Simple Homemade Walnut Butter Recipe

5 from 23 votes
Jump to RecipeJump to Video

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

How to make walnut butter with just ONE ingredient: raw, soaked, or roasted walnuts – and a high-speed food processor. This nutritious silky smooth nut butter is perfect for spreading, adding to baked goods, or even as an edible gift! Best of all, this homemade walnut butter is oil-free, refined-sugar-free, gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30!

A delicious and nutritious one ingredient homemade walnut butter recipe with lots of flavoured walnut butter suggestions and walnut butter recipes and uses! ( including as an edible Christmas gift)

This homemade walnut butter recipe was originally posted in December 2019 but has been updated as of October 2021 with some extra notes, tips, uses, and flavor varieties!

With popular options like peanut butter, cashew butter, and almond butter taking up the market, it seems like there isn’t much space for homemade walnut butter. However, if you’ve never tried this creamy, buttery, silky-smooth nut butter before then, you’re missing out! It’s even smoother, more buttery, and runnier than all of those!

If anything, of all the nuts I’ve blended into butter so far, walnut seems like the VIP addition. It might just be the fact that walnuts always conjure images of walnut whips, and chocolate liqueurs, and Christmas nutcrackers – but this seems like a special occasion nut butter. And yet, you can whip up a delicious silky-smooth batch of raw, soaked, or roasted walnut butter at home right now! All you need is walnuts and a high-speed food processor or high-speed blender!

heart bowl full of walnuts

Smooth and Buttery Homemade Walnut Butter

Not on is this base walnut butter recipe incredibly nutritious (plus with no added oils! No sugars! Optional salt!), but I’ve included a ton of options below on how to add flavor to this creamy nut butter, too, if preferred! Perfect for enjoying yourself or wrapping up as an edible Christmas gift! Even better, since this nut butter still isn’t widely available in stores (And when it is, the price tag is shocking), it makes even more of a treat!

Did I happen to mention that walnuts are also one of the most nutritious nuts to make butter with?! Keep reading for a little insight into their health benefits! Then we’ll hop straight into how to make walnut butter with raw walnuts, roasted, and soaked (aka sprouted) – no matter what your diet or health concerns!

For even more “lesser known” nut butter recipes – you might also enjoy this brazil nut butter, hazelnut butter, or pistachio butter. Scroll to the bottom of the page for even more!

Health Benefits of Walnuts

A delicious and nutritious one ingredient homemade walnut butter recipe with lots of flavoured walnut butter suggestions and walnut butter recipes and uses! ( including as an edible christmas gift)

Like all nuts, Walnuts are a brilliant source of good fats – including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. However, they are also an excellent plant-based source of Omega-3 and contain iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, Vitamin E, and even some B vitamins.

  • Walnuts are more abundant in antioxidants than most nuts. Fighting free radicals and oxidative damage to the body. They also reduce harmful LDL cholesterol and contain anti-inflammatory polyphenols.
    This can decrease the risk of many inflammatory chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes etc. It is also great for brain health
  • The Omega-3s within walnuts can help reduce the risk of heart disease as well as beneficial for many mood disorders. Walnuts are a great plant-based source of omega-3
  • Walnuts can improve your gut health – which in turn can influence your overall health and many gut and digestive issues.

Now, on to the homemade walnut butter recipe, flavored walnut butter combinations, and walnut butter recipes/ uses!

What You’ll Need

  • Walnuts: you’ll need raw, unsalted walnuts for this homemade walnut butter – no matter which method you plan to make (raw, soaked, roasted walnut butter).

You could use pre-roasted walnuts (unsalted) in a pinch. However, they won’t be as easy to blend and could require adding extra oil to the recipe, which I like to avoid.

  • Salt: technically optional, but a pinch of salt does wonders for enhancing the natural flavor of the walnuts. It’s also great for neutralizing some of the natural bitterness in walnut butter.
  • A food processor or high-powered blender: Even with a high-powered machine, it takes a lot of patience when making any homemade nut butter. If you do attempt this walnut butter recipe with a mid-level machine, it could take double the time and will require lots of breaks (so you don’t overheat the engine).

And that’s it for the “base” walnut butter recipe. However, keep reading for some fun ways to experiment with flavor.

A delicious and nutritious one ingredient homemade walnut butter recipe with lots of flavoured walnut butter suggestions and walnut butter recipes and uses! ( including as an edible Christmas gift)

How to Flavor Walnut Butter?

