Pizza night isn't complete without dessert, and your next pizza night needs this homemade Nutella pizza.
To keep the pizza dough crisp-yet-chewy like you expect from a good homemade pizza, the dough bakes plain on a Baking Steel topped with ice cubes for moisture. Then the heat from the freshly baked pizza crust melts the rich Nutella, making it easy to spread.
Just like a savory pizza, you can have a lot of fun personalizing this Nutella dessert pizza with your favorite dessert toppings! I can't wait to see what Nutella pizza topping combinations you come up with. Head to the comments to share yours!
Unlike my sweet-and-savory charcuterie board-inspired pizza which is topped with honey, thinly sliced pears, brie, and charcuterie and can work as a dessert or an appetizer, this Nutella pizza is decidedly a dessert affair.
It's also a good reminder that you can make lots of great pizza recipes without tomato sauce!
About This Recipe
I first experienced the magic of a Nutella pizza ("Pizza Alla Nutella") at a high-end Italian restaurant called Zero Otto Nove back when I lived in New York City.
I was in my early twenties and felt slightly awkward and out of place, playing at being a real grown up drinking a glass of wine with my friends at such a fancy restaurant. Seeing something as seemingly unrefined as a Nutella pizza on the menu was such a novelty that we had to order it. And I haven't stopped thinking about it since.
A Nutella pizza is exactly what it sounds like. A thin, crispy pizza crust, topped with gloriously melty Nutella and finished with a light dusting of powdered sugar. So simple, so elegant, so decadent, so fun. What a great way to end a meal.
So when I was thinking of other fun homemade pizza recipes I wanted to try making from scratch, I kept coming back to Nutella pizza. And while I often serve Nutella pizza plain, it's also a great blank canvas for adding all sorts of fun toppings — sprinkles, candy, fruit, nuts, etc.!
Note: This post is not sponsored by Nutella. I am merely a fan! That said, if you work for Nutella, email me!
Notes From Recipe Testing
While the finished version of my Nutella pizza recipe is really quite simple, the recipe development process actually took me several months to perfect.
Nutella doesn't bake well at high temperatures, so you can't spread it on the pizza and bake it the way you do with a classic red sauce pizza. Figuring out the best way to bake plain pizza dough so that it retains the classic crisp-yet-chewy texture you expect from a pizza was trickier than I anticipated.
I tried baking the dough topped with butter, crisco, olive oil, a combination of butter and powdered sugar, spraying it with water, etc. None of them got the results I wanted, and the hot melted butter and oil sometimes pooling on top of the dough turned out to be a real hazard! No thank you.
I also tested rolling vs. hand stretching the dough, but it didn't make a difference which method I used, the thinnest parts of the dough still baked up crunchy and crumbly.
In the end, I found it was key not to stretch the dough too thin. And crucially, I borrowed a technique I've seen Andris (the founder of the Baking Steel company) use to make his cacio e pepe pizza — a few ice cubes on the surface of the blank pizza dough to weigh it down and provide moisture while it bakes. The ice cubes are tipped off the dough about halfway through the bake time to allow the surface of the pizza crust to dry off.
Every oven is different, so depending on the size of your ice cubes and the thickness of your pizza dough, it make take you a couple tries to get the timing of the ice cube technique down pat. But the good news is even if it doesn't work perfectly the first time, a thin layer of Nutella can hide a lot of problems!
Here are the ingredients that you'll need to make this Nutella pizza recipe for dessert! See recipe card for quantities.
- Pizza Dough - I use my overnight thin crust pizza dough recipe here, as usual. You can use any pizza dough you like, but you will get better results with a homemade pizza dough that has a long rise time because the gluten has more time to relax so it can be hand stretched to the right size.
- Ice Cubes - You need 2-3 standard sized ice cubes for this Nutella pizza. The ice cubes help weigh down the dough and keep the surface moist so it retains flexibility while it cooks. I tried some other ice cube shapes and sizes, but the ones from this easy release ice cube tray worked best. If your ice cubes are smaller, you may need more of them. I don't recommend using larger ice cubes for this pizza.
- Nutella - I use classic Nutella for this dessert pizza, but you can also use other hazelnut chocolate spreads like Bonne Maman's Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. You could even use chocolate tahini, chocolate hazelnut & almond butter, or, for a completely nut-free option, use plain chocolate spread instead.
- Powdered Sugar - For dusting over the nutella pizza before serving! The powdered sugar melts in your mouth and gives the crust a decidedly dessert like finish.
