Best Substitutes For Nut Butter In Baking

best substitutes for nut butter in baking

Nut butter is a popular ingredient in baking, known for adding flavor, moisture, and richness to recipes. However, not everyone can consume or has access to nut butter due to allergies, dietary restrictions, or simply personal preferences. Fortunately, there are several delicious alternatives that can be used as substitutes for nut butter in baking. These alternatives provide similar textures and flavors, allowing you to create delectable treats without compromising on taste. In this article, we will explore the best substitutes for nut butter in baking, how to choose the right substitute, share cooking tips, provide recipes, and discuss storage and shelf life.

Key Takeaways

  • Nut butter adds flavor, moisture, and richness to baked goods, but it may not be suitable for everyone.
  • Several substitutes for nut butter are available, including seed butter, coconut butter, avocado, banana, and sunflower seed paste.
  • Choosing the right substitute depends on the desired taste, texture, and dietary considerations.
  • Substitute in equal amounts as nut butter unless stated otherwise.
  • Experiment with different substitutes to find your personal favorite.

Why You Need A Substitute For Nut Butter In Baking

While nut butter is a fantastic ingredient for baking, there are several reasons why you might need to find a substitute:

  1. Allergies: Nut allergies are prevalent, and certain individuals can have life-threatening reactions to even trace amounts of nuts. Finding a substitute allows everyone to enjoy your culinary creations.

  2. Dietary restrictions: Some diets, such as the paleo or keto diet, restrict the consumption of certain nuts or nut butters. Substitutes can ensure your baked goods remain compliant with these guidelines.

  3. Availability: Depending on where you live, certain types of nut butter may be expensive or hard to come by. Substitutes offer a convenient and accessible alternative.

  4. Personal preference: Some people simply do not enjoy the taste or texture of nut butter. Substitutes can provide different flavors and textures to suit individual preferences.

Types Of Substitutes For Nut Butter In Baking

Homemade nut butter in a jar

When looking for a substitute for nut butter in baking, there are numerous options to consider. Here are some popular choices:

1. Seed Butter

Seed butter, such as sunflower seed butter or pumpkin seed butter, is an excellent substitute for nut butter. These products are created by grinding the seeds until smooth, resulting in a creamy and rich texture similar to nut butter. Sunflower seed butter has a slightly earthy flavor, while pumpkin seed butter has a nuttier taste.

2. Coconut Butter

Coconut butter is made by blending dried coconut flesh until it becomes a thick and creamy paste, similar to nut butter. It provides a mild coconut flavor and works well in both sweet and savory recipes. Coconut butter is an ideal substitute if you want to add a tropical twist to your baked goods.

3. Avocado

Avocado is a versatile substitute for nut butter, especially in recipes that require a rich and creamy texture. Avocado works particularly well in brownies and chocolate-based desserts. It provides a subtle flavor and adds moisture to your baked goods.

4. Banana

Banana can be used as a substitute for nut butter in certain recipes, especially those that call for a smooth and creamy texture. Mashed banana works well in muffins, quick breads, and cakes. It adds natural sweetness and moisture to the baked goods.

5. Sunflower Seed Paste

Sunflower seed paste, also known as sunflower seed butter, is an excellent substitute for nut butter. It shares a similar texture and taste profile, making it an ideal replacement in recipes. Sunflower seed paste can be used in equal amounts as nut butter and has a slightly nutty and creamy flavor.

Best Substitutes For Nut Butter In Baking

Homemade nut butter in a jar

Now that you are familiar with the types of substitutes available, let’s explore the best options for nut butter substitutes in baking:

1. Seed Butter (Sunflower Seed Or Pumpkin Seed Butter)

  • Texture: Creamy and smooth, similar to nut butter.
  • Flavor: Sunflower seed butter has an earthy taste, while pumpkin seed butter has a nuttier flavor.
  • Best Used in: Cookies, bars, cakes, and muffins.
  • Pro Tip: For a more intense nutty flavor, lightly toast the seeds before blending them into butter.

2. Coconut Butter

  • Texture: Thick and creamy, resembling nut butter.
  • Flavor: Mild coconut flavor.
  • Best Used in: Cookies, muffins, and frostings.
  • Pro Tip: Warm coconut butter slightly to make it easier to blend and spread.

3. Avocado

  • Texture: Creamy and moist, adds richness to recipes.
  • Flavor: Subtle flavor, does not overpower other ingredients.
  • Best Used in: Brownies, mousses, and fudgy desserts.
  • Pro Tip: Fully ripe avocados work best as they are softer and easier to blend.

4. Banana

  • Texture: Smooth and creamy, adds moisture to baked goods.
  • Flavor: Sweet and slightly tangy.
  • Best Used in: Muffins, quick breads, and cakes.
  • Pro Tip: Use overripe bananas for a more pronounced banana flavor and natural sweetness.

5. Sunflower Seed Paste

  • Texture: Creamy and smooth consistency.
  • Flavor: Slightly nutty and creamy.
  • Best Used in: Cookies, energy balls, and granola bars.
  • Pro Tip: Add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor of sunflower seed paste.

Choosing The Right Substitute For Nut Butter In Baking

Homemade nut butter in a jar creamy

When choosing a substitute for nut butter in baking, it is essential to consider the following factors:

1. Flavor Profile

Consider the flavor profile of the substitute and how it will complement the other ingredients in your recipe. If you are looking for a mild flavor, coconut butter or avocado are excellent choices. If you want a slightly nuttier taste, seed butter or sunflower seed paste works well.