Walnut butter is super buttery, smooth, and creamy – but also slightly bitter. Unlike other nut butter, the unflavored nut butter may not have you reaching for a spoon to eat it directly from the jar. However, with tons of add-ins to choose from, feel free to experiment and find your new obsession!

How to Sweeten Nut Butter?

This deserves a section of its own because there are a couple of rules when it comes to sweetening nut butter without causing it to seize:

Liquid sweetener: don’t add a cold sweetener to warm, just-blended nut butter. Instead, wait for it to cool down/ chill to the same temperature as your sweetener and gently fold it in. Alternatively, you can toss the nuts in the sweetener before roasting – that way; they’ll be the same temperature when blending. I’ve used maple syrup and honey with excellent results before.

Granulated sugar: It’s important to note that the sugar won’t “dissolve,” so if you’re able, I recommend grinding your sugar of choice into powdered sugar (this won’t work with all sugars or sweeteners, but quite a lot include regular, coconut sugar, etc.)

You can also use sugar-free sweeteners (liquid or granulated/powdered). I haven’t yet tried with date paste, but I imagine that would work too.

Other Flavor Options

  • Nut blends: fFeel free to use a blend of two nuts. I’ve only tried walnut-cashew butter (which was delish!) so I can’t guarantee the best blends. Experiment; pecans, almonds, brazil nuts, etc.
  • Homemade Vanilla extract or Vanilla Powder is a simple way to add extra flavor (and pairs well with lots of other flavor options below).
  • Spices: cinnamon, pumpkin spice, gingerbread spice, and chai spice would all work with walnut butter. Use around 2/3-1tsp then increase to taste.
  • Maple walnut butter: if you can, use maple sugar to avoid the risk of potential seizing. Start with one tablespoon and increase to taste (2 tbsp is my sweet spot). Optionally, add a little Vanilla extract or Vanilla Powder and/or ground cinnamon.
  • Espresso Walnut: similar to how I made this coffee Peanut Butter, but with walnuts.
  • Chocolate walnut butter: you can either add cacao powder (2-4 Tbsp) and your sweetener of choice the walnut butter (but it will be thicker) OR use 1/3-1/2 cup chocolate chips, melt them, and mix into the nut butter.I recommend adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt, too. Add a pinch of espresso powder too, to enhance the chocoalte flavor.
  • Dried fruit: an easy way to add extra flavor is by adding freeze-dried fruit. Walnut butter pairs particularly well with apple and banana. I recommend using apple, cinnamon, and maple or another sweetener for a delicious fall walnut butter recipe.

Make sure to add any flavorings after the butter is creamy and smooth, and aim to use flavored varieties within two weeks as the shelf life changes.

A delicious and nutritious one ingredient homemade walnut butter recipe with lots of flavoured walnut butter suggestions and walnut butter recipes and uses! ( including as an edible Christmas gift)

How to Make Walnut Butter

Below you’ll find the methods for raw walnut butter, roasted walnut butter (the regular option- photographed), and how to soak walnuts for “sprouted” walnut butter.

For Sprouted Walnut Butter (aka Soaked Walnuts)

There are several reasons why you might want to soak the nuts before preparing the walnut butter. These include:

  • Soaking reduces the phytic acid in the nut – thus improving the absorption of minerals and nutrients.
  • It also reduces other ezyme inhibitors.
  • Reduces tannins (which causes a bitter flavor, so great to reduce!) and plyphenols
  • It even removes gas-causing compounds within the nuts to avoid bloat and gas issues.

Best of all, the process of soaking the nuts is very simple – but requires quite a bit of time.

The Process

Step 1: Soak the Walnuts: Add the nuts to a bowl and cover with water, then leave to soak overnight. In the morning, drain the water, and rinse the nuts.

Step 2: Dry the walnuts: First, pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. Then spread them across a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350F/180C for 15-20 minutes, or until dry, lightly toasted (fragrant), and slightly darker in color. Allow the nuts to cool for several minutes before processing.

Alternatively, if you want to keep the recipe “raw,” you can use a dehydrator at 40ºC/104ºF to dry the nuts. This can take up to 24 hours (check at 12h and every couple hours after until fully dry). The nuts must be completely dry before processing (keep reading below for processing steps).

