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Almond Butter Substitute


Almond butter is a delicious nut butter that you can use in various recipes, from adding a dollop into a bowl of oatmeal to almond butter cups. With so many delicious recipes that you can create from almond butter, it’s easy to see why its popularity continues to grow.

If you’re seeking an almond butter substitute because of allergies, dietary restrictions, or price, the below list will offer you alternatives that you can use in your favorite recipes.

white dish filled with nut butter and glass jar labeled "Almond butter" next to it

What Is Almond Butter?

Almond butter is a spread created by pulverizing almonds into a paste-like consistency. Many people who have peanut allergies elect to use almond butter in its place. It adds a delicious nutty, earthy taste along with a creamy texture to recipes.

Surprisingly, almond butter is not as new of an invention as you might think. There are records of almond butter being created in the early 1900s, though it was not until recently when it became popular and more widely available.

It is assumed that almond butter was created by John Harvey Kellogg (brother of W.K. Kellogg, founder of Kellogg’s cereal).

Almond Butter Varieties

There are multiple varieties of almond butter which range from the form of almond used (raw or toasted) to the flavoring included. There is a difference between raw almond butter and toasted almond butter in terms of flavor. Before pulverizing them into nut butter, roasting almonds provides a bolder flavor than raw almonds.

Beyond using raw vs. toasted almonds, there are many additional flavors available, including chocolate almond butter, cinnamon almond butter, and of course, salted versus unsalted.

Top Almond Butter Substitutes

Peanut Butter

If you do not have a peanut butter allergy, then peanut butter works well as a replacement for almond butter. The consistency tends to be thicker than almond butter, though it will offer a nutty flavor. Opt for peanut butter that has salt as peanuts do not have as much flavor naturally as almonds.

Peanut butter first appeared years ago when the Inca people pulverized this nut and consumed it.

You can use peanut butter in any recipe that calls for almond butter. You’ll also notice the taste of peanut butter is generally on the sweeter side, so if you want to avoid any additional sweetness, you’ll need to alter the amount you use.

Pros
Peanut butter is a similar consistency to smooth almond butter and has a subtle flavor making it work well for most recipes. It’s easy to find, and most have a jar in their cupboard already.

Cons
Since peanut butter is sweeter, you may need to adjust the quantity of peanut butter or any other sweeteners in the recipe. The taste of peanut butter is not as complex as almond butter, leaving a flavor difference in dishes.

Cooking Tip:
Use a 1:1 ratio in recipes. If you’re seeking a less sweet taste, start with ¾ of the required amount.

Cashew Butter

Cashew butter is another good substitution for almond butter. As it is created from cashews and not almonds, there will be a difference in flavor. However, like with all nut butter, a nutty taste will be added whenever using cashew butter.

This nut butter typically has a slightly runnier consistency similar to almond butter, making it an excellent swap. Avoid raw cashew butter as a replacement as it lacks a nutty taste. With regular cashew butter, you’ll also find a subtle sweetness.

Pros
Cashew butter provides a nutty taste and mild sweetness to recipes. You can use it in any recipe that calls for almond butter.

Cons
This alternative is on the pricey side and can be the same as almond butter or sometimes more, depending on demand. It does not provide all the flavor notes of almond butter, so there will be a slight difference in the flavor.

Cooking Tip:
Use in a 1:1 ratio as a replacement for almond butter.

Pecan Butter

Pecan butter is a less known option for replacing almond butter. It is made from pecans, so again, it will offer a tasty nut flavor to recipes. This nut butter does have a bolder nut flavor so that the flavor will be more intense in dishes. If you have a sensitive palate, you may also notice a buttery taste.

It’s also more challenging to find unless you live near a well-stocked farmers market or large nut butter store. Many people create pecan butter at home instead of searching for it in grocery stores. If you can find pecan butter, it’s on the pricier side.

Pros
Pecan butter is tasty and adds a light sweetness to recipes. It has a super creamy texture and works well in any recipe that calls for almond butter.

Cons
This nut butter is challenging to find and an expensive option. While you can make it at home, this will add to the timeline of your recipe.

Cooking Tip:
Use this nut butter in a 1:1 ratio as a swap.

Hazelnut Butter

Hazelnut butter can work as a sub for almond butter in many recipes. As with other nut butter, hazelnuts are ground into a paste-like substance for baking, cooking, or spreading. It does offer a nutty flavor, though it tastes more decadent than almond butter.

You’ll find this nut butter challenging to hunt down in grocery stores unless you opt for chocolate hazelnut spread (aka Nutella). While chocolate hazelnut spread may work for some recipes, the addition of chocolate limits which dishes you can make. If possible, opt for regular hazelnut butter as the flavor will match almond butter better.

Hazelnuts are tree nuts with a long history of use. Starting about 10,000 years ago, the people of the Middle Stone Age ate hazelnuts for sustenance and energy. Ancient Chinese and Greek people also were known to eat hazelnuts, aka filberts. Once Nutella was invented in the mid-1900s, the demand for this nut variety increased again.

Pros
This nut butter provides a yummy nut taste, sweetness, and richness to recipes. Like cashew butter, hazelnut butter offers a similar consistency to almond butter.

Cons
Hazelnut butter is pricier and challenging to find. You may need to roast hazelnuts and blend them to create nut butter in your home since it is not as popular as other nut spreads.

