This recipe is simple to make in a high-speed blender or a food processor and it’s the perfect nut-free Nutella substitute. Whether you have nut allergies or your school requires nut-free lunches, this recipe is one that won’t last long.
While we’re talking about going nut-free, you have to check out this video and blog post I did, comparing the top 5 peanut butter substitutes.
See which one is the best, and which ones don’t spread quite as easy, plus tips on where to buy them if you don’t want to make your own. Those can be so hard to find!
But first, let’s get to today’s Sunflower Chocolate Spread. This recipe is sure to be an instant hit with your kids. Just a few simple ingredients but it makes a delicious, spreadable treat!
Nut-Free Chocolate Spread
Similar to the chocolate spread we all know and love, but made instead with sunflower seeds instead of hazelnuts and no refined sugar. It can be used in so many ways, but is especially good spread on a slice of toasted whole wheat bread and topped with fresh fruit.
How to Make Chocolate Sunflower Butter
You will need a food processor to cream the sunflower seeds into a buttery texture. If you don’t have one, this recipe alone will be the excuse you’ll need to buy yourself one!
- Make the Sunflower Seeds
After a few minutes of processing the sunflower seeds they will turn into a thick creamy sunflower butter.
- Add the Remaining Ingredients
Once the sunflower seeds are processed add the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, maple syrup or honey, salt, coconut oil, and nut-free milk.
- Blend until Smooth
Blend the mixture until it reaches a smooth and creamy texture.
- Time to Eat!
Now we are ready to use this sunflower nutella with our favorite foods! Spread it over toast, in a sandwich, or with fresh fruit. Transfer the extra from the food processor bowl into an airtight container or jar.
Watch this quick video to see the magic happen!
Thanks to the sunflower seeds this chocolate spread has protein, vitamin E, selenium, and magnesium and don’t get me started on the health benefits of unsweetened cocoa powder!
What are your snacking plans with this sunflower chocolate nutella?Print
This nut-free nutella recipe is quick and delicious. By using sunflower seeds it’s nut-free!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: about 2 cups
- Category: Dips/Spreads
- Cuisine: Snacks
- 2 cups raw sunflower seeds, toasted
- 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ cup milk, dairy or nondairy
- In a medium non-stick pan, over medium-high heat, toast sunflower seeds, while stirring frequently to avoid burning. Remove from heat and allow sunflower seeds to cool to room temperature before the next step.
- In the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender, process toasted sunflower seeds, stopping intermittently to scrape down the sides of the bowl, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the seeds have turned into a thick, creamy butter.
- Add in remaining ingredients and blend for an additional 4-5 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides from time to time, until smooth and creamy.
- Store in an airtight container up to two weeks in the fridge.
The Best Homemade Kid’s Snacks on the PlanetBuy Now →
- Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
- Calories: 156
- Sugar: 6.2g
- Sodium: 50.4mg
- Fat: 11.5g
- Saturated Fat: 1.3g
- Carbohydrates: 11.8g
- Fiber: 2.7g
- Protein: 3.6g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Hi, Ive made this twice and each time it seems to seperate and there is an oily substance at the bottom.. is this normal..? should I tip the oil out or try and mix it in? not sure why it keeps happening.
Hi Kim, it’s normal and I would try mixing the oil in just like you would with all-natural almond or peanut butter.
Hi. I just came across this recipe and just wondering if I could use raw cacao powder (due to its low fat content) to make the Sunflower Nutella spread?
Hi Lin, raw cacao powder should work just fine.
Thank you for your reply. Will try this soon!
Will definitely try this out!!
I have replaced Nutella with Date Butter Cocoa. Date Butters are not only vegan but also loaded with health benefits – Cocoa date butter helps me as I know I am fueling my body instead of filling it. Everything Happy’s Date Butter Cocoa is a savior. Check out https://everythinghappy.in/product/date-butter-cocoa/ for more and you’ll get my point.
