All Natural, Home Made Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter

Making my own All Natural Nut Butters at home is an activity that I truly enjoy.

Call me weird, but I find it super relaxing. Sometimes, I’ll whip up a batch just because… you know. Some people will grab a good book, others will run themselves a warm bath or go for a nice, long walk. Some will do crossword puzzles, draw, paint or watch the tube for a wee while.

I, will make Nut Butters.

Maybe it’s because to me, this is what is closest to baking, only when making Nut Butters, I get to keep the fruit of my labor for months, whereas when baking, the goods pretty much have to be consumed in a matter of days, which really isn’t ideal when you have no one to share said goods with. Eating an entire cheesecake to one self over the course of a week, or a dozen sweet potato brownies, or a full loaf of banana bread before it goes bad, isn’t the healthiest thing to do!

There’s always the option to freeze them for later, in most cases, but truth is my freezer if getting quite full already with some of my past creations.

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

So Nut Butters, I make. Lots of ’em, too much of ’em. Some, like this one, using only a single variety of nuts (or seeds), some using a delicious combination of different nuts and seeds and some even including other tasty additions.

My Nut Butters all have one thing in common, though. I absolutely hate the idea of adding oil to them. Most recipes will have you add some kind of oil to your nuts right from the start, which, I have to admit, really helps in kick-starting the process and have your nuts quickly turn into butter.

But, the thing is, I find it changes the final consistency of the Nut Butter. I like mine to be as thick as can be, and the addition of oil tends to make the final product somewhat loose and runny. Sorry, NOT a fan.

All nuts will turn to butter if you give them time, even without the addition of oil. You just need to be patient, that’s all. But you’ll be rewarded with a product that, in my humble opinion, is far superior, if not in taste, at least in texture!

Oh, and about this particular Seed Butter? If you’ve never tried Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter before, by all means, make a batch right now. The flavor is plain out of this world yummy. It’s nutty, smokey, bold and simply delicious. It’s like shoving a handful of salted toasted sunflowers in your mouth, but to the tenth power.


Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

 Start with a bunch of beautiful RAW sunflower seeds, organic if you can!

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

 Lay the seeds in a thin, flat and even layer onto a large baking sheet

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Bake them in a 350F oven, moving them around frequently, until they get slightly golden and the house is filled with the most delicious and intoxicating nutty aroma, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Be careful not to overdo this. Sunflower seeds are very delicate and will burn very easily, which will make them taste nasty. You want the seeds to keep a fairly light golden coloration.

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Let the seeds cool slightly, then transfer them to the bowl of your food processor. Don’t let them get too cold, however. The oils will get released a lot faster and easier if the seeds are still nice and warm.

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Start processing the seeds. In total, it should take about 25 to 30 minutes to get from seed to butter. After the initial 2 minutes, this is what you should be looking at. Yeah. I know what you’re thinking. That looks exactly like COARSE SAND.

Nothing really appetizing so far! 

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Let’s give our seeds a couple more minutes on the spin cycle.  Aaaah! Much better: now we have what looks like WET coarse sand.

Pffft. Still not even close to resembling something that I’d want to eat… let’s keep going.

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Another couples of minutes later, the seeds will want to clump up and start looking like… CEMENT.

Great! Now you’ll be thinking: this is going nowhere. I’ve just ruined a whole bunch of sunflower seeds. GAH!

Keep going!

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Start the motor once again. Now this is probably the point where you’re gonna start wanting to add all sorts of things to this bowl. You’re gonna start thinking that there is no way this is ever going to happen. You’ll be reviewing the content of your cupboards in your mind, wondering what you have in there that you could possibly add to this big mass of cement to help it relax and become nice and smooth for you.

By all means, resist the urge.

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Just keep going. Yeah, I know. This looks like sand and rocks. Probably something that belongs in the yard more than it does in the pantry. But trust. The magic WILL happen.