- Semolina Flour - Semolina is a coarse flour with a round shape that makes it easy to slide the pizza off the peel and onto the baking steel. I find it works better than all-purpose flour, but flour will also work. And if you have a method you prefer for getting the pizza off the peel and into the oven, you can definitely use that instead.
Other Nutella Pizza Dessert Toppings:
- Fresh fruit - Sliced strawberries, bananas, clementine or mandarin wedges, kiwi rounds, raspberries, blueberries, etc.
- Candy - Mini M&Ms, Reese's pieces, Sno-caps, Buncha Crunch, etc.
- Cookies - Chopped Oreos, cookie dough bites, crumbled chocolate chip cookies, crushed Biscoff cookies, etc.
- Nuts - Toasted chopped hazelnuts, slivered almonds, pecans, peanuts, walnuts, etc.
- Miscellaneous - Shredded toasted coconut, dried fruit, sprinkles, caramel drizzle, whipped cream, dollops of jam, decorative candy cake letters, mini marshmallows, crushed Graham crackers, peanut butter swirl, Biscoff cookie butter swirl, marshmallow fluff, etc.
Preheating Your Pizza Steel
Start by preheating your oven to 500°F with a baking steel or pizza stone (read my baking steel review to know why I recommend a steel instead of a pizza stone!) arranged as close to the heating unit as possible.
Give the steel 45-60 minutes to preheat, take your pizza dough out of the fridge 60-90 minutes prior to stretching, and use the end of the preheating time to warm up the Nutella and prep any other Nutella dessert pizza toppings you plan to use.
In most ovens, the heating unit and broiler are at the top of the oven. For those, you'll want the baking steel about 7 inches below the broiler unit.
In ovens with the broiler in the bottom drawer space, get the baking steel as close to the heating unit in the oven as possible (which might be the lowest oven rack), and place an inverted sheet pan in the broiler area to slide the pizza dough onto for broiling.
How to Make Nutella Dessert Pizza
Pre-shaping before you stretch your pizza dough is key to getting a perfectly round pizzas. Read my guide to hand stretching pizza dough for more detail!
Even if you'd rather roll the pizza dough out with a rolling pin, I still recommend pre-shaping it and letting it rest overnight in the fridge beforehand to get a nice round shape with even thickness.
Unlike most pizza recipes, the dough for this Nutella pizza is baked without any sauce on top. Pizzas cook at a very high heat for a short amount of time and without the moisture of a sauce, the thin crust will dry out and become brittle like a cracker — you don't want that.
So there are a few things I do differently to keep the pizza crust from drying out while it bakes.
- I don't stretch the crust quite as thin in the center — thicker dough has more moisture and won't dry out so quickly.
- I don't stretch the dough quite as wide across as I usually do. My usual pizza dough balls are around 200-220 grams, and for Nutella pizza I aim for 10 inch pizzas, instead of the 12-16 inch diameter I do for pizzas that bake with sauce on them.
- I bake the pizza dough with some ice cubes on top — the ice cubes melt and the moisture protect the surface of the dough from drying out. (This is a cool trick I learned from Andris, the creator of the Baking Steel.)
TIP: If you're using a bigger pizza dough ball, you can stretch it bigger than 10 inches across, in which case you'll likely need additional ice cubes; just try not to stretch the center too thin. If your dough ball is smaller, stretch it smaller than 10 inches, and you may only need one ice cube!
So what does this all look like? Let's get into it.
Dust the pizza peel lightly with semolina flour. Stretch the pizza dough until it's 10 inches across and not too thin in the middle. You don't want a huge airy outer crust here, so I like to gently flatten down the outer edge once it's on the peel.
Place two standard sized ice cubes on top of the dough, spread out to help weigh it down. Spreading the ice cubes out also helps prevent the water from pooling too much, which will happen if they're too close together.
Give the pizza dough a little shimmy back and forth on the pizza peel to make sure it isn't stuck. If any parts seem to be sticking, carefully lift them up and dust additional semolina flour underneath.
Launch the pizza onto the baking steel:
- Place the tip of the pizza peel an inch or two in front of the back edge of the baking steel.
- Lift the handle of the peel up slightly at about a 20 degree angle.
- In a quick movement, thrust the peel forward about an inch, so the edge of the pizza slides off the end of the peel and onto the steel. Then pull the peel back and out of the oven, keeping the tip of the peel on the steel the whole time to let the pizza slide off.
Bake the pizza for 2 minutes. Then slide the peel under the pizza, remove it from the oven and carefully tilt it over the sink to let the ice cubes and any water pooling on the surface slide off.
