There are so many great options for for dairy free butter in recipes. There’s vegan butter, olive oil, vegetable shortening and so much more. It’s easier than you think to make a recipe dairy free, especially when you’re taking out butter, but it might be overwhelming at first.
After years of experimenting, I’ve found that different alternatives work best in different types of recipes. These are just a few suggestions, but they’re my favorite dairy free substitutes for butter.
Choosing the best dairy free substitute for butter is going to depend on what recipe your making. I have a long list of favorite ingredients, and I use each of them differently depending on what I’m making. Here are my favorites:
What is the healthiest substitute for butter?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is my favorite substitute for butter in any recipe. Since it’s the most natural, and heart healthy, I try to use it whenever I can.
I use it in all my savory recipes, and it’s especially good when a recipe calls for you to melt butter in a pan (like when you’re sautéing onions).
What is a good butter substitute for baking?
There are several different option for replacing butter in baking recipes. My favorite choice is vegetable shortening, but there are several other options as well.
Vegetable shortening is my favorite when a baking recipe calls for softened butter. Since it’s stored at room temperature, it’s already softened. I use vegetable shortening in my dairy free chocolate cupcakes and my dairy free chocolate chip cookies.
If you’re concerned about finding an ethical source of palm shortening, don’t worry. There are several brands out there that are doing great work and
I use vegetable oil whenever I don’t want the strong flavor of extra virgin olive oil. My favorite is canola oil, but a blend works well, too. This is what I normally choose when a baking recipe calls for melted butter.
Dairy Free Butter
Alternatively, you can use vegan butter sticks the same way you would use shortening, but since they’re stored in the fridge, you’ll need to soften them. This isn’t something I choose often, but they work very well in baking recipes. It would work really well for biscuits or shortcake.
Dairy Free Margarine
I like to use dairy free buttery spreads when I’m making toast or when a recipe calls for butter to be stirred in at the end. You can also bake with buttery spreads, or melt them in place of vegetable oil.
Can coconut oil be used instead of butter?
Coconut oil can also be used in all types of recipes. It can melted and used in place of liquid fats or softened and used in place of butter or shortening.
Whenever I want to evenly coat something with a little butter flavor, I choose butter flavored cooking spray.
More dairy free resources:
- The Ultimate Dairy Free Panty Guide
- Dairy Free Halloween Candy
- Are eggs dairy?
- Our Favorite Dairy Free Swaps
Published: March 13, 2018. Updated: April 2, 2022.
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