Back To School: Luxurious Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 13, 2015


Not only is it the month that my baby will turn one*, it’s also the time of year when my nut-free recipes are getting a lot more action. Yup, back to school season. After receiving a request from a blog reader recently, I decided to share this sunflower seed butter recipe that’s been raved about by my testers. It’s so creamy and delicious! (I recently heard that some schools are now banning seed butters too, so I realize this recipe won’t work for those schools.)

This blog post is also proof that I’m still alive! Not that you are waiting with bated breath for my next post or anything, but I wanted to apologize for my absence. My manuscript is due at the beginning of October and I’ve been working around the clock finalizing recipes, writing, and editing the introductory chapters and headnotes. I can’t believe I’m SO CLOSE to finishing the first draft. It feels amazing and I’m looking forward to getting back to a (somewhat) normal life again. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

*gentle sobs.


We start by roasting the sunflower seeds. For the love of everything nut/seed buttery, please do not skip this part. Not only does roasting give the seeds a nutty, toasted flavour, but it helps the seeds turn into butter much faster. I speak from experience because I once tried to make sunflower seed butter using raw sunflower seeds and I processed for like 30 hours and nothing happened except dust. It took me years to try it again after that experience!


Sunflower seed glam shots. Just cuz.


Here is a glimpse into the various food processor stages below. It takes me about 7-8 minutes in my processor. Keep in mind your own processing times will vary based on your food processor and its butterizing prowess. I recommend using a heavy-duty food processor (such as this model) to make nut or seed butter as smaller machines can overheat. You can also make nut and seed butter in the Vitamix, but I never do because I find the butter a huge pain to scrape out from the bottom of the Vitamix container. For me, the food processor for nut/seed butter is where it’s at!


I always let it run a couple minutes longer than I think I should just to get it super silky and runny.


4.6 from 31 reviews

Luxurious Sunflower Seed Butter

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free


Plain sunflower seed butter can taste quite bitter so I’ve improved its flavour by adding a touch of coconut sugar, cinnamon, and some virgin coconut oil to thin the consistency just a bit. The result is a sunflower seed butter you’ll want to add to everything, and eat by the spoonful. Even though it’s not the ever popular almond or peanut butter, you won’t feel like you’re missing out when you make this nut-free spread.

1 3/4 cups
Prep time
Cook time


  • 3 cups (about 400g) raw shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, softened
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt or other fine sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeded or 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla bean powder (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread on the seeds in an even layer. Roast for 9-12 minutes, until some of the seeds are lightly golden. Cool the seeds for a few minutes before using.
  2. Meanwhile, add the sugar into a high speed blender and grind until a powder forms. Leave the lid on and set aside so the “dust” can settle.
  3. Spoon the toasted seeds into a heavy-duty food processor. (I like to spoon the seeds into my measuring cup and transfer them that way. When I have about 1/2 cup of seeds left on the pan I will use the parchment paper to “funnel” the remaining seeds into the processor.)
  4. Process the seeds for a few minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl every minute. It will look dry and powdery at this stage. (If you have a chute, you can leave it open to allow steam to escape.)
  5. Add the coconut oil and process for another couple minutes. The butter will clump together into a large ball and it'll start rattling around for a bit. Then, the ball will eventually break down into butter again. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed.
  6. Now, add in the ground sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Process for another few minutes until smooth. Now, slowly stream in the vanilla while processing. Add in the vanilla bean seeds, if using. You can add a touch more oil if you need to thin out the butter (but do not add water or liquid sweetener because it will seize). I like to let the machine run at least another 2 minutes to get the sunflower seed butter super smooth. I process for a total of about 8 minutes, but timing will vary based on your food processor and preference. Some machines may need to run for upwards of 15 minutes to get the seed butter smooth enough.
  7. Transfer the sunflower seed butter into an air-tight container. Chill in the fridge. Here it'll keep for about 2 months and it will remain “spreadable” even when chilled.

Nutrition Information


Tips: 1) Do not skip toasting the seeds; it’s necessary for the seeds to break down in the processor. 2) The sweetener is added because sunflower seed butter is bitter; feel free to adjust the sweetener to your own taste. 3) If for some reason your seeds aren’t breaking down after the specified times, add a touch more coconut oil, a teaspoon at a time. Some machines just might need to run a bit longer though, so be patient!


