Raw Cacao and Roasted Hazelnut Butter

You know that song chestnuts roasting on an open fire? Okay well I say out with the old and in with the new. I’m talking, hazelnuts roasting, but screw the open fire, those bad boys need to go in the oven. That my friends is where it’s at. And yeah I wasn’t kidding about that hazelnut spree I was talking about on my Facebook page. I cannot get off of the love of hazelnuts lately but this is my last post about hazelnuts for a while. I promise.

But I don’t think you will be too disappointed with this post even though its about hazelnuts again. Plus this is something you will be able to make fairly easily and store it for quite a while in the fridge. I am having a hard time testing it for how long it will keep because its usually gone within the week. Seriously, people love this stuff, I would say its a lot like Nutella. But a lot healthier and lower in sugar. In fact significantly healthier and not to mention incredibly nutrient dense.  You can eat this stuff every single day if you wanted to and be benefiting from it. So there is another reason to be eating chocolate hazelnut butter everyday.

Something about this recipe really warms me up inside. It just makes me happy and it fills the house with a beautiful aroma that is so sweet and so nutty it makes you want to melt straight to the floor. It also tends to make other people very happy, like really really happy. So that just makes a good point that this makes a really great gift to any friend, family member, or any ones good side you’re trying to get on. Just watch somebody when they put a spoonful of this in their mouth or take a bite out of something they may have spread it on and watch for a big grin. I know you’ll find it.

In fact one thing that happened to me recently was after receiving  help in an area of my French class from my neighbors who so happens to be french, I decided to make some of this lovely spread to give to them as a gift. Thank goodness they loved it but that’s not the significance of the story. The thing that happened was after giving them the spread the next day I received a text in class from my mom about what they had to say about my spread. And the next few lines on that text, which  I will never forget and means so much to me, was one of the best things I had ever heard in a long time. I was told that their son who apparently had not been eating breakfast for the last few weeks tasted my hazelnut butter and actually began eating breakfast again.

Now if you’re a chef or an aspiring chef, hearing something like that is one of the biggest most meaningful compliments you could ever receive  The fact that my recipe had effected someone so much to make them start eating breakfast again is not only an honor but the biggest compliment for cooking I think I could ever receive  And its something you can turn into anything. You could bake it in something, you could fill chocolate cups with it and you could spread it on just about anything. Or you could just eat it with a spoon. Yeah I’m gonna vote on eating it with a spoon. But hey, its up to you.

I would really consider the spoon option if I were you, no reason to be ashamed just jab a spoon in it and shove it in your mouth. Regardless of how that may sound it is good. But even though there is always room for “taste testing” just be sure to leave some for actually using when its done.

4.8 from 4 reviews
Raw Cacao and Roasted Hazelnut Butter
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe will make about 1 cup of spread.
  • 2 cups hazelnuts
  • 2 and ½ Tablespoons raw cacao powder (Regular Cocoa Powder works too but I highly suggest using raw cacao powder because it's delicious)
  • stevia drops or honey to taste I recommend stevia so you can have it more often (I used 20 Drops of Sweetleaf SteviaClear)
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Place hazelnuts on parchment lined rimmed baking sheet and bake in oven at 375 for 13-15 minutes, shaking occasionally to make sure they don't burn.
  2. Remove hazelnuts from the oven and place in a dishtowel and rub together vigorously until most of the skins have come off. (some wont come off)
  3. Place hazelnuts in food processor and pulse until you begin the hazelnuts are coarsely chopped.
  4. Process until smooth, stopping occasionally and making sure your food processor isn't on fire. (It will get smooth I promise just keep processing and scraping down the sides every so often)
  5. Once smooth add stevia, vanilla and raw cacao powder and process until fully incorporated. (Start with a few pulses to make sure you don't create a huge plume of cacao powder smoke so that you actually get that cacao powder in there)
  6. Pour mixture into container and store in the refrigerator. (I used miniature mason jars for these and they look great and make a perfect gift)



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  1. Courtney says

    Wow, this looks AMAZING – I can’t wait to try it! I stumbled upon your site from chow stalker and am so glad I found it! Keep the recipes coming :)

  2. Sharon says

    Your recipe sounds really good. I added it to my Key Ingredient account to try later.

    For my contribution to this blog…….I found a simpler way to skin hazelnuts that is fast and really works great. There is a video on the web somewhere that shows this from a Julia Child show.

    Anyway, I have included directions here for you. Just beware that this can become a volcano on the stove before you know it. Exciting but a mess to clean up. I guess you could bring the children in for a science experiment if you want to actually see the pot boil over by dumping the baking soda in all at once. Which I did by the way. Yikes!