Can I use pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds?
Yes! Pumpkin seeds can be swapped for sunflower seeds.
I made the Sunflower Nutella and it is absolutely delicious! Thank you for the recipe.
Big thumbs up from our house! I’ve never had sun butter but this tastes and smells like chocolate fudge brownies. It’s like eating the brownie batter right out of the bowl (safely!). Love it. It’s going with my daughter to dip for lunch fruit and pretzels.
The final product was very good. However, when I followed the recipe, it tasted exactly like sunbutter. Although it looked chocolatey, I had to add a LOT more cocoa powder (well over a cup) to get it to taste anything like chocolate. I added more milk to thin it out (bc of the extra cocoa), but next time I think I would use coconut milk instead. I also added more maple syrup, which really surprised me, because I nearly always use far less sweetener than a recipe calls for. It is delicious, though, and the prefect consistency. I am pretty excited about our “suntella”, as is my 4-year old!
I’m glad you got it to work out for you! I think coconut milk would make it so deliciously creamy.
is there any way to make these without hazelnuts or sunflower seeds?
you can use peanuts instead.
Hi, I make this all the time and love it. I’ve just made some more but it went grainy, could it be the milk powder I added instead of milk? Do u think it can be rescued? Thank you
yes, definitely the milk powder. it needs a little extra liquid. did you add water to save it?
Planning to make this today, but my sunflower seeds are roasted. Do I need to toast them at all?
They should be fine.
This is a favourite in our house! I’ve made it several times now, and it never lasts long enough to go bad.
I try to avoid processed foods, additives, preservatives and excess sugar/ salt, so knowing what exactly is in this spread appeals.
My four kids (aged from 5 to 9) and my hubby all like this, and for me it is chocolatey enough to satisfy my chocolate “needs”!!
Of course it doesn’t taste just like Nutella, because it isn’t. But, like anything, your taste buds adjust. My family call it Chocolate Spread, so that is what it is :-)
Thanks so much for a great recipe!
FINALLY made this today (I bought the sunflower seeds about 6 months ago!) Although I didn’t get quite the smooth texture I was looking for, I would attribute this either to my toasting time or my processor. It certainly was smooth enough for my texture driven son to proclaim he liked it :) Also, my first impression was that it wasn’t sweet enough (of course, it isn’t loaded with sweeteners) but I’m holding off before adding anything unless someone actually complains. I think my taste buds will quickly adjust. All in all, I’m really happy I tried this, and I’m sure I’ll be making it again! My son is thrilled because he loves graham crackers with Sun Butter and Nutella and now he can finally take some to school. Thanks for another winning recipe.
I’m so glad this was a winning recipe!!
i tried this yesterday and it wasn’t a big success. It’s thick and dull (not glossy like the photo) and doesn’t taste chocolatey at all, it just tastes like sunflower seeds.
Mary, did you toast your sunflower seeds? Also, you might have to add a little additional oil to make it smoother. nut butters are not an exact science since the age of the seeds/nuts can alter the amount of natural oils.
I toasted them but maybe not enough? I’m going to give it another try as it would be good to have an alternative to the nut-free butter I send to school. It also has lot of quick snack possibilities.
if it’s not smooth enough, add a little coconut oil to smooth it out. enjoy!
I know I’m a bit late coming to this party but my son was just diagnosed with a hazelnut allergy on top of his peanut allergy… Bye bye Nutella
Hello dear, Im planning to try this recipe… but maple syrup is really expensive here in our place… can i use corn syrup instead? :)
could you use honey instead? it’s cheaper. I am not a fan of corn syrup.
thanks thanks! is it also possible if i’ll substitute melted butter to your veg oil? wondering if the spread will last as long yours…. :)
I’ve never tried it with butter.
Thank you so much for this recipe. I made it tonight and it is so delicious! My 4 y/o is allergic to nuts and his sisters love nutella so I figured this would be perfect. The girls love this nut free version, so do I. The boy, who is the main reason we tried this, said: That is gross, Mom.
