded answer, haha. Cheers!
Sep 29, 2011 · 10:43 PM
And for those who use Metric (that would be me and all my friends on FB who I just sent this recipe to):
170gm corn syrup or honey
85gm butter (you may omit the butter for vegan/lactose free)
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, bean minced (directions below)
285gm hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and roughly chopped
225gm dark chocolate (preferably not from chips), melted & cooled
28gm cocoa powder
3/4 tsp salt
170gm – 225gm hazelnut oil
· Melinda · http://melbrennan.com
Sep 29, 2011 · 11:25 PM
@Melinda, thanks for the metric conversion, you’re a doll!
Oct 25, 2011 · 12:33 PM
Stella is there a substitute for hazelnut oil? I’m not sure if I’ve seen it anywhere here. Would any other kind of oil/ingredient work? And would it be okay to use golden syrup in place of the corn syrup or honey? Thanks! Oh, and I’d like you to know that I LOVE all your ‘homemade’ recipes. I love trying to make things from scratch. It feels good to know what goes inside what you make, the process involved and of course the end-result!
· Sumaiyyah · http://everylittlecrumb.blogspot.com
Oct 25, 2011 · 9:18 PM
@Sumaiyyah, you can by all means use any neutral flavored or slightly nutty oil of your choosing. I’ve made it with peanut oil and it turned out great. The hazelnut oil does amplify the hazelnut flavor, but it’s plenty delicious without it thanks to all the hazelnuts and chocolate. And yes, golden syrup will work nicely. Good luck!
Nov 07, 2011 · 9:00 AM
Hi! Great recipe! I was wondering if it’s possible to can this, because I wanted to make it into some cool christmas presents. Since i don’t really have much time (or a large freezer) i needed to make it in advance, and didn’t want it to spoil and make people sick… So… can you help me?
Nov 07, 2011 · 10:12 PM
@verusketa, I don’t know much about canning, so I’m afraid I can’t give you much advice there. However, if you omit the butter, the recipe is made of incredibly shelf stable ingredients: sugar, chocolate, oil, and nuts. You can make up a batch and store it at cool room temperature almost indefinitely so long as you take care to use sanitary tools & avoid touching or double dipping.
Feb 05, 2012 · 5:54 PM
woah this looks awesome. I have made nutella before but a much simpler version and I never so much liked how it turned out. Have to try this!
· Laura Ganssle · http://foodinspires.blogspot.com/2012
Feb 05, 2012 · 6:30 PM
@Laura, I think you’ll love it. It’s such a powerhouse in the kitchen, you can brush a smear onto a plate for garnish, drizzle it into ice cream (where the oil keeps it creamy), bake it in brownies, use it to fill macarons, whip into buttercream, or refrigerate and cut into squares for mignardise. I can’t get enough of it!
Apr 06, 2012 · 2:45 AM
This is totally random, but the plate in the third photo is like the dishes I grew up with! All the more reason to make this glorious spread…
· Jessica · http://bakemeaway.wordpress.com
Apr 06, 2012 · 10:22 AM
@Jessica, ahh! That’s funny! It’s actually Sarah Jane’s plate, I sent her home with a jar of the “nutella” as homework so she just shot them on her own dishes at home. I saw my childhood dishes on a tv show once, it makes you strangely excited to see them, doesn’t it?
Apr 06, 2012 · 8:08 PM
Went on a massive baking spree once I discovered your website, love your blog, made the nutella, buttercream and macarons all at once! The only thing is that I’d never made brittle before, and the thermometer I used wasn’t a proper cooking one (not sure if that makes much difference?) so I ended up cooking the brittle for at least 10 minutes, and there’s a fairly strong caramel flavour to the nutella. The thing is that the mixture turned a pale golden colour fairly quickly, but it took ages to reach the 300 degrees! According to my thermometer. Could you give me an idea of how long it’s supposed to take? And whether it’s better to go by colour or temperature? For future reference Saying that, it didn’t stop me from eating an entire jar in a week… it’s homemade, has to be healthier than store-bought!
