I’m frequently asked by readers if they can make homemade sunflower seed butter just like homemade peanut butter.
The answer is yes. With a few caveats.
If you’re never tried sunflower seed butter, what are you waiting for?
Make this on a week you have time for extra cardio. You’ll need it. I ate an 8 ounce jar the first day.
Sunflower seed butter has the consistency of almond butter, and is noticeably thinner than peanut butter. While there’s no denying that there’s a sunflower seed taste, sunflower seed butter tastes less like sunflower seeds than peanut butter tastes like peanuts if that makes sense.
When they’ve been ground and pulverized and the natural oils from the seeds are released, they take on a new-and-improved flavor. The flavor of sunflower seed butter is so much better than a handful of sunflower seeds to the point you can’t compare them.
It’s like trying to describe what Cookie Butter tastes like until you’ve had it. So you’ll just have to make this and find out. I usually buy the Trader Joe’s version, but I won’t need to now.
In my version, inspired by my favorite homemade peanut butter, Honey Roasted Butterscotch White Chocolate Peanut Butter, I added white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, vanilla extract, a generous splash of Jim Bean, and butter-flavored olive oil. Heavenly, yes. You can add some, all, or none of those items.
The recipe is inherently gluten-free, and it’s easily kept vegan by omitting the white chocolate and butterscotch, and using semi-sweet chocolate chips instead.
Cook’s Notes, Tips, Tricks, and Caveats
You will need a decent quality food processor that’s up to the task of running for at least 20 minutes. Making sunflower seed butter takes much longer than peanut butter. At least 15 to 20 minutes, and if you’re flavoring it with the white chocolate and butterscotch chips, another 5 to 10 minutes, or more. Make sure your food processor is up to the task. I don’t think this is a job for a mini food processor. Full size, please.
I don’t think this is a job for a Vita-Mix. I love mine dearly, but you need the action of the blades in a food processor rather than the whirring action of a Vita for this job. I fear a Vita would overheat very quickly and you’d end up with a paste that never breaks down and cleanup underneath the blade would be a hot mess. I’m sure some people have done it in a Vita, but I’ll stick with my food processor.
I used roasted, unsalted seeds from Trader Joe’s. I suggest using roasted seeds. Salting is up to you. I am very salt sensitive and prefer to add my own when possible, rather than buy prepackaged with the salt already added. Roasting brings out the flavor and I don’t recommend raw/unroasted seeds because I think they’d be horribly bland. Roast raw seeds in a 400F oven for 10-15 minutes to take that raw edge off.
As I detailed in step-by-step photos when making homemade peanut butter, the seeds go through much of the same transformation, but rather than the stages happening in seconds or minutes, they take much longer.
First they’ll break down into a chunky and coarse paste, then a big softball-sized mass will form and it will travel around the canister of the food proc for about 5 minutes. Gradually, the big ball will smooth out, at which point the mixture becomes less and less like thick paste. Eventually it breaks down into a thinner, runnier liquid known as sunflower seed butter (SFSB). I process for about 5 minutes more after I think it’s as smooth as it will get, just to be sure. No harm in ‘over’-processing. If you don’t want to flavor it, you can dig a spoon into the creamy, rich homemade sunflower seed butter and savor it now.
This is the stage you can flavor it and doctor it up, but in full disclosure, you may potentially ruin your SFSB by adding white chocolate and butterscotch chips. Both of them are notorious for seizing in baking, and they’re no different here. I thought my SFSB was doomed, but after processing for at least 10 minutes, it finally thinned back out again. Whew.
I add my chips whole; if you know how to effectively melt white chocolate and butterscotch without scorching it or having it seize, you may wish to add them in a melted state rather than as whole chips. I add them whole when making peanut butter and never have any issues, but SFSB is much more finicky. Using less chips than I did may solve the problem, but I wanted a full flavor complement and used 1 cup each.
I added a generous splash of both bourbon and vanilla extract. You can’t really taste either per se. It tastes most like butterscotch, then white chocolate, then vanilla, and the bourbon is very faint. Darn.