And now some recipes to use homemade sunflower seed butter…

Quick and Easy No Bake Protein Bars

3-Layer Nut-Free Dream Cups

Flourless Thumbprint Breakfast Cookies

PS – 21 Allergy-Friendly Back To School Snack Recipes

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Page 3 of 3«123
Gretchen October 28, 2015 at 11:35 am
Recipe Rating:

THANK YOU for a delicious sun butter recipe! The step by step directions and photos were so helpful. This has to be the most delicious sunbutter I have ever eaten. It was my first try at making my own and I don’t think I will ever buy any from a store again. I love that it is spreadable after being refrigerated. That was a big surprise and no more stirring to mix it up every time you want to use it. This is the sunbutter recipe to make!!


Danielle October 29, 2015 at 9:09 am
Recipe Rating:

Delicious! I accidentally bought roasted sunflower seeds, so I skipped the roasting step. I also added 1c coconut and cut the oil and salt.


Emily Thompson November 18, 2015 at 9:06 am

This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try this over Thanksgiving break and use it in new recipes! Thanks Angela!


Sophie November 20, 2015 at 5:28 pm
Recipe Rating:

I made it & loved every spoonful! :) So delectable indeed! :)


Chris Radtke December 17, 2015 at 1:29 pm
Recipe Rating:

I followed your recipe for the sunflower butter and it turned out like rubber. Baking the sunflower seeds maybe drys them out to much? My seed butter doesn’t look like your picture -what to do?


Taylor Veres January 18, 2016 at 8:57 pm

I was wondering if you can keep it outside the fridge? I was hoping to take some to camp with me this summer!


Caro January 27, 2016 at 11:23 am

Do you think it necessary to soak the seeds first on account of the phytic acid?


joe February 18, 2016 at 3:58 pm



caterina March 6, 2016 at 3:28 am

So, soak them before or after baking them?? I already made the butter without soaking and it came out delicious, even without sugar it wouldn’t taste bitter at all. Now, I wonder is this phytic acid very bad for you?


Hypnosis Adelaide March 13, 2016 at 10:36 pm
Recipe Rating:

I think that sunflower seeds are such an underrated ingredient. This seed butter looks amazing. Thank you for the recipe.


miranda March 17, 2016 at 5:31 am

I put a bag of seeds in my processor 10 min. ago. I was too fast so I didn’t notice the roast-part. Next time. I did put vanilla, salt and cinnamon in it, that sounds delicious. I also make coconut-cashew paste. My favorite, on ricecrackers and stuff like that. You really should try it. Oh, and roast everything on forehand, tastes nicer.


Olivia Lhermie April 1, 2016 at 9:33 am

I just made this recipe but I need help! I added too much coconut sugar and since the sunflower seeds were already salted, now it just tastes too sweet and too salted. How could I adjust the taste? Anybody? Thanks a lot! Love this blog.


Holly April 8, 2016 at 8:05 pm

Hi Angela,

Thanks for the recipe. What do you think of using date sugar in this? I was just reading that it is the healthiest form of sweetener given its made of whole dates that are ground up, but also read it can thicken things a bit.


Angela Liddon April 19, 2016 at 9:28 am

Hi Holly, I haven’t used date sugar, but it’s definitely on my list of things to try! I’m really not sure how it would impact this recipe to be honest since I’ve never worked with it before. If you do try it and it thickens up the sunflower butter too much, you can try thinning it with some coconut oil (I wouldn’t use water as that can cause it to sieze up). I hope this helps and please let us know if you try it!


Cassidy May 27, 2016 at 6:30 pm
Recipe Rating:

This is SO DELICIOUS!!! I’m scraping out every last bit from my Vitamix and licking my knife clean. This was my first time ever making a nut/seed butter and I have to say…I’m hooked! Thanks Angela for the wonderful recipe.


jessica richardson June 6, 2016 at 1:53 am
Recipe Rating:

Hi everyone,
I am not sure where mine went wrong? I ended up with a almost black lump of gunk? Mine didnt turn out anything like the pictures at all? I didnt have coconut sugar so I used stevia.
Pls help as I realy want to make this for my family but i’m rather sceptical of trying it again….


