Almost Like Peanut Butter but Peanut-Free!


A good peanut-free peanut butter substitute is hard to find. This sunflower coconut butter is the closest I’ve made in taste and texture to honest-to-goodness peanut butter.

We’ve gone without peanut butter for a while now … and we really miss the stuff.ย To satisfy our cravings we’ve been eating jar after jar of Sunbutterยฎโ€” also known as sunflower butter, the most common (if not only) nut-free (but not coconut-free) substitute for peanut butter’s creamy goodness.

My kids love sunflower butter. I like it enough to eat it, but just find the roasted sunflower taste a wee bit overpowering.

So I thought about taming it.

But how?


To my surprise, this combination of toasted sunflower seeds and coconut is the closest substitute I’ve found, in taste and texture, to that of creamy peanut butter.

For the creamiest spread, you will need a high-powered blender such as a Blendtec, OmniBlend, or Vitamix. I ran a batch in my food processor and got a butter (after 15 minutes), but it was far from smooth. In a high-powered blender, friction and the resulting heat causes the mixture to liquefy. Once poured into jars and allowed to cool at room temperature, it should firm up to a creamy spreadable butter.

Almost Like Peanut Butter but Peanut-Free!

Almost Like Peanut Butter but Peanut-Free!


  • 1/4 cup COCONUT SUGAR or granulated sugar
  • 4 cups finely shredded COCONUT, unsweetened
  • 1 cup raw SUNFLOWER SEEDS
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons COCONUT OIL
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon SALT


  1. Add coconut sugar to container of high-powered blender. Blend 10-15 seconds or until powdery. Remove and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet toast sunflower seeds over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the majority of seeds are golden in color. Transfer to blender container.
  3. Add to skillet coconut. ***Coconut toasts quickly*** Over medium heat warm coconut flakes until heated through and some of the shreds are golden in color. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Blend sunflower seeds on low until a fine powder forms.
  5. Add coconut oil and blend again, increasing to medium speed and pausing to scrape sides as needed.
  6. Blitz on high for 10 seconds and stop.
  7. Add 1 cup coconut. Blend at medium speed for 20-30 seconds then increase to high for 10, pausing to scrape sides as needed. At this point butter should be forming and liquefying.
  8. Repeat step seven, 1 cup of coconut at at time.
  9. Once all coconut has been incorporated and mixture is runny, add sugar and salt and blend on high to achieve desired smoothness, about 60-90 seconds.
  10. Mixture will be HOT and runny. Pour into jar(s), cover and cool at room temperature until firmed up. This can take 8-24 hours depend on temperature of your kitchen.
  11. Store at room temperature for up to a week or in fridge up to a month.


As the blender pulverizes and liquefies the mixture, you may notice what appears to be smoke wafting out of the blender container. No worries, this is an oil mist. No harm is being done to your blender. That said, if your blender starts to smell like hot rubber, let it rest and crank the speed down a notch.

***If you are dealing with a severe peanut allergy, ensure your source of sunflower seeds can guarantee no cross contamination with peanuts or other foods you are allergic to***

More Good Stuff


Maggie October 17, 2012 - 12:28 am

Yum! I will be definitely trying this with Callum. Thanks for sharing your kitchen genius Lexie! He seems to like coconut taste so I think we could have a winner! Would love to get the sunflower seeds into him.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm October 17, 2012 - 3:20 am

Sounds great! We're a peanut free household too. We love Wow Butter (sold here in Canada) which is made from soy and tastes the most like Peanut Butter to us.

I'd love to try to make my own. My problem is finding sunflower seeds that haven't been cross contaminated with peanuts. Bulk places are definitely out and all of the packages seem to be processed alongside peanuts. Where do you buy yours? Your recipe sounds delish!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Lexie October 17, 2012 - 3:53 am

Laurie, thanks for your comment. I will mention your concern in the post. Good point. We avoid peanuts for Candida (mold) reasons and my kids have been tested to have intolerances. They are not anaphylactic. The seeds I buy certainly could be cross contaminated … I purchase them pre-packaged at our local health food store. I wonder if anyone has a source and can help you out? We also avoid soy, but Wow sounds like the best option for anyone dealing with serious peanut allergies. If I were you and lived with severe allergies, I would just continue to buy certified peanut-free Wow! : ) xoLexie

Lexie October 17, 2012 - 3:54 am

Maggie … I hope Callum enjoys! : ) xoLexie

Chris October 17, 2012 - 12:40 pm

This looks great! How much does it make? It seems that 4 cups of coconut is quite much. Thanks!

abbey October 17, 2012 - 8:07 pm

what is the nutrition info for this ? and serving size ?