Apr 07, 2012 · 2:27 PM
@mightyjo, what kind of thermometer were you using? Most non-candy thermometers don’t register temperatures as high as 300°. It may be that yours is old and no longer properly calibrated, but it could also have to do with positioning.
To get an accurate reading, it’s important that the tip of the thermometer is fully submerged. If you were using a larger pot, the mixture may have been too shallow to fully cover the thermometer bulb. So despite the caramel reaching the right color/temperature, the thermometer couldn’t get an accurate reading (essentially just giving a reading for the surface or ambient temperature, which would be much lower).
There’s no specific time that it takes to get the right color temperature because there are so many variables. The specific heat of a stove’s eye, whether gas or electric, the type of pot used (stainless? copper? heavy bottomed? thin?), the size of the pot (large surface area speeds things up), etc.
In this case your eye is the best judge. The nutella definitely has some caramel hints because it’s made from caramelized sugar, but it sounds like your thermometer gave you some trouble and you wound up with a darker caramel than you would have liked. Next time, I’d say don’t worry about the temperature and just pull the caramel when it looks right to you. Aim for a pale golden color if you want a less pronounced caramel flavor.
Hope that helps!
Apr 07, 2012 · 8:23 PM
I was using a digital thermometer… I figured if it could read up to 300degrees, putting it in a saucepan of hot caramel should be fine… I didn’t check the calibration cos it was brand new, but maybe that’s the issue.
Just gives me a justification to have another go
Apr 08, 2012 · 12:13 PM
@mightyjo, if it’s new, it’s probably still calibrated accurately. It just depends on the brand and its intended operational range. I have three digital kitchen thermometers, but only one’s any good for candy. One is a meat thermometer, so it just doesn’t register high temps because meat isn’t cooked that high. The other is a laser thermometer, so it’s not reliable since it only measures surface temp.
But clearly, this all is just a pretext for more nutella. Happy baking!
May 20, 2012 · 12:32 AM
My friend and I tried to make the nutella this evening but the brittle never set up. Does the brittle take more than a few hours to set up? It hasn’t harden yet and is really stick not hard. Is there any saving it or should we scrap it and start again? Any ideas what could have gone wrong?
May 20, 2012 · 1:03 AM
@sarahroselo, Oh no! Sadly, if a brittle doesn’t set up as soon as it cools, it never will. A few questions so we can figure out maybe if something went awry along the way: did you use a scale or make any substitutions? Did you cook it until 300° or judge by color?
When brittles don’t set up, it’s usually due to not being cooked long enough or the ingredients being off balance; just trying to collect a little extra info to help diagnose.
Sep 16, 2012 · 12:56 PM
Hi Anna! I think corn syrup is more authentic, while honey is more of a “gourmet” upgrade. You can absolutely use blanched hazelnuts, just toast them until they’re golden brown and you’re ready to rock and roll. How convenient! Skinning hazelnuts is so tedious…
Jan 15, 2013 · 7:49 AM
Hi Linda! You’ve got some lucky friends, haha. So glad you found it worth the effort, yay!
Feb 26, 2013 · 3:06 PM
@ sarahroselo Hey I had the same problem of my brittle never becoming well..brittle. I ended up leaving it overnight to set up (which it never did). I then scraped it all up and put it back in the pot the next day and boiled the whole thing down till I was sure it was a darker color. It then setup great (within 30 min) on the cookie sheet. It doesn’t seem to effect the nutella in the end (even though I boiled the sugar with the hazelnuts in it). But only time will tell if it causes a problem with storage.
Feb 26, 2013 · 6:01 PM
Hi Alexandria. Ugh, bummer! I hate hearing you had trouble with the recipe, but glad you were able to work it out! Genius move to melt and reboil. Did you eyeball the mixture, or use a thermometer? Just curious, so I can figure out a way to rewrite the recipe to prevent others from having trouble.
