A Quick Table of Hazelnut Substitutes Comparison
|Similarity to Hazelnuts
|Flavor and Texture
|Sweeter, Smooth and buttery.
|Sweeter and nuttier. Creamy and delicate
|Stronger, slightly bitter. Creamy and chewy
|Mouth-puckering, palatable sweetness. Crunchy and creamy
|Similar to hazelnuts. Creamy and buttery
|Adds hazelnut flavor. Varies based on use
|Nutty sweetness. Smooth
|Hazelnut flavor. Liquid
|Chocolatey and hazelnutty. Creamy
|Butter Pecan Delight
|Same sweetness and crunch. Similar
- What Is Hazelnuts Exactly?
- What is a Good Substitute for Hazelnuts?
- Other Hazelnuts Substitutes You Can Try
- Allergies and Nut-Free Substitutes
- Answering Common Queries About Hazelnuts and Substitutes
Hazelnut? That’s the good stuff you find in chocolates like Ferrero Rocher and Nutella!
This type of nut brings out a unique, rich flavor that works amazingly with chocolate desserts.
But you’ll be surprised that they also work in savory dishes, adding that extra crunch to salads and slightly salty flavors.
Unfortunately, some people are allergic to hazelnuts or have none in the kitchen or supermarket. If you’re one of them, then it sucks for you!
Nah, we’re just kidding.
You can use so many hazelnut substitutes and still capture the flavor this nutritious nut offers.
Read on to find the best hazelnut substitute that suits you the most!
What Is Hazelnuts Exactly?
Hazelnuts are seeds from the hazel tree, commonly known as hazels in the US. (*)
Fun fact: Hazelnuts are known as cobnuts and filberts in Europe!
Like other nuts, hazelnuts have a high oil content, along with a creamy, nutty flavor many people love. (*)
Hazelnuts are made to create hazelnut oil and are commonly used as an ingredient in sweet dishes and baked goods, particularly those with chocolate and vanilla flavors.
You can also find hazelnuts in cooked and uncooked savory dishes, like salads, pasta, and curries. Alternatively, they can be eaten raw, with people enjoying them as a filling snack.
What are the health benefits of hazelnuts?
One ounce of hazelnuts has the following:
- 175 calories
- 4.7g carbs (2.7g of those are dietary fiber)
- 4.2 grams protein
- 17 grams fat
We love that this nut has a high nutritional value. Like other nuts, these contain nutrients like healthy fats, proteins, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin E.
Take note of that calorie count! While hazelnuts are yummy and nutritious, you must consume them in moderation to avoid consuming too much fat.
What Do Hazelnuts Taste Like?
Hazelnuts have a delicate aroma with a floral taste and mild sweetness. Expect an earthy and woody undertone, too.
In terms of texture, hazelnuts are crunchy and very creamy with a rich buttery texture, thanks to the high-fat content.
You can’t mimic the hazelnut taste entirely, but you can get pretty close to it with these best substitutes for hazelnuts:
What is a Good Substitute for Hazelnuts?
1. Buttery Delights: Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are a great replacement for hazelnuts because they look and feel similar.
Both nuts are crunchy, but Macadamia nuts are richer and have more fat, making them very smooth and buttery.
They’re also sweeter than hazelnuts.
So, when you need to use something instead of hazelnuts in yummy baked treats, Macadamia nuts are a good choice!
2. Creamy Crunch: Cashew Nuts
Cashews have a similar crunch and chewiness to hazelnuts, but the former is much sweeter and nuttier.
We still like that both these nuts are equally rich and creamy because of their fat content.
While cashews taste nuttier, they aren’t as earthy as hazelnuts. Also, while hazelnuts are a bit firmer with a unique bite, cashews tend to have a more delicate texture.
3. Versatile and Nutty: Almonds
Almonds are a popular type of nut that you might already have at home.
They can be used as a replacement for hazelnuts in recipes because they have a similar texture – both are creamy and chewy. However, their flavors are different.
