10 Best Vegan Butter Brands of 2021

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It is getting easier than ever to find vegan butter. But finding one that tastes good? That’s still a challenge. To help you through the noise, we’ve tracked down the 10 best vegan butter brands that taste and bake like the real thing.

When I was growing up, we had a name for vegan butter. We called it margarine. Lucky for all us plant-based connoisseurs, the vegan butter options of today are a lot better than those we suffered through even ten years ago.

But now there is another problem… Sifting through all the noise to find the best vegan spread!

We spent some time rounding up the many plant-based butter options on the market to figure out which actually taste good. From those, we chose the top 10 best vegan butter brands to recommend to you.

The Best Vegan Butters

1. Miyoko’s European Style Cultured Vegan Butter

Miyokos Vegan Butter
Photo credit: Miyoko’s Creamery

Made from plant-based ingredients and then fermented with traditional creamery live cultures, Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter doesn’t merely taste like the real thing. It spreads, melts, and bakes like the real thing too.

If you’re looking for that undeniably creamy taste of butter without the dairy, you may have just found it. This is one of the best vegan butter substitutes when it comes to taste and versatility. 

We love this product for spreading on bread and adding to savory dishes. But it also works well for baking. It does tend to brown a bit more than real butter, but this produces a chewy crispiness that works well for many delectable recipes.

Best for: Spreading and brown butter baking

Base ingredients: Coconut oil, sunflower oil, cashews

Calories per tbsp: 90

Find it at: Walmart, Target, health food stores

2. Melt Organic Butter

Melt Organic is committed to making butter that is better for people and the planet. And it tastes pretty good too.

If you are looking for a vegan alternative that still retains that buttery taste—think buttered popcorn flavor—this is one of the best options. It isn’t perfect but it is as close as you can get to replicating butter’s natural flavor and texture.

This spread does contain palm oil, but it is certified fair trade, organic, and Rainforest Alliance Certified. This butter is also pleasingly affordable. You, your wallet, and your tastebuds can feel good about eating this vegan butter!

Best for: Spreading and baking

Base ingredients: Coconut, palm (Rainforest Alliance Certified), canola, and sunflower oils

Calories per tbsp: 80

Find it at: Kroger

3. Forager Project Organic Vegan Butter

Forager Project’s Organic Vegan Butter butter doesn’t achieve the same buttery taste as others on this list, but it has a nice texture and a unique flavor that many people really enjoy.

The interesting flavor is a product of the fermented blend of oregano, flax, and plum. Like other coconut-based spreads, this one gives that unique cooling sensation when you eat it. Surprisingly, this makes a great butter substitute for baking as the flavors are masked by the sweetness while the texture brings a nice, chewy texture.

Plus, you know you can feel good about buying this butter since it is a Forager Project product. This company goes the extra mile to support organic farming practices that are better for their customers and the environment.

Best for: Baking (not frosting or whipping)

Base ingredients: Coconut oil, sunflower oil, cashews

Calories per tbsp: 100

Find it at: Kroger, Whole Foods, 

4. Califia Farms Plant Butter

Looking for a hearty spread for your morning toast? Califia Farms Plant Butter has a much thicker texture than other butters listed here. It’s more like a spreadable cream cheese.

The taste is a little less buttery as well, but still not bad. This product is available in avocado oil and olive oil variations, but both use coconut oil as a base and taste similar. And both make an exceptionally good butter alternative for creating thick, chewy baked goods.

Califia offers a number of great plant-based products. They are a big player in the plant-based revolution and a company that’s easy to get behind. Plus, their vegan butters don’t use any palm oil ingredients.

Best for: Baking

Base ingredients: Coconut oil, cashews

Calories per tbsp: 90

Find it at: Most chain grocery stores

5. Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread

When it comes to flavor and usability, Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread really stands out.

It has a mild flavor that is slightly buttery and slightly salty, and overall very appealing. The texture is very butter-like and stays that way even at room temperature. This makes it a great product for baking a variety of different recipes.

On the downside, Earth Balance utilizes palm oil. While the company claims to support sustainable palm oil production, its products carry no certifications or guarantees to that effect. 

Best for: Baking and spreading

Base ingredients: Palm (non-sustainable), canola, and soybean oils

Calories per tbsp: 100

Find it at: Most chain grocery stores

6. Kite Hill Plant-Based Butter

Kite Hill Plant-Based Butter is a European-style butter with a delightfully creamy texture and rich flavor.

European-style butter has a higher fat content and less moisture than standard butter. This vegan alternative matches that thicker, indulgent style without adding much in the way of calories. The pleasing texture and flavor make it one most real butter lovers really enjoy.