Because my mixture wasn’t smoothing out after I added the baking chips, with the machine running, I also drizzled in about 3 tablespoons Butter-Flavored Olive Oil from Star Fine Foods. It’s a new product and I love it. Olive oil that’s very buttery tasting is my new best friend. Use any oil you like, if necessary, to help thin out any thick pasty issues.
Neither liquid stevia drops nor honey are not recommended; they are reported to cause seizing issues. I don’t know about maple syrup or agave.
I find the less I stop, start, and scrape down the sides of the canister, the better. Just turn the food proc on and leave it alone.
I store SFSB and all my nut butters at room temp, where I am comfortable keeping them for weeks (if they last that long). In the fridge, I have stored homemade peanut butter for 5 months (got lost in the back of the fridge) and it was fine. There are no preservatives, so use common sense.
Because there are so many variables involved, I won’t be able to help troubleshoot any issues. The most important thing you can do is blend, blend, blend. Mine took 20 minutes before adding the baking chips, and then another 10 minutes after. So 30 minutes total, and my food processor is a mack daddy. The worst that can happen is you’re out $2.99 of sunflower seeds and you have to start again.
The results are definitely worth a half hour of your time.
It’s creamy, rich, smooth, and sweet. It’s nut butter-as-dessert, and it makes me want to grab a spoon and the jar, snuggle up on the couch with my DVR remote, cue up E channel or Bravo or Food Netork, and have a little sunflower butter eating party with mindless TV on in the background.
Because my full attention is on what’s inside this jar.
Pin This Recipe
Homemade White Chocolate and Butterscotch Sunflower Seed Butter (gluten-free, with vegan option)
Make your own homemade sunflower seed butter that’s smooth, buttery, creamy, and rich. Flavor it with white chocolate, butterscotch, vanilla, Bourbon, or other add-ins that appeal to you. Please read the blog post in detail for all the tips, tricks, cook’s notes, and suggestions. To keep recipe vegan, omit the white chocolate and butterscotch chips; substitute with semi-sweet chocolate chips, if desired.
- 16 ounces (1 pound) unsalted roasted sunflower seeds (or your favorite type)
- 1 cup white chocolate chips (use less, to taste, if desired)
- 1 cup butterscotch chips (use less, to taste, if desired)
- 3 tablespoons bourbon, optional and to taste
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- pinch of salt, optional and to taste
- about 3 tablespoons butter-flavored olive oil, optional and if necessary
- Add sunflower seeds to the canister of a food processor, process on high power until creamy and smooth, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stop to scrape down the sides of the canister if necessary. However, I find the less scraping and interruptions, the better.
- The seeds will go through stages of: crushed, crushed into a fine powder, a paste, a thicker paste, a big “dough ball”, and then the ball will break down into runnier sunflower seed butter (SFSB). At the point the SFSB is runny, continue processing for about 2 more minutes, just making sure the SFSB is as smooth as possible and as desired.
- Through the feed tube with the processor running, add the white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, optional bourbon, vanilla, and optional salt. Process for 10 minutes, or until smooth and incorporated. I do not melt the chips first and add them in whole. The power of the machine, coupled with the heat the SFSB has taken on after 20 minutes of blending, is enough to incorporate them. If using a weaker or older food processor, sprinkling chips in slowly may prevent your machine from struggling or optionally melt them before adding. Note – You may wish to start with half the amount of baking chips called for and increase to taste. As written, this is a dessert-style SFSB and on the sweeter side.
- If after at least 10 minutes of blending, your SFSB has not smoothed out, slowly drizzle in a bit of oil to help smooth it out. Drizzle in no more than 2 tablespoons at once, and allow that to process for at least 5 minutes before drizzling in more. It takes awhile to incorporate fully.
- After SFSB is as smooth as desired, transfer it into glass jars with lids or other airtight containers.
