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The Best Almond Butter

The best almond butter contains more than just ground almonds.


Published July 1, 2016. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 17: The Ultimate Sticky Buns

UpdateNovember 2018
Our winning almond butter, Jif Creamy Almond Butter, has been discontinued. We now recommend the runner-up, Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter.
See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

In recent years, almond butter has emerged as a popular alternative to peanut butter. But which supermarket product is best? To find out, we rounded up the four top-selling national products (as reported by IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm) and had 21 test cooks and editors taste them plain and in cherry-almond smoothies.

You can buy almond butters that are made solely from almonds that have been roasted and ground, but no products in that unadulterated style sell well enough to have made our lineup. The four top-selling products we tasted all add a solid fat (palm oil or hydrogenated vegetable oil) to help create the homogeneous, spreadable consistency that many consumers like. As for flavor, we greatly preferred almond butters that added sugar and especially salt—and the more, the better. The lone almond butter with no added salt or sugar was deemed bland, whereas the almond butter with the most salt (which was also tied for having the most sugar) came out on top.

Textural differences proved equally important. Three of the four almond butters were labeled “creamy,” but in reality, only the two winners were totally smooth. Although manufacturers wouldn’t reveal their processing methods, the coarser consistency of the less-preferred products was likely the result of grinding the almonds with their skins on. Because almond skins are high in fiber, they’re harder to process into complete smoothness. By contrast, the two winning products were made with blanched and skinned almonds and were truly smooth.

Our favorite, Jif Creamy Almond Butter, had a “mild,” “clean” almond flavor that was punched up with plenty of salt and sugar. Made from blanched roasted almonds, it had a perfectly even, creamy consistency and was the cheapest product we tasted.

Everything We Tested

*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.

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The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing.

Miye Bromberg

Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.