Cooking Tip:
Like with other nut butter, you can use a 1:1 ratio for hazelnut butter.

Walnut Butter

If you enjoy the flavor of walnuts, you can use walnut butter as another substitute for almond butter. Walnut butter offers a creamy texture and a pleasant nut taste. Keep in mind that walnuts can be bitter so that you may experience a bitter aftertaste in recipes. Counteract this by adding additional sweeteners to your recipe.

Walnut butter, like pecan butter, is challenging to find in stores. Your options are limited to purchasing online or making walnut butter at home. If you can find this nut butter, it works well in recipes that call for almond butter.

Pros
This nut butter provides a nutty flavor and a similar texture, like other most nut butter.

Cons
It is not easy to find this nut butter in stores. Walnut butter provides a bitter taste that may be a turn-off for some people. You’ll likely need to adjust the amount of sweetener or add more sweetener to accommodate the aftertaste of walnut butter.

Cooking Tip:
You can use a 1:1 ratio when using walnut butter to replace almond butter.

Sunflower Seed Butter

If you skipped ahead to the FAQ section, you likely already know that sunflower seed butter is an excellent alternative for those allergic to nut butter. Instead of pulverizing nuts to create a spread, sunflower seeds are processed in the same manner to mimic nut butter.

You’ll find that sunflower seed butter does not have a nutty taste. Though, it does provide a similar earthy flavor to almond butter. It also has a bitter flavor like walnut butter, which may be a turn-off for some people.

Sunflower butter wasn’t created until the 80s, though it was rejected due to its bitter taste. After tweaking this seed butter, it is better received as an alternative to almond butter.

Pros
This seed butter has a similar consistency to almond butter. It’s also more affordable than many other nut butter and continues to be more accessible as it grows in popularity. Sunflower butter adds an earthy taste to recipes.

Cons
Some may find the bitter taste of sunflower butter to be unappealing. It may also be necessary to add more sugar to offset the taste.

Cooking Tip:
Use sunflower butter in a 1:1 ratio as a substitution.

Cookie Butter

Cookie butter is a fun option for those who enjoy sweeter recipes. It does not provide a nutty or earthy taste, though it does offer a similar consistency to dishes. Cookie butter uses ground-up cookies combined with sugar and vegetable oil for a delicious spread.

If this option sounds too sweet for you, consider adding less sugar to baked recipes. Otherwise, you can use cookie butter as a spread or in most recipes that call for almond butter.

Pros
If you seek a substitute with a tasty flavor and a similar thickness to almond butter, this works as an excellent alternative. You can find this substitute at most grocery stores now, and they come in fun flavors, especially near the holidays.

Cons
Cookie butter can be very sweet so if you have dietary restrictions or don’t enjoy overly sweet foods, avoid this swap.

Cooking Tip:
Use in a 1:1 ratio for recipes.

Sesame Seed Butter (Tahini)

Sesame seed butter is called Tahini. It’s a paste made using unhulled sesame seeds. It’s high in healthy fats and provides a neutral flavor. Tahini is often used in many savory and sweet recipes such as hummus, baba ghanoush, baked desserts.

Pros
This substitute provides a similar texture and flavor. It’s more available now and easier to find at the grocery stores.

Cons
It has a slightly grainy texture and might have a slight difference in flavor. This substitute will work for people who have nut allergies.

Cooking Tip:
Use in a 1:1 ratio for recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Replace Almond Butter with Regular Butter?

The answer to this question is yes and no. If you’re looking to create a specific dessert, like almond butter brownies, you cannot swap it with regular butter.
However, if you’re looking for a spread for your toast or bagel, regular butter will work. It also works in some baked goods, though it will not provide the same flavor.

What Can Replace Nut Butter in a Recipe?

If you have a nut allergy and can’t consume any nut butter, you can use sunflower butter. This nut butter alternative is created from sunflower seeds, so it’s allergen-friendly. More and more stores are carrying this option, so it should be available at your nearby store.

Can I Substitute Coconut Oil for Almond Butter?

Yes, you can substitute coconut oil in some baked recipes. However, it will not be a good substitute in all recipes and lacks almond butter’s flavor and consistency.

How Do I Make Almond Butter?

Almond butter is pretty easy to make at home. You’ll need either a food processor or a blender and roasted almonds. Blend the almonds with your favorite flavoring (salt, vanilla, etc.) and sweetener until it forms an almond butter consistency. Now, you have homemade almond butter ready to use.

Does Almond Butter Taste like Peanut Butter?

Yes and no. You’ll notice a similar nutty taste shared by both almond butter and peanut butter. However, each has its distinct flavor that mimics the nut the butter derives from.

Why Is Almond Butter So Expensive?

There are a few factors that contribute to the price of almond butter. In short, almonds only grow in specific areas due to their needs. It also takes a while for almonds to grow. Because of this, almond butter is pricier than some other nut butter or seed butter.

Summary

Grab your favorite nut butter and get cooking! Any of the above choices will make a fantastic swap for almond butter, and nearly all have the same or similar consistency. For the tastiest replacements, opt for cashew butter, peanut butter, or pecan butter.

If you’re seeking additional alternatives for one reason or another, you can also try coconut butter, greek yogurt, and even pumpkin seed butter.
Enjoy experimenting with your newfound almond butter substitute!

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document easy real food recipes perfect for busy families. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!

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