I’m warning you, though. You’re probably gonna have to stop that motor fairly often. The blade will tend to dig and spin right underneath the mass, which isn’t really efficient at breaking it down. So you’re gonna have to help it and manually destroy that lump from time to time so it gets in the blade’s path.

Keep spinning and breaking and spinning and breaking…

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

See? I told you. The seeds are FINALLY starting to release some of their oil. HA! Now we’re getting somewhere!

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Getting somewhere, perhaps, but not out of the woods just yet. At this point, the mass is mostly going to just go round and round and round the bowl. S.L.O.W.L.Y.

So again, every couple of turns (it will take a good minute for this big solid clump of nut butter to make a full revolution around bowl) you’ll want to stop the motor, break that big blob down and get it going again.

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

For the better part of the next 8 to 10 minutes, this is what you will be staring at. A mass of nut butter that’s very slowly spinning in circles. I say you should enjoy the process, though, for it is very fascinating. As the mass spins around that bowl, the butter releases more and more oil, and becomes more and more relaxed.

You’ll probably become so enthralled with looking at it go that you’ll most likely find yourself holding your breath at some point, waiting for that culminating moment where the ball finally collapses to the bottom of the bowl in the most delicious way.   

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

And eventually… it happens! Oh yeah! The butter completely relaxes and abandons the fight. It surrenders to the power of the blade and accepts to stay nicely in its path, at the bottom of the bowl.

Phew, you can start breathing again! 😉

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

From this point on, you won’t have to stop the motor as often. Just let it run for a good 5 to 10 minutes, stopping a couple of times just to scrape the sides a little bit. Oh, and don’t be alarmed if you notice that your nut butter is getting very hot. It’s totally normal. With all the friction that’s going on, it does become almost as hot as if you’d actually been cooking it…

If, on the other hand, the motor of your food processor appears to be heating up, that’s not a good thing. You might want to give it a little bit of a rest from time to time if you feel that the task at hand is too much for it to handle.

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

When your Sunflower Seed Butter is creamy enough for you and has reached the desired consistency, throw in the salt and vanilla extract and then get it going for one final minute, just to make sure that everything is well incorporated.

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

 Transfer your finished Sunflower Seed butter to an airtight glass jar.

Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Sprinkle a few sunflower seeds on top, just to make it even prettier.

Now try to keep your hands (and fingers and spoons and whatever other “dippable” contraption) off, at least until the next day. I find fresh nut butter always taste better after resting for a few days.

And if you want some right away, you can always lick that bowl clean!

All Natural, Home Made Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter

Yield: Yields about 2 cups

NF is based on 1 tablespoon

All Natural, Home Made Toasted Sunflower Seed Butter



  1. Place the seeds in a baking or cookie sheet and toast in a a 350F oven for 20-25 minutes, moving them around often, until golden and fragrant.
  2. Be careful to not take the seeds too far. Sunflower seeds are very delicate and will burn fairly easily. You want them to be a very light golden color, no more.
  3. Let the seeds cool for a few minutes then transfer them to the bowl of your food processor
  4. Process for a total of 25-30 minutes, stopping every 2 to 3 minutes or so to break down the clumped-up mixture and scrape the sides a bit.
  5. After about 20 minutes, the seeds should start releasing their oil and the butter will finally relax and become creamy. From this point, you will want to let it run for 5 to 10 minutes until really smooth and creamy.
  6. Now add the salt and vanilla extract and process for another minute
  7. Transfer to a glass, air tight jar.

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If you haven’t, click on the image below for your chance to win a $100 Gift Card from Amazon.

Don’t forget that you can tweet about it every day to earn extra entries!

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  1. Franki says

    This looks delicious I’m excited to try it. We have nut allergies in our house so I use a ton of seeds. I have trouble getting my food processor clean after I grind them though. Any tips. Mine currently has a sticky film on it. I’ve soaked it, ran it threw the dishwasher, soaked in vinegar…

    • says

      Ahah! Get an new food processor, Franki? No seriously, I have no idea. I always throw mine (well, the bowl) in the dishwasher and it comes out perfectly clean… wish I could help but unfortunately, I’m at a loss here. Sorry about that!

