Prepare to have your nut butter world rocked with this homemade vanilla bean cashew nut butter recipe! It has a silky smooth texture with hints of sweet vanilla flavor. This delicious spread has a variety of uses from smoothies to toast toppings to enjoying it by the spoonful!
If you're ready to level up your nut butter game, this vanilla cashew nut butter recipe is for you! I'm a huge fan of all things nut butter. I have an entire cabinet dedicated to my stash and constantly keep it stocked.
I love a good crunchy almond butter and whip up my chocolate hazelnut butter all the time. But, when it comes to a quick yet boogie nut butter that will send your taste buds dancing, it's this vanilla cashew nut butter. The light nutty flavor of cashews pairs so effortlessly with the subtle sweet vanilla essence.
If vanilla beans aren't your thing, don't worry, there are a couple other options you can swap it out for!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Cashews - Unsalted and raw are best in this recipe. You can also use roasted cashews and skip the roasting steps. This recipe will also work with a variety of nuts! I recommend trying it out with almonds, pecans, or peanuts.
- Vanilla bean - This is what provides the rich and sweet vanilla flavor. High quality vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste work as well in this cashew nut butter recipe.
- Coconut oil - Used to roast the cashews. Any other bland oil will work as a substitute like avocado oil or sunflower oil.
Step by step directions
This vanilla cashew nut butter is almost too simple to whip up! I'm talking just a few steps before you're diving spoon first into a jar of this liquid gold.
Step 1 : Roast the cashews
First, roast the cashews. If you're using roasted cashews, you can skip to the next step.
Simply toss the raw cashes in the melted coconut oil and sea salt then spread them out evenly on a baking sheet. I recommend using a piece of parchment paper as this will make transferring the nuts to the food processor easier.
Roast in the oven until they turn a light golden brown. The cashews will darken up fairly quickly, so make sure you're watching the oven so prevent burning them.
Step. 2 : Prepare the vanilla bean
Next, extract the vanilla bean seeds from the vanilla bean.
If you've never seen a vanilla bean before, it's almost like a long thin green bean. If you squeeze it slightly, you can feel that it's hollow inside. This is where the seeds are (aka what you want!).
To extract the seeds from the bean, use a sharp knife to make a slit down the middle. Try not to cut all the way through the bean. You should just run the knife down the center "spine" and then be able to peel back the sides.
The best way to get the seeds out without wasting any is with the back of a spoon. Apply some pressure and scrape the spoon along the inside of the bean. You should see the seeds begin to build up on the back of the spoon.
Shake the vanilla bean seeds off into a small bowl and continue to scrape all of the seeds from the pod. Sometimes I can get all the seeds out in one pass but sometimes I have to run the spoon through the bean 2 or 3 times to get them all. And trust me, you want them all!
Step 3 : Blend
Finally, place the cashews and vanilla bean seeds in a food processor and blend until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the processor as needed until the mixture is running smoothly.
How to use
This vanilla cashew nut butter is amazing in so many ways! However, because those little specks of vanilla bean cost a pretty penny, I wouldn't use this nut butter on just anything. Instead, be intentional about how you enjoy this liquid gold and make sure to use it in a form where you can really taste the special flavors of the vanilla bean.
- On toast - my favorite way to use it! Warm up a piece of toast and spread a thick layer of cashew butter over top.
- As a fruit dip - slice up some apples and dip them in this silky smooth vanilla cashew butter for an easy snack.
- Stir it into oats - because oats can be bland, the vanilla cashew butter flavor will shine through.
- By the spoonful - we all do it! A spoonful of this nut butter is the perfect sweet afternoon pick-me-up.
You may be wondering, okay but where should I not use it then? I wouldn't use this vanilla cashew nut butter in any place where it is blended or baked (like smoothies or cookies). It will lose a lot of it's flavor and this isn't just any nut butter.
Vanilla bean alternatives
I get it, vanilla beans are e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e and not everyone wants or can get their hands on them. Vanilla bean paste (my recommended substitute) and vanilla extract are both more affordable and readily available and work in this recipe.
Vanilla bean paste is going to be the best substitute as it has a strong and sweet flavor just like the real thing. Most vanilla bean pastes contain the actual vanilla seeds so you'll still see those classic little black flakes in the vanilla cashew nut butter.
If you use vanilla extract, you will need to use a good amount to really emulate the sweet vanilla flavoring. This can cause the cashew nut butter to me a little thinner (still tasty though!). I recommend using a high quality pure vanilla extract to make sure you get a strong rich vanilla flavor that's not artificial.
Make this vanilla cashew nut butter your own by switching up the nut base or adding in additional flavors! Here are a few flavor recommendations:
- Add cinnamon. Simply add ½ tsp cinnamon to the food processor to provide a soft cinnamon flavor.
- Sweeten with honey. For a sweet cashew nut butter, add 1 Tbsp honey to the processor.
- Switch up the nut. Swap the cashews for another nut of choice like peanuts, pecans, or almonds.
- Flavor with coconut. Sprinkle in 2 Tbsp coconut flakes in the food processor to add a coconut flavor.
To store this cashew nut butter, pour it into an airtight container (I prefer to use a glass jar). It will keep for a month out on the counter and up to 2 months in the fridge.
The vanilla cashew nut butter will firm up a little in the fridge which is no big deal. It will soften up after a few minutes or when spread on a warm piece of toast.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, this recipe can be made in a high-speed blender. You may need to scrape down the sides of the container a few times to make sure it all gets mixed well but otherwise, the steps are the same!
This vanilla cashew nut butter will last for a month out on the counter in an airtight jar or container and up to 2 months when stored in the fridge.
Yes! If you're doing the Whole30 or like to keep your snacks on par with the paleo lifestyle, this cashew butter is compliant as we use real vanilla beans. Unfortunately, vanilla extract and most vanilla bean pastes have a bit of alcohol in them which is not compliant.
This vanilla cashew nut butter would be great in:
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