Coconut oil is not butter, and thanks to the plethora of vegan butter options, we no longer have to pretend it is. Gone are the days of smearing oil on toast and convincing yourself that “it’s the same thing!” Vegans have options, and they are glorious. Whether you cook, bake, or use it as a condiment, these vegan butters really taste and perform just like butter.
1. Miyoko’s Creamery
It’s no surprise the queen of vegan cheese is also on top of the vegan butter market. The Miyoko’s brand boasts four different butter varieties: European-Style Cultured Vegan Butter with a Hint of Sea Salt, European-Style Cultured Vegan Butter Unsalted, Spreadable Cultured Vegan Oat Milk Butter, and Spreadable Cultured Vegan Garlic Parm Oat Milk Butter. The first two are nut- and coconut oil-based and work incredibly well for cooking and baking—they even brown! The latter spreadable options are ideal for those with a nut allergy and for spreading liberally on refined carbohydrates—everything from toast and muffins to pancakes and waffles.
2. Earth Balance
Ask any professional vegan baker what butter they use, and the overwhelming response will be Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks. They are an easy one-to-one swap for dairy-based butter sticks which makes for perfect pie crusts, velvety buttercreams, and tender cookies. For condiment use, check out one of the many varieties of the brand’s buttery spreads. You can’t go wrong with Original, but the Olive Oil and European Style are fan favorites as well.
3. Melt Organic
Made with sustainably sourced plant oils, this creamy rendition of butter is great for savory applications. Add a pat or two of the Probiotic Butter to a pasta sauce for a little indulgence, or use the Salted Butter Sticks to create a solid roux for mushroom gravy or vegan gumbo. Complete your meal with some homemade vegan biscuits using the Unsalted Butter Sticks, then slather those with the brand’s Original spreadable organic butter. Sometimes, it’s necessary to infuse butter in every part of the meal.
4. Country Crock Plant Butter
When dairy-based companies jump on the vegan bandwagon, it’s obvious a trend has reached a high point. The company has stepped outside of its iconic brown-grey tub and developed five different styles of plant-based butter. We bring the spreadable Plant Butter with Olive Oil tub to the table when hosting non-vegan guests. It’s a brand they trust, so they’re more likely to give dairy-free a try.
What began as a plant milk company has expanded its range to include incredible cashew-based yogurts, silky half and half, and super smooth butter. The decadent organic spread is a blend of coconut oil, cashews, fermented extract, cultured sugar, and yeast which results in a divinely complex flavor. The blend is further enhanced with the addition of Peruvian salt. This is “the good stuff” you save for freshly baked bread, homemade cornbread, and cast-iron-seared veggies glistening in this melted savory, salty spread.
6. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Vegan
Those who grew up with at least one yo-yo diet parent will recognize this margarine brand from their childhood. Now with a It’s Vegan option made from a blend of soybean and palm oils, we really can’t believe it’s not butter. Like its dairy-based predecessor, this product is lower in fat and calories in comparison to both dairy and plant-based butters. Note: the company does not state the source of its palm oil, but the product is Vegan Certified.
To our knowledge, this is the only plant-based butter made with macadamia, and through the power of excellent R&D and vegan magic, it works. The creamy spread is concocted of a macadamia oil blend that provides a salty richness to any dish. Of course, the first thing on our mind is vegan white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. This spread was made for it.
8. The Cultured Kitchen Better Buttah
For now, only California kitchens have access to this artisan vegan butter. The Whipped Garlic Chive, Cinnamon Date Vanilla, and Original tubs can be found in Whole Foods and natural grocers throughout the state, though expansion is in the works. They’re all made with a sunflower oil base and sustainably sourced palm oil in addition to turmeric, Himalayan sea salt, and a few other seasonings. We love spreading the garlic flavor on savory scones.
9. Califia Farms
Both of Califia’s cultured plant butters melt, spread, and bake like dairy-based butter. The company blends coconut oil, avocado or olive oil, tigernut paste, and cashews to create its versatile spreads. Try the avocado oil-based variety for your next baking project, and save the olive oil version for adding richness to Italian and French dishes.
10. New Barn Organics
This lightly salted vegan spread checks all the sustainability boxes—it’s organic, pareve, vegan, and Fair for Life certified. New Barn’s butter also boasts a minimal ingredient list—it’s just a blend of sustainably sourced palm oil, avocado oil, almonds, Himalayan sea salt, water, and turmeric. It’s excellent on homemade sourdough, though store-bought is fine, too!
11. Kite Hill
There’s a new reason to love this dairy alternative company: it just debuted a European-style butter. Like many Kite Hill products, this is made with cultured almond milk to mimic that luscious, buttery taste and texture. Pro tip: melt this almond-based butter onto one of Kite Hill’s filled pasta for a decadent yet simple weeknight dinner.
Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner living in Orange County, CA
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