Me and the girls will still enjoy our chocolatey treat
I ordered the Bob’s Red Mill sunflower seeds but the label says they are processed on machines that also process tree nuts. :-( so we will have to sub Sunbutter I guess.
Hi Rachel, Bob’s has tree nut, wheat, soy, & dairy warnings – try GERBS for allergy free seeds. http://www.MyGerbs.com
Great recipe really turned out well like real peanut butter but in chocolate form. I made some adjustments though instead of syrup I used 1/4 cup prunes which made it sweeter nice and thick and added fiber. I omitted salt I don’t like it and I replaced the oil with 3-4 tbsp. of greek yogurt really made a smooth creamy texture. I did not add vanilla cause I thought might take away from chocolaty taste I just used more milk. Came out great will make again.
glad it turned out well Alex! Since you used yogurt, remember to refrigerate it :)
Linda L Polk
Vanilla only complements and enhances chocolate flavor; definitely doesn’t take away from it!
This is a great recipe; I make it with carob due to chocolate allergy.
Mine came out with a gummy thick texture. Is it suppose to be that way or is itsuppose to have that smooth nutella texture. I did it exactly like yourrecipe says. The taste is good the texture is aweful.
did you roast the sunflower seeds? and how long did you let them run in the processor? this will make a big difference.
I would really like to try your recipe,but I want to use hazelnuts.But I have a question:when I put them in the food processor should I process them until they form a kind of hazelnut butter or until they form a kind of hazelnut cream,and then add the rest of the ingredients?Thank you,I can’t wait to make this :)!
you are going to need to roast hazelnuts first to release the oils (they will be oily and the skin peels off easily). then follow the recipe and imagine the sunflower is actual hazelnuts.
The vanilla extract is 11/2 tablespoon or teaspoon? Tablespoon it seems quite a lot!
I use 1.5 tablespoons but you are welcome to use less.
Oh…my…god! Thank you so much for this recipe! We just had to go all nut free in our house due to severe allergies. This recipe was easy and sooooo delicious! I only had one cup of sunflower seeds in the house so I made a small batch which is sooooo sad! I also had unsalted roasted seeds, so I still roasted them for just a minute not to dry them out, worked out great. I added a touch of seat salt because I like the salty/sweet combo! Thank-you!!
so glad you liked this Franki!! roasted or with a touch of salt is delicious!
Does it have to have sunflowers?
Sandy, you can make this with any “nut” :) using the same ratio.
I just bought sunflower seeds last night,and then I saw this recipe. It was meant to be! I think I am going to try come up with some kind of sunbutter cookie dough balls with this in the middle. Thanks for the great recipe!
So great you enjoyed it Julie!
I finally made this after a month having the recipe. My husband said I should use honey as a substitute for the syrup but definitely not sweet for my little one. I think I am going to add some syrup or confection sugar and mix. Hopefully my picky 4 yr old will like :)
It’s definitely not as sweet as the store bought nutella but it will satisfy the chocolate craving!
Where do you find raw seeds? I have not had luck finding them not made in a facility with other nuts. Thanks!
Joan, Here is where I buy them. It’s the best price I’ve found :)
I just bought some at trader Joe’s
Hi Joan, Bob’s has tree nut, wheat, soy, & dairy warnings – try GERBS for allergy free seeds. http://www.MyGerbs.com
I made your sunflower nutella and it is out of this world great! Thank you so much.
This is AMAZING…I bought a new food processor just to try this. Well, I was really wanting one and this recipe pushed me to go ahead and buy one. As the recipe says…the purchase was worth it just for this recipe. I made this last night and couldn’t believe how easy it was. I put it in two glass containers and we had if for a snack this afternoon. My kiddos LOVED it and gave me the double thumbs up. :) The possibility are endless on how we can use this spread this summer. THANKS so much for sharing this recipe, I can guarantee we will be making this often.
