Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

Working with youth has a lot of perks (and a lot of challenges). One of these perks is my schedule. As the program manager of an after school music education program, I generally work from 11am – 8pm. This may seem like the WORST for some people, but for me it has been great. Fresh out of college I had a 9-5:30 job and it just didn’t fly with me. I hated waking up and going to work knowing that by the time I was out of the office I would be too tired to do anything. As a morning person, it is awesome to have a few hours before work to whip up something fun in the kitchen, go on a walk, do yoga, or just relax and putz around the house.

Another perk? Holiday gifts! I’m not a teacher, but I work directly with the kids and their parents every single day. So when the holidays rolled around, I was so touched to be given gifts from the students and families. I received lots of Starbucks cards, a free pass to a nearby Korean spa (the besssttt), and LOTS of Ferrero Rocher chocolates…you know the ones I’m talking about – hazelnut in the center, surrounded by chocolate hazelnut cream, covered in a thin wafer thing and then another layer of milk chocolate and hazelnut pieces…AKA a little drop of heaven and an ode to my favorite combination ever – hazelnut and chocolate.

When I was growing up, Nutella was not a thing we had in the house. It may not even have been popular in the US at that time. But when I was 6, we moved to Germany and I was introduced to this delightful spread. It has never overtaken Peanut Butter – my #1 forever – but this delicious hazelnut chocolate spread is a definite favorite. In recent years I haven’t bought it because 1) I go through it too fast that it’s dangerous and 2) The amount of sugar/processed ingredients isn’t great.

So upon being reminded of my intense love of hazelnut + chocolate around the holiday times (note: all the boxes of chocolate I received are now long gone), I was motivated to make my own Chocolate Hazelnut Spread with more wholesome ingredients.

I was further inspired by this blog post about Toasted Hazelnut Butter and Hazelnut Praline Chocolate Spread. Since I don’t use metric system measurements, my recipe turned out different because I was just going by taste but check out these recipes too because they look wonderful! 🙂

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Spread


  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp raw unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (optional)
  • almond milk – until desired consistency


  1. Toast your hazelnuts in the oven. I preheated mine to 350 degrees and toasted them for 8 minutes. The outer casings got golden brown and crisped up a little!
  2. Blend your hazelnuts in a food processor or blender for a few minutes – it will get crumbly first but then will start to release the natural hazelnut oil. I opted to use my food processor because the other day my blender exploded on me during a particularly aggressive smoothie concoction.
  3. Optional: After a few minutes mine was still pretty crumbly so I added a tsp of coconut oil to help it along – it also gave it a delicious hint of coconut flavor. It probably wasn’t necessary because once you add maple syrup and almond milk, it will get liquid enough so feel free to leave it out!
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and continue blending. Scrape down the sides if the cocoa powder gets stuck!
  5. Add a splash of almond milk at a time, continuing blending, until it reaches the desired consistency. Keep tasting and add more cocoa or maple depending on how sweet and chocolatey you want it!
  6. Store it in a jar in the refrigerator and put it on everything 😉


Recommended Meal

I ate my Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Spread and a sliced banana on top of my oats this morning. Delicious!

Another idea? Spread it on your spelt bread toast 🙂




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