10 Best Vegan Butter Substitute


Butter is one of the staple ingredients used in classic baking and cooking to enhance flavor, tenderness, and texture. However, it is not suitable for individuals following veganism, plant-based diet.

There are plant-based alternatives to butter that can be used in most recipes. In this article, we will take a closer look into these vegan butter substitutes.

10 Best Vegan Butter Substitute

This subsection will list different substitutes that may be swapped for vegan cooking and baking.

Those who follow a whole-food, plant-based diet may experiment with the following substitutes and include them in their cooking and baking.

Vegan Butter

Store-bought vegan butter is made using plant-based oils, including olive, avocado, coconut, palm, and soy. It is rich in calories and fats.

It may be used in equal quantities as a dairy butter substitute for vegans. It has a taste and texture like dairy butter and may be used on toast, baking, or sautéing.

However, it may be expensive.


Store-bought vegan jars of butter may be used interchangeably in place of butter for all recipes by vegans. However, it may be similar to butter in terms of calories.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is the important cooking oil of tropical countries studied widely for its cholesterol-lowering effect, reducing cardiovascular risk, weight loss, improving cognitive functions, and an anti-microbial agent.

It is the popular choice as the butter substitute for cooking and baking, especially for vegans, as it has properties similar to butter.

Remember to used liquid coconut oil in the recipes that call for melted butter and solid oil to make the frosting. It may be used for sautéing and flavoring popcorn.

Refined coconut oil may be used if you want to avoid strong coconut aftertaste.


Coconut oil is the popular butter substitute for vegans as it is healthy, readily available, and has similar properties to butter.

Canola Oil

Canola oil is characterized by low levels of saturated fatty acids. It is rich in cardioprotective substances and healthy fats.

¾ cup of canola oil may substitute for 1 cup of butter in baking recipes for vegans. As canola oil is mild in flavor, it may not interfere with the taste of the baked goods.

It may also work from salad dressings to sautéing.

However, it may not work in recipes that call for solid butter.


Canola oil with a high content of unsaturated fats and neutral taste makes a healthy butter substitute for butter especially for vegans.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases and modulating cognitive functions.

It works best as a butter substitute in cooking pasta and savory dishes. It may be used for baking desserts.

If a recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, use ¾ cup of olive oil. It may add a slightly nutty flavor to the recipes. However, it may not work as a substitute in recipes that require solid butter-like creaming.


Olive oil is a healthy, versatile vegan butter substitute in various applications, including cooking, sautéing, drizzling, and baking.


Applesauce is rich in antioxidants and fiber that may help to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases.

It works as a popular vegan butter substitute in baking cakes and bread due to its pectin content.

Half the amount of butter may be swapped by applesauce during baking. It gives a creamy, thick texture and may add a subtle hint of sweetness.

Also, you may want to consider reducing the sugar content as it will add natural sweetness.


Applesauce is a versatile fruit puree that may be used as a butter substitute for dairy-free baking and quick bread recipes.

Prune Puree

Prunes are dried plums that have been studied for its laxative effects, bone metabolism, and cardiovascular health.

It may work as a butter substitute for vegan baking dishes due to the pectin and sorbitol content that provide structure and moisture to baked goods. It may also add natural sweetness to the dishes.

It will have a strong flavor and may be suited for heavily spiced baked dishes and chocolate-based desserts. It may not work for light-colored cakes.


Prune puree is an ideal vegan replacement for butter in baking. Also, it has naturally occurring sugars that may reduce the need for processed sugar in dishes.


Avocado is a nutrient-dense plant-based fat source rich in monosaturated fats and dietary fiber, which may help with heart health.

In many recipes, equal parts of avocado may substitute butter in baking due to its creamy texture. It works well in cakes and brownies that have chocolate.

It may also be used as a spread on toast or bagel. It may also make its way into ice creams and puddings.


Avocados are a creamy butter substitute for vegan savory and sweet baking dishes due to its soft texture and a mild taste.

Mashed Bananas

Mashed bananas are a source of vitamin B6, fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and manganese. One ripe banana may provide 3 g fiber.

Equal amounts of mashed bananas may be substituted for butter in baking recipes, such as muffins, quick breads, and cookies.

However, one has to reduce the oven temperature by 25oF or check if it is done several minutes earlier as banana may cause the product to cook faster. It may also be used to make dairy-free ice cream.


Mashed bananas may be swapped for butter to cut down the fat and add healthy fiber to baked goods.

Nut Butter

Nut butters are rich in high protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamin E, folic acid, niacin, copper, and potassium that may benefit health.

There are various nut butters, including almond, peanut, and cashew butter that may be a great butter substitute for vegans when cooking and baking. Equal amount of butter may be swapped for butter.

It can be easily added to toast or spread on apple slices as a snack.


Nut butters may be easily swapped for dairy butter in baking and as a spread. It adds healthy fats and nutrients to recipes.

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin is a rich source of fiber, potassium, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin that plays a role in immune, eye, and skin health.

Substitute ¾ cup of pumpkin puree for 1 cup of dairy butter in baking vegan desserts as it tends to be more watery. It adds a nice fall flavor.

It may be used for making pancakes, cakes, muffins, cookies, and brownies.


Pumpkin puree as a butter substitute in vegan cooking cuts down on fat and adds fiber and a healthy dose of nutrients.


Is cocoa butter considered vegan?

Cocoa butter is made from the seeds of cocoa beans, Theobroma cocoa plant. As it is sourced from a plant, it is considered vegan in its natural form. However, store-bought cocoa butter may have other dairy ingredients making it not suitable for vegans.

What are the healthiest vegan-friendly cooking oils?

Extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oils may be healthy and most stable oils. Coconut oil with high smoke point makes it ideal for deep frying. EVOO with anti-inflammatory properties has a slightly lower smoke point, and therefore it is good for low-heat cooking. Avocado oil is a good oil for shallow frying as it has high levels of unsaturated fat.

Bottom Line

Butter provides important sensory properties in classic cooking and baking recipes.

However, there are many plant-based alternatives for butter when cooking, baking, and spreading.

People who are looking to making healthful choices or the following veganism may consider them in place of butter.


https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334552911_Physical_properties_and_consumer_acceptability_of_basic_muffin_made_from_pumpkin_puree_as_butter_replacer https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308523494_Cocoa_butter_and_its_alternatives_A_review

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About Barbara Foster

Barbara is a traveler who has traveled to more than 25 countries. She loves the variety of food she gets to experience on her trips and maintains detailed journals of her travels which she plans to publish as a book someday. She loves to bake. Her favorite cuisines are Italian, French, and Mexican.