    • Alex says

      Franki, have you tried filling the bowl half way with hot water and a splash of dishwashing liquid and letting it run for a while?

    • Nicky NZ says

      Try my magic everything cleaner, baking soda. A bit on a damp sponge will clean anything from the stovetop to sticky oil residue. So many uses, google it. It even cleans the toilet bowl sprinkle and scrub, and removes rust stains… Good luck.

  2. says

    Mmm I love sunflower seed butter! It might just be my favourite. I haven’t had the guts to make my own yet but now I know all the different stages I might be brave enough to give it a go!

  3. says

    “Thick”, the magic word when it comes to Nut Butters, no doubt about it.
    And yes, Sunflower seed butter is the thang; I can’t wait to make it (although the last time I made PB at home I “zonked” the food processor!) 😉

  4. says

    I have never had sunflower seed butter OR made my own nut butters. You can judge me, I will allow it.
    How-ev-er, I just picked myself one of those fancy Ninja blender/food processor things so now I am blending ALL THE THINGS.
    except dinner. Blended chicken = no.
    Gotta try this on Sonia, me and nut butters are BFFS. Sometimes a little too much…

    • says

      Oh, but Taylor, nooooo… blended chicken = Chicken Meatballs!

      And when you start making your own nut butters, you’ll never be able to stop! Like me, you’ll want to whip up a new batch every single week-end, just to try out a new nut, or a new flavor combo. Seriously. It’s addictive. Don’t say I haven’t warned you! :)

  5. Kimberley Turnbull says

    I just made a batch of this mmmmmm!!!! Thank you for this..couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong before, I just had to keep milling!I don’t have a food processor but my bullet worked AWESOME!

  6. HB says

    Hi this looks great! How long does it keep for? Does it have to be stored in the fridge in sterlised jars? Would I be able to make only a small amount do you think?

    • says

      This will keep for quite a while, HB, probably much longer than you’ll be able to keep it for! And no, you don’t need to use sterilized jars. Some people like to keep their nut butters in the fridge but I like to keep mine in the cupboards. I think it’s a personal decision, really. As for making a small amount, I find it much easier to work with fairly large amounts of nuts, else all they want to do is climb up the sides of the bowl and the blades don’t even get a chance to hit them. Unless you use a very small food processor, which oftentimes lack the necessary power… I have, however, successfully made a small batch of Cashew Butter using this guy, once. I say it’s worth a shot!

      Hope this helps! :)

  7. Kelly says

    Your play by play here is perfection. It alleviated my fear that I was doing it wrong and helped me avoid adding oil when I really didn’t want to. It’s like the butter came alive for a while as it fought against that blade!!

  8. Kentucky Lea says

    Your “you may also like” links just changed my life! I purchased a lb of unsalted roasted sunflower seed from trader joes the other day and was contemplating making this butter this morning… but distracted as I can be I clicked through to 3 other butters including your creamy coconut butter, in which you ponder how much better a high powered blender could potentially do the coconut job… so I tried it with the coconut, and got just a few tablespoons of solids in the sieve, and took only 5 minutes total from pulling ingredients to lidding the jar. So I cleaned my vitamix, warmed the sunflower seeds in my microwave, poured them in and started my stop-clock – 2 minutes blending and it was smooth and creamy! I let it run a 3rd minute just to be sure, since your write up made it sound patience testing, and let me tell you… AMAZING!!! I can’t wait to eat both of these tomorrow!

    • says

      GAH! Now you’re making me want a Vitamix so bad! Thanks for your insight, Lea. I greatly appreciate that (although it might have just cost me like $600…) I just NEED to try one of those machines! 😉

      So, tell me, how are the butters?

