Decoding the Distinctions: Almond Butter vs. Almond Paste

Almond butter vs almond paste – Understanding the differences

When it comes to nut-based spreads and fillings, almond butter and almond paste are two popular options. While they share a common ingredient, almonds, they have different characteristics and uses. Understanding the differences between almond butter and almond paste can help you make informed choices in your culinary endeavors. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between these two almond-based products, their recipes, uses, nutritional profiles, and more.

Almond Butter: A Nutty Spread with Versatile Applications

Almond butter is a simple paste made primarily from almonds, often roasted. Unlike almond paste, it typically contains little to no added ingredients. The focus is on the natural flavor and texture of the almonds themselves. However, some variations may include sugar or oil for flavor and consistency.
Easy almond butter recipe:

  1. If you have a reliable food processor, you can make almond butter with just one ingredient: almonds. You can use raw or roasted almonds, depending on your taste preferences.
  2. If your food processor is older or less powerful, you may need to add oil to help process the nuts. Adding ¼ cup of oil per 1 pound of almonds can help achieve a smooth consistency.
  3. Process the almonds in a food processor until they are a smooth paste, scraping down the sides as needed.

Best uses for almond butter:

  • Almond butter and jelly sandwiches (a twist on a classic).
  • Blended into a smoothie with frozen bananas and oat milk.
  • Blend with ice cream, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, or cottage cheese.
  • Make a nutty dipping sauce or melt it with chocolate for a dessert topping.
  • Add it to a stir-fry for a unique twist on peanut sauce.
  • Mix it with water to make homemade almond milk.

Almond paste: A sweet filling for pastries and desserts.

Almond paste is mainly used as a filling for cookies, cakes and other pastries. It consists of equal parts of ground almond powder or meal and sugar, mixed with a binding liquid. Almond extract may be added for extra flavor, and commercial manufacturers sometimes substitute ground apricot or peach kernels for some of the almond meal to reduce costs.
Easy recipe for almond paste:

  • 1 cup whole blanched almonds
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 medium egg white


  1. Bring the egg whites to room temperature and lightly beat.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the almonds and half the sugar until finely ground, scraping down the sides as needed.
  3. Add the remaining sugar and pulse to blend.
  4. Continue to process, adding the egg whites one at a time until the mixture becomes a thick paste.
  5. If the mixture is too sticky, add more sugar, one teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.

Best uses for almond paste:

  • As a filling for cookies, cakes and other pastries.
  • As a glaze for vegetables or savory dishes.
  • Adds creaminess and depth to oat or granola crumbles.
  • Use as a base for a vegetable dip.
  • Enhance the nutty flavor in creamed spinach or other greens.

Nutritional Comparison: Almond Butter vs. Almond Paste

While both almond butter and almond paste are made from almonds, there are significant differences in their nutritional profiles. Almond butter, which consists primarily of almonds, offers a higher nutritional value than almond paste, which contains additional ingredients such as sugar.
Per 1 ounce:

Nutrient Almond Butter (per 1 oz) Almond Paste (per 1 oz)
Calories 180 163
Total Fat 16 g 11 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g 1 g
Carbohydrates 6 g 16 g
Fiber 3.4 g 1 g
Sugars 1 g 14 g
Protein 6 g 3 g
Vitamin E 6.7 mg 0.5 mg
Calcium 75 mg 21 mg
Iron 1.1 mg 0.4 mg
Magnesium 76 mg 29 mg


Almond butter and almond paste offer different flavors, textures and uses in different culinary applications. Almond butter is a versatile spread that can be enjoyed on its own, as a filling in sandwiches, or incorporated into various recipes. Almond paste, on the other hand, serves as a sweet filling in pastries and desserts, adding richness and depth to baked goods. Understanding the differences between these two almond-based products will help you choose the right one for your specific needs.
Whether you’re looking for a nutty spread to enhance your breakfast or a delicious filling for your favorite pastry, both almond butter and almond paste offer unique qualities that can enhance your culinary creations. Experiment with different recipes and discover the delicious flavors and textures that almonds can bring to your dishes.
Remember, whether you choose almond butter or almond paste, enjoy them in moderation as part of a balanced diet. And as always, feel free to get creative and explore new ways to incorporate these almond-based delights into your cooking repertoire.


What is the main difference between almond butter and almond paste?

The main difference is in the ingredients. Almond butter is mainly made from almonds, while almond paste contains other ingredients, mainly sugar, in addition to ground almonds.

Can almond butter and almond paste be used interchangeably?

No, almond butter and almond paste have different textures and flavours, making them unsuitable for direct substitution in recipes. Almond butter is a spreadable nut butter, whereas almond paste is a sweet filling used in pastries and desserts.

Is almond butter healthier than almond paste?

Almond butter tends to be healthier than almond paste because it contains fewer added ingredients, such as sugar. Almond butter also has a higher nutritional value, including healthy fats, protein and fibre.

What are some common uses for almond butter?

Almond butter can be used in a variety of ways, such as spreading on toast, as a dip, in smoothies or as an ingredient in baked goods and sauces.

What are the best uses for almond paste?

Almond paste is often used as a filling in pastries, biscuits and cakes. It can also be used to enhance the flavour and texture of savoury dishes or as a base for vegetable dips.

Can I make almond butter or almond paste at home?

Yes, both almond butter and almond paste can be made at home. Almond butter requires only almonds (and optionally oil or sugar), while almond paste is made by combining ground almonds, sugar and a binding liquid.