How to Make Vegan Butter (Plant-Based Butter Alternative)

If you want to learn how to make homemade vegan butter – look no further. This vegan spread recipe couldn’t be easier, and it includes several incredibly useful tips for making extra creamy plant-based butter that’s soft and spreadable straight out of the fridge. What’s more, it can be used also in baking and frostings!

This post has been created in collaboration with Upfield. All opinions expressed in the post are my own. (For more information you can check out my Disclosure Policy.)

Vegan butter being scooped with a knife.

We’re taking a slight detour from the usual cakes and brownies today – to the realm of dairy free, plant-based butter alternatives. The homemade kind, at that.

Listen, I know that making YOUR OWN vegan butter spread might sound impossible and complicated… but that honestly couldn’t be further from the truth! This dead-easy recipe requires only easily accessible ingredients and about 15 minutes of your time.

The result, on the other hand, is AMAZING. Creamy and rich, it’s a wonderful dairy free alternative to regular butter, for anyone who has a dairy intolerance or follows a plant-based, vegan diet.

Two slices of toasted bread on a white plate, with some vegan butter spread on top.

For this recipe, I’ve teamed up with Upfield, a company you might be more familiar with from their brands of plant-based spreads such as Country Crock in the US or Flora in the UK.

I know that vegan spreads sometimes have a bad rep out there, but I hope this post will show you that just like any other recipe or product, dairy free butter alternatives can be free of any strange chemicals or unpronounceable ingredients.

And, yes, you can make your own plant-based butter at home – easily. Here’s how.

A block of vegan butter on pieces of white parchment paper, surrounded by plates, slices of bread, cutlery and a napkin.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making this amazing vegan butter – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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What is vegan butter made of?

For this easy recipe, you’ll need only a few simple ingredients, most of which are probably already in your pantry:

  • refined coconut oil
  • vegetable or sunflower oil (or other neutral oil)
  • almond (or other non-dairy) milk
  • a pinch of salt
  • turmeric (optional)

Each of these ingredients has an important role to play in the dairy free butter recipe (with the exception of turmeric, which can be added to achieve that pale golden colour of regular butter), and the recipe won’t work without them.

The coconut oil is there to make the plant-based butter solid even at room temperature. Unlike vegetable or olive oil, coconut oil has a higher melting point, and will make sure that the plant-based butter stays firm and spreadable even outside of the fridge.

The reason I recommend using refined coconut oil is to minimise the coconut (after)taste. Using an extra virgin or cold-pressed coconut oil will make a non-dairy butter that has a much stronger coconut taste, which I personally don’t like.

Of course, if you don’t mind the coconut flavour, feel free to use extra virgin coconut oil.

The vegetable or sunflower oil makes the vegan butter softer, especially if you want to use it straight out of the fridge. By tuning the coconut oil:sunflower oil ratio, you can tweak the texture or consistency of the butter, with a higher coconut oil proportion resulting in a firmer, harder butter.

The almond (or other non-dairy) milk makes the dairy free butter spread creamier, by essentially creating an emulsion as you mix it together with the the oils.

The salt improves the flavour of the vegan butter, and also acts as a gentle, natural preservative.

In addition to turmeric, there are some other possible add-ins if you want to make “fancier” flavoured vegan spreads:

  • olive oil (or other flavoured oils)
  • herbs, such as rosemary or thyme
  • garlic or onion powder
  • spices, such as cayenne pepper or smoked paprika

How do you make vegan butter?

Making vegan butter truly couldn’t be simpler. Here’s how:

  1. In a  bowl, whisk together all the ingredients: melted coconut oil,
  2. vegetable or sunflower oil,
  3. non-dairy milk,
  4. salt and
  5. turmeric,
  6. until you get a homogeneous, pale mixture.
  7. Refrigerate for about 10 – 15 minutes, until a bit firmer. Then, using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer with the double beater attachments, whip the slightly firmed up vegan butter for about 2 minutes. It will become super pale and fluffy.
  8. Transfer into the container of choice, smooth out the top and refrigerate.
  9. Once set, use as you would regular butter.

That’s it! Seriously, how easy is that???

9 step process of making vegan butter.

