After many revisions and refinements, I’m so excited to present the absolute best-tasting vegan butter recipe. Miraculously, it slices, flakes, melts, and bakes just like regular butter.
When you want plant-based butter to spread on freshly baked bread like soft Pull-Apart Rolls, this is the one. Plus, you can use it with confidence to bake chocolate chip cookies and in all your favorite dishes.
The only thing that rivals its creamy lavishness, if you are a butter-lover like I am, is my nutty-tasting Vegan Ghee Substitute with its rivers of toasty goodness.
🏆 Top tip
Measure ingredients precisely for the perfect balance of flavor and color. Small variances in this dairy-free butter recipe will make a big difference.
⭐ Why it works
- Buttery - the flavor is clean and pristine.
- Smooth - with a rich, creamy mouthfeel.
- Pale - has a light, authentic butter color.
- Hardens - can be molded into sticks, hearts, or round shapes.
- Melts - at the same temperature as dairy butter.
- Browns - for brown-butter recipes and sauces.
- Lactic acid - vegan lactic acid from sugar beets for European cultured-butter flavor.
- Recipe ready - for anything that calls for butter.
Not only is this vegan alternative to butter indistinguishable from traditional butter in baked goods like Sweet Lemon Blueberry Scones, but I love the fact that it's free from the additives found in store-bought vegan butters that more closely resemble margarine.
🧈 Is it like real butter?
Undoubtedly you are wondering what this vegan butter substitute tastes like and how close it is to its dairy counterpart. Is it worth it to make your own vegan alternative to butter at home?
Well, when I was creating this vegan butter recipe, I thought of the fresh butter I had many years ago in Switzerland. The creamy flavors in this homemade dairy-free butter are as pure as that Swiss indulgence and the pristine alps I remember.
It starts with a hint of sweetness. Let a silky dollop melt in your mouth, and a delicate, fresh, clean flavor from hemp milk is revealed.
Lactic acid from sugar beets replaces harsh apple cider vinegar and gives that perfect kiss of tang that cultured butter has. Finally, the finish is sea salt vanishing on the tongue.
- Avocado oil - Just the right amount helps butter melt slowly at room temperature.
- Hemp hearts - Key ingredient that naturally emulsifies this homemade vegan butter recipe to prevent separation.
- Coconut oil - Refined, neutral-tasting, unscented coconut oil is essential for the best taste. Nutiva has organic, steam-processed Fair Trade coconut oil.
- Sea salt - Along with lactic acid and raw sugar, sea salt gives the perfect balance of flavor.
- Lactic acid - Mimics the subtle tang in cultured butter much better than apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Druids Grove lactic acid, derived from sugar beets, is plant-based, non-GMO, and gluten-free.
- Raw sugar - Just a little makes all the difference in the vegan butter recipe.
- Virgin red palm oil - Super buttery and naturally red, a touch creates that lovely, pale yellow color.
🥥 No coconut taste
Are you a butter lover that has been disappointed with vegan butter recipes that contain coconut oil? Then you’ll be happy to know this recipe has no coconut flavor.
To me, that's really important. Until I found truly neutral-tasting coconut oil, I didn't consider the recipe fully perfected.
Until I found organic, flavorless coconut oil, plant-based shortening, made from pure palm oil was my first choice. You can still use it with excellent results if you wish.
However, it is harder to find manufacturers of plant-based shortening who are committed to protecting the environment as well as animal and human rights.
Look for brands endorsed by organizations like Rain Forest Alliance and RSPO if you use plant-based shortening. Otherwise, you are on good footing with Nutiva's Fair Trade organic coconut oil.
The vegan butter recipe starts with making milk from hemp hearts. Hemp milk is exceptionally rich in protein and essential fatty acids. I found it helps emulsify the other ingredients.
Make hemp milk
For rich hemp milk, simply blend hemp hearts with water. Squeeze thru a men's handkerchief or tight-weave cotton fabric and toss out the small amount of pulp. Your hemp milk is ready to make the vegan butter recipe.
