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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Lovely! (and vegan) looking forward to making this. Thanks!


This looks wonderful! How long do you think it will keep in the fridge?


sounds delicious

Diane {Created by Diane}

I’m making this! Definitely. I’m a huge fan of sunbutter as it is, I just love the idea of sweeter version. It looks so yummy!


I’d love to try this recipe (all the ingredients are on hand!) but I don’t have a food processor. Do you think a blender would do the trick?


I love 101 Cookbooks.


Was at my little corner grocery last night and picked up one of the half dozen cookbooks they had on display. As I looked through it I thought “Wow! How have I never read this cookbook? I should see if the author has a blog, this is awesome!” Laughed when I read the back flyleaf and realized it was YOUR cookbook. It was beautiful! Can’t wait to read (and cook) the whole thing!

HS: Thanks Laura – hope you enjoy it! 🙂


i used coconut oil as that is what i had on hand! DEEELISCIOUS!! Now I’m hesitant to try it the other way, but have seeds in the oven toasting as i write this! what to do!
this is the indulgence i need on this cleanse i am doing! Thank you!!!

j harris

I just started becoming obsessed with sunflower butter! This just made my day…

Erica @

All good but be aware of the fact that sunflower seeds (and sunflower oil) are slated to be GMO – so buy organic ones! (And hope they’ve not been contaminated).


sunflower butter?! how unique! looks delicious!

Lauren @ Girls Gone Food

Oh my god this is amazing. I am going to have to use my utmost self control to stop myself eating it by the spoonful right now. I’m on a sugar-free diet and this is like the dessert I haven’t had for two months!!!


Aside from your lovely posts, I just have to comment on your Cuisinart…. is it vintage? No bells and whistles just beautiful and does the job.
Keep them coming…..

Alain Arango

I just made this with a few adjustments: a bit more oil than the 1/4 cup called for; and because it was rather thicker than I expected AND I didn’t have enough vanilla beans, I added about 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. So that helped with the consistency and the flavor. A great recipe–thank you. And I had all the ingredients already.


Loved it! I added the last tablespoon of oil early because I was worried that it would burn out my (not so great) food processor before it came together. Probably could have let it go longer but loved the texture in contrast to the Skippy- like sunflower butter I buy at the store. I’ll definitely be passing it on!

Ana Sofia

Hello, off topic, but I just did a search for apricot recipes and came up short – would love to see something using them! 🙂


I’m definately trying this recipe… thanks Heidi, always so inspiring.

Maria (Madrid y yo)

I’m pretty obsessed with sunflower butter–I have a recipe for that with sea salt that makes me SO happy. This looks delicious!


woohoo….another topping for all the pain d’epi (15 loaves all up) that I made this week hehe


I made this last night with some seeds I’d had stored up in the freezer. I used coconut oil and a little bit of olive oil since I had those on hand and I’ve very pleased with the result. I think next time I will try with a bit more vanilla seeds and perhaps a bit of orange zest.


this looks delicious. I am picturing it on buckwheat waffles with a drizzle of honey. would it be OK to use vanilla extract, or would it ruin it?


In continuation a few posting ago, I was able to save my grainy thick spread by using the vita-mix. I had to add some water of course. So after adding about 1/2 cup filter water, another 1/4 tsp. sea salt., it came out smooth and spreadable consistency. Flavor is still good. I will try this again, only I’ll use a regular food processor this time or maybe the vita-mix blender. Now I have to go back to my kitchen and clean up a big mess I created just to make sunflower butter.


I love serving my fresh baked bread to guests upon arrival, and am constantly looking for new and interesting spreads. This has definitely made my list.

Daniel Robinson

I love sunflower butter so I just made this. I cut the recipe in half and used my mini food processor. Everything looked smooth up until I added the cinnamon and vanilla extract (I didn’t have jar bean paste or the seeds to scrape) and the consistency tightened up and became thick and grainy. I added another tablespoon sunflower oil, but was not enough to thin it out. So after tasting the thick, grainy butter, I decided to add 2 tbsp. (half recipe) maple syrup which was a nice addition to give it some sweetness. But still didn’t thin it out enough to be spreadable butter. I gave up. It still tastes good, but wish I could achieve the correct spreadable consistency. Maybe a mini processor is not strong enough? or maybe it’s the exract? Any idea what I did wrong?