2. Texture

The texture of the substitute should be similar to nut butter to ensure the desired consistency of the final baked goods. Seed butter, coconut butter, and avocado all provide a creamy and smooth texture. Banana adds moisture and a bit of density, which can be desirable in certain recipes.

3. Dietary Considerations

If you or someone you are baking for has specific dietary restrictions, ensure that the substitute aligns with those requirements. For example, if you are following a paleo diet, coconut butter or avocado would be a great choice. If you have a nut allergy, sunflower seed butter is an ideal alternative.

4. Availability

Consider the availability and cost of the substitute in your area. Some substitutes may be more accessible or affordable than others. It is always helpful to have options that are readily available to ensure you can continue baking without any hiccups.

Cooking With Substitutes For Nut Butter In Baking

Homemade nut butter in a jar creamy

When substituting nut butter with alternatives in your recipes, it is essential to follow a few guidelines:

  1. Equal Replacement: In most cases, you can substitute nut butter with an equal amount of the chosen alternative, unless the recipe suggests otherwise. This ensures the proper balance of flavors and textures.

  2. Adjustments: Depending on the substitute used, you may need to make slight adjustments to the recipe. For example, adding a bit of additional moisture or reducing the quantity of oil or butter in the recipe can help compensate for differences in texture.

  3. Flavor Pairing: Consider the flavors and ingredients in your recipe and choose a substitute that will enhance the overall flavor profile. For example, using coconut butter in recipes with tropical flavors or adding spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to complement the nuttiness of seed butter.

  4. Experimentation: Do not be afraid to experiment with different substitutes and ratios to find the perfect combination that suits your taste buds. Baking is an art, and finding your personal preferences is all part of the fun.

Recipes Using Substitutes For Nut Butter In Baking

nut butter in baking

Here are a few delicious recipes that use substitutes for nut butter:

1. Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies

  • Ingredients:

    • 1 cup sunflower seed butter
    • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • Chocolate chips or chopped nuts (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine sunflower seed butter, coconut sugar, egg, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Mix until well combined.
  3. If desired, fold in chocolate chips or chopped nuts into the dough.
  4. Scoop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving space between each cookie.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown.
  6. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

2. Avocado Chocolate Mousse

  • Ingredients:

    • 2 ripe avocados
    • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
    • 1/4 cup almond milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Pinch of salt
  1. Scoop the flesh of the avocados into a food processor or blender.
  2. Add cocoa powder, maple syrup or honey, almond milk, vanilla extract, and salt.
  3. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed.
  4. Taste and adjust sweetness or cocoa powder as desired.
  5. Transfer the mousse to serving dishes or refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to chill before serving.
  6. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or fresh berries if desired.

3. Banana Bread

  • Ingredients:

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla extract and mashed bananas.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, stirring until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.
  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow the banana bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Storage And Shelf Life Of Substitutes

nut butter in baking

Most substitutes for nut butter in baking can be stored and used in the same way as regular nut butter. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Seed Butter: Store seed butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should last for several months.
  • Coconut Butter: Coconut butter can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. It may harden when refrigerated but can be warmed or softened before use.
  • Avocado: Avocado-based substitutes should be consumed or refrigerated immediately. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • Banana: If using mashed banana as a substitute, it is best to consume the baked goods within a day or two of baking. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or refrigerate for longer shelf life.
  • Sunflower Seed Paste: Similar to seed butter, sunflower seed paste can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container, and it should last for several months.


Finding a suitable substitute for nut butter in baking opens up a world of possibilities for those with allergies, dietary restrictions, or personal preferences. Seed butter, coconut butter, avocado, banana, and sunflower seed paste are excellent alternatives that provide similar textures and flavors to nut butter. By considering flavor profiles, textures, and dietary considerations, you can confidently substitute nut butter in your favorite baking recipes. With a little experimentation and creativity, you can create delicious treats that everyone can enjoy, regardless of their nut butter preferences. Happy baking!


What Are The Best Alternatives To Nut Butter For Baking?

Some of the best substitutes for nut butter in baking are sunflower seed butter, coconut butter, tahini, pumpkin seed butter, and soy butter. These are all great options that provide similar flavors and textures to traditional nut butter.

Can I Use Sunflower Seed Butter Instead Of Peanut Butter In Baking Recipes?

Yes, definitely. Sunflower seed butter is a great substitute for peanut butter in baking recipes. It has a similar flavor profile and texture, which makes it a great alternative.

Can Coconut Butter Be Used In Baking?

Yes, coconut butter can be used in baking and is a great substitute for nut butter. It has a creamy texture and coconut flavor, which can add a unique and tropical taste to your baked goods.

How Does Pumpkin Seed Butter Compare To Other Nut Butters In Baking?

Pumpkin seed butter is a great alternative to nut butter in baking, with a similar texture and flavor profile. It has a nutty taste that can be used to add depth to baked goods like cookies, cakes, and brownies.

Is Soy Butter A Good Substitute For Nut Butter In Baking?

Yes, soy butter is a great substitute for nut butter in baking. It has a similar texture and flavor to peanut butter, making it a reliable substitution. Additionally, soy butter is a great choice for people with nut allergies.

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  • About the Author Jenny

    I'm Jenny, a housewife with an unwavering passion for food. My culinary journey began with my grandmother's kitchen, and it's now a full-fledged food blog. I've turned my love for cooking into a creative outlet, sharing recipes and stories with a global community of fellow food enthusiasts. It's proof that being a housewife can also mean pursuing your passions and savoring life's delectable moments.