    2 Cups boiling water
    3 T baking soda
    a larger pan than you think you need

    Add baking soda to boiling water but be ready to take it off burner because it can boil over very easily. Maybe stir constantly while adding baking soda might work.
    Add and boil hazelnuts for 3 min but watch pot because, again, it wants to boil over
    Drain in strainer
    Under cold water, rub skins off nuts
    I kept them in the strainer that was in a pot of cold water and rubbed all the nuts together. The skins sink to the bottom and most of the nuts float so they are easy to pick out. Other than the high probability that this concoction wants to boil over, this method works very well.

    • Slim Palate says

      Hi Sharon. I’m glad you like the recipe. Thank you for your contribution, that seems like it would be a really effective method for skinning them but I much prefer the oven roasted method for this recipe and highly suggest everyone uses the method I explain in the recipe because it roasts the hazelnuts at the same time. And when you roast the hazelnuts you get this beautiful taste that you don’t get with non roasted hazelnuts. When your roast them you really bring out the sweetness and nuttiness of them and add a slightly more crisp texture. Regardless thank you for that idea I will definitely try it when I need skinned hazelnuts without the roasting. But as I said, for this recipe I highly recommend that you roast them in the oven as it would not be the same if you didn’t. Roasting them is what makes this hazelnut butter oh so delicious. Plus it makes your house smell amazing.

  3. Ben says

    Hey Joshua,

    First of all thanks for sharing this great recipe with the rest of us. I just made my first batch and it tastes delicious!

    The one thing I’m not perfectly satisfied is the “juiciness”. What did I do wrong? Not enough nuts? Any idea?

    P.S. You’re so right, the roasted nuts smell amazing :)

    • Slim Palate says

      Hi Ben, I’m happy to know that you liked the recipe. As to the your problem with the recipe, I’m not quite sure what you mean by “juiciness” could you expand on that for me. I do want to help you figure out the problem so nobody else runs into that. I never had any problems with mine so please let me know what you mean by juiciness and I’m sure I will be able to help you out.

      • Ben says

        Mine is not as liquid as yours (based on your images). But the problem seems to be the food processor which is not as powerful as it should be for this job. I hope to get a new one soon. Any recommendations?

        • Slim Palate says

          Ah I see, you mean not as smooth. Right, in that case its more than likely your food processor or your not processing them long enough. I will say that sometimes it can take a little while to get that good smooth consistency up to 15-20 minutes worst case scenario. But if you have a good food processor then it shouldn’t take that long. The current food processor I use is a Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus 4 cup Processor. The size is reasonable and it works quite well. But if you really looking into making an investment then I would suggest the Cuisinart Prep 9. Most of the Cuisinart processors are fairly good and reliable in my opinion. I will probably have an Amazon store on here soon with all the stuff I use, so maybe that will be helpful as well. Let me know if you try it again with a different processor and how it works out for you.

  4. LXS says

    So excited to try this recipe, but I want to get the cacao powder first.
    Now, pleeeeease don’t take this the wrong way.
    I’m a teacher – French, in fact.
    I just wanted to point out a couple of punctuation/grammar errors that really detract from reading your lovely, heartfelt prose. It prompted me to read the About Me section…which helped me understand.
    However, it’s never too early for correct writing!
    You’re stands for you are.
    Your shows possession, as in ownership of something.
    It’s stand for it is.
    Its shows ownership.
    Feel free to delete this comment afterwards. I won’t be offended. I was just hoping to offer some gentle guidance.
    Bonne chance with your cooking endeavors!!!

    • Slim Palate says

      Thanks for letting me know. I am already aware of their meanings and how to use them. But I appreciate you pointing out that I made those errors anyway. I’ve gotten in a bad habit of just generalizing all of those because of Facebook and what not. I’ll work on it, and thank you for pointing out those errors, I will fix them right away. There will always be the occasional grammatical error on here simply because I’m not going to be overly critical of my writing and this is supposed to be fun, but I will pay more attention to it because I do see that there are a lot. Thanks again, and good luck with the recipe. If you need help finding the cacao powder by the way my favorite brand is: http://amzn.to/129mdN0

      • LXS says

        Yay for grammar! Its decline in our society makes my heart sad.
        Anyway…finally got to try this recipe.
        Gotta love Nutella. Never knew it was this simple.
        My only concern is that mine ended up kind of bitter, so I added some coconut sugar. Is it the stevia? I got the same ingredients that you suggested. I’ve never used liquid stevia before. I guess I thought it would be sweeter tasting.
        Or do you think it’s because I pan roasted rather than oven roasted the nuts?