Slide the pizza back on the baking steel and bake it for 2 more minutes. This dries off the surface of the pizza crust so that it doesn't end up soggy. If your dough is thick, you may need an additional minute.
To finish, broil the pizza crust for 20-30 seconds, just enough to add some darker brown spots to the crust and to finish drying off the center of the pizza. We don't want a wet pizza!
Note: Broilers are VERY hot and their power can vary widely from oven to oven. With no sauce to protect the surface of the dough, it can brown very quickly. Check on the pizza dough every 15 seconds to make sure it doesn't burn!
Every oven is different, and pizza dough cooks quickly — after the first 4 minutes on the steel, the pizza dough should be cooked through, though if you're using thicker dough, it may need an extra minute or so.
Broiling is technically optional, but does give the crust a much nicer look.
Once you take the pizza dough out of the oven, move quickly to add the Nutella, so the crust is still be hot. If your Nutella is cold, microwave it in short bursts while the pizza is in the oven, stirring in between to loosen it up.
I weigh the Nutella into a piping bag because I've found there is such a thing as too much Nutella on a pizza. But you can also just measure the amount of Nutella you want with your heart instead.
Pipe a thick ribbon of Nutella onto the still-hot surface of the pizza dough in a big spiral. The heat from the crust will begin to melt the Nutella, making it easier to spread.
Yes, you can absolutely just dollop Nutella onto the surface of the pizza and spread it around. It's not like the Nutella pizza police are going to come into your kitchen and smack the spoon out of your hand. You do you!
I personally just like the piping bag because it makes it easier to weigh the Nutella and to spread it evenly on the pizza crust.
Spread the Nutella out using the back of a spoon or a mini offset spatula.
Add any toppings you like and finish with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Boom, that's it! Your Nutella pizza is ready to serve.
While I normally cut a pizza into 8 slices, I've found the smaller size of this pizza lends itself better to four or six slices. But again, you do you!
- Pizza Steel - I use the Original Baking Steel to make all of my pizzas (note: I bought my Baking Steel with my own money but love it so much I became part of their affiliate program; use code TPK10 for 10% off!). A pizza stone will also work if that's all you've got, but it may take slightly longer to cook.
- Ice Cube Trays - I used these ice cube trays to make the ice cubes for this pizza. If you have smaller ice cubes, you may need more. I don't recommend using bigger ice cubes.
- Pizza Peel - A wooden pizza peel is the best tool for getting your Nutella pizza in and out of the oven. If you don't have a pizza peel, an upside down sheet pan will work for sliding it on to the steel. To remove it from the oven without a peel, use tongs (gently) or two spatulas to slide it out of the oven and onto a sheet pan.
- Pizza Cutter - You'll want a good, sharp pizza cutter. There are plenty of trendy, unique pizza cutter designs out there but you really can't beat one like Winco's 4" pizza cutter which is less than $10 and was designed for restaurants and the food service industry. If style is as important to you as functionality, however, Mercer Culinary makes a great pizza cutter with a "millennial purple" handle.
- Piping Bag - I use these 12" disposable piping bags, but you can also use a plastic sandwich bag with a corner snipped off.
- Mini Offset Spatula - A mini offset spatula makes it easy to spread the Nutella in an even layer on the pizza dough.
Nutella pizza is best eaten same day, pretty much immediately after making it, especially if you have any fresh toppings on it (strawberries, etc).
If you do have leftovers you want to keep, wrap them loosely in plastic wrap or foil and store them in the fridge for about 2 days. It definitely will not be as good as same-day Nutella pizza. Reheat day-old or cold Nutella pizza on a foil-lined baking sheet in the oven at 200°F for 5-7 minutes or until the Nutella is melted again.
Practical Tips and Recipe Notes
- Removing the ice cubes: If you don't want to take the pizza all the way out of the oven to tip the ice cubes off, you can simply lift the edge of the pizza dough and tip the ice cubes and excess water onto the baking steel. It's hot enough that they'll sizzle and steam immediately. I don't like doing it this way because sometimes the water gets trapped under the dough and if I haven't cleaned my steel recently enough it blackens the bottom of the crust. But you do you!
- Using Store Bought Pizza Dough: Store bought pizza dough has LOTS of yeast in it to help it stay active longer. I really don't recommend using store bought dough as it's almost impossible to get a truly thin crust with it. It tends to bake up thicker so it will need an extra minute or two to bake. If you DO use store bought pizza dough, you'll want to divide it in half or in thirds when you get home, pre-shape it into balls, and let it rise in the fridge (if not using immediately) or at room temperature (70°F) if using within an hour or so.
