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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This is a genius recipe! I can't wait to try it...


I made and wrote about the Maple-Roasted Almond butter from this book--but maybe that is only my favorite because I haven't tried this one yet! I am looking forward to making so many things from this book.


that looks so good!!!


I am already a fan of this recipe - your idea of a little lemon zest is intriguing. Do you think it impacts the length of time that the butter will keep? We have actually thinned it out and used it on ice cream - but as tahini! Even better.


I've never considered sunflower butter before. It looks delicious and I'm already dreaming up ways to use it.

la domestique

I love sunflower seeds. This is a great idea to incorporate healthy ingredient in our diets.

simple sustenance

something totally different! i like!


Yum, get me some toast and a would slather that butter all over it!


my oh my that sounds delicious! yummmmm!! love the vanilla in there!

Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy

This looks to die for, Heidi! I love sunflower seed butter; I buy it all the time and just never think to make my own. It seems like a pain (or so I thought) but you made it seem...easy! And I love vanilla bean paste AND a heavy-hand with cinnamon. This is perfect!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

I love this gorgeous, beautiful, unique spread!

Belinda @zomppa

My kids just started school this past year, and each night when I go to make lunches, I secretly wish that schools would allow Peanut Butter again. I think this Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter might possibly make the next decade of school lunches a whole lot easier.


Such a great idea !!!

That looks so good, as does that bread! Love every thing on the site!


I happen to have more sunflower seeds than I could possibly use up, so I'm making this nut butter stat. Sounds heavenly!

Cookie and Kate

This looks unreal! Awesome idea!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

oh I would love this on toast!

Simply Life

Will definitely be making this later this week. Maybe tomorrow! It sounds like the perfect excuse for the homemade bread I've been craving for some time now...


That sounds so delicious! I'd probably use organic palm shortening to keep it stable at room temperature.




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