      • Kentucky Lea says

        The butters are EXCELLENT! I love that I can make them for a fraction of the cost listed on amazon! (Although all the specialty “flours” and “butters” in paleo cooking are killing what I thought was my budget.) Speaking of budget I got my Vitamix 5200 in February for $375 from Costco, not sure if you have those in Canada, but it might be worth the membership if they do. (They also sell organic butter, 2lbs for $7.69)… Food for thought!

        • says

          Thanks for the info, Lea. Yes we do have COSTCO in Canada, but sadly, they aren’t equivalent to the ones you have. Organic, sustainable, grass-fed and the likes still aren’t really available at our COSTCO. I can’t wait until they wizen up, but they seem to be just doing the opposite. For instance, my local COSTCO used to carry Wild Planet’s canned salmon and tuna, but recently took them off the shelves. Same for pasture raised chicken. And organic butter is obviously non-existent. Gah. Makes me wish I lived in the States, sometimes.

          As for the Vitamix, they do carry it but it goes for something closer to $500, if not more. Unfortunately, this kind of expense is not in my budget for the time being…

  9. AJ says

    Thanks for your reply, Sonia. Sorry, another question – will soaked seeds need to be dehydrated before toasting and blending? xx

  10. Blu says

    Hi Sonia

    This is a long overdue comment. I have made this roasted sunflower butter several times already and I must say, it is simply DELICIOUS and healthy and easy and wonderfully Paleo. Thanks for the recipe. I love the way my place smells when I bake the sunflower seeds. Thanks again for an amazing DIY.

  11. joanna schupp says

    my gosh. i’m 20 minutes into this and am already suicidal haha i hope it ends up turning into the beautifully creamy sunbutter in your photos!

      • says

        HAHAHA! That it too funny! I too made a fresh batch of this nut butter today and thought to myself “OMG, this is by far the most brutal of all nut butters. It takes like FOREVER to come together! Man does it ever take its sweet time. But it always work out in the end. It always does. :)

  12. joanna schupp says

    it was actually quite hilarious, sonia. i started it in the kitchen and ended up in the basement because my parents were watching a movie and kept saying “how long is that damn stuff gonna take?!?!? we can’t hear the movie!”

    and of course, our basement lights are motion sensitive so as i was sitting on the floor, the lights went out 3 times while the food processor was on. ahahaha

    • says

      Haha! That’s too funny joanna! I hope you gave your parents a great big spoon of the nut butter for their “trouble”! 😉

      And damn motion sensitive lights. I have those in my garage. It’s so annoying when you’re working on something or trying to get some meat out of the freezer (surprisingly, that can sometimes take quite a chunk of time) and the darn light goes off on you. :/

      Hey, at least now you get to indulge in some deliciously smokey sunflower seed butter! ENJOY! 😀

  13. Lisa says

    I just made a tiny amount and am instantly addicted! The whole kitchen smells of it and it’s intoxicating!! I used pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds and golden linseeds all dry fried until medium brown first………….. Oh my! It is so good! Spread on a rice cake and eaten from a spoon………. I am going to add a bit of chilli to the next lot or even chipotle…. Thanks!

  14. Mary says

    You honestly want me to wait? :)

    This is amazing! A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. and soooooo easy to make!

    And unlike mayo I didn’t fail this recipe on purpose :)

    Greetings from Vienna, Austria!

    PS I know you hear this often but the pics that follow each step of your recipes not only look great but inspire others to cook!

  15. Alexis says

    I plan on sending this to a friend as a gift, so reading that it’s even better after resting makes me even more excited than I already was! I just hope I have enough patience!

    Also, I’m going to go through the rest of your nut butter recipes ASAP. I’m so glad I found your blog!!

  16. Sofia says

    Hi Sonia! Thank you for posting this recipe! I tried doing it today and the consistency is good, but it doesn’t look golden like yours, it looks greenish-gray :(! Has this ever happened to you? Do you have any idea why this could be?

