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.

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Spicy Chocolate Walnut Butter

Servings: 16 servings
Prep: 6 minutes
Cook: 7 minutes
Total: 13 minutes
Spicy chocolate walnut butter
This spicy chocolate walnut butter is delicious on bread, in oatmeal or by itself with a spoon!


  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon 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


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • 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.
  • Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer walnuts to a food processor and process for about 2-3 minutes until they start forming a butter like consistency.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 103kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0.01mgSodium: 20mgPotassium: 79mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 16IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Sauces, Dressings & Spreads
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. 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!

  2. I love the spicy kick to this! Nut butters are a serious hit in my house, but usually stick in the almond range. It’s definitely time to branch out :) Good luck at BlogHer!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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. 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.

  6. oh, i so wish i could go to blogher! what a fun conference :) and i bet you have a blast.

    as for this post, my jaw literally dropped at the first photo. WANT. NEED.

  7. 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!

  8. Walnut butter with chocolate and a nice spicy kick sounds pretty darn good! Good luck at BlogHer. :) Wish I was going!