For Roasted Walnut Butter

Roasting the walnuts not only enhances their flavor but helps to extract the natural oils from the nuts, making them easier to blend, with no extra oil necessary (and minimal prep time). To do so:

Step 1: Roast the walnuts

  • Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a baking tray and toast in a pre-heated oven at 165ºC/325ºF for 8-10 minutes, or until fragrant and slightly darker in color.
  • Then remove them from the oven and allow them to cool until just slightly warm (this will help them blend easier, but too hot and they can ruin the blades in your machine and cause it to overheat).

Step 2: Process the Walnut Butter

The following steps can now be done with your soaked, raw, or roasted nuts

  • Transfer the walnuts to the bowl of a food processor (or blender, but a processor is best) and blend until it reaches your desired consistency. This can take as little as 3 minutes up to 15, depending on what nuts (raw vs. roasted) and your machine. For me, it took 10 minutes for super smooth and runny walnut butter (breaks included).
walnuts being poured into a blender for nut butter

Make sure to give your machine a break every two minutes, scrape down the sides with a spatula, and then process for longer. The nuts will first break into a crumb-like consistency, then a thick chunky paste, smoother paste, before becoming soft, drippy, and silky smooth!

If you’re using raw walnuts: these will take longer to process since the roasting process causes the oils to start releasing from the nuts. For these, you’ll have to be patient and give your machine lots of breaks. If it doesn’t go past the thick crumb/ball stage, you may need to add 1-2 tablespoons of your desired oil (like coconut oil, avocado oil, or mild olive oil).

Once blended to your desired consistency, you can pulse in any add-ins OR transfer it to an airtight jar.

A delicious and nutritious one ingredient homemade walnut butter recipe with lots of flavoured walnut butter suggestions and walnut butter recipes and uses! ( including as an edible christmas gift)

How to Store

Store: store the walnut butter in an airtight glass jar in the fridge for between 6-8 weeks. Make sure to use a clean utensil any time you use the nut butter and stir it to redistribute the oils within.

Note that if you’ve added in any sweetener or other add-ins, it will impact the shelf life, and I recommend using it within 1-2 weeks!

Freeze: you can also freeze the walnut butter for up to 4 months. Either store it in a freezer-safe container (with headspace) OR save it in portions in an ice cube tray.

smooth creamy homemade walnut butter

How to Use Walnut Butter?

Let me know in the comments how you like to enjoy your homemade walnut butter!

A delicious and nutritious one ingredient homemade walnut butter recipe with lots of flavoured walnut butter suggestions and walnut butter recipes and uses! ( including as an edible Christmas gift)

FAQs

What is the difference between using raw vs. soaked vs. roasted walnuts for walnut butter?

There are several ways that these differ. For example, the flavor of all three will vary. Raw walnuts will yield the most bitter results; roasted have a more developed, slightly sweeter nutter flavor. Meanwhile, soaked and then either dehydrated or roasted walnuts will be the least bitter.

Aside from taste, there are health differences. The roasted nuts will contain less overall nutritional benefits as some are destroyed in the heating process, unlike the raw nuts (or soaked and dehydrated). Going one step further, soaking nuts improves the bio-availability of the nutrients in the nuts, helps to reduce bloat/gas issues, and tastes less bitter. The only issue is the extra effort it takes to soak and dry the nuts.

What is the walnut to walnut butter ratio?

I’ve found that you need about 2.5 cups of walnut halves for one cup of walnut butter.

Do you need to refrigerate walnut butter?

While it’s probably OK to keep it at room temperature for a few days, the oil in the butter can go rancid quickly (more so than many other nuts). For that reason, I recommend storing it in the fridge or freezer.

How can you tell nut butter has gone rancid?

By smell and taste. To begin, give your nut butter a sniff. If it smells bitter or gives off a smell like oil paint, then it’s likely rancid. Likewise, if it tastes bitter (more bitter than usual in the case of walnut butter) – better to chuck it.

Is walnut butter keto?

Yes, this nut butter is perfect for the Keto diet. Even if you want a sweetened version, just make sure to use keto granulated/powdered sugar, and you’re good to go!

Is walnut butter good for you?

As long as it’s eaten in moderation – very much so! Walnut butter is packed with heart-healthy fats, omega-3s, and several vitamins and minerals. The combination of which have several important health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving gut health, and heart health, etc.