That sunflower seed butter looks fabulous! I’m usually too intimidated to make my own nut/seed butter, but I think you just convinced me to try it!
What area of the grocery store would you find vanilla paste? The baking section, or somewhere else? Or is it a specialty item that I should look for elsewhere?


great for families with nut allergies–sunflower seeds are basically a zero-allergen food and have become a staple in our house


Whipped this up before my vounteer gig this morning, it is amazing! Off to share it with my coworkers. Even tho I used unsalted seeds and roasted them myself I do think I will cut back on the salt next time…and there wil certainly be a next time! Thanks for posting this recipe, your site is gorgeous.


This is good stuff, I think will make it this weekend!!!!!!!!!!!


This looks delicious and i like the cinnamon-vanilla in it.


I have more raw tahini than I know what to do with. I think I’ll mix some cinnamon and vanilla beans into it for a sweet treat!


hi how a u today?


hi how a u today?


This sounds so incredible that I feel I could easily give up nuts if it meant eating this every day for the rest of my life 🙂


oh wow, this looks fantastic! i’ve been buying sunflower butter at Trader Joe’s for the past few years and love it. Can’t wait to try making it at home, thanks for sharing!


this looks very tasty. i don’t think i’ve ever had sunflower butter, but i do love all of the things in this recipe, so i will definitely give it a shot! i bet it’s lovely with apples, or a fresh-made strawberry jam (we made one from Marisa’s book this weekend, actually!).

heather @ chiknpastry

The humble sunflower blooms into a decadent spread! I LOVE IT! I have 2 fat pods of vanilla sitting in a jar that I forgot about. I think that they are singing the praises of this recipe and I am off to make it right now! Should it taste anything other than heavenly I will use it as a face scrub 😉


I love sunflower butter, especially on waffles. I’ve never used vanilla paste before, but it sounds glorious!

Jessica @ GardenGastronomy

Hmmm. Looks delicious. Another reason I might need to break down and buy a food processor.

Denise | Chez Danisse

Amazing recipe! I love all homemade butters, I have tried walnut or cashewnut but not sunflower. I know, I’ll love it! ;D


Thank you so much for the ability to print this recipe.

Gladys Stamper

Sounds amazing–especially if there are peanut allergies to deal with. And why have I never considered flavoring nut butters before? 🙂


Mmm. I love the idea of putting it on grilled sandwiches.


And immediately I’m thinking, what can I blend into almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter…brilliant idea here

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

Ooooh, looks so tasty and different from the typical peanut butter and almond butter I’m used to. This is an excellent use for my food processor. Looks so simple to make and I love the health benefits of it!

Julia {The Roasted Root}

Could a different type of oil be used? I have olive, grapeseed, sesame, and coconut at home, and don’t want to buy another kind if I don’t need to.

HS: Hi Mimi – I think of those choices I’d go for olive or sesame (but not toasted sesame, that’d be a bit much). Although, a few drops might be nice?


Sounds fantastic!

Samantha Angela

gorgeous, just gorgeous. Always good to have a more exciting option than regular butter!

dervla @ The Curator

How long will it keep?

HS: I try to use it throughout the week.But it will keep refrigerated for longer than that.


umm…yum! this is exactly what i need for the almond flour bread i’ve been baking of late. thanks for sharing!

samantha jillian

YUM!!! Can’t wait to make this.


Thanks for posting this recipe. I love making nut butters and this one looks so tasty!

Sarah @ Fresh Living

This sounds so delicious! Love sun-butter…

jamie @ green beans & grapefruit

This sounds so delicious! Love sun-butter…

jamie @ green beans & grapefruit

Like the lady above, I love nut butters, but have never tried sunflower. Love it!

Dennis Blair @ Fort Collins Personal Trainer

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.


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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