Hazelnut butter is the best of the butters (sorry, peanut butter) and this version is sweetened with maple syrup using a special method to keep things smooth and silky. The nuts are roasted with maple syrup and cinnamon before blending, which serves three purposes: it’s a natural sweetener, which is nice, roasted nuts are easier to blend, and it lends a good toasted flavour.
All you need to make your own nut butter is a food processor and, in this case, an oven. It is slightly more involved than buying a jar at the store, but you get to completely control the add-ins – think spices, cocoa, and more.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Raw hazelnuts: I imagine you could use blanched, but I find that blanched nuts tend to take longer to blend and don’t have as nice of an end texture. To make this a little less expensive, use half sunflower seeds.
- Maple syrup: I’ve used date syrup for the pictures, because I usually have it in the house from a brand I do photography for. The original recipe called for maple syrup and both are excellent choices. You can also use a runny honey in a pinch, or another liquid sweetener you like.
- Spices: you can use any number of spices here – nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves are all nice additions depending on what you’re going for.
Step by Step
1. Mix: add all ingredients to a baking sheet with high sides and mix to coat.
2. Bake: roast the nuts for about 20 minutes, until golden.
3. Cool: set aside to cool for a few minutes before adding to a food processor.
4. Blend: start mixing. It will turn into hazelnut meal first.
5. Keep mixing: blend the butter until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
6. Finish: when ready, it will be very smooth.
If your food processor is a bit iffy, like mine, you can add a touch of coconut oil to speed things along a bit and encourage the butter to form. It’ll melt when it’s added because the hazelnuts are warm, and incorporates nicely during blending.
Keep an eye on the oven when the nuts are roasting. If your oven runs rather hot, they may burn or over-cook before the allotted time (this happened to me once – my oven was 50C too hot, disaster).
How to Store
Storage: I usually keep nut butter on the counter, but I understand that this is uncomfortable for some people (I also have a cold Dutch house). You can refrigerate it if you prefer.
Freezing: this can be frozen for up to three months in airtight containers.
- Make a chocolate version: if you want a chocolate hazelnut butter, add a tablespoon or two of cocoa (to your taste) when it’s almost finished mixing. You may need to add a bit of oil to make up for the added powder as it will make the end result slightly less smooth.
- Keep a steam opening: when blending, keep the secondary opening for the food processor lid open so that steam can escape.
- Keep blending: when you think the nut butter is ready, blend for another minute. It always needs a bit longer than thought, and you want it very smooth and runny.
More Hazelnut Recipes
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Roasted Hazelnut Butter
- 300 grams raw hazelnuts
- 60 ml maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Place the hazelnuts, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt onto a large baking sheet with higher sides.300 grams raw hazelnuts, 60 ml maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix the nuts until fully coated, then bake for about 20 minutes, or until darker in colour and slightly toasty smelling.
- Cool the nuts for a few minutes before adding to a food processor. Make sure the small opening is open, then blend, scraping down the sides as needed, for about ten minutes.
- The nuts will turn into a meal first, then start to ball together as the oils are released. Continue to blend until a very smooth, runny nut butter forms.
- Transfer the hazelnut butter into a jar or container, then cool fully at room temperature before refrigerating. This recipe makes about 500 ml, or two cups.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was originally published in February 2015. It has been updated with new photographs and information, and some very slight adjustments to the recipe, as of October 2020.