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Your Guide To The Best Dairy Free Butter

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You can still enjoy the creamy goodness of butter – even while living a dairy-free lifestyle! There are plenty of dairy-free butter options out there but not all of them are winners. After an official taste test, I’ll share the best dairy-free butter!  

two sticks of butter on a wooden board

Let’s explore the best dairy-free butter options, the benefits of using them, and how they compare to regular butter. I have tried them all and there is a clear winner!

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Benefits of Using Dairy-Free Butter:

When reading the ingredient list on vegan butter brands, you’ll find that many of them contain ingredients that are not ideal. For example, sunflower oil and vegetable oil are common, especially in a buttery spread style of butter.

Even though they are dairy free, I still prefer to avoid those ingredients. Be sure to read all ingredients before buying a vegan butter.

  • Lactose-Free: Dairy-free butter is a great alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy or intolerance. It can be substituted 1:1 when cooking or baking. I’ve used vegan butter in muffins, pancakes, and other baked goods (like this banana bread recipe), and it always turns out perfectly!
  • Healthier Fats: Many dairy-free butters are made from plant-derived oils, which can be healthier than the saturated fats found in traditional butter – again, be sure to read the ingredients.
  • Vegan-Friendly: Dairy-free butter is suitable for vegans and those following a plant-based diet. The best vegan butter is made with coconut oil but there are also options made with oat milk and other plant-based milks. 

Comparison to Regular Butter:

  • Taste: While dairy-free butter may have a slightly different taste compared to regular butter, many brands offer options that are remarkably similar to their dairy-based counterpart. That being said, there are some terrible ones out there! It really is just trial and error – but keep reading to know which butter alternative to try first.
  • Texture: Dairy-free butter typically behaves similarly to real butter when cooking and baking, providing a smooth texture and creamy finish. You really can’t tell the difference! 
  • Cooking and Baking: Dairy-free butter can be used in the same way as regular butter in cooking and baking. It is a versatile option for all kinds of recipes.
  • Spreading: Dairy-free butter is also great for spreading on bread or morning toast. It’s a delicious dairy-free alternative.

Our Top Picks for Dairy-Free Butter:

#1 – Miyoko’s Creamery European Style Salted Plant Milk Vegan Butter

picture of a box of butter that says "miyoko's plant based butter"
  • Pros: Known for its rich, buttery flavor and creamy texture, Miyoko’s is a favorite among many people online. It’s perfect for spreading, cooking, and baking (even pie crust) and this is my go-to butter for everything. If you taste it alone, it just resembles butter, but if you spread it on bread or use it in cooking, it tastes exactly like butter and it’s delicious!
  • Cons: It is expensive. It’s about $6 at our local grocery store and it will sometimes go on sale but only about $.25 off. I can occasionally find it at Grocery Outlet and I have seen some lucky people online who have found it at Costco – but our Costco has never carried it. 
  • Ingredients: Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Cultured Cashew Milk (Filtered Water, Organic Cashews, Cultures), Filtered Water, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt.

#2 Miyoko’s Organic Salted Oat Milk Cultured Vegan Plant Based Butter https://amzn.to/3UeUxGV

top view of a tub of butter
  • Pros: Made from a blend of plant-based ingredients, Miyoko’s Salted Oat Milk butter offers a versatile butter alternative that is great for all your cooking and baking needs. This is a spreadable butter, similar to regular dairy butter that comes in tubs and it tastes great! The kids prefer this one on a slice of toast.
  • Cons: This is an example of one where you need to read the ingredients. Though considered safe, I try to avoid Sunflower or seed oils so I was disappointed to see it in the ingredient list. However, the ingredients are still better than other vegan alternatives, so I will buy it when the kids was a soft, spreadable butter. This one is also expensive, at about $5.50 per tub and I haven’t seen it on sale.  
  • Ingredients: Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Cultured Whole Grain Oat Milk (Filtered Water, Organic Oats, Cultures), Organic Coconut Oil, Contains Less Than 2% Of: Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Mushroom Extract, Natural Flavors Derived From Oregano, Flaxseed, And Plums, Organic Fruit And Vegetable Juice (Color), Organic Turmeric (Color).

Dairy Free Butters to Avoid:

#1 to Avoid: Earth Balance:

side view of a square tub of butter that says earth balance
  • This one is only on the list because it is often recommended as the best butter when you are first going dairy free. However, the ingredients are really questionable and although I tried it once, I won’t buy this anymore.
    • Pros: If you are used to eating margarine, this will be the closest thing to the real thing. It spreads well and it can be used in cooking and in vegan baking.
    • Cons: The ingredients are not desireable. The hardest part about going dairy free is finding plant-based alternatives that aren’t loaded with a blend of plant-based oils and this is a good example. I also feel that it doesn’t have a strong butter flavor, but that was also the case with real margarine. 
    •  Ingredients: Vegetable Oil Blend (Palm Oil, Canola Oil, Soybean Oil, Flaxseed Oil), Water, Less than 2% of: Salt, Natural Flavor, Pea Protein Isolate, Sunflower Lecithin, Olive Oil, Lactic Acid, Annatto Extract (Color).

#2 To Avoid: Violife

front view of a stick of butter in a wrapper that says Violife
  • Pros: The ingredients are decent and I really wanted to like this one because it is sometimes cheaper than MIyokos. They have a delicious vegan cheese, so I was excited to see they also make butter. Some people really love this butter, so it may be worth giving it a try. 
  • Cons:  The flavor! This butter is not good at all. Once we decided that we didn’t like it, I used it to bake with to get rid of it and the flavor ruined the muffins. It has such a strong flavor and to me, it tastes closer to beans than it does to butter. 
  • Ingredients: Plant-Based Oil Blend from Coconut, Sunflower and Canola Oils, Water, Salt, Sunflower Lecithin, Faba Bean Protein, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Glucose, Beta Carotene (Color).

Frequently Asked Questions About Vegan Butter

I’m trying to spread vegan butter on my bread and it won’t spread. 

Let the butter come to room temperature first. Then you’ll be able to spread it. Another alternative would be to buy softened vegan butter in a tub. 

Which butter substitute tastes most like butter?

Miyoko’s dairy free butter is the closest I have found to butter. If you are only lactose free, Ghee would be very close too, but it is not dairy free.

By on April 23rd, 2024

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