    • says

      Greenish-gey? Really? And you toasted the sunflower seeds before to process them? I figure raw sunflower seed butter would be kind of greyish, since the seeds are grey in their raw state, but they do turn this beautiful shade of light golden once they have been toasted… maybe try toasting them a teeny little bit longer next time? Does it taste good at least? < -- cuz in the end, that's what truly counts, right? ;)

  17. says

    Sonia…can you help?! I made your delicious sunflower seed butter in the past year and thought that I could do it again from memory. Yeah, not so much. My goal was to do a raw batch so I didn’t toast (shouldn’t have been a problem, I’ve made other raw nut butters before) and when it seemed to never come together I drizzled peanut oil till it started. So it got to the very grainy phase and then turned into the big glob and that is where I made my fatal error: I didn’t want to add any more oil and thought some water drizzled would be fine. One shot glass helped, two seemed to help, three didn’t make much more progress but at 4 we had water/oil separation ignition that has not quit. Now I have a hard lump and what looks to be a mixture of peanut and sunflower seed oil. I’m wondering if I tried to dry the lump mass in the oven and start over would it be manageable? I started with 1 1/2# of seeds and hate to waste it! And the longer it sits, the more oil oozes out. Makes me very sad.


    • says

      Strange as it may sound, Molly, I would add more water! It should eventually get back together, although your final nut butter will have a fairly runny consistency and will have to be kept in the refrigerator. Also, it won’t keep for quite as long, but you’ll be able to use it in all kinds of recipes…

      Hope this helps, and keep me posted!

      • says

        Thank you, Sonia. I’ve got it sitting in the fridge waiting. Cross fingers for me! I forgot to mention that I had also tried putting some of it in the Vitamix cause if that can’t make something come together… And it didn’t work. Really don’t want to waste it! But then again…I now have a nifty looking sunflower/peanut oil combo to cook with. hahaha

        • says

          I find the Vitamix is excellent at making über smooth nut butters, but doesn’t handle the really thick ones all that well… I strongly suspect that sunflower seed butter, without the addition of a ton of oil, would probably never turn. However, in your situation, it might be a good idea to use it, since you’ll be adding a fair amount of water to get it to come together again. I’d definitely give that Vitamix a shot!

          Please do keep me posted as to whether you managed to serve your precious spread!

  18. Will Lewis says

    I only roasted mine for only 12 minutes and they were a tab bit too done. !0 minutes may have been better. I wonder why mine were done in almost 1/3 of your time? I moved them around about 5 times. Thank you for the recipe!

    • says

      It’s hard to say without knowing exactly what you did, Will… Did you use the same amount of seeds or did you cut that amount some? Or perhaps you used a really large baking sheet? If your seeds were spread so thin that they were all in contact with the bare metal of the baking sheet, then that would’ve definitely sped up the roasting process. Other than that, I really can’t think of anything… but I guess the important part is you didn’t end up burning them! :)

  19. Anna says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe and for providing the photos. If I had been doing this on my own, I would have given up early in the process…thinking that that coarse sand mixture would never become creamy. It is delicious and worth the time to make. Thanks, again!

  20. Jane says

    I tried to make this butter but i am not sure if it will turn out good.
    It was creamy and I thought finished, then I added salt, vanilla and rice-syrup (alike agave syrup but without fructose) now it´s totally clumpy again!
    Not sure if there is still hope…
    should I keep on in my food processor or add butter?


    • says

      Adding sweeteners and even vanilla extract to nut butters can be tricky as this introduces moisture in the form of water and we all know that oil and water do not mix…

      Your only hope to salvage your nut butter at this point is to add more water! I know this sounds counterproductive, but trust me, it’s the only way. More fat will only cause it to separate further. So add warm water while the motor is running, about one or two tablespoons at at time, and wait until it’s fully incorporated until you add more. You’ll see, at some point, your nut butter will start to come together again for you and eventually, will become real creamy. The only downfall is that your nut butter will not keep for quite as long and you will have to store it in the refrigerator.