- Store SFSB in the refrigerator or at room temperature. At room temperature, it firms up some but stays soft and runny. In the refrigerator, because of the baking chips, it hardens and solidifies, but softens up again after 15 minutes at room temperature. It can be stored at room temperature for at least two weeks and in the refrigerator, it will keep for months; let common sense be your guide.
- Recipe is gluten-free provided that the brands of baking chips used are gluten-free; recipe can be kept vegan by replacing white choc and butterscotch chips with semi-sweet chocolate chips, or simply omitting. Always read the labels to make sure products conform to your dietary needs.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 416mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 2g
Homemade Peanut Butter (GF, vegan depending on type of peanuts used) The spread that started it all and one of the most pinned and my most popular recipes. Fresh homemade peanut butter is like nothing else, and there’s no comparison to storebought. Even the grind-your-own options at natural-food grocery stores are nothing like making it at home
Five minutes, a bag of nuts, a food processor, and voila
Honey Roasted Butterscotch White Chocolate Peanut Butter (GF) – This peanut butter and the Cinnamon Chip are my two favorites of all time
Cinnamon Chip and White Chocolate Peanut Butter (GF) – If you like cinnamon, this is the spread for you. Sweet with a nice pop of robust cinnamon flavor
Homemade Cookie Butter Peanut Butter – A homemade spin on Cookie Butter or Biscoff Spread, made by blending peanuts with gingersnap cookies and cinnamon, which give the spread a slightly grainy texture, similar to the texture of storebought
Chocolate Peanut Butter Decadent, rich, and perfect for all of us who know that one of the most perfect flavor pairings ever is chocolate + peanut butter
Chocolate Coconut Cashew Butter (vegan, GF) – A cross between coconut butter, cashew butter, and Nutella, this is so creamy, rich, and soothing
Sunflower Seed Butter Balls (no-bake, vegan, GF) – I posted this recipe almost 4 years ago when sunflower seed butter hadn’t caught on quite as much and called them ‘Peanut Butter Balls’, even though I used sunflower seed butter in them. Use any nut butter you enjoy
Sunflower Seed Butter Granola Bars with Chocolate Drizzle – (vegan, GF) – Make these in minutes with your homemade SFSB
Thanks for the entries in the 7″ Kindle Fire HD (16GB) and $20 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!
Have you ever made your own nut or seed butter?
In my cookbook, Peanut Butter Comfort, there are 27 recipes for homemade peanut butter flavors and variations. Plus the 10 or so on my blog. I love making my own and getting creative with the flavors.
I make SFSB often for my nut allergic son. He has been asking for Dark Chocolate PB like his sisters eat, so I’ve been looking for a recipe where chocolate chips were added. I wonder if the chocolate chips could be added initially – 1st step when you process the SFS???
I’m sure that will be fine because I’ve added choc chips to other homemade peanut butter – never SFSB but yes with PB, so I’m sure it will be fine.
You are just the best and most creative for nut butters!!! You “crack” so many!
LOL..thank you :)
OMG! tis looks AMAZING! going on my to make immediately list for sure. Love the combination of white choc and butterscotch! Never made any kind of nut butter but I will defo be making this
Spoon…open mouth…INSERT!!! LOVE this!
and Av, because of you, I have finally started making my own peanut butter AND almond butter.
I am so happy at just the amount of money I’m saving, but also at the fact that I am able to use GMO-free nuts.
Because honestly, you never know, what kind of peanuts were used in other peanut butters.
I will have to try sunflower seed and white chocolate—that does sound good.
You’re right you don’t know what’s on them or where they came from and peanuts are full of aflatoxins. Won’t stop me from eating them, ever! But if you can make your own, all the better. And yes to saving money. And the SFSB becomes RIDIC cheap since seeds are soooo cheap and SFSB (even at TJs) is on the pricier side. Glad to know b/c of me you’re making your own :)
I never knew you could make sunflower seed butter. Butterscotch and bourbon are two of my favorite things, so I’m sold! The only bad thing is that if I make this, I might eat the whole jar in one sitting. :)
o wow, it will go soooooooooooo good with my sandwich. I love butterscotch.