Hazelnuts taste earthy, sweet, and a bit flowery, while almonds have a stronger flavor and can be a little bitter.
To make almonds taste more like hazelnuts, use raw almonds instead of roasted ones and remove their skins by blanching them. This will make the almonds taste less bitter and more similar to hazelnuts.
4. Robust and Earthy: Walnuts
Walnuts are another excellent alternative if you have no hazelnuts, as they have the same flavor and crunch.
But what makes walnuts different is the presence of iodine, which results in a mouth-puckering flavor, whereas hazelnuts offer palatable and floral sweetness.
Adding to that, walnuts are a bit richer and creamier with a crumblier bite, while hazelnuts are a bit crisper and chewier.
Learn more: Substitute For Walnuts
Other Hazelnuts Substitutes You Can Try
5. Smooth Indulgence: Hazelnut Butter
One of the best hazelnut substitutes goes out to hazelnut butter. It’s butter made from the nut you’re trying to replace; what’s not to love?
While you get a similar nutritional value and creamy texture, you don’t get much crunch. You do get a creamy and buttery texture, which also gives your dishes a good consistency.
We recommend purchasing raw and natural butter or spreads without added sugars or oils, which would alter the hazelnut taste.
6. Finely Ground Bliss: Hazelnut Flour
Hazelnut flour is a suitable option for breadings, cupcakes, cookies, muffins, or pie crusts that need hazelnuts or the flavor.
Besides hazelnut flour, you can also use other nut flours, like
- Coconut flour,
- Almond flour,
- And even almond meal.
Almond flour is a closer substitute to hazelnuts than coconut flour, which has a more different flavor.
Chestnut flour also works, tasting sweet, though it is the highest in carbs.
If you need something nut-free, you can try quinoa flour, which has a nutty and earthy flavor comparable to nuts. It also has a robust and full-bodied flavor, matching hazelnuts’ depth. Plus, it’s nut AND gluten-free.
7. Golden Elixir: Hazelnut Oil
Hazelnut oil is a great kitchen staple because it’s a good substitute for hazelnuts and is valuable in many other dishes.
This oil comes from roasted hazelnuts, providing the similar nutty sweetness and fat you want from hazelnuts.
It’s one of the best hazelnut substitutes for both flavor and consistency, but without much of the crunchy texture.
You might find raw or cold-pressed hazelnut oil, but these are made best for external use, such as on the skin, hair, or in beauty products.
8. Intense Essence: Hazelnut Extract
Hazelnut extract is a liquid that adds the taste of hazelnuts to your food without using actual hazelnuts. It doesn’t have the same crunch as real hazelnuts, but it still tastes great. Plus, it doesn’t have any calories or fat. You can use it instead of hazelnuts when baking cookies, cakes, frosting, or ice cream. You can even add some to your coffee for a yummy hazelnut flavor!
If you want the taste and feel of real hazelnuts, add oil or butter for a creamy texture and oats for crunchiness. And if you’re allergic to hazelnuts, don’t worry! There are imitation hazelnut extracts that give you the flavor without the allergy risk.
9. Decadent Treat: Nutella
Hey there! If you’re looking for a reason to buy Nutella and keep it at home, this is it! Nutella is a super yummy chocolate and hazelnut spread we love. It’s a joke, but seriously, you can use Nutella instead of hazelnuts in particular dishes.
Now, if you need to use nuts in some dishes that aren’t sweet, don’t use Nutella. But if you’re making something sweet, like cookies, cakes, or desserts with hazelnuts, Nutella will taste great!
If you can’t find Nutella, you can try other hazelnut spreads. Remember, these spreads have more sugar and oil, which might change how your recipe turns out. You should add less fat and sugar to your recipe using these spreads.
10. Butter Pecan Delight: Pecan Nuts
Pecans step up as a fantastic alternative to hazelnuts, bringing their own special qualities to the table that make cooking even more exciting. These nuts share a sweet taste with hazelnuts, but they also add a touch of caramel-like flavor that gives dishes a little extra something. They’re similarly crispy and chewy, which means they work well in all sorts of recipes, both sweet and savory.