Lexie October 17, 2012 - 10:27 pm

Abbey, I am sorry but I do not calculate nutrition values for my recipes. I have refrained from doing so because there are some out there who would hold me liable for accuracy. And if I were to make an error I might never hear the end of it. However, the ingredients are minimal and would be easy to calculate. If you come up with a calculation, please return and share : ) xoLexie

Alisa October 18, 2012 - 4:52 am

You are a genius Lex! Definitely pinned this!

Kim-Cook It Allergy Free October 18, 2012 - 5:54 pm

Wow. Those photos are beautiful and I love love this recipe. Off to pin and share now. So so simple to make!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Diane-thewholegang October 19, 2012 - 2:54 am

This sounds amazing! I've just found out my son can't have sugar and he's not been able to eat peanuts and really missed peanut butter. I wonder if this recipe will work with Stevia drops? He would be over the moon!

Lexie October 19, 2012 - 3:32 am

Diane, yes it sure can be made with stevia drops. It won't be exactly the same … but a little sweet from stevia is better than no sweet at all : ) xoLexie

Gratefulfoodie October 20, 2012 - 5:23 pm

GREAT Idea! I buy my sunflower seeds in 2 lb bags from My kids are allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, etc. I will order some more seeds and give this is try. You are simply pure genius! Keep up the good work!

Lexie October 24, 2012 - 3:09 am

Caroline, thanks a ton for offering up … what a great resource … and you are so very welcome … I hope your kids like it. xoLexie

Jade October 24, 2012 - 6:09 am

I buy this for my kids sometimes. Works for school lunches when they are looking for something different. To me it tastes how I remember Kraft creamy peanut butter tasting, but I am buying as little processed products as possible now so they haven't had it for awhile.

Christina Perucci November 8, 2012 - 3:18 pm

This has great flavor, but unfortunately even at room temperature it is completely solid. Could be that my house is just cold:) So since it is not spreadable, I used it in these Chocolate Covered frozen bananas ( and it is awesome. Also mixed with melted chocolate chips and made a sort of "nutella", which I then swirled into some GF banana bread. Also awesome.

Lexie November 8, 2012 - 4:45 pm

Christina … thanks for the feedback. Yes, I think kitchen temp determines how solid or spreadable it is. Maybe keep it on top of your fridge during the winter … a little warmer up there :). I love those bites! Beautiful. Thanks for sharing them with us. xoLexie

Sarah November 9, 2012 - 3:27 pm

I'm so glad I found this today! I've been wanting something more like peanut butter that isn't actually peanut laden ๐Ÿ™‚ I can't wait to make this. I foresee many, many tasty treats being born of this in the next few days.

Lexie November 9, 2012 - 7:44 pm

Sarah … glad I could provide some variety : ) Let us know what you make with it. xoLexie

Adrienne December 6, 2012 - 2:39 pm

Hey there! I featured this on my blog hop awhile ago and just made it – finally – yesterday. I'm wondering if the proportions could be off – could it be 4 cups sunflower seeds and 1 cup coconut? It's really like coconut butter w/ a little sunflower seeds mixed in. Or maybe that's what you meant for it to be? Tastes great but just wondering.

Lexie December 6, 2012 - 11:57 pm


Yes, I wanted to tame down the sunflower taste … as I mention in the post, I really don't like the overwhelming taste of toasted sunflower seeds. I worked on proportions … I went through at least 7 batches and this was the proportion I thought made a nice and mild mock peanut butter.


Kelly S. January 22, 2013 - 1:37 am

Have you tried using this in cookies or any kind of baking as a peanut butter replacement? Thanks!

Lexie January 25, 2013 - 5:38 am

Hi Kelly … no I have not, not yet : ) Did you give it a go? I have been meaning to, but oh the distractions in life and in the kitchen!


rollingsheep September 15, 2014 - 3:40 pm

I have literally just finished making this! I used my jamie oliver tefal blender and it worked perfectly. At the beginning it was really dry and lumpy but you just need to stick with it. Amazing how it turns to liquid! I replaced the sugar with a teaspoon of truvia (same as stevia) and it tastes fine. You still get the dry mouth sensation as you do with normal peanut butter. Making this in the uk, so for the cups equiv I used 150g of sunflower seeds and 300g of dessicated coconut. Can't wait to see how it sets ๐Ÿ™‚
Reckon it's fairly calorific by my estimation, but in moderation should be ok

Jennifer Wright July 21, 2015 - 6:48 am

Oh my word I just made this (I have to cut nuts out for 6 months) and this is DIVINE!!!! Thank you so much…I could sit and eat the whole jar right now…but I won’t ๐Ÿ™‚

Lexie July 30, 2015 - 6:30 pm

Hi Jennifer, I am so glad you tried this recipe and that you loved it. Thanks for letting us know and thanks for following my random ramblings ๐Ÿ™‚ xoLexie


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.