Sunflower Seed Butter

DF GF V VG

Make sunflower seed butter (aka SunButter) at home with this simple and cost-effective recipe! This tasty spread is nut-free so it’s great for those with nut allergies and safe for school. 

As most of you know, I’m a nut and seed butter fanatic and love making my own. I’ve made flavored almond butter and cinnamon peanut butter but figured it was time to share how easy it is to make sunflower seed butter at home.

Overhead shot of a hand spooning out some sunflower seed butter from open bowl.

Sunflower Seed 101

Sunflower seeds are more than just a baseball snack! They are packed with vitamins and minerals including Vitamin E, copper, manganese and selenium. They’re also not a common allergen (like many nuts) so they’re a great option for school.

Sunflower seeds make a great addition to trail mix and add the perfect amount of crunch to salads (like my vegan broccoli salad), but they’re also super easy to turn into sunflower seed butter (aka SunButter). Think peanut butter, but made from sunflower seeds!

1 cup of sunflower seeds in a measuring cup.

Ingredients Needed

You can absolutely make “plain” sunflower seed butter with just roasted sunflower seeds but I like to add a few ingredients like maple syrup and vanilla. I find that the flavor is more balanced and appealing, but you can experiment and find what you prefer.

  • unsalted roasted sunflower seeds – it’s important to use roasted sunflower seeds. The roasting process allows the natural oils to be released and makes for a smoother and thinner texture. I highly recommend using unsalted sunflower seeds just because I tested the recipe with salted roasted sunflower seeds and it was too salty in my opinion.
  • maple syrup – I like to add a little natural sweetener to balance the flavor!
  • vanilla extract – a delicious flavor enhancer.
  • sea salt – this is optional, but gives the seed butter a flavor boost. Skip the sea salt if you do end up using salted sunflower seeds.
tip!
Make sure to use roasted unsalted sunflower seeds. The roasting process allows the natural oils to be released and makes for a smoother and thinner texture. 
Overhead shot of sunflower seed butter with a spoon.

How to Roast Sunflower Seeds

If you buy raw sunflower seeds, you’ll want to roast them before making this sunflower seed butter! Spread the raw sunflower seeds on a sheet pan and roast in an oven preheated to 350ºF for 10-15 minutes. Stir the seeds occasionally. The seeds are done when they are golden brown and smell delicious!

How to Make Homemade Sunflower Butter

To make sunflower seed butter, my biggest tip is patience! The seeds will blend in your food processor for 10-15 minutes. They are first ground to a powder and if you keep grinding they’ll become thicker. Keep going until the sunflower seed oil is released and the end result is a smooth, creamy mixture. Just keep going!

After you blend the seeds, you’ll add in the additional flavors if using. Like I mentioned, I add in maple syrup, vanilla extract and sea salt, but feel free to get creative and make your own flavor variations.

A plate with a piece of toast with sunflower seed butter, banana, and coconut flakes and a bowl of sunflower seed butter..

Ways to Use Sunflower Seed Butter

There are SO many ways to use sunflower seed butter! Here are some ideas:

  • Mixed into overnight oats or traditional oatmeal
  • Swap the nut butter in any smoothie for sunflower seed butter
  • Spread on toast and top with sliced bananas and a drizzle of honey
  • Make avocado toast and add a drizzle of sunflower seed butter
  • Meal prep energy balls to snack on throughout the week
  • As a dip with apples
  • By the spoonful!
  • As a substitute for any nut butter in baked goods like my flourless pumpkin muffins.
note!
When baking with sunflower butter it does turn baked goods a tad green. The chlorogenic acid (chlorophyll) in sunflower seeds reacts with the baking soda/powder when baked, but it’s completely harmless and will taste just fine!
Overhead shot of sunflower butter in an open container with a spoon and some sunflower seeds scattered around.

How to Store

As you might guess, this homemade sunflower seed butter stores really well! Store in an airtight container (I love using mason jars for easy storage) at room temp for up to a week or keep in the fridge for up to one month.