Now, I know many people like to use blenders or food processors to make plant-based butter, but I don’t find that to be necessary at all. Plus, using a (stand or hand) mixer in step #7 is much more efficient than using a blender when it comes to incorporating air into the plant-based butter.

In fact, step #7 just might be the most important one in the whole process – the additional whipping/creaming step, and the incorporation of air into the butter, makes this dairy free spread much creamier and spreadable – even directly out of the fridge.

How do you make EXTRA CREAMY vegan butter

Okay okay, I know I’ve said that the mixture of coconut oil and vegetable/sunflower oil, the non-dairy milk AND whipping the slightly chilled vegan butter makes it creamy.

But I do have a further trick up my sleeve. If you want an even creamier dairy free spread, substitute part of the coconut oil with coconut cream.

I don’t recommend replacing more than about 1/3 of the coconut oil with coconut cream, but anything up to 1/3 will make a super creamy vegan butter that tastes like a dream when spread on a piece of lightly toasted bread.

Close-up of vegan butter being scooped with a knife.

Two slices of toasted bread on a white plate, with some vegan butter being spread on top.

Does plant-based butter taste like real butter?

I would love to say that, yes, plant-based butter tastes exactly like regular butter and you can’t tell the difference. But honestly, that would be like saying you can’t taste the difference between zucchini noodles and regular pasta – a bit farfetched.

So… no, plant-based butter doesn’t taste just like regular butter. Much like regular butter gets its taste from the milk fat and milk solids, similarly the plant-based butter gets its flavour from the oils used.

That said, plant-based butter is delicious, is creamy, is rich and is rather wonderful. And in the end, that’s all that really matters anyway.

How long does dairy free butter keep?

If stored in the fridge, the homemade dairy free butter keeps for up to 2 weeks.

You can also freeze it, in which case it keeps for up to about 3 months.

What are the uses for vegan butter?

There are many uses for homemade vegan butter – much like for regular butter:

  • as a spread on bread or toast
  • in cooking and frying
  • in baking (for instance in cake sponges or muffins)
  • in frostings and buttercream

In fact, the vegan buttercream frosting made from the DIY vegan butter and powdered sugar keeps its shape even at room temperature for several hours! (For this vegan frosting, I’ve used 100 g of the homemade vegan butter whipped up together with 100 g sifted powdered sugar.)

A swirl of vegan buttercream frosting on a piece of parchment paper.

So there you have it, friends. A ridiculously easy homemade plant-based, vegan butter recipe with simple, easily accessible ingredients and downright amazing results.

Give it a try – you’ll love it. Promise.

Two slices of toasted bread on a white plate, with a piece of melting vegan butter on top.

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How to Make Vegan Butter (Plant-Based Butter Alternative)

If you want to learn how to make homemade vegan butter – look no further. This vegan spread recipe couldn’t be easier, and it includes several incredibly useful tips for making extra creamy plant-based butter that’s soft and spreadable straight out of the fridge. What’s more, it can be used also in baking and frostings!

Course How To
Cuisine Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan
Keyword dairy free butter, how to make vegan butter, vegan butter alternative, vegan butter recipe, vegan spread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 8 hours
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 cups of vegan butter (approximately)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240 mL) melted refined coconut oil (Note 1)
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) sunflower or vegetable oil (or other neutral-tasting oil)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) non-dairy milk (such as almond, oat, soy or rice milk)
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of turmeric (optional, for colour)

Instructions

  1. In a  bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until you get a homogeneous, pale mixture.

  2. Refrigerate for about 10 – 15 minutes, until a bit firmer. Then, using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer with the double beater attachments, whip the slightly firmed up vegan butter for about 2 minutes. It will become super pale and fluffy.

  3. Transfer into a fridge-safe container of choice, smooth out the top and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight.

  4. Once set, use as you would regular butter.

  5. Storage:

    If stored in the fridge, the homemade vegan butter keeps for up to 2 weeks.

    You can also freeze it, in which case it keeps for up to about 3 months.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: I recommend using refined coconut oil to minimise the coconut (after)taste. Using an extra virgin or cold-pressed coconut oil will make a non-dairy butter that has a much stronger coconut taste, which I personally don’t like. Of course, if you don’t mind the coconut flavour, feel free to use extra virgin coconut oil.

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