- Let the pizza dough warm up: Hand stretching pizza dough takes a bit of practice. You'll have a much easier time if you use an overnight pizza dough with a long rise time and let it sit at room temperature for 60-90 minutes before stretching it. Store bought pizza dough only needs about 30 minutes at room temperature before stretching.
- Measure Nutella with your heart: Nutella is sticky and thick and hard to measure neatly, which is why I often weigh it. And yes, I've given a measurement for how much Nutella to use because I'm a recipe writer and I have to. But a lot of times when I'm making Nutella pizza for myself, I measure with my heart, by which I mean I eyeball the amount of Nutella in the piping bag, spreading it out and dolloping on more directly out of the job until my Nutella-loving heart is happy. You should absolutely feel free to do the same.
I haven't tested any other methods, so can't tell you precisely how to do this. There are plenty of resources online that can guide you through the process of using an inverted baking sheet or pizza screen/pizza pan instead. Look for instructions that use a high temperature (475F+) and a short cooking time for best results.
Homemade Nutella Pizza for Dessert
- 200-220 gram overnight thin crust pizza dough ball
- ⅛ cup all-purpose flour (for dusting)
- 1½ teaspoons semolina flour (for dusting the pizza peel)
- 2-3 ice cubes (standard cube size)
- 80-90 grams nutella (or any chocolate hazelnut spread)
- 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
- toppings (thinly sliced fruit, candy, crumbled cookies, dried fruit or nuts, shredded coconut, mini marshmallows, peanut butter, caramel sauce, whipped cream, sprinkles, etc.)
- Preheat oven with baking steel at 500°F for 1 hour prior to baking. Remove pizza dough from fridge and allow to come to room temperature at least 60-90 minutes prior to stretching.
- Measure the Nutella. Arrange a piping bag in a tall cup on top of a kitchen scale to measure the Nutella and set it aside. If your Nutella is refrigerated, microwave it in bursts, stirring in between until it loosens up before measuring.
- Lightly dust a wooden pizza peel with semolina flour.
- Hand stretch pizza dough. Use plenty of flour as you stretch the pizza dough until it is 10" across and not too thin in the center. (See: How to Hand Stretch Pizza Dough.) Transfer the pizza dough to the pizza peel and gently flatten the outer edge of the crust with your fingers.
- Ice cubes. Place 2-3 ice cubes on the surface of the pizza dough, spread out so they aren't too close to each other.
- Shimmy. Give the pizza dough a shimmy on the wooden pizza peel to make sure that no parts of the crust have stuck. Dust additional flour underneath any stuck spots if needed.
- Launch. Open the oven and line up the tip of the pizza peel with the back of the baking steel. Tilt it at an angle (20° or so) and give it a quick thrust to help the pizza begin sliding off. As the pizza slides, pull the peel straight back, keeping the tip of the peel on the steel, depositing the pizza on to the hot surface to begin cooking.
- Bake. Bake the pizza for 2 minutes, then remove it from the oven with the pizza peel and carefully tilt it over the sink to remove the ice cubes and drain any water off the top. Return to the baking steel and bake 2-3 minutes more to dry off the surface of the dough. Finish by broiling for 20-30 seconds, then remove from the oven.
- Nutella. Pipe the Nutella in a large spiral on the surface of the pizza, then spread it out in an even layer. The heat from the pizza dough will help melt the Nutella and make it easier to spread.
- Toppings & serving. Add any toppings you want, then finish with a light dusting of powdered sugar. Slice and serve immediately!
- If your ice cubes are small, you may need additional ice cubes. If they melt all the way during baking, you can skip the step of draining them into the sink.
- If hand stretching pizza dough isn't for you, a rolling pin will work here too. You'll still want to pre-shape the dough in advance to get a nice circle shape that rolls out evenly.
- If using store-bought pizza dough, divide and pre-shape it into dough balls and refrigerate at least 3 hours before use. You'll only need to give it about 30 minutes at room temperature before stretching it. It tends to bake up thicker, so it may need more time on the baking steel before broiling.
- If you have trouble using the semolina flour method for sliding the pizza off the peel, you can use a sheet of parchment paper instead.
- Note: Broilers are VERY hot and their power can vary widely from oven to oven. With no sauce to protect the surface of the dough, it can brown very quickly. Check on the pizza dough every 15 seconds to make sure it doesn't burn!