Dangerous stuff, my friend ;)
What the?! That sounds incredible! Definitely a creative butter, with lots of great flavors. Thanks for sharing Averie :)
You know I love our homemade peanut butter, but I have to try homemade sunflower seed butter next! I can see why you ate so much in only 1 day – the flavors are insane! It looks beyond creamy. You are the queen of creative nut butters (well, I know this isn’t a nut butter, but ya know…)… oh gosh Averie I wish I had a huge jar of this right now to spread on my apple slices. Seriously in LOVE with butterscotch!
Sally this would be SO good with apples dipped in it (that’s a step up from just my spoon in it!). I loveeed this stuff. It’s long gone. Butterscotch, white chocolate, and a creamy nut (seed) butter. It was heaven. I cannot make this stuff often b/c I have no self-control over it. Most things, I’m like, meh, whatever and they don’t phase me. This…it phased me :)
This looks easy enough that I can make it and it looks so delicious too!
Oooooooohhh this sounds fantastic. Might add some caramelised white choc to this
Hello, hello Averie. It’s been some time since I’ve commented here. We have moved and are settling down in Seattle (I thing that’s what we are doing). Although the rain doesn’t attract me anymore…
Now I am slowly getting back to my blogging and commenting routine. :)
Sunflower butter, yes please! My favorite. And I do make my own from time to time. Bourbon?! Next time I will add some, I am sure it tastes better with bourbon. :)
Welcome back! I wondered what happened to you but glad to see you back again, Marina! Sounds like your life has been very full and busy!
Now I really want sunflower seed butter! I love all your tips and tricks. And the butterscotch – be-still my heart!
I just recently discovered I liked white chocolate peanut butter (baby steps, here), and this looks great! On homemade whole wheat toast in the morning… mmm.
sunflower seed butter tastes less like sunflower seeds than peanut butter tastes like peanuts if that makes sense. <– EXACTLY!!!
I make sunflower seed butter every week, and I use a cheap-o, but full size food processor. It's a Black and Decker $30 dealio, but it still gets the job done in 20 minutes. I maybe scrape once that whole time.
Roasted is definitely the way to go. I've tried raw and they never sthin out; I think because they just can't release their oils. The taste of roasted is so much better too. I usually buy a mix of salted and non-salted from the bulk bins and ix them for a low salt version. I can't do it without any salt, because the salt takes some of the bitterness out of the seed butter.
Oh, I could go on and on here. But I need to get home and make some more!
ok I’m glad my first sentence translated b/c I was trying to think how to describe it to ppl who’ve never had it. And how to convey accurately what it’s like. Hard!
That’s fab that a $30 B&D food proc does the trick. Ive also heard ppl say good things about the Ninja and I think those are only $99 or less? I dunno, cheap though, all things considered.
Raw/can’t release oils – agreed! Good point. And not to mention, the total bland factor. Ick. You use salt to take the bitter out, I use 2 bags of baking chips :)
Please pass me the spoon, this looks fab! Love the bourbon too!
Could I possibly like this more than PB? I guess I have to try it to find out :) Pinning!
Mixed seed and nut butters are my favorite! It’s fun to play with seed/nut combinations and spices, though I don’t usually add baking chips…I’d like to try vegan butterscotch chips and white chocolate chips to see if they work in your recipe because it looks so superyumful! Thanks for the guidance and great tips! :)
Vegan Butterscotch Baking Chips by Lieber’s
Dairy-Free “White Chocolate” Chips by Lieber’s
Ive heard people have good luck with those two items!
So I totally need to make this over the weekend!!! But wait… how will I now eat it ALL in a matter of hours?! That is the question!
The first day I had it laying around – went nuts on the stuff :)
Here you go again, Averie…saving me money and making my life more delicious. You rock!!!
Sunflower butter is the BEST!! So creamy and tasty!
This looks amazing. I haven’t tried any butters, may have to give this one a try.
