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. 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?

  2. 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. ????

    1. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Yummy chocolate is my favourite, I needed this recipe next Sunday….everyone gets more fun after my mum birthday party too :)