        • Slim Palate says

          Hmmm, it shouldn’t be bitter at all. Because I have never used coconut sugar I cannot vouch for that. Stevia can be slightly bitter but some brands are much more bitter than others. I like to use liquid Stevia drops from Sweetleaf Stevia because its not bitter at all in my opinion. And lastly I don’t think that pan roasting them could have made them bitter, but then again you might have slightly overcooked them in the pan. That sometimes happens when you pan roast nuts and cook them a little too long or on too high heat. But I’m not 100 percent sure. Try it again by roasting them in the oven instead. It is also possible you got a bad batch of bad hazelnuts. And maybe using a different Stevia brand such as Sweetleaf Stevia or maybe something other than coconut sugar. And the only other contributing problem that I can think of is possibly the brand of cocoa powder you used. Some cocoa powders are more bitter than others and may have contributed to that but I highly doubt that the cocoa powder you used could have possibly been that bitter. But I’m so sorry it didn’t work out for your first try on it. All I can advise is that you try it again and maybe try roasting them in the oven and make sure they don’t get too brown we just want them slightly roasted and maybe try adding less Stevia or use a different brand. Some people handle Stevia taste wise differently than others. I’m less sensitive to its taste but some people find it very obtrusive, so you may want to find a different brand of Stevia or completely replace it with something else. I have heard good things from people trying it with honey. I seriously recommend Sweetleaf SteviaClear Stevia drops. I hope this helps and you are able to fix this problem. Let me know if your able to fix it and if you find out what the problem was.

  5. Wendy says

    This sounds amazing. I have a bag of cacao nibs; do you think it would work to substitute them for the powder in this recipe?

    • Slim Palate says

      That is an excellent idea. Although I am unsure of the conversion. You may want to use slightly less cacao nibs, but I’m not sure. Try substituting it in with equal parts cacao nibs and see how it goes. You may need less Stevia now that there are cacao nibs are in there.

  6. Carol Koch says

    This is a great recipe. I’m making a double batch this time and thinking about using it for filling your pecan thumbprint cookies (instead of cream cheese). What do you think?

    • Slim Palate says

      So glad you like it Carol. Yeah this stuff is absolute magic and works as a filling, topping or spread for just about anything so I think that this is an excellent addition to the thumbprint cookies. I actually had trouble deciding whether or not to do the cream cheese or this.

  7. Amrita says

    Dear Joshua,

    I found your blog from Kelly’s post over at The Spunky Coconut, and I have gone through it in one sitting! I am so amazed and inspired by your journey! Thank you for sharing!

    I just tried your Raw Cacao and Roasted Hazelnut butter, and it is delicious! In spite of repeated efforts, I’ve never gotten the hang of using Stevia (somehow, regardless of how little I use, there always seems to be an after-taste), so I used 1tbsp of honey and 1tbsp of coconut sugar for 1C of hazelnuts. It’s perfect! Just sweet enough, and the hazelnuts really shine. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with the way it turned out! Will be trying more recipes in the near future (am currently eyeing your cauliflower tortilla recipe!) :)

    Thanks again, and I wish you all the best with your continuing journey!

  8. Jennifer says

    When you put it in the mason jars and then in the fridge, do you have to “can it”? Like vacuum seal it? Does it need to cool before going in the fridge or by the time the process is done is it cooled enough?

    • Slim Palate says

      I don’t do either of those things when I refrigerate mine. I just put it in the mason jar and then in to the fridge.

  9. Martina says

    I totally love your receipes, I definitely want to try them all. I wanted to ask you about xylitol. Can it be used as a substitute for stevia? Do you have any experience with it? I noticed you don’t use it at all in your recipes but I find it a very good substitute for things like sugar and honey which I want to stay away from for now.

    • Slim Palate says

      You can absolutely use it but I don’t know exactly what the substitution would be. I used it for a little bit but it gave me very bad stomach distress every time I ate it so I stopped using it.

  10. Nechama says

    I only had about one cup of hazelnuts, so I halved the recipe, but something went amiss. When I added the cacao the hazelnuts stiffened up and nothing I did got them to a butter texture. I didn’t have Sweetleaf so I used honey, but nothing, nada, lo, zero.

    After the cocao is added is it too late to make it creamy again? What if I add some chocolate liquor?

    Please advise.

    PS I truly like your recipes, simple and delicious.

    • Slim Palate says

      I think it might have been the honey seizing the butter because that’s happened to me before. Don’t add more honey or it will just get more thick, I would add coconut milk or almond milk to thin it out.

  11. Agnieszka says

    Hi! I will surely make this! My daughter loves all kinds of chocolate and she would eat Nutella every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner if she could… She also likes peanut butter (my kids still eat that stuff, but not for long anymore). This might get her ‘converted’ to more paleo foods. And – bonus – she can eat it every day! :)
    After browsing your blog I decided to buy your book, probably even today 😀

    Keep up the good work!

    (I will not rate the recipe yet, will wait ’till I actually made it)


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