Sunflower seed butter is a new concept for me but I think I’m already in love! My food processor is a bit temperamental so I’ll have to live vicariously through your photos, for now. :D
That splash of “bourbon” sounds heavenly!
Yeah this is not the job for ‘temperamental’. You need a workhorse :)
YUM! I love this. White chocolate with bourbon and sunflower? Sounds like such a tasty combination.
White chocolate with bourbon cannot be bad, ever….right? :)
Whenever I post a homemade peanut butter recipe on my blog, I always (ALWAYS) get readers asking about sun or no-not butters. I’ll redirect them here. :) I’d love to make my own SFSB, but unfortunately my mini food processor just wouldn’t be up to the task. This sounds fantastic, I may have to borrow a food processor for this!
I love nut butters, but I’ve never had sunflower seed butter. Oh, this is going on the list. Just gorgeous. Pinned.
Thanks for pinning and you’ve gotta try SFSButter if you’ve never tried it!
Thanks so much for posting a recipe for SFSB! I just need to find some sunflower seeds and I’m going to give this a try (and then make the Sunflower Seed Butter Granola Bars with Chocolate Drizzle)!
Mmmm…love this! Sounds sooooo good! :)
Oh man, this sounds incredible. I’m thinking it would be wonderful drizzled over angel food cake for a simple dessert. Can you believe I’ve never tried sunflower seed butter? I kind of stopped at almond butter b/c it was so addicting and had to back off LOL
This blows the PANTS off A.B. Like…not even in the same league :) Even without the add-ins and extras, I just love SFSB so much more than AB!
And yes to: wonderful drizzled over angel food cake for a simple dessert (or just grab a spoon & dig in!) :)
You are the nut/seed butter queen! Just scrolling through this post there is so many, I love it! I don’t make my own butters too often only because I hate cleaning my food processor. It’s just not a fun task for me! LOL! But I have to try this one! With all the butterscotch it is perfect for fall!
I know the cleanup is annoying and takes awhile which is why I make big batches when I make them. PB is very fast to make and I can whip off a few batches quickly. May as well get alot from it if I have to deal with cleanup!
I have GOT to try this!!
i make your homemade honey roasted peanut butter all the time and never want to go back to store-bought after eating it! it’s sooo amazing. i’ve never had sunflower seed butter that this looks delish!
Oh if you love the honey roasted PB, you’re going to love this version of SFSB! I also have these flavors (white choc/butterscotch) in a PB recipe, too. Thanks for LMK make your own all the time :)
You are the queen of homemade butters like this! Yet another great looking creation with this one!! :)
I have got to try sunflower butter and cookie butter stat. Especially the cookie butter. Hello heaven.
Really great recipe Averie. Love that you added booze to it, means that I can have it legally for breakfast ;)
I have made pumpkin seed butter and of course white chocolate macadamia nut butter ( both on the blog) but never tired flavouring seed butter before. I am trying out a recipe right now for almond and chia seed butter, maybe I can make it sweet too!
Also I have made a vegan take on a cake today! (actually just posted it) Thank you for the helpful tips and recipes.
Flavored seed/nut butters are just so fun! And I saw the cake -looks wonderful and thanks for the shoutout!
I usually do a mix of nuts and seeds when making my own nut butters, but I did make plain SFSB earlier in the summer. I am relieved to read yours took a long time to process because I thought mine would never smooth out at the time. I also learned that my new food processor is wimpy and can’t quite make it much over 12-13 min without a couple of 5 min breaks….so I think mine took more like 45 min total! I didn’t add oil but I think that will help. Love the additional flavors in this one!!!
Yes I can imagine that most food proc would be having a time of it around the 10-15 min mark and that breaks would be in order! It was amazing to me JUST how long it took for these seeds to break down. A tiny drizzle of oil may help you next time if you get to that sticking point. I really, really resisted adding any oil until I was certain that there was just no other option and the 1-2 tbsp I added made a huge difference in blend-ability and less struggle!