© 2013 Green Kitchen Stories Homemade_nutella_0

Homemade Healthier Nutella

We got up early Saturday morning. Warmed milk in a sauce pan, mixed it with butter and maple syrup and poured it over some crumbled yeast and saffron. It was the first batch of saffron buns of the morning. Many more would come. We had asked a couple of friends to come over and help us roll them. We had such a nice morning together. Preparing the dough, kneading, talking, rolling, baking. It was like an advent celebration, but instead of eating the buns, we were baking them. A couple of hours and over a hundred saffron buns later, we loaded them into a car and handed them off at a Christmas party.

Luise had asked an organization that helps children and mothers in need if there was anything we could do to help out. And as it turned out, they needed saffron buns for a Christmas party they were arranging. We didn’t stay for the party, but apparently over 300 children and mothers came. It was a fun morning for us and it felt great to bake for someone else. I think we might have a new Christmas tradition in our house. Next year we will invite even more friends to cook or bake for a good cause. We might even challenge all of you to do the same.


Whether it is for a good cause or just for your family, these small jars filled with homemade “Nutella” are great as gifts. I was a bit hesitant to call it Nutella, as they taste so much better than the store bought version. It tastes real. Very flavorful, nutty, chocolaty and sweet. But not too sweet, just enough to enhance the hazelnut and chocolate flavor. You can make it in no-time, fill up a few jars, wrap a pretty ribbon around them and then scratch Christmas Gifts off your list. Or sell them at a market and donate the proceeds to a good cause.


Here are two other great initiatives.

• Two of our friends created a beautiful limited edition poster to help the victims of the conflict in Syria. They sell and ship worldwide. 100% of the proceeds goes directly to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

• Luisa Weiss from The Wednesday Chef is auctioning away a large part of her cookbooks to help The Invisible Child Fund. Bidding ends on Friday.


Homemade Nutella
Makes around 3 cups

3 cups / 400 g raw hazelnuts or nuts of your choice
20 fresh dates or soaked dried dates, pitted
1/2 cup / 125 ml melted cacao butter (or coconut oil, the taste will be different but delicious too)
4 tbsp cacao powder
1/2 cup / 125 ml water or more if you prefer

Preheat the oven to 150°C / 300°F. Place the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until golden and the skin is starting to crack. Keep an eye on them to avoid from burning. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Place the nuts on a rough kitchen towel and rub to remove the skin. Place in a food processor and process until completely smooth (nut butter) and the oil from the hazelnuts has released. You may want to scrape down the sides a couple of times. Melt the cacao butter on very low heat in a small saucepan. Mash the dates with a fork until the consistency of sticky caramel. Add the melted cacao butter, cacao powder, mashed dates and water to the nut butter and process until smooth. Alternatively combine the mixture by stirring with a spoon. Taste and adjust the flavors to your preference. Scoop into air tight glass jars. Keeps at least for a few weeks in the refrigerator.
Tip: Add juice and zest from 1 orange for an extra twist.
Ps. We just shot a Christmas dinner recipe and we promise to post it a few days before Santa arrives. So if you haven’t decided what to cook for Christmas, check back with us soon.


  1. Posted 17 Dec ’13 at 21:50 | #

    What I fantastic recipe! Thank you.

  2. Posted 17 Dec ’13 at 22:31 | #

    My 4 yr old needs nutella almond butter on her toast almost everyday for breakfast so you should know ow much I appreciate this recipe. Although have a question- With water in it will it stay good for long without refrigerator? In refrigerator they seem to harden.

  3. Posted 17 Dec ’13 at 22:32 | #

    Looks delicious, I’m wondering if an unsweetened version would also be tasty, sans dates, or with banana (shorter shelf life though).

    • carmen
      Posted 24 Jan ’14 at 22:51 | #

      i made this and it is not sweet at all even with the dates.

  4. Gos
    Posted 17 Dec ’13 at 22:51 | #

    That looks yummy.
    What type food processor have you got please as we are about to buy one?

    • Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 02:20 | #

      Hi Gos, we have stick blender from Braun with a mixing bowl attachment. It works great for chopping nuts into nut butter, making all kind of raw food desserts, blending pesto etc. We also have a Vitamix, but mainly use that for smoothies and soups.

      • Gos
        Posted 9 Dec ’14 at 23:15 | #

        Hi again
        I wonder how many watts has your stick blender please?

  5. Posted 17 Dec ’13 at 23:40 | #

    Your homemade nutella with dates sounds good! We have been making our own few versions for awhile at home because my kids love it on crêpes of course, apple and everything else! I sometime use a hint of lucuma or maca powder for the superfood extra and caramel flavor. :-)
    We LOVE your Saffron Buns here in our little corner, they have become part of our tradition to make them for the Holiday season. I know that a few of my students are also baking them with their children since they learned how to make them in my “Cooking with Mommy” class. YOU are spreading your love of cooking all around the world and we are truly grateful for that, thank you David, Luise and Elsa! XO

    • liv
      Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 08:53 | #

      hello, just wondering what your recipe was?? thankyou!