This palm-oil-free option is also pretty decent for baking. Like other coconut-oil-based butters, it doesn’t hold its form real well at high temperatures so would not be great for making frosting or recipes that require heavy whipping.

Best for: Spreading and baking (not for frosting or whipping)

Base ingredients: Safflower oil, almond milk, coconut oil

Calories per tbsp: 90

Find it at: Safeway, Whole Foods

Be sure to check out Kite Hill’s vegan sour cream and coconut milk yogurts, too.

7. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Vegan

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter has been around for years. It was a popular dairy-free option long before the recent vegan diet trend. In fact, if you compare the labels of the original product versus the newer vegan product, they look identical.

While the vegan version may just be a new way of marketing an old product, it is Vegan Action Certified, which does provide some additional assurance for vegans. It also has a creamy, buttery taste you’ll love. Plus, it is very low in calories.

Unfortunately, like so many other name-brand vegan butter options, this one does contain palm oil. While there is no indication of this on the packaging or the website, Upfield, which owns the brand, insists that all their products use only RSPO certified palm oil. You can read more about their policies here.

Best for: Spreading

Base ingredients: Soybean oil, palm oil

Calories per tbsp: 60

Find it at: Most chain grocery stores

8. Country Crock Plant Butter

Like other name-brand butter and margarine companies, Country Crock has recently jumped on the vegan bandwagon with their new plant butter product.

Also like other name-brand attempts, this butter tastes pretty good. It comes in both a delectable spread that’s perfect for toast and in stick form that imitates butter well enough to be used in just about any recipe.

The main ingredient in Country Crock Plant Butter is palm oil. Like I can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, this brand is also owned by Upfield, which claims all their palm oil is RSPO certified.

Best for: Spreading and baking

Base ingredients: Palm oil

Calories per tbsp: 100

Find it at: Most chain grocery stores

9. Smart Balance Original

Smart Balance Original is one of those margarine-type butter alternatives that has been around for ages. But unlike those other options, this one actually tastes pretty good. And it is very high in omega fatty acid.

It is a spreadable butter but comes out of the fridge a tad hard. After a few minutes of sitting at room temperature, though, it has the perfect texture for dressing a warm English muffin. The taste is also fairly similar to butter but with far fewer calories.

Like other name-brand butter alternatives, this one contains non-sustainable palm oil as one of the main ingredients. It can be used for baking in some circumstances, but is better used as a spread.

Best for: Spreading

Base ingredients: Palm oil, canola oil, olive oil

Calories per tbsp: 80

Find it at: Walmart, Safeway

10. Pure Blends Plant-Based Butter

Pure Blends is a plant-based food company owned by Upfield, the same company that owns Country Crock. And just as we love the taste and texture of the latter’s vegan butter, we also love Pure Blends’ Plant-Based Butter.

It has a buttery taste with a slight avocado oil twist or coconut oil twist, depending on the variety you choose. Both work very well as a spread but aren’t the best for baking. If you are looking for a low calorie, this option is the way to go.

The company’s website states that they are dedicated to cutting carbon emissions and sourcing products that are better for the planet. While there is no certification on the products, Pure Blends is also owned by Upfield, which uses only RSPO certified palm oil.

Best for: Spreading

Base ingredients: Avocado/coconut oil, soybean oil, palm oil

Calories per tbsp: 60

Find it at: Walmart

Which Butter is Best?

There are a lot of great vegan butters out there these days, with more options being added to the shelves each month. But not all taste that great and even fewer utilize only ingredients that are ethically sourced.

One that does meet this tough criterion that we absolutely can’t get enough of is Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter. Not only does this spread taste and bake like real butter, but it is made with quality ingredients we can get behind.

Coming in at a close second is Melt Organic Butter. This is an even better option for baking with a decent butter flavor. And all the ingredients are organic and sourced with the planet in mind.

Things to Look For

Since you’re already looking for a vegan option, you might also be concerned with other health and environmental factors. Here are a couple to keep in mind.

Trans Fats

U.S. food manufacturers are no longer permitted to use trans fats in food products without FDA approval, but it’s something you should pay attention to on nutrition labels of products not produced in the U.S.

The primary source of trans fats is from partially hydrogenated oils, or PHOs, which are not Generally Recognized as Safe by the FDA and should be avoided. None of the options on our list contain PHOs.

Certified Sustainable Palm Oil

Palm oil is derived from the fruit of oil palm trees, which grows in tropical rain forests. In recent years, rain forests have been increasingly cleared to expand palm oil plantations, damaging important ecosystems in the process.

Although you don’t need to give up palm oil completely, you should look for the RSPO label to ensure you purchase products made with certified sustainable palm oil. Also, look for products with palm fruit oil instead of palm kernel oil, since the latter is much higher in saturated fat.

