Best Vegan Butter Substitute

Need to replace butter to make a recipe plant based? Here’s the best vegan butter substitute in baking and cooking!

Vegan butter substitute

Looking for a vegan butter substitute? There are lots of options! Over here we’ve been making vegan recipes for over a decade, so we’ve got lots of experience with replacements. You can make killer vegan pie crust, biscuits, cookies, cakes and more: all with the help of some simple replacements. Here’s the best vegan butter substitute to use in baking and cooking!

Best vegan butter substitute

1. Coconut oil (baking & cooking).

The best vegan butter substitute? Refined coconut oil! Use equal parts coconut oil to replace butter. Coconut oil is an oil that comes from the flesh of coconuts. Because it’s solid at room temperature, the properties are similar to butter. But keep a few things in mind:

  • Use refined coconut oil. This type of coconut oil has a neutral flavor. It still can add a subtle coconut flavor, but it’s almost imperceptible. Unrefined or virgin coconut oil has a strong coconut flavor. See Refined vs Unrefined Coconut Oil.
  • Coconut oil makes denser and softer cookies than butter. Butter makes cookies crisper.
  • Add a little salt. Standard (salted) butter includes salt. When using coconut oil as a vegan butter substitute, you may want to add a bit of salt to mimic the saltiness of butter.

2. Vegan butter (baking & cooking).

Another vegan butter substitute? Vegan butter! Plant based butter is easy to find at your local grocery store. Vegan butter can have a texture and flavor a little more similar to butter. The exact texture and flavor depends on the brand and what it’s made of. When you’re shopping for vegan butter, check the ingredient lists and find one that is minimally processed with real food ingredients.

3. Olive oil (non-baked).

Olive oil works well as a 1-for-1 vegan butter substitute. Steer away from using olive oil in baked goods, because the flavor can be strong. But it works well in savory recipes like sautéing and soups!

3. Neutral oil, like grapeseed oil or sunflower oil (all purpose).

Neutral oils are a great choice as a 1-for-1 substitute for butter. This works well in things like banana bread, muffins, and pancakes. Oil yields a slightly softer texture than butter. Again like coconut oil, you also may want to add a bit of salt to mimic the natural saltiness of butter.

Here are some of our favorite recipes that use butter:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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