Spicy Chocolate Walnut Butter

This spicy chocolate walnut butter is delicious on bread, in oatmeal or by itself with a spoon!

As this posts I’ll be sitting on a dirty metro north train headed into NYC for Blogher. It’s my first blogging conference and it’s a big one. There are facebook groups filled with people who have been flipping out, talking about swag, private parties, elevator pitches, companies/brands/sponsors for months. If I can be honest (and when am I not?), it’s slightly insane and it completely overwhelms me. Elevator pitches? I mean really. I do that for my day job, not for blogging. Swag’s cool, but it’s just another thing to carry back home with me on subways and trains. And private parties are probably my worst nightmare. I’m in sales for my real job so you’d think I’d be that super outgoing, introduce myself to everyone kind of person. Oh, no. No, no, no. When I’m forced to go to conferences for work, I spend the entire time pretty much wanting to hide in the corner rather than introduce myself and talk about my company. But at least that’s work and there’s some separation between work me and real me. This is full out real me. A private party filled with people I don’t know (or do because I read their lives online but they have no idea who I am) and big time companies makes me want to vomit.

Chocolate walnut butter

So yeah, this should be interesting. I’m psyched and freaked all at the same time with butterflies in my stomach that make me feel like I’m 16 waiting to be kissed on a date.

Chocolate walnut butter

The awesome people at California Walnuts are making this conference possible for me because apparently putting yourself in highly awkward, want to crawl and hide situations all weekend is expensive!

I’ve made my share of nut butters at home since getting a legit food processor but the one I hadn’t attempted was walnut butter. Probably because Ulysses is a little walnut fiend and they always seem to be disappearing into morning bowls of oatmeal and salads as I watch him like a hawk cringing at the fact that he’s literally crumbling $5 worth of nuts onto his meal. Moderation is not his strong suit. This time, I was explicit. Do not use the walnuts this week, I’m MAKING something with them.

And so we have spicy chocolate walnut butter. What’s better than nut butter? Chocolate. What’s better than chocolate? Spicy chocolate. Et voila.

Chocolate and spice walnut butter

You’re welcome. I did it for you. Now please say a prayer that I survive this weekend.

And a major thanks to California Walnuts for their sponsorship. I’m incredibly grateful.

Spicy chocolate walnut butter

Spicy Chocolate Walnut Butter

Yield: about 1 cup
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes

This spicy chocolate walnut butter is delicious on bread, in oatmeal or by itself with a spoon!


  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon dark unsweeteend cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for about 7 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don't burn.
  3. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer walnuts to a food processor and process for about 2-3 minutes until they start forming a butter like consistency.
  5. Add cocoa powder, cayenne, salt, vanilla and maple syrup and process for another 2-3 minutes. Mixture should be slightly drippy but still hold shape.
  6. Transfer nut butter to a small bowl and top with chocolate chips if using.


Stored at room temperature it will remain drippy. If stored in fridge it will harden slightly.


Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen



  1. barbara

    This post reminds me of when you were 4 and spent 6 wks in play group not playing with the others but hanging around me… til the last week …. ;)

  2. Cait's Plate

    Ah! Jealous! Have so much fun! And don’t knock the metro-north – have you ever been on Penn Station trains? Metro-North is a dream compared to those ;)

  3. Aparna B. @ Not A Leaf

    Yay!! Congrats on going to Blogher! I’ve heard it’s fun and stuff, but I agree – seems like it’d be overwhelming. I’m sure you’ll kick ass because you kick ass :) have loads of fun! And I thank you for the nut butter. The chocolate, spicy, deliciousness that IS this nut butter.

  4. Amanda

    I’m the same way when it comes to work versus “real” me. At my job, I’m constantly doing presentations and I used to frequently give seminars, but outside of work, I’m super shy when it comes to meeting new people. Odd how that happens. I guess it’s some sort of fear of rejection? I don’t know. I think the same thing about Blogher being overwhelming, but ultimately, I say screw the elevator pitches and just have fun!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Anne- sorry, I missed this one…yes, you could definitely do it with pecans, I bet that would be equally delicious!

  5. Ashley

    Spicy + chocolate + walnuts? Yes, please! Walnuts are my favorite! Well, maybe chocolate is more my favorite, but walnuts are definitely close behind.
    Good luck at the conference! I’m not entirely comfortable with large groups, so I like to sit back, be mostly quiet, and people watch. And have some internal commentary, like Olympic judges. I hope you have fun!

  6. Calee (@chimes)

    Woman, you read my mind. I just said last night, as I was fingering out the last little bits of PB&Co PB from TWO freaking jars (not eaten all at once, but eaten in a timespan that I’m embarrassed to share), that I’m going to be making my OWN nut butters from now on — so that I savor them more. I treat Sarah’s nutty butter like gold. So I’m sure my own batch will be treated with a similar respect.

    I’m going to try this with peanuts and agave, but I’m a sucker for anything that’s spicy and chocolate. I also have some spicy hot chocolate in my cupboard … I might maybe mix that in instead of cocoa (I think I’m out of cocoa) and hold on adding sweetener.

    Either way, I’ll let you know how my frankensteined version of this fab recipe turns out. Thanks for sharing.

    5 stars. I haven’t even made it. I licked the screen.

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Let me know how it turns out! I’ve never actually made peanut butter at home. Every other kind of nut except it for some weird reason.

  7. claire @ the realistic nutritionist

    HOLY CRAP!! Gina, this looks amazing. And yay conference! :) Um, I’m so outgoing it’s awkward. lol. Does that make sense? I can put myself into really vulnerable situations being as outgoing as I am.

    Anyway! have fun! and i hope to see you someday at a conference!

  8. Kathryn

    Have fun this weekend! I’m sure after all your nerves that you will have a fab time. I haven’t made (or even eaten) walnut butter before but this sounds ace!

  9. Anna @ hiddenponies

    Good for you for getting up the guts to go!! I’d love to be there, and then would totally get there and hide in a corner trying to absorb information and not be noticed :) You’ll have so much fun I’m sure!

  10. Heidi @ Food Doodles

    Holy, this looks amazing! I love walnuts but never made any kind of butter with them(which doesn’t make sense because I always think of them as “buttery”). Enjoy the conference as much as you can! I’d love to go to one some time, but deep down I know I’d just want to hide too so what’s the point in spending money to (want to) hide? Lol.

  11. Victoria

    This is a great recipe!
    We farm walnuts so I am always on the lookout for new walnut recipes. I substituted this instead of peanut/almond butter with my usual dessert apple slices, granola and nut butter. YUM!! Thank you

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      If you’re not using Chrome, there’s a known issue with the recipe plugin I use and the print function. I’m hoping an update comes out soon to fix it. If you can use Chrome, try to print it that way, that’s the only browser it works in. otherwise, find the recipe from my “recipage” tab up top and use the print button within that, should work. sorry for the confusion.

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  15. Kati

    This is really beautiful! I made mine with pecans because that’s what I had. It works beautifully. I used Premium Dutch Cocoa (gluten & dairy free). It’s so dark, rich and 100% pure. So beautiful you can have have a hot cocoa without any sugars. I also added a chocolate spice which has cassia, coriander, ginger, clove, nutmeg & double Dutch cocoa in it. And, with the cayenne I added dried Aleppo pepper. We have a spice shop that does quality spices and blends. I made a batch and put some in a jar for me and two mini containers for my family. They loved it! A great success. Just wish it made more. Will try walnuts next. Thank you for your lovely recipes. ????

  16. Azra

    Hi, I have a maybe funny question, but can I skip the maple syrup in this? I am trying to stay free of unnatural sugar?


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