Cashew Butter

published Aug 15, 2023
Cashew Butter Recipe

This easy cashew butter has a few surprise ingredients that make the homemade version taste so much better.

Makesabout 2 cups

Prep15 minutes

Cook10 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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cashew butter spread on toast on a blue plate with a bite out
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

While peanut butter is typically my go-to nut butter, I love the sweet, earthy flavor, and creamy, buttery texture of cashew butter. There are many store-bought options out there, but for me, each of those is always missing something. 

So, I made my own homemade cashew butter. My version accomplishes three things: it amps up the nutty flavors, adds the right amount of sweetness that’s more complex than just straight-up sugar, and mixes in some spices to complement the flavors of cashew. 

Here, toasted sesame oil adds a subtle yet flavorful extra nuttiness. I also add in molasses for that earthy, caramel-like sweetness, and a bit of warm cinnamon to balance it. This cashew butter is so much better than any store-bought ones.

Type of Cashews to Use for Making Cashew Butter

I highly recommend using unsalted raw cashews to control how roasted and salty you want your nut butter to be. You can get unsalted, roasted cashews alternatively, but that fresh, natural oil from roasting the nuts yourself makes the homemade version taste so much better.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

How to Customize the Flavors

Customization is one of the best parts of making cashew butter from scratch. You can make it as salty, sweet, or spiced as you like to create a version you love. Here are some ideas for your inspiration.

  • Sweeteners, such as honey, date syrup, agave, molasses, maple syrup, or pomegranate molasses.
  • Spices, like cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, sweet paprika, soy sauce, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and pumpkin pie spice

How to Use Cashew Butter

My go-to way to enjoy cashew butter is on toast. I also love mixing it with ice cream to add that salty, nutty flavor, or into Greek yogurt, along with melted chocolate, to make the perfect snack. Drizzle over salty popcorn —similar to caramel popcorn but with a twist — or spread it over baked goods.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

If You’re Making Cashew Butter, a Few Tips 

  • Roast the cashew nuts to your desired level. If you want a darker, roasted flavor, roast the nuts longer. But,if you don’t want to add roasted flavors, simply warm them up first to soften the nuts for easier blending.
  • Be patient with the process. Let the food processor do the trick and be patient with the process. With time, the cashews will transform into a smooth, creamy, and spreadable nut butter. 
  • Adjust your consistency with oil. Don’t freak out if it looks chunky. If the texture still seems too thick, add some oil, process again, and it will be smooth.

Cashew Butter Recipe

This easy cashew butter has a few surprise ingredients that make the homemade version taste so much better.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Makes about 2 cups

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    unsalted raw cashews (3 cups)

  • 3 tablespoons

    canola oil, divided

  • 1 tablespoons

    molasses (not blackstrap), plus more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon

    toasted sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Meanwhile, place 1 pound raw cashews on a rimmed baking sheet and spread into a single layer.

  2. Bake until the cashews are lightly browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes. It’s okay if they are still warm.

  3. Transfer the cashews to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula a few times, until the cashews are coarsely ground and have a cornmeal-like texture, 2 to 3 minutes total.

  4. Add 2 tablespoons of the canola oil. Process until smooth and spreadable, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon molasses, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Process until combined, about 1 minute. Taste and season with more kosher salt or molasses (1/4 teaspoon) as needed.

  5. Add 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil and the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil. Process until completely smooth, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a jar or other airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 month. Stir before using.