Recipe Top Tips and Notes

  • Use enough nuts: Make sure that you’re using enough nuts in your food processor to comfortably completely cover the blade (3 cups is the minimum for me). If you want to make a very small amount, you could use a coffee/spice grinder.
  • Adjust the thickness: The easiest way to do this is simply by processing it for a shorter vs. longer time.
  • Be patient: Every nut butter goes through several stages when blending into a nut butter. Unfortunately, it can sometimes seem like the nuts don’t want to move past the thick paste/pre-paste stage. But give your machine breaks and keep trying. If, after another 3-4 minutes, it still hasn’t budged – it’s time to rely on a tablespoon of oil. You shouldn’t need this though (especially when using roasted walnuts).
  • Use a food processor when possible: I’ve found they work best unless you have a very powerful blender.
  • Use any add-ins at the end: Make sure the walnut butter is the consistency you want before pulsing/ folding in any extra flavorings/add-ins. And remember to enjoyed flavored walnut butter within 2 weeks!
  • To remove some fat: If you want to reduce some of the fats in the walnut butter, you can wait until the oils and nut pulp separate as it sits and then simply scoop some of the oil out of the jar. Just note that this will make the but butter thicker/not as smooth.

Other Nut and Seed Butter Recipes

As always, if you give this homemade walnut butter recipe a try, let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments below. Also, feel free to tag me in your recreations @AlphaFoodie.

Homemade Walnut Butter Recipe

5 from 23 votes
By: Samira
How to make walnut butter with just ONE ingredient: raw, soaked, or roasted walnuts – and a high-speed food processor. This nutritious silky smooth nut butter is perfect for spreading, adding to baked goods, or even as an edible gift! Best of all, this homemade walnut butter is oil-free, refined-sugar-free, gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30!
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 32 servings

Equipment

  • Blender/Food processor

Ingredients 
 

  • 3 cups walnuts
  • salt optional

Read the "Add-ins" section of the blog post for tons of flavored options!

    Instructions 

    For Sprouted Walnut Butter (aka Soaked Walnuts)

    • Soak the walnuts: add the nuts to a bowl and cover with water then leave to soak overnight. In the morning, drain the water, and rinse the nuts. 
    • Dry the walnuts: pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. Then spread them across a baking tray and bake in the oven at 350ºF/180ºC for 15-20 minutes, or until dry, lightly toasted (fragrant), and slightly darker in color. Allow the nuts to cool for several minutes before processing. 
      Alternatively, if you want to keep the recipe "raw", use a dehydrator at 40ºC/104ºF to dry the nuts. This can take up to 24 hours (check at 12h and every couple hours after until fully dry). It's important that the nuts are completely dry before processing (keep reading below for processing steps).

    For Regular Walnut Butter (Roasted or Raw)

      Step1: Roast the walnuts (optional but recommended)

      • Roasting the walnuts not only enhances their flavor but helps to extract the natural oils from the nuts making them easier to blend, no extra oil necessary.
      • Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a baking tray and toast in a pre-heated oven at 165ºC/325ºF for 8-10 minutes, or until fragrant and slightly darker in color. 
        Then remove them from the oven and allow them to cool until just slightly warm (this will help them blend easier, but too hot and they can ruin the blades in your machine and cause it to overheat). 

      Step 2: Process the Walnut Butter

      • Transfer the walnuts to your food processor (or blender, but a processor is best) and blend until it reaches your desired consistency. This can take as little as 3 minutes up to 15, depending on what nuts (raw vs. roasted) and your machine. For me, it took 10 minutes for super smooth and runny walnut butter (breaks included). 
        Make sure to give your machine a break every two minutes, scrape down the sides with a spatula, and then process for longer. The nuts will first break into a crumb-like consistency, then a thick chunky paste, smoother paste, before becoming soft, drippy, and silky smooth!
        If you're using raw walnuts: these will take longer to process, since the roasting process causes the oils to start releasing from the nuts. For these, you'll have to be patient and give your machine lots of breaks. If it won't go past the thick crumb/ball stage, then you may need to add 1-2 tablespoons of your desired oil (like coconut oil, avocado oil, or a mild olive oil). 
      • Once blended to your desired consistency, you can then pulse in any add-ins OR transfer it to an airtight jar.

      How to Store

      • Store: store the walnut butter in an airtight glass jar in the fridge for between 6-8 weeks. Make sure to use a clean utensil any time you use the nut butter and give it a stir if separated (the oils can settle on the top – this is normal). 
        Note that if you've added in any sweetener or other add-ins, the shelf life will be impacted and I recommend using it within 1-2 weeks!
        Freeze: you can also freeze the walnut butter for up to 4 months. Either store it in a freezer-safe container (with headspace) OR save it in portions in an ice cube tray. 