      • Posted 23 Dec ’13 at 06:21 | #

        Hi Liv! I would be happy to send you my hazelnut spread recipe, just send me your email address at [email protected] and I could forward you a PDF version when we return from our Holidays. Thanks to let me know if you want the cooked or Raw version. :-)

  6. Vanessa
    Posted 17 Dec ’13 at 23:55 | #

    What a great sounding (and looking) nutella recipe. And it is so inspiring to hear about Luises’s initiative for a good cause. It sounds like you had a wonderful saffron bun-morning.

  7. Crystal
    Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 00:28 | #

    Legends! I have been looking for an alternative recipe for Nutella as my 4yr old daughter could eat it everyday. Thank you for such a great and inspiring blog!

  8. Bell
    Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 00:36 | #

    how fun! homemade Nutella should be fun! if anyone ever has trouble getting the hazelnuts to become creamy after grinding, i have learned that soaking them overnight, than dehydrating them, than grinding/ toasting them makes them blend better. my raw almond butter is sooo much more gooey and smooth after soaking.

  9. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 02:00 | #

    What a great idea. I look forward to my children being a little older to be able to do something like this. And love the ‘nutella’ recipes, I make something similar but hadn’t thought of adding cacao butter. Genius~!

  10. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 04:10 | #

    what timing! i was just looking to make a fudgy candy recipe that called for nutella and I don’t have any, but i do have these ingredients….

  11. Payal
    Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 04:58 | #

    Hi! I’m frankly obsessed with your blog. I’m thinking of making these as a party favor for my daughters upcoming birthday we have themed winter ONEderland as she is turning one. How far in advance can I make them, and how long will they keep?

    Sending sunshine from San Diego ;)

  12. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 07:24 | #

    Looks so good and love the pictures!

  13. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 09:03 | #

    What a great recipe! Can I ask you what kind of camera you are using? :-) Thank you a lot for great inspiration!

  14. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 09:52 | #

    Thanks for this present idea! I had thought about doing something similar with almonds, but then promptly forgot about it. We are doing homemade gifts and donations to Oxfam this year as none of us needs anything. This will be perfect for so many people in my family. I shan’t struggle on my own cobbling together a recipe now that I see this. My Vitamix – being used to blend kale smoothies and the like – won’t know what hit it! Have a wonderful, relaxing holiday. I look forward to seeing your Christmas dinner shots.

  15. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 12:36 | #

    You are c-r-a-z-y! The good kind of crazy. The BEST kind of crazy. I hope you take that as a compliment (I would). This sound and looks so freaking delicious. And I love your way of doing good – baking. It so heartwarming. Wish you great holidays and lots of love.

  16. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 13:37 | #

    I think you may have just improved the state of my personal world. I’ve avoided nutella for a while because of the sugar content (I try not to consume the stuff). Now…at last…I’ll have nutella on a spoon again!

  17. Gos
    Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 14:43 | #

    Thank you, David.

  18. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 15:58 | #

    Awesome recipe! My sister made some ‘raw’ nutella before and it tasted pretty good. but I gotta say, this one sounds even better with toasted hazelnuts. Yum! I can’t wait to give this a try

  19. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 16:16 | #

    I seriously love everything about this. Lovely!

  20. cheri
    Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 16:41 | #

    Wow! This looks great. love your site, nice writing and pics.

  21. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 17:08 | #

    Looks gorgeous )

  22. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 18:14 | #

    This sounds absolutely perfect!

  23. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 19:06 | #

    Such a wonderful act of kindness by Luise to help children and mothers in need!
    I love your recipe for homemade Nutella!Great healthy treat, can’t wait to cook this! Great pictures- you guys are amazing!

  24. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 21:14 | #

    what a great idea – I see so many nutella recipes and always thought they sounded great – except for the fat filled nutella spread included. Now those recipes can be made much healthier.

  25. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 21:32 | #

    It’s nice that you’ve started putting quantities in grams and milliliters ! It helps !

  26. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 22:23 | #

    What a gorgeous idea, jars of this would be so lovely as a gift. My daughter first tried Nutella on pancake day last year and is something of a fan. Would love to make this much more delicious looking version with her.

  27. Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 23:18 | #

    This recipe is amazing! Life changing ;) I made it today (with coconut oil) and loved it. Thank you so much.

  28. Posted 19 Dec ’13 at 07:57 | #

    Sounds amazing! I really love nuts butters. This is just a very inspirational alternative! Thanks for sharing. I hope you’re having a wonderful week!