Needless to say, before you buy any of the listed products, you should do your own research to check that they align with your health and dietary goals.   

How to Make Your Own Vegan Butter

As great as these vegan butter brands are, making your own vegan butter at home is easy and ensures you know exactly what’s in it. Our recipe below (created by Kirsten Nunez) is buttery, smooth, and creamy, and it works great as a spread or as an ingredient in your favorite recipes.

Vegan butter being spread on a slice of bread with a knife
Photo credit: Kirsten Nunez

Key Ingredients

  • Melted refined coconut oil. This ingredient is the base of homemade vegan butter. It’s important to use coconut oil that’s refined, which will prevent your butter from having a coconut flavor. Also, be sure to use melted coconut oil that’s at room temperature. If it’s too hot, it will take longer to set (and be more likely to separate). On hot days, your coconut oil might already be melted and liquid in its jar.
  • Non-dairy milk. Use your favorite unflavored, plain dairy-free milk. We used oat milk for our butter.
  • Lemon juice. Lemon juice gives the butter a slightly tangy taste. You can use apple cider vinegar as a substitute.
  • Sunflower lecithin. Sunflower lecithin is essential for emulsifying (combining) the liquid and oil in this recipe. Soy lecithin also works well. Typically, sunflower and soy lecithin can be found in the supplement section of health food stores.

Recipe Steps

1. In a small bowl, combine the milk and lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, but avoid stirring. Let sit for 4 to 5 minutes to let the milk curdle.

Lemon juice and non-dairy milk combined in a small container
Photo credit: Kirsten Nunez

2. In a blender, combine the melted room temperature coconut oil, milk mixture, and remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and combined, scraping down the sides as necessary. There should be little to no flecks of sunflower lecithin remaining.

vegan butter ingredients in a blender on a white surface
Photo credit: Kirsten Nunez

3. Pour the mixture into your chilled container. Loosely cover, then place in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes to help jumpstart the setting process. Transfer to the refrigerator, then chill for 1 to 3 hours or until completely set. The exact time depends on the size of your molds.

Chilled vegan butter
Photo credit: Kirsten Nunez

4. To use your vegan butter, remove it from the refrigerator. Let sit until it reaches room temperature and becomes spreadable.

Photo credit: Kirsten Nunez

Recipe Tips

  • Use a silicone mold. If you want to remove the entire chunk of butter from its mold, be sure to use a silicone mold. Otherwise, a glass container works great if you want to spread or scoop your butter.
  • Make smaller portions. If you plan to use your butter in smaller servings (like for toast or occasional cooking), use a silicone ice cube tray as a mold. Keep the smaller portions frozen until you’re ready to thaw and use them.
  • Adjust the salt. Use less salt if you want unsalted butter, or more for extra saltiness.

How to Store It

Store leftover vegan butter in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

Vegan butter being spread on a slice of bread

How to Make Vegan Butter

There are some delicious vegan butter brands on the market today, but it's very easy to make vegan butter at home. This recipe is buttery, smooth, and creamy, and it'll work great as a spread or in your favorite recipes.
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5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Recipe
Course: Condiments & Sauces
Cuisine: Any
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: how to make vegan butter, vegan butter, vegan butter brands
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 152kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup refined coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 cup plain non-dairy milk plain
  • 2 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 tsp sunflower or soy lecithin
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric for color

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the milk and lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, but avoid stirring. Let sit for 4 to 5 minutes to let the milk curdle.
  • In a blender, combine the melted room temperature coconut oil, milk mixture, and remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and combined, scraping down the sides as necessary. There should be little to no flecks of sunflower lecithin remaining.
  • Pour the mixture into your chilled container. Loosely cover, then place in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes to help jumpstart the setting process. Transfer to the refrigerator, then chill for 1 to 3 hours or until completely set. The exact time depends on the size of your molds.
  • To use your vegan butter, remove it from the refrigerator. Let sit until it reaches room temperature and becomes spreadable.

How to Store Vegan Butter

  • Store leftover butter in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

Notes

  • It’s important to use coconut oil that’s refined, which will prevent your butter from having a coconut flavor.
  • If you want to remove the entire chunk of butter from its mold, be sure to use a silicone mold. Otherwise, a glass container works great if you want to spread or scoop your butter.
  • If you plan to use your butter in smaller servings, use a silicone ice cube tray as a mold. Keep the smaller portions frozen until you’re ready to thaw and use them.
  • Use less salt if you want unsalted butter, or more for extra saltiness.

Recommended Tools & Products

Glass Bowls
Best Blenders for Vegans
High-Powered Blender

Nutrition

Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 40mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
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