Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter Recipe

This one is for my sis - homemade Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter.

Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

This one is for my sister - a lifelong sunflower seed enthusiast. I flipped to page 205 of Marisa McClellan's new book, Food in Jars, and there it was - a recipe for homemade Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter. Here's the thing - if you have sunflower seeds, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla bean paste (or pods), you can make it right now. It takes next to no time. As I'm sure you can imagine - it's perfect on good toast. But you can also thin it out to the consistency of (a sweet) tahini - great with apples or pears, or as a component on grilled sandwiches.

Sunflower Seed ButterSunflower Seed Butter

This sunflower seed butter calls for what might seem like a lot of cinnamon (and vanilla bean paste, for that matter). Have faith, it all works out nicely. I've made this a few times now, and will work in a few extra notes and suggestions in the recipe.

Sunflower Seed Butter
Sunflower Seed ButterSunflower Seed Butter

I'd love to know if you guys make it - and if so, what you do with it.
And huge congrats on the new book Marisa, I've enjoyed your site for a long time.

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Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

Finding raw sunflower seeds can sometimes be tricky or inconvenient. I've had success using bags of roasted/salted seeds, and roasted/unsalted seeds as well. If your seeds are already salted, leave out the salt called for in the recipe - instead, salt to taste. If your seeds are already roasted, skip that step. I also like to pulse in a bit of lemon zest toward the end here for a bit of edge, so I've added that as an option as well.

2 cups / 225 g raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup / 60 ml sunflower oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste (or seeds scraped from 2 plump vanilla beans)

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
zest of 1/2 a lemon, or to taste

Toast the sunflower seeds in a 325F / 165C oven, on a rimmed baking sheet, until fragrant and golden. You'll want to stir them once or twice along the way to ensure even roasting. Let cool for ten minutes.

Puree the seeds in a food processor along with 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, and the sea salt (if using). As the motor runs drizzle in another 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil. Scrape down the sides once or twice along the way, you're aiming for an even, creamy consistency, and it may take some time. Once the mixture starts to look smooth, add the vanilla paste and cinnamon, and pulse to incorporate. At this point, evaluate the consistency, if your sunflower seed butter is on the thick side, drizzle in the remaining tablespoon of oil while the processor is running. Taste, and add more salt if needed (and the lemon zest. if using), as well.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups / 380 g.

Adapted slightly from Marisa McClellan's Food in Jars. Running Press 2012.

Prep time: 5 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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I love nut butters, but I haven't tried sunflower, and I've never experimented with adding spice. The amount of cinnamon is a little unnerving, but if you say 'have faith', I'm willing to try :)


Thank's Heidi, my daughter's best friend is allergic to peanuts, but she loves peanut butter sandwiches, I never thought to make my own butter. Now we have the entire summer to experiment for next year!


wow. I have everything. I'm making this right now and then immediately having some. I usually have sunflower seeds on my yogurt in the morning but this could do nicely swirled into the yogurt or smeared on apple slices...gotta go make it now!


Looks lovely. Can't wait to try it.


How delicious and fun!

A Brown Table

The bread that is in the butter picture, the first pic...did you bake it?

HS: Hi Lourdes - Wayne bakes bread a couple times a week, and those are his. He does variations on the Tartine Bread recipe (sesame is my favorite!)....

Lourdes Rosel

Sounds great. I think I will make some and add it to my Energy Bars that I make which I will replace the store bought sunbutter. I have used your Lara Bars with lots of tweeks - like using sunbutter, coconut, cloves... I do enjoy your Recipes and must say your site is my 1st stop. Thanks again for sharing with all of us, Robert

HS: Thanks Robert!


My mind is going CRAZY thinking of all of the many ways you can use this. It looks amazing :)

Lauren | Sweet Splendor

YOU. are kidding me. This is insane. I've got to try it. I loooove the color!

Bev @ Bev Cooks

Sounds divine. :)


Riquísimo!!!!, ideal para una bruschetta de membrillos...

HS: Great idea Flor!


Sounds yummy... but it makes me wonder. Could I cheat and use the store bought unsweetened sunbutter already bottled (and in my refrigerator) and just add some vanilla and cinnamon? Why not I say!

Dawn @ cuter than gluten

This on a grilled sandwich? Yum.


I think this is the first time I've commented here… but, I've ben reading for a long time, loooove everything I've ever tried. Your double broccoli quinoa salad converted my husband to like quinoa, hooray! Your first picture is making me want to jump and make some, right now!


So excited for Marisa's new book, too! I've been a longtime fan of hers. Ever made her garlic dill pickles? Thanks for the cookbook rec :)

HS: I'll give them a go!


this looks beyond amazing and so easy too!


I love being surprised by recipes for which one already has all of the ingredients in the pantry! This cinnamon vanilla sunflower butter seems just meant to be with slices of apples and pears.


I will definitely be making this. I have three children and a husband who love sunflower butter. Currently they accept the TJ's brand, but I will delight them with this one. Thanks!


This is on my list! I have been meaning to make my own peanut butter for weeks now. But this is something much more special.


What a great idea! I always have a ton of sunflower seeds on hand and I love the idea of turning them into a butter.


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