Angela Liddon June 10, 2016 at 8:10 am

Hey Jessica, Oh so sorry that happened to you! What kind of food processor do you use? I find some machines just can’t “butterize” nuts and seeds for some reason. Also, I haven’t tested this with stevia before so that could’ve been the culprit. It’s also very important that the seeds are roasted beforehand (I’ve had zero luck using raw sunflower seeds in this recipe). Lastly, did you use the coconut oil? That’s important to help liquify it. I hope this helps, and let me know if you try it out again!


Karen July 9, 2016 at 2:49 pm

Can you substitute vanilla extract for the vanilla bean which is readily available in my pantry?


Angela Liddon July 15, 2016 at 9:22 am

Hi Karen, Yep, you can substitute the optional vanilla bean for a bit more vanilla extract in a pinch. I’d suggest trying about a half a teaspoon.


Trisha July 17, 2016 at 11:17 pm

I, too, had a disastrous experience with a previous attempt at making my own sunflower butter. I used raw seeds and it turned a weird green. Then when
I stored it in the fridge it fermented. Yikes! I don’t know what I did but it was definitely done wrong. I’m going to try this in the morning. And to the moms who don’t send nut butters to school, thank you. My son has nut allergies and a child in his class last year brought in a nut butter sandwich, of which came in contact with my son, long story short , he was in hospital for 3 days and out of school another week.
I’ll let you know how it turns out for me after I make this wonderful sounding recipe.


Angela Liddon July 18, 2016 at 2:45 pm

I’m sorry to hear the previous attempt didn’t work out so well, Trish! Hopefully it will go much better this time.


Anjana Dhaliwal September 24, 2016 at 4:00 pm
Recipe Rating:

Thank you for this great recipe! It tasted great to me but my kids find there is bitter aftertaste. Any suggestions as to why or how I can disguise that?

I bought pre-roasted organic sunflower seeds from Costco. In the recipe I did reduce the coconut sugar but 2 teaspoons as we found the seed butter was getting too sweet. Except for not adding the cinnamon, I followed the rest of the recipe.

The consistency is perfect.

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated as it is not easy finding a dent seed butter


Ella Klick October 8, 2016 at 9:27 am
Recipe Rating:

Hello, I made it exactly as is and it is delicious! How do I store it, for how long and can I freeze it? Thank you!


JN October 8, 2016 at 12:32 pm
Recipe Rating:

I have been making my own until I saw this today (Oct 8). Congratulations on the newborn, he looks SOOO sweet!
This recipe was awesome & its the best tasting sunflower seed butter I have ever made!!! Thank you, for another wonderful recipe


joette waters December 31, 2016 at 10:15 am
Recipe Rating:



Elizabeth January 6, 2017 at 2:09 pm
Recipe Rating:

I’ve never cared for sunflower seed butter that I bought from the store, but something about the word “luxurious” made me try this. :P Luxurious is no lie. I love just eating it off the spoon.


Angela Liddon January 9, 2017 at 11:49 am

Aw, I’m glad it won you over, Elizabeth!! :)


KIRSTEN KURJATA March 6, 2017 at 1:14 pm
Recipe Rating:

Super delicious…kids love it…so do all my friends! And I left it a bit more chunky and it still was good!


Ashley March 8, 2017 at 2:34 pm
Recipe Rating:

I thought I had an over abundance of sunflower seeds, but when I looked I found a slew of pumpkin seeds instead . Turns out, this recipe is great for pumpkin seeds too! Lol. It’s really good, and my 17 month old girl loved it too. Thanks for the recipe!


Glory Kennemer September 30, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Wow! Love! Love! Love this recipe! I was looking for something high calorie and nutritious to supplement a picky, frail individuals diet. I skipped the cinnamon to make it a little more versatile. This fits the bill and taste incredible, too! Plus, I can swirl this into oatmeal, add it to smoothies, and roll it into tiny ‘cheeze balls’ for salads. Hidden calories galore! Oh, and it’s exciting to serve to new vegans. A new favorite in our home. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2017 at 9:27 am

Hey Glory, Oh I’m so happy this was a hit! Thanks for sharing. :)


Kathryn October 5, 2017 at 1:21 pm
Recipe Rating:

YES YES YES YES!!!! Never buying store bought EVER AGAIN!!
As a mom of a new JK, I needed this recipe in my life. It’s so delicious and SO EASY to make. THANK YOU ANGELA!!!! you came through for me again! #winning


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 6, 2017 at 11:44 am

Aww that’s great to hear!! Thank you :)


Kristen October 12, 2017 at 4:32 pm

I’m wondering if using roasted salted sunflower seeds would affect the flavor/texture too much… I want to make this, but don’t have any raw sunflower seeds!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 13, 2017 at 11:09 am

Hey Kristen, I actually roast the raw seeds for this recipe, so I can’t see why pre-roasted seeds wouldn’t work!


Diána February 26, 2018 at 1:08 pm

I have a coffee grinder that grinds seeds and nuts also. The butter forms in it within a few minutes, even without toasting the seeds first. Do you think the seeds could burn as the container is made out of steel?

Thank you!


Joanna March 12, 2018 at 9:12 am
Recipe Rating:

Wow… I just made this (without the cinnamon) and it is even much more delicious than I imagined it would be. I was looking at purchasing a small jar of sunflower butter this week at the grocery store (nearly $10) but I thought I’d give this recipe a try instead. Not only was this option much less expensive, but more importantly to me, it has 10 times the flavour!!! I will never go back to store bought again!
Thanks Angela for my newest home-made addiction… I can always count on your recipes to surprise and delight my tastebuds!


Angela (Oh She Glows) March 12, 2018 at 10:53 am

Aww thank you so much, Joanna! I agree that this homemade stuff is waaaaaay better than store-bought. A really nice (and like you said cost effective) option. So glad you love it!


Lindsay April 1, 2018 at 9:07 pm

I didn’t have coconut sugar, so I used cane sugar. It’s good, but I didn’t use the full 1/4 c and it still seems too sweet. I would halve the sugar, increase the cinnamon, and increase the salt. But my kid will probably love it! Ha.


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 3, 2018 at 2:42 pm

Hey Lindsay, So glad you tried this recipe…and I agree with you that cane sugar is sweeter than coconut. good call on increasing the cinnamon ;)


Allison April 19, 2018 at 7:51 pm
Recipe Rating:

This is a simple and inexpensive way to make a great seed butter, a helpful nut-free alternative in recipes and school lunches! I found it important to pay close attention to Angela’s directions as it does not look at first like what you would expect, but the directions walk you through what to do and helpfully outline what to expect. It does keep in the fridge for a long time and is helpful to have on hand for recipes.


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2018 at 7:03 am

Hey Allison, I’m so glad you found the directions helpful when making this recipe! Thanks so much for your review :)


Ananya April 21, 2018 at 7:11 am

Looks Yummy Delicious..

Thanks for the lovely simple recipe Angela.. I am gonna try using olive oil rather than coconut oil and see how its gonna taste :D


Suzanne April 29, 2018 at 3:09 pm
Recipe Rating:

Perfect recipe and instructions — thank you! Just made my 2nd batch today. So so good!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 30, 2018 at 7:14 am

Hey Suzanne, So glad it was a hit! Thanks for your feedback :)


Ryan June 27, 2018 at 6:41 pm

How many tbsp does this make??


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 28, 2018 at 7:49 am

It makes 1 3/4 cups which I believe is 28 tablespoons. Hope this helps!


Vlada Haggerty August 10, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Just made this sunbutter and it is so delicious! Sweet and delicious. Thank you for the recipe!


Thelma September 28, 2018 at 4:49 am

Hi, do you think this could work in a vegan cinnamon roll recipe? Thanks.


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 28, 2018 at 8:42 am

Hi there, I think you’d be able to drizzle it over top baked cinnamon rolls (or even mix it with maple syrup first)…but I’m personally a fan of the classic icing sugar drizzle. ;)


Karen Lingley October 5, 2018 at 3:43 pm

I would love to try this but I cannot have any nuts including coconut water or coconut milk. Is there an alternative you have used?

I’m so awkward you have many recipes but all to often coconut in one form or another is used. Thanks


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 6, 2018 at 1:12 pm

Hi Karen, that’s tricky for sure! As a swap for coconut oil you may want to try grapeseed oil as it has quite a neutral flavour. I would add a bit at a time.


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