Can someone tell me how long they toasted the seeds and how long they processed them? I couldn’t get the nuts to turn to paste and I processed them forever. My picky child doesn’t like it because it’s too bumpy! Crazy I know.
I toast my seeds on a pan for a few minutes. they begin to smell “nutty” or light brown, not burned. 1) where did you make the butter? blender? food processor? your blades could be a bit dull. might need sharpening. you can do that by processing ice cubes in there. a few cups at a time until you get shaved ice. dump, repeat.
I made this recipe over the weekend and mine came out chewy and sticky. Do you have any idea what I could have done wrong? I used all the ingredients And didn’t make any substitutions. It’s not creamy or spreadable.
Lori, were the sunflower seeds toasted or were they raw?
I toasted them
I tried this and…YUM!!! This is going to go a long way towards satisfying my choco-holic daughter and husband when they have craving!! Also referred this recipe to a friend who’s son has severe allergies – what a great way to introduce chocolate and nutrition at the same time!! Thank you!!
absolutely! this was the answer for all of those “we love nutella but have nut allergies!” Plus, sunflowers are way cheaper than hazelnuts :)
I’m wondering if I can do this with pre-made sunflower butter. I purchased some for my kids to have at a nut-free school and they didn’t like it, but if Ican add cocoa and srup, etc, maybe they’ll eat it and I won’t feel like I wasted money. How much “thick, creamy butter” does 2 cups of seeds make before the other ingredients are added?
Pam, I don’t see why not! start with 1 cup sunflower butter and add vanilla, cocoa powder and syrup. you might need to add an additional 1/4 cup of sunflower butter but i’d start there. you don’t need the other ingredients.
Would love to hear back if this worked or not! We buy the I M Healthy Chocolate Soynutbutter, and it is pricey at my local grocer. I order Sunbutter on Amazon for much cheaper and would love to try making it chocolate! I’ll probably give it a go, but I thought maybe the original poster might see this and give us a report!
I pinned this recipe but never got a chance to make it – until TODAY! And, although I was skeptical, it was definitely a fantastic substitute for nutella!!!!! Delicious! I can taste the flavor of the sunflower seeds, but it is such a pleasant taste that I love it.
I did make a few changes to the recipe. First, I soaked my sunflower seeds in warm water and a teaspoon of salt. Then I dehydrated them overnight to get them back to normal. I skipped toasting them because I didn’t want the heat to denature the nutrients of the seeds.
Your proportions are perfect though. I used full fat coconut milk since I am going dairy-free for my nursing baby. And it really is amazing. I just have one very important question: I doubled the recipe and now I’m wondering if I can freeze some without ruining it? I have two full pint jars of this and don’t want to lose any!!
Hi Lisa! So glad that although you made substitutions the recipe came out great! yes, we played around with proportions for a long time before we published the recipe! here are some thoughts on freezing your homemade nutella: i don’t recommend it. You can, however, make nutella cookies and freeze it within the dough. or nutella fudge pops… other things. I’ve not heard positive things about the consistency of being able to “spread” it again once you thaw it out. IF you decide to freeze it, perhaps I’d suggest it in ice-cube sized portions. they can be easily added to recipes and doughs.
Oh man! I have been telling my friends for the past two weeks that I wish they had nut-free nutella… Thanks so much for this!
My pleasure! I decided to test it with sunflower seeds because they are really inexpensive! :)
One of my kids cant eat cocoa. Do you think we could use carob powder instead? Love your ideas.
Thanks for sharing.
yes, definitely you can sub carob powder. it might not be as “chocolatey” but you are probably already used to that. :)
I made the Sunflower Nutella today and it is delish!!! I used some of it as part of the Homemade Granola Bar recipe that are cooking in my oven, now! Thank you for posting this recipe :)
wow! double whammie!! so cool. let us know how they come out!
So excited to try this! Thank you!
Let us know how it comes out for you!