Learn how to make this easy, all-natural, creamy homemade cashew butter with step-by-step photo instructions! There are no unnecessary ingredients- just cashews and a bit of salt. It’s vegan, healthy, and it comes together in minutes.
Like so many others from my generation (still not sure if I’m technically Generation X or Millennial), I grew up on peanut butter. Nut allergies weren’t as prevalent in the 80s, so I was all about the PB and jelly sandwich. Alternatives like almond butter weren’t around yet, at least not on a mass market scale.
At some point, “peanut” became sort of a dirty word due to the deadly allergies, and almond butter became a thing. I’ve always been just ok on almond butter. It’s fine; I do like it. Just not as much as peanut butter. The day I discovered cashew butter, I never looked back.
Trader Joe’s was the first place I discovered the wonders of cashew butter. While the texture is similar to creamy peanut butter, I think the flavor is so much better. I still grab the TJ version sometimes, but this homemade version is fast and cheap, especially if you purchase cashews in bulk like I do.
Cashews have a natural butteriness and subtle sweetness, and yet the flavor is more mild than many other nuts. This is why you’ll often find cashews used in “cream” sauces, like my Pasta with Cashew Truffle Cream Sauce.
These qualities, plus the fact that there are no papery skins, make cashews perfect as a spreadable condiment.
Roasted nuts are quickly chopped in the food processor.
Once the machine is left running, the oils from the cashew are slowly released. The cashews will start to clump.
You can tell it’s almost ready at this stage!
When the cashew butter is smooth and creamy, it’s ready to go! You can simply add a bit of salt, or have fun with additions like honey and cocoa powder.
- I recommend roasting the nuts first for best flavor. Roasted cashews will have a rich, caramelized and nutty flavor, and the resulting texture will be a bit more smooth. However, raw cashews will still yield tasty results! Whichever way you go, start with raw, unsalted nuts and roast them yourself. Pre-salted nuts will likely result in an overly salty butter.
- If you don’t have a food processor, this will work in a blender. However, if you have the option, a food processor is best since it will be easiest to scrape out all of the contents. If your blender has an attached blade, you’ll be leaving behind a lot of that precious cashew butter.
- Regardless of whether it’s cashew, almond or peanut butter, I like it creamy. However, it’s very easy to make crunchy cashew butter if that’s your preference! You’ll need an additional 1/3 cup cashews. After pulsing to chop the cashews in Step 2, remove the extra 1/3 cup from the food processor. Continue with the instructions, then stir the chopped nuts into the creamy cashew butter at the end.
Have you ever tried cashew butter? How do you think it compares to peanut and almond butter?
Want to know how to make homemade cashew butter? It’s so easy and it comes together in no time! Learn how with this step-by-step tutorial.
- 2 cups raw cashews (use an additional 1/3 cup for crunchy cashew butter, see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- You can skip to Step 2 for raw cashew butter. If you have the time, roasting adds a rich, nutty flavor. To roast: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the cashews in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until golden and fragrant, stirring the nuts and shaking the pan every 3-4 minutes, approximately 8-9 minutes total. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Place the cashews in a food processor and pulse several times to chop. Turn the machine on and allow it to run for 8-10 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides periodically, until the cashew butter is smooth.
Add the salt and puree for an additional 30 seconds (see notes for optional add-ins). Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. You can also freeze it for up to 4 months.
For variations, you can add in honey, maple syrup, or cocoa powder to taste along with the salt. Start with 1 teaspoon, taste, and add more if desired. Remember- it’s always easier to add than subtract.
If you prefer crunchy cashew butter, add an additional 1/3 cup of nuts while roasting. After pulsing to chop the nuts, remove that 1/3 cup, then stir it back in by hand at the end.
The cashew butter will thicken slightly once it’s cold. You can thin it out by microwaving for 20 seconds increments.
Yields approximately 1 cup.