More Nut Butters and Spreads to Try:

Sunflower Seed Butter

5 from 10 votes
Make sunflower seed butter (aka SunButter) at home with this simple and cost-effective recipe! This tasty spread is nut-free so it's great for those with nut allergies and safe for school. 
Overhead shot of a hand spooning out some sunflower seed butter from open bowl.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Process Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Place sunflower seeds in your food processor.
    Overhead shot of sunflower seeds in a food processor.
  • Turn on processor and process for 9-10 minutes. If the mixture is still dry and thick after 10 minutes of processing, process a little longer. It may take an additional 5-6 minutes for the sunflower seed oil to release and thin out.
    Overhead shot of sunflower butter after being processed in food processor.
  • Once the sunbutter has reached your desired consistency, add in maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt. Give the processor a few more pulses to combine, then turn machine off and remove the sunbutter with a spatula.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temp for up to a week or in the fridge for up to one month.

Notes

  • Sunflower seeds: I highly recommend using roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds. The roasting process allows the natural oils to be released and makes for a smoother and thinner texture.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tablespoons Calories: 216kcal Carbohydrates: 7g Protein: 8g Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 3g Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g Sodium: 180mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 1g
Course: Dips/Spreads
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sunflower seed butter

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    13 comments
    1. Maggie
      September 30, 2022 AT 11:01 am

      5 stars
      I’ve been using store-bought sunbutter for myself and to make homemade suet blocks for my birdfeeders because of my peanut allergy but I’ve just made my first batch of sunbutter with your recipe and it’s sooo yummy. I can’t wait until my little visitors try it out! Thanks so much for this recipe! Enjoy your day and stay safe! ❤️

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 3, 2022 AT 4:23 pm

        Aw yay! I am so happy to hear that you are loving this recipe, Maggie. Thank you so much for sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

    2. Jean
      April 10, 2022 AT 11:46 am

      4 stars
      I used half salted and half unsalted roasted sunflower seeds. I didn’t use any other flavoring. It tasted delicious! One star off because 9-10 minutes was waaaaay too long for my food processor. It was done in like 4. It actually started getting hot.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 11, 2022 AT 8:53 am

        Hi, Jean! Sorry the time was too long for you, every food processor is a bit different! Glad that it worked well for you otherwise!

        1. Amy K
          June 25, 2022 AT 8:37 pm

          5 stars
          This is delicious. I’ve made it a couple of times now. This time I had bourbon barrel aged maple syrup which added a different dimension. I will continue to use this recipe. I just wish I knew about sunflower seed butter when I was young as I like it better than peanut butter.

          1. Brittany Mullins
            June 27, 2022 AT 11:42 am

            It’s pretty great! Thanks for your comment, Amy!

    3. Lee
      February 20, 2022 AT 1:00 am

      5 stars
      Hi! Thanks for the recipe. Roasting in the oven now 🙂 I have a question. You said roasting it allows seeds to have natural oil come out, is it same for nuts too? I wanna try making almond butter and cashew butter, will it have same effect if i roast them? Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 20, 2022 AT 1:45 pm

        Hi, Lee. Yes, I definitely recommend roasting your nut before you make homemade nut butter. You can follow along with my homemade almond butter recipe if you’d like!

    4. Brittany
      October 24, 2021 AT 7:50 pm

      5 stars
      I love Sunflower butter, but buying it from the grocery store is a little expensive. I had a bunch of roasted sunflower seeds, so I decided to give this a try. My only issue is I only had the salted dry roasted kind so it’s a little salty. I also don’t ever use maple syrup, so I didn’t have any. I used honey instead. I’m going to try it next time with unsalted seeds!

    5. Alyssa
      October 12, 2021 AT 7:56 pm

      5 stars
      Delicious nut butter alternative. It took longer than 10 minutes and a lot of scraping for my seeds to puree and soften but worth the effort. I made a second batch and didn’t have enough sunflower seeds so I substituted some roasted pumpkin seeds and it worked great. The taste and texture were different fromthe plain sunflower butter, but very good.

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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