July 19, 2024


Simply The Best Food

Chocolate Nut Clusters – Running on Real Food

5 min read
Chocolate Nut Clusters – Running on Real Food

These chocolate nut clusters take just minutes to prep and are perfect for a quick and easy sweet treat!

Close up of a chocolate nut cluster on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with. more nut clusters in the background.

If you’re looking for a super easy recipe for the holidays or anytime, these chocolate fruit and nut clusters are perfect!

You can use your favorite nuts, seeds or any other add-ins you like, so they can be made with as little as 2 ingredients.

You’ll love these chocolate treats for the holiday season. They’re perfect for gifting and can be made to suit a variety of dietary needs.


  • Super quick and easy!
  • Vegan (use dairy-free chocolate) and gluten-free.
  • Can be made sugar-free.
  • 5 minutes of prep time.
  • Great gift idea.
  • Perfect holiday treat.
  • Freeze well.
  • Endlessly customizable.
  • Fun for kids to make.
  • No-fuss and no-bake!

Ingredient Notes

Bowls of salted almonds, dried cranberries and chocolate chips. Each ingredient is labelled with text overlay.
  • Chocolate: You can use milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate chocolate chips, or a chopped up milk or dark chocolate bar. I like Camino or Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips but anything works! I used dark chocolate chips for my clusters.
  • Nuts: Use your choice of nuts, just one kind or a mixture of nuts. I like using salted nuts for a sweet and salty flavour.
  • Fruit: You can add your choice of dried fruit or double the of nuts used for 2-ingredient clusters. I added dried cranberries for a holiday twist but chopped dried apricots, dried cherries, dried blueberries or even chopped dried mango works!

How to Make Nut Clusters

Prepare a baking tray lined with parchment paper so you’re ready to go and then melt the chocolate using a double boiler or in the microwave.

If you’re using the microwave, heat for 30-seconds, stir, then continue in 15-second increments, stirring every 15-seconds. Once most of the chocolate is melted, remove from microwave and stir until any remaining pieces are mixed in.

You can use a double boiler pot or place a glass or metal bowl over a small pot of boiling water and stir the chocolate until completely melted.

Melted chocolate in a glass mixing bowl with a small wooden spoon.

Add the nuts and fruit, if using, to the melted chocolate and mix it up until all the pieces are coated in chocolate.

You can use half nuts and half dried fruit or use all nuts – any kind, salted or unsalted, works!

Almonds and dried cranberries mixed into melted chocolate in a glass mixing bowl.

Use a spoon to drop small clusters of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.

You can use a spoon and your finger or a spoon and a small spatula to help place the clusters on the pan. You should get about 14-16 clusters, depending on the size.

A parchment paper lined baking sheet of chocolate nut clusters that have not yet set (chocolate is still melted).

Place the entire pan in the fridge until the chocolate is completely dry and hard. It won’t take long! Once the chocolate has set, enjoy!

A baking sheet of chocolate nut clusters. There are 14 clusters on the pan.


There are so many fun variations you can make with these! Here are some ideas for what to add to your clusters and different combinations that work well:

  • Chocolate Peanut Clusters: Use 1 cup of salted peanuts (omit cranberries).
  • Chocolate Cherry Clusters: Use 1 cup of dried cherries or 1/2 cup each dried cherries and nuts of choice.
  • Mixed Nut Clusters: Omit the cranberries and use 1 cup of salted mixed nuts – think walnuts, pecans, cashews and almonds.
  • For fancy nut clusters, use macadamia nuts, pistachios or hazelnuts.
  • Nut-Free Clusters: Use pumpkin seeds or a mixture of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds instead of nuts.
  • Coconut Clusters: Use 1/2 cup shredded coconut and 1/2 cup nuts of choice.
  • Add a few drops of peppermint extract for chocolate mint clusters.
  • Use white chocolate instead of milk or dark chocolate or use chocolate and drizzle with white chocolate or a pretty finish.
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the mixture.
A small plate of chocolate almond nut clusters sitting on a marble cutting board.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to use salted nuts?

No. You can use roasted unsalted nuts or raw nuts to make your nut clusters. If you still want sweet and salty flavour, sprinkle the clusters with coarse sea salt before chilling.

Can I double the recipe?

Yes. The recipe can be easily be double if you need a large batch. They keep well in the fridge and freezer and will disappear quick so doubling isn’t a bad idea!

Can I make these sugar-free?

Yes. To make these sugar-free, use sugar-free chocolate chips of choice.

For a low-sugar recipe, use high cacao content dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate chips.

Close up of a chocolate nut cluster with a bite taken out of it so you can see the almonds inside the chocolate.


  • These are best kept chilled in the fridge or freezer. I would suggest storing them in the fridge until just before serving.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. If frozen, let them sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving (you can enjoy straight from the freezer, they’re just a bit hard).
  • They’re ok at room temperature just note the chocolate will melt if the room is warm.

Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.


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These quick and easy nut clusters are perfect for a sweet chocolate treat! Try them with salted nuts and cranberries for the holidays or use your favourite nuts, seeds and dried fruit to create your own flavours.

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips in a mixing bowl using a double boiler or the microwave. If using the microwave, melt for 30-seconds, stir then continue in 15-second increments, stirring every 15 seconds until they’re mostly melted. Remove and continue stirring until any remaining pieces melt and you have a completely smooth melted chocolate.
  3. Add the nuts and cranberries to the melted chocolate and mix until coated.
  4. Use a spoon to drop clusters of the nuts and fruit onto the prepared baking tray. You should get 14-16 clusters.
  5. Place the pan in the fridge until the chocolate has completely hardened.


If you’re using unsalted nuts, sprinkle each cluster with a little coarse salt before placing in the freezer.


  • Serving Size: 1 cluster
  • Calories: 107
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 2 g

Keywords: nut clusters, chocolate peanut clusters, almond clusters

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