Vegan Paleo Nutella Chocolate Cake Frosting or Spread

Vegan Paleo Nutella Chocolate Cake Frosting or Spread {Gluten-Free, Raw, & Refined Sugar-Free too}

{Gluten-Free, Vegan, Paleo, Raw, Refined Sugar-Free}

So I’ve been playing around with gluten-free, vegan, raw and paleo chocolate cake frosting recipes for a while now and felt like coming up with a recipe that is good enough for all of these diets. I think I found it! I was making a gluten-free vegan “nutella” cake the other day and discovered that hazelnuts and chocolate can actually make a pretty darn good frosting. This actually works really well as a nutella-esque spread as well by the way, so in case you were missing Nutella on your vegan or paleo diet, you’re in for a treat.

Some notes before we begin:

To make this frosting smooth, you’ll need to pre-soak your hazelnuts for at least a few hours and then strain (so that they blend down more smoothly). Alternatively, you can also just use hazelnut butter, though you may then need to add a little less non-dairy milk depending on the consistency you want.

{Note that the picture of the frosting here is a little bit grainy, and that is because I made it so for a recipe you’ll see in the next few days. It’s grainy because I didn’t pre-soak the nuts for what I wanted to use this for. So if you don’t want to pre- soak your nuts, it’ll still totally work, as you can see, but expect to have some small hazelnut grains here and there. If you’re looking for a smooth cake finish, then definitely follow the soaking or hazelnut butter tip mentioned above.}

Paleo Nutella Chocolate Cake Frosting / Spread Recipe:

* Makes just under 3 cups


1 1/2 cups hazelnuts (pre-soaked or not. See notes above)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup liquid sweetener of your choice (I used maple syrup)
3 tbsp coconut oil, liquified or just softened
1-2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk)


1. Using a food processor, grind hazelnuts down to as fine a flour as possible or down to a bit of a buttery consistency is fine too (depending on how smooth you want it to come out).

2. Add in all remaining ingredients except for the non-dairy milk, and process to combine. It’ll become hard and crumbly at this point and might even begin to form into a ball. This is totally fine.

3. Begin by adding the milk in gradually and processing the mixture in between each time until it’s reached the right consistency. I used up the whole 1/2 cup personally, but you may want to use less, so just keep adding a few tablespoons at a time until the mixture is just right. You don’t want to add too much liquid, as it can then turn out runny, so better be safe than sorry.

Use it right away or store in the fridge for later use. Also note that if you make this recipe a little in advance, you’ll need to make sure it’s at room temperature to use as a frosting. So if you’ve stored it in the fridge, you’ll need to warm it up or leave it sitting out at room temp overnight. It hardens up when cold. Similarly, if you want it to set and harden up a bit once on a cake, just put the cake in the fridge for an hour or too.

Vegan Paleo Nutella Chocolate Cake Frosting or Spread {Gluten-Free, Vegan, Paleo, Raw, Refined Sugar-Free}


xo Audrey

P.S. Look out for a delicious pie recipe using this vegan paleo nutella chocolate cake frosting in the next few days! UPDATE: here is the promised gluten-free vegan nutella cream pie recipe.



  1. Natalia says

    How long does this hazelnut spread last?

    • Audrey says

      Hi Natalia. It should be good for about a week. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months, if you’d like.

  2. Molly Nolan says

    Can you use something other than coconut oil?

    • Audrey says

      Hi Molly. If you’re using it like a spread, then I’d just use another mild flavored oil (like grapeseed oil or even something like canola, or even hazelnut oil if you want to make it more fancy). If you’re planning on using it as a frosting, then you can use some non-dairy butter (softened or melted).

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