- Measure water and hemp hearts into a blender.
- Blend to make hemp milk.
- Strain through a tight-weave thin cotton cloth.
- Hemp milk is ready.
Make vegan butter
If you've ever made homemade mayonnaise, you'll find this recipe easy to understand. The technique is similar, and with four quick steps, your vegan substitute for butter is ready to pour into tubs or molds for sticks. In fact, any containers you choose!
- Warm coconut oil with avocado oil.
- Blend hemp milk, salt, sugar, lactic acid, and virgin red palm oil for color.
- Stir coconut oil and avocado oil to a pourable consistency.
- Process ingredients in a blender, and it's ready to transfer to containers.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
- Strain hemp milk through a tightly-woven cloth to make white milk without specks.
- Melt coconut and avocado oils together until pourable, but don't let the mixture get warmer than room temperature.
- Measure salt, lactic acid, and sugar precisely for the best taste.
- Blend virgin red oil with milk before adding the avocado oil mixture. This gives the vegan butter recipe a lovely, even pale yellow color and extra-buttery mouthfeel.
- Add the avocado and coconut oil mixture to the flavored hemp milk while it's moving in the blender. Pour it into the center.
- Transfer the recipe immediately to containers or molds and refrigerate or freeze directly.
Lactic acid is a naturally occurring compound found in dairy foods. It's responsible for a characteristic flavor in milk, yogurt, and cheese. It can also be grown by fermenting non-animal food sources like corn, beets, and cane sugar.
Yes. In spite of the misleading name, when lactic acid is derived from sugar beets, as with Druid's Grove lactic acid, it is entirely vegan. Even though it doesn't contain any lactose or dairy, it has a distinct sour flavor, just like many dairy foods. One can lasts indefinitely and can be used to make all sorts of vegan cheeses.
Yes, it's nutrient-dense and uniquely derived from the red fruit of palm trees. It's very high in antioxidants and vitamins E, A, and K. It's been used medicinally in Africa for centuries and is the preferred cooking oil in many Nigerian specialties.
This healthy oil has a rich buttery flavor that compliments the recipe as well as adds color. Rather than substitute other foods that will change the taste of this vegan butter recipe, I recommend just leaving it out. I think white vegan butter has an elegant look all its own.
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Ultimate Vegan Butter Recipe
- Place ¼ cup avocado oil and 2 cups coconut oil in a medium-sized bowl. If the coconut oil is semi-solid, place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Let it soften while making and flavoring hemp milk. Don't let it melt completely or get warmer than room temperature.
- Stir the mixture occasionally until it is soft enough to pour. Use a spoon to whip avocado oil into the softened coconut oil until the mixture is smooth.
Make Hemp Milk
- Place ¾ cup filtered water and 2 TB hemp hearts in a blender. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes. Lay a large handkerchief or square of thin cotton fabric over a bowl. Pour hemp milk in, and carefully gather the top. Squeeze and wring until all the liquid is extracted. Toss out the pulp.
Flavor Hemp Milk
- Rinse and drain the blender. Return hemp milk to blender. Add 1 ½ tsp. sea salt, 1 ½ tsp. raw sugar, ½ tsp. Druids Grove lactic acid powder and ¼ tsp. virgin red palm oil . Measure accurately for optimal flavor. Blend briefly on medium speed until the color is uniform.
Make vegan butter
- With the blender running at medium speed, pour the whisked oil mixture into the center of the flavored hemp milk. As it, turn the blender speed up. Stop as soon as all the ingredients are mostly mixed.
- Take a spatula and scrape the sides of the vegan butter toward the center of the blender. Blend a final time briefly on high speed until the butter is uniform. You will have a spoonable, fluffy, pale yellow butter.
Pour and mold
- Scoop butter into silicone molds or serving dishes and cover. Glass containers with snap-tight lids are also handy. Place immediately in the refrigerator or freezer until firm enough to slice.
- Keep homemade vegan butter for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Butter can also be frozen, stored in a container with a tight lid for 6 months.