      Video

      Notes

      • Use enough nuts: make sure that you’re using enough nuts in your food processor to comfortably completely cover the blade (3 cups is the minimum for me). If you want to make a very small amount, you could use a coffee/spice grinder.
      • Adjust the thickness: the easiest way to do this is simply by processing it for a shorter vs. longer time.
      • Be patient: every nut butter goes through several stages when blending into nut butter. Unfortunately, it can sometimes seem like the nuts don’t want to move past the thick paste/pre-paste stage. But give your machine breaks and keep trying. If, after another 3-4 minutes, it still hasn’t budged – it’s time to rely on a tablespoon of oil. You shouldn’t need this though (especially when using roasted walnuts).
      • Use a food processor when possible: I’ve found they work best unless you have a very powerful blender.
      • Use any add-ins at the end: make sure the walnut butter is the consistency you want before pulsing/folding in any extra flavorings/add-ins. And remember to enjoyed flavored walnut butter within 2 weeks!
      • To remove some fat: if you want to reduce some of the fats in the walnut butter, you can wait until the oils and nut pulp separate as it sits and then simply scoop some of the oil out of the jar. Just note that this will make the nut butter thicker/not as smooth.
       
      Check the blog post for lots of flavored options and answers to top FAQs!
      Course: DIYs
      Cuisine: American
      Freezer friendly: 3 Months
      Shelf life: 2 Months

      Nutrition

      Serving: 0.5Tbsp, Calories: 72kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 48mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 2IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg

      Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

      Leave a comment

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Recipe Rating




      16 Comments

      1. I can’t seem to process it enough into a buttery smooth consistency.. not sure what I did wrong. My walnuts were dry and they were soaked and toasted even a little bit too toasted for some of them. I’m contemplating through in some raw nuts to help it along but I also added a tiny bit of peanut butter oil to try and help but it’s still stuck at mostly crumby consistency. Too dry? Would you think is the issue? I’m not sure what to dooooo

        1. Hi Salicia,
          Depending on the blender, this process can take 20-30 minutes too. It often takes me 15+ minutes. I also recommend, giving the blender a break every few minutes so it doesn’t overheat. Before it gets into the buttery smooth consistency, it will be pasty and dry for some time but just keep on blending. If it’s taking much longer, you can add a tiny bit of oil – like peanut oil or coconut oil. Start with just a spoonful and then maybe add another if needed. I hope this helps.

      2. How do you get that dreaded skin off? It tastes super bitter and it spoils the fantastic taste of walnuts. When I get them fresh, it’s easy to peel off the skin by hand but it takes a long time. Once they are dry, it’s near impossible

        1. Hi,
          Once toasted, you can scrunch the walnuts into a towel and that should allow the skin to come off. Alternatively, it’s possible to remove the skin before their are toasted – you need to pour boiling water over them, let them soak for 1-2 minutes and then the skin should be easy to peel.
          I hope this helps.

          1. 5 stars
            I actually just blended raw walnuts straight out of the bag! It turned out great. I must not have the ability to taste the bitterness of walnuts because it tastes great raw without any salt or sugar! 🙂

          2. Thanks for sharing, John. Not all walnuts would be bitter – depends on if they were ripe, stored properly, etc. As long as you enjoy the walnut butter 🙂

          3. Hi there Years ago I had walnut butter on a steak in Perth but I m sure it had real butter mixed in with the nuts is this ok it just melted n yummy

          4. Hi Glenice,
            Not sure what recipe you have tried but you could mix a bit of butter with the walnut butter to achieve something similar.

        1. Hi Beti,
          You can use any appliance that can blend – just make sure to give it a break from time to time while blending the nuts to avoid overheating. It might take about 15 minutes to achieve the consistency you like. I hope this helps.

          1. I just saw your response to my question. Thanks a bunch.
            Maybe I could ask another question. I am using a nut grinder to do this. One is a Hamilton Grinder and a second one is a fine seed grinder. I start with the nut grinder and then the seed grinder. Are these the same as food processor as your instructions tell of?
            Thanks Again Ronnie T

          2. Hi Ronnie,
            Food processors are usually bigger than grinders but work the same way for making nut butters (I would think they might be even better but might be tricky to clean them). I am glad you’ve found a way that works for you. Homemade butters are so much better, aren’t they 🙂

          3. Hi May,
            The food processor is from NutraMilk. The model is linked on the Shop page of the blog. I hope this helps.