Mar 08, 2013 · 5:19 PM
Hi Stella! I did originally use a candy thermometer. I only made a half batch and was worried that maybe the thermometer wasn’t deep enough (it looked like the tip was completely covered by the mixture). However, at about 200-220 degrees it seemed stuck. The mixture continued to boil and do its thing but the temperature never moved. I saw the color start to become pale golden and so I proceeded with the recipe. I also had a similar problem with the sage marshmallows. The marshmallows foamed and boiled up almost spilling over the pot even though I had it on the right heat. It ended up almost covering the parts of the thermometer I needed to see. So I had to reduce the heat a bit and wipe down the thermometer, though with that project they did eventually reach the right temperature (it just took a long time and I was very nervous). Maybe I’m just not patient enough? If you can give a time estimate for these things perhaps that would keep people like me from taking it off the heat too soon. I’m always afraid I’m going to burn whatever it is I’m cooking. So when in doubt, I figure it’s better to pull it since you can always put it back in the pot if it’s too underdone.
Mar 09, 2013 · 6:20 PM
Hi Alexandria! Hmmm, it very well may be the candy mixture wasn’t deep enough for your thermometer to get a good read. I’ve seen that happen on more than one occasion for sure. It might also be that your thermometer is out of whack. Try boiling up a pot of water. Clip on the thermometer and check the temperature— it should be 212° F.
I don’t usually give time estimates on stovetop projects because the time can change so dramatically based on the size of the pot, type of metal, thickness, heat level, gas vs electric, etc, etc. It might only take 15 minutes in a stainless pot over a medium flame, but it could take 45 in a Dutch oven over medium-low electric coils (which take longer to heat up). As a result, I’ve always just stuck with giving a temperature rather than a time. The time it takes doesn’t matter and can vary from kitchen to kitchen, but the temperature is what’s really important.
I’m curious about the foaming marshmallows, though! I’ve experienced foaming with things like honey or molasses in the marshmallows, but not with just plain sage. Hmmm! It might have been just too small of a pot, the syrup is more likely to “climb the walls” when it doesn’t have sufficient room.
May 13, 2013 · 5:37 PM
I was wondering if you had ever tried a simpler recipe like: http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/blogs/diyboston/2013/03/easy_homemade_nutella_from_americas_test_kitchens_diy_cookbook.html
Usually I shy away from anything with powdered sugar (and towards things with caramelized sugar but your recipe has two times as much sugar as nuts, while theirs has half as much sugar as nuts, plus far less oil. More nuts seems better.
I’m just trying to understand why the recipes are so different (being wary to experiment since hazelnuts and especially hazelnut oil are so expensive)!.
May 14, 2013 · 9:53 AM
Hi Katie! We’re in the same boat, I’m definitely not much of a powdered sugar girl.
This recipe isn’t really Nutella so much as it’s made after the candy that Nutella was based once on (gianduja). It has a crispy, crunchy texture from the candied nut pieces, and is a form of candy in the truest sense. The other recipe likely produces a very peanut butter-like texture, closer to the modern Nutella. It really depends on what texture you’re ultimately after. I use mine as a dessert component, rather than at mealtime, so the sugar content isn’t worrisome to me. But if you were making it for breakfast sandwiches or family snacks, I can see that the lower sugar version would be more realistic for everyday eating.
Hope that info helps you decide between the two.
Sep 20, 2013 · 1:56 PM
Hi Stella, I just found your site yesterday and there are so many great recipes here, but I had to immediately run out to get ingredients for this nutella and make it after work last night. Although it didn’t thicken quite as much as I’d hoped, it turned out great!
But I was just wondering, would there would be any problems baking with this version? I have several recipes that utilize nutella and I didn’t know if differences between store-bought and homemade would effect the outcome of my baked goods. Thoughts?
Sep 25, 2013 · 11:16 AM
Hi Jason! Sorry to take so long to get back with you. I’m not sure that this one would bake as well, given the caramelized sugar content, which I fear would simply liquify in the oven. I haven’t tried anything like that myself, so I’m not sure how it would hold up.
If you try making it again, you can cut back on the oil or add it to adjust the texture to be what you’d like. I mostly use it as a sauce, so I tend to make it on the thinner side.