Sunflower Seed Butter Oatmeal Cookies

This healthy and delicious cookie post was inspired by my neighbor’s son who has a nut allergy. The one thing he can eat and does use often is sunflower seed butter. I had never used sunflower seed butter before in baking, I usually opt for cashew, almond or peanut butter for my granola bars or cookies. I purchased SunButter at my local Whole Foods and after dipping my spoon into the jar for a taste test, I was hooked. Sunflower seed butter is naturally sweet, creamy and has a subtle nutty flavor that made me asking myself why I waited so long to try it.
Sunbutter Cookies Batter
What’s so great about sunflower seed butter? It’s peanut-free, tree-nut free, and gluten-free, so it’s great for people with these types of food allergies. It also has 1/3 less saturated fat than peanut butter and 27 percent of your daily recommended allowance of Vitamin E in one serving, and it’s high in iron, fiber and protein. The SunButter brand is also sugar and salt-free which is an added plus.
The first time I made these I was blown away by how delicious these cookies were. My kids kept coming back for more. I brought them over to my neighbors for a taste test and before I knew it the plate was almost empty. I hid the last three to see how the cookies would taste the next day, and you won’t believe what happened? They turned slightly green on the inside. I quickly opened SunButter’s FAQ questions and this is what I found. The chlorogenic acid (chlorophyll) in sunflower seeds will react with the baking soda/powder when baked causing the product to turn green when cooled. This isn’t a bad thing at all and what makes sunflower seeds so good for you, just a little strange.  SunButter recommends adding some lemon juice or reducing the amount of baking soda/powder in the recipe. I made these again and added 1 tbsp of lemon juice to the recipe and this reduced the green color. I am going to make them again and reduce the baking soda to 1 teaspoon. I don’t even mind the green color and I love the flavor of sunflower seed butter. I cannot wait to try it out in other recipes.
Anyone use sunflower seed butter before in baking? Please share some of your experiences.
I also added some unsweetened vegan carob chips to the cookies and I’m so glad I did. If you haven’t tried carob chips or carob powder in your recipes I highly recommend trying it, just make sure they are unsweetened. Carob is a great substitute for chocolate (especially if you have a chocolate allergy) and it has about one-third of the calories of chocolate and is low in fat. Carob chips do not taste like chocolate, they are slightly nutty, sweet and completely irresistible. I love the way they melt too.
 Have you used carob chips or powder before? Do you like it?
Sunflower Seed Butter Oatmeal Cookies (vegan, gluten-free)
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24 cookies
  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup date sugar or light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • ⅓ cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer plus 4 tbsp warm water
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened vegan carob chips or vegan chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with either parchment paper, a nonstick baking mat or lightly spray a non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, baking powder, date sugar (or light brown sugar if you are using that), cinnamon and sea salt.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the apple sauce, sunflower seed butter, vanilla, lemon juice and egg replacer. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine completely. Fold in raisins and carob chips. Place 1 tablespoon of batter, spacing cookies 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheet and flatten a little.
  4. Bake at 350° for 15-25 minutes (15 minutes for a chewy cookie and 25 minutes for a crisper one). Remove from the oven and cool for a couple of minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container.

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  1. Kristina says

    I love love love sunflower seed butter! Just picked up a jar at Trader Joe's last week but am forcing myself to finish my almond butter before moving on to the sunflower butter.

    The cookies look delicious! What a great substitute for people who have nut allergies. Another great recipe!

  2. Jill in Chicago says

    OOH! I just found your blog through Healthy Girls Kitchen and can't wait to try these. I'd be interested in using flax instead of Ener-G, though. By chance do you know if this Ener-G measurement is the equivalent of 1 regular egg or 2 (or more)? (For some reason I can wrap my head around flax egg/real egg ratios, but I'm not sure where Ener-G fits in.)

  3. Virtually Vegan Mama says

    Hi Jill,

    Welcome! Flaxseed meal is my egg replacer of choice but I wanted to try Ener-G in this one for a change. This recipe using Ener-G is the equivalant of using 2 eggs. If you have flaxseed meal try that for this recipe, I'm going to next time, it adds a nice crunch. Use 1 T. flax seed meal + 3 T. warm water (for 1 egg), so 2 T FSM + 6 T warm water for this recipe. Let sit for 10 minutes it will get nice and gooey like an egg =)

  4. Elizabeth, blogging for SunButter says

    Hi there,
    Yum! Since I blog for SunButter, I'm always looking for new recipes, and I love this one. Since I'm also a mom who loves to bake, I can't wait to try it. So if you were on the website to figure out the green hue (interesting, huh?, you hopefully also saw the online recipe box. Looking forward to following your adventures. Take care.

  5. Virtually Vegan Mama says

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Thanks for stopping by, the green hue was really interesting and I just checked out the recipe box, looks like some great ones to try, going to check out your blog now =)

    Jen =)

  6. says

    I love carob but for some reason every time I bake with carob chips they melt weird and taste bad, these cookies look amazing I LOVE sunbutter!

  7. Virtually Vegan Mama says

    what brand carob chips do you use? I use Sunspire and they are great! try those…I get mine at whole foods =)

  8. Anonymous says

    Where do you find date sugar? I have scoured the baking aisle at my local Whole Foods and I cannot for the life of me find it. Please help….would love to make these as we don't do sugar at our house either. Mostly, I bake with bananas for the sweetener.

  9. Virtually Vegan Mama says


    I LOVE SunButter…look for my guest post on their website in the next couple of weeks =) I'm creating a new recipe for them for a much needed vegan perspective.

    Thanks for the link to your blog..I'm going to check it out!


  10. MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College says

    I just won a giveaway for Sunbutter and came upon your blog in my search for recipes that had Sunbutter in it. I am DEFINITELY making these as soon as I get my jar of this deliciousness.

    I can't believe they turn green. I am so excited to try this recipe :-)

  11. says

    I made sunbutter oatmeal cookies yesterday – and they turned green too ! So glad that found your site – I would’ve thrown them away ! What a fun alternative to food coloring on St Patty’s Day ! lol 😀

  12. Linda Wallace says

    I made oatmeal cookies yesterday using sunflower butter. I saw they had turned green this am. I threw them all out because I thought there was something wrong with them. I wish I had read your blog first!


  1. […] Nutrition facts: 180 calories, 16g fat (2g sat fat), 6g protein Sunflower seeds don’t offer much omega-3 fatty acids, but they’re brimming with omega-6s. Benefits: Here comes the sun(flower), a great source of magnesium and antioxidant vitamin E. DIY: Toast up those seeds and then blend them in a food processor. Peanut Butter Replacement Recipe: Take peanut butter oatmeal cookies to the next level and try your hand at sunbutter oatmeal cookies. […]

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