    Sofie x
    Little green Sofie

  29. Posted 19 Dec ’13 at 20:09 | #

    Sumptuous! Love the use of dates as natural sweetener :)

  30. Elisabeth
    Posted 20 Dec ’13 at 21:20 | #

    Looks all great! Sorry to go on about technical information: I am looking for a food processor that is strong enough to grind often quite a lot of walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds, without the nuts become butter right away. Would this be ok with the Vitamix, or is he ‘too strong’?

  31. Posted 21 Dec ’13 at 02:18 | #

    What a great idea! I’m a deep-rooted Nutella fan but hate that it has so many processed ingredients…can’t wait to try this out. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Posted 22 Dec ’13 at 07:26 | #

    I have so many nutella-nutty friends that would go crazy for this recipe. Maybe it’s time I rethink my Christmas gifts :) Hope you three are having a lovely holiday season so far!

  33. Michiel
    Posted 22 Dec ’13 at 18:56 | #

    I run into this everytime there’s a recipe involving dates: the size of dates can vary greatly. I think it would be nice if you could give some indication of the weight too. My Notella actually is more like date paste, perhaps because I used massive, gorgeous dates. Not bad, but no Nutella either…

  34. Posted 22 Dec ’13 at 19:11 | #


  35. Latifa
    Posted 24 Dec ’13 at 18:10 | #

    Wow…just made this. So easy and yummy! Thanks Davis Luise and Elsa. Happy Holidays!

  36. Posted 24 Dec ’13 at 21:27 | #

    I have some hazelnuts in the pantry. Maybe I can make some jars of this goodness in time for xmas!

  37. Francesca
    Posted 25 Dec ’13 at 15:59 | #

    Hi guys, and Merry Christmas!
    I made your delicious Nutella cream this morning and we all loved it! As soon as the cream cooled down though, the texture changed completely and the cream turned into a rather solid paste. Do you have any suggestion as for what I could do to bring it back to the original and wondeful creamy texture? Should I maybe add some water and mix everything again in the food processor?
    Thanks for your wonderful blog!
    /A Sicilian living in Stockholm :)

  38. Posted 27 Dec ’13 at 20:59 | #

    Oh wow, this was good! Thank you again for a genius recipe!


  39. Pamela
    Posted 5 Jan ’14 at 23:48 | #

    I slightly burned the pecans I used. Had to toast them in a frying pan as the oven is occupied. I made it anyway, as I couldn’t bear to discard 3 cups of nuts. Very expensive here. I added a bit of honey, but alas the burnt taste is still detectable, sadly. Any suggestions, other than to discard it? Coarsely ground salt? Orange maybe? Chipotle!

    What do you suggest?

  40. Guro
    Posted 2 Feb ’14 at 12:50 | #

    Hello David, Luise and Elsa!
    I just tried this recipe and it’s just marvellous how it is even better than regular Nutella! It has this melting-on-the-tounge quality paired up with the freshness of the dates. I’m in love. Thank you so much!
    Your work for a good cause is also great. You guys are awesome.

  41. Posted 5 Feb ’14 at 04:10 | #

    What a great idea. I look forward to my kids being a little older to be able to do something like this. And love the ‘nutella’ recipes, I make something similar but hadn’t thought of adding cacao butter. Genius~!

  42. Posted 3 Mar ’14 at 10:45 | #

    Hi there! Wow this looks incredible, I wish I had seen it before proceeding with mine at the weekend!

    Mine was a bit sticky and coated the inside of my mouth a bit. I put the recipe on my blog as it was great with my gf df vegan pancakes, but alone it would have been a bit intense.

    Am going to try this one at the weekend, am sure it will be less sticky than mine was!



  43. Jurate
    Posted 5 Mar ’14 at 13:29 | #

    wow, that’s sounds very yummy and healthy! :) must try… :))

  44. Posted 30 Mar ’14 at 16:10 | #

    Perfect, my son will love this.
    How long does it last in the fridge?
    Kind regards

  45. Jurate
    Posted 9 Apr ’14 at 21:07 | #

    so intense! I just made it!
    Sorry, I used some maple syrup and honey instead of dates (totally accidentally!), but the hazelnut taste is SO intense! :))
    Really great recipe! :)

  46. Posted 20 May ’14 at 16:18 | #

    I just made this with almond milk instead of water, it is absolutely delicious!!

  47. Simonette
    Posted 28 Dec ’15 at 11:50 | #

    Delicious taste! I was tempted to use maple syrup in stead of the dates but am so happy I followed your advice. However apparently I did do something wrong since the water and the cacao butter didn’t mix. After a night in the fridge the texture looks also a bit strange: the cacao butter has seperated from the rest and turned matt white again. Can you help me out for my next try?

  48. Posted 16 Mar ’17 at 12:17 | #

    This looks delicious. I need a healthy alternative to Nutella for my children so I’m going to try this recipe. It looks good. Thanks for sharing.

  49. Posted 23 Oct ’17 at 16:58 | #

    I totally love your recipe! I’m gonna make it next week! :)

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