      Hope this helps and let me know how it went! :)

  21. Jane says

    It Turned out green-gray and was still clumpy… It’s in the trash now :( it didn’t looked like something one would want to eat… :(
    Thanks that you tried to help me

  22. Barbara says

    I’m at a loss right now. I discovered two delicious looking baking recipes on Leanne Vogel’s website and they both need sunflower butter. Now here I am sitting in Germany, where no shop in reach sell sunflower butter, you can’t get it online except for ridiculous prices. And I can’t try your way because I don’t have a food processor, only a blender. could I try it with that? If not, what would you suggest to use instead to get as close to the same taste in recipes?

    • says

      Unfortunately, Barbara, I’m afraid a blender wouldn’t really work all that well, unless perhaps it was a high-speed blender? If you can’t get your hands on the sunflower seed butter, you could probably use toasted almond instead, or a combination of toasted almonds and toasted hazelnuts.

      • Barbara says

        Too bad. No, it’s not even close to high speed :(
        I actually did find sunflower butter in a shop today. Only they don’t call it butter in German, that’s why I was confused. But I looked at the ingredients and it was just sunflower seeds and salt. So except for the vanilla same as your recipe. I didn’t think it was right at first because peanut BUTTER (the only “nut” butter they sell) has oil in it as well.
        So thanks anyway

  23. Katie says


    I was hoping for a slightly sweeter sun butter for my son. I pulsed the seeds until they began to release their oil and became wonderfully smooth. Then I added some honey in place of vanilla extract…. it clumped together immediately and when I decided to beat it some more the oil just separated from the clump. It was a mess. Do you have any suggestions on how to make a sweeter version?

    • says

      Unfortunately, Katie, adding moisture to nut butters will almost always cause them to separate… the only way to save them once that happens is to add warm water, a tablespoon at a time, while the food processor is running until the nut butter comes together again.

      As for adding sweetness to your nut butters, it can be done, but if the sweetener is liquid or contains any form of liquid whatsoever, it needs to be added at the very end and you mustn’t overmix. Mixing by hand could even be preferable, in some cases (like when the nut butter is already very thick to start with). It will, however, invariably change the texture of the nut butter and in most cases make it much thicker. The other option is to use dry sugar, like coconut sugar, for instance.

      Hope this helps! :)

  24. says

    Thank you soooo much for sharing. I love sunflower seed butter, but it is not very common in Germany and is very expensive. I just made it and can’t wait to try it tomorrow for breakfast :) Thank you for the very detailed instructions. I would have given up like ten times, but remembered all your pictures, so I kept going. It is super creamy and I am very excited to try the tasty result! Thank you!

  25. Sara says

    Sonia, I would like to try a combination of sunflower and sesame seeds and add a bit of raw sugar. How do you recommend I go about this?

  26. sandy says

    Hi Sonia, Sunbutter is my new found love thanks for the recipe I will have to start making my own, But quick question, how long does this keep out and or in the fridge?

    • says

      I tend to store my nut butters in the pantry, unless they contain perishable ingredients, and most will keep for 4 to 6 weeks (if they make it that long). Sunflower butter is on the delicate side and tends to go rancid faster than the average, so I would say no more than 4 weeks in the pantry, up to a couple of months in the refrigerator.

  27. Marla says

    This worked well until I put in the jar. It was actually hot. It started out very smooth and creamy and then hardened up and cannot be spread :( Where did I go wrong?

    • says

      How long did it take for it to harden like that, Marla? Natural nut butters will “settle” after sitting for a while, i.e. the oils will rise to the top, leaving the bottom somewhat hard and crumbly. To avoid that, all you need to do is give the nut butter a good stir from time to time. :)

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