When it comes to baking, pecans shine. They bring a buttery richness that pairs perfectly with desserts featuring chocolate. But don’t stop there – they’re also great in salads and with cheese, adding a bit of nutty goodness and crunch. And guess what? Pecans are good for you too. They’re packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Incorporating pecans into your cooking not only makes things taste good, but it’s also good for your health. These nuts have a unique mix of flavors, textures, and nutrition that make them a valuable addition to your kitchen. Pecans aren’t just replacements – they’re a chance to explore new flavors and add some wholesome goodness to your dishes.
Learn more: Pecans Substitute
Allergies and Nut-Free Substitutes
Around 2 in 100 people are allergic to nuts. That’s over 1.5 billion people with some form of nut allergy right there!
That’s why we totally understand those who have nut allergies but need something just as delicious as hazelnuts to complete their recipe.
Don’t worry; we didn’t only tackle nut-based hazelnut substitutes.
You can replace hazelnuts with these nut-free ingredients, too!
11. Nature’s Gems: Seeds
Hazelnuts are seeds, so you can expect other kinds of seeds to give the same crunch and fat content without an allergic reaction.
We recommend using pumpkin or sunflower seeds, which have an earthy taste and crunch that works well in food, especially when you roast them.
You can also go for sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds, adding more depth and flavor. While you can try flax seeds or chia seeds, they don’t add too much flavor, but you can substitute hazelnut with it for a good bite and texture.
12. Hearty Goodness: Oatmeal or Rolled Oats
If you don’t eat nuts, but the recipe asks for chopped hazelnuts or ground hazelnuts, you can also try oats. Roasting oats or rolled oats with butter will give it a nuttier flavor.
We recommend using oatmeal in baked goods, though you can also add this as a topping to salads and curries.
Oats are also naturally without gluten, making them suitable for gluten-free desserts. That said, they can come into contact with wheat, so it’s best to purchase pure oats and ask your doctor if you can consume oats. (*)
13. Crunchy Morning Fuel: Granola
We mentioned oats for adding texture, and it’s not right to exclude granola from this list. There are no nuts in granola, but you can get the bite and crispiness you want!
If you want a bit of nutty flavor to your dishes, we recommend toasting granola with butter and letting it chill before using it in your recipes.
If you have no oats or granola, you can always go for crisp rice cereal. However, this only adds crunch and crispiness; there isn’t any hazelnut aroma or flavor.
14. Sweet Temptation: Sweet Chips
You can try chocolate, caramel, butterscotch, or candy chips, which add flavor and some crunch to your baked goods, all without nuts!
Note that white chocolate chips won’t melt as quickly as regular chocolate chips, which will add a bit more bite and texture to your sweet recipes.
15. Naturally Sweet: Dried Fruit
You can always use dried fruits as a substitute for sweet dishes, like dried cranberries or raisins.
Dried cranberries are a great option when creating cookies, cakes, or muffins that ask for hazelnuts, as you get that extra bite.
Raisins are also a good option in sweet baked goods like cookies, as they offer similar chewiness.
However, dried fruits are much sweeter and have a very different taste than hazelnuts, which you must keep in mind. You will end up with a different flavor, but it might be an excellent final product, so it’s worth trying!
16. Alternative Baking Base: Other Kinds of Flour
Answering Common Queries About Hazelnuts and Substitutes
Are you left with more questions about hazelnuts and their best substitutes? We’ve got you!
Check out these frequently asked questions to learn more about hazelnuts.
Fun fact: Hazelnuts are grown and harvested with a smooth and hard shell. They are commonly sold shelled with a faintly butter thin, dark brown skin. (*)
Wrapping It Up
Who knew that there were so many hazelnuts substitutes you could use? You can easily find these in grocery stores or sitting in the pantry, waiting to be used from Macadamia nuts to quinoa flour!
We hope you found the best substitute for hazelnuts based on our list. So what are you waiting for? Start cooking and try any of these alternatives so you can still achieve a delicious dish!
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