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What's a vegan soy free butter substitute for baking?

Margarine and shorting have soy or other highly processed oils

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Sam1148 added almost 2 years ago

Apple sauce can sub for butter in some recipes.

brunchwear added almost 2 years ago

Apple sauce is a binder, I've heard of it as a substitute for eggs but never butter. Do you have experience with this?

biggies mom added almost 2 years ago

Almond butter?

beyondcelery added almost 2 years ago

Palm oil will work in some instances. Coconut oil works very well, but has limits. I've used coconut oil successfully as a butter substitute in muffins, cakes, cookies, and pie crust. I don't recommend trying it with croissants. Also keep in mind that if you're just making quick breads, muffins, and cakes, you can usually substitute canola oil (made from rapeseed) for melted butter. The crumb will be slightly altered, but it'll work just fine. This is where I'll add applesauce to help increase the moisture in a cake's crumb, if I find it's too dry.

I've successfully used applesauce to replace up to half the butter in a quick bread recipe, but no more than that. For this, very smooth pureed homemade applesauce works best for me.

If you're feeling adventurous, use olive, walnut, peanut, or sesame oils in quick bread recipes in place of butter. These will add their own flavors to the final product, but it can be really delicious. For example, I use olive oil in savory recipes and nut- or seed-based oils in banana or pumpkin bread. Walnut oil can be delightful in the right cake, if you're willing to pay for it.


Anita is a vegan pastry chef & founder of Electric Blue Baking Co. in Brooklyn.

added almost 2 years ago

I agree with beyondcelery. Coconut oil is an excellent option. I usually cut it with some safflower oil to mellow the flavor, unless it is something I want the coconut flavor to come through on (and that happens a lot).

For frosting, I usually use non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening and coconut oil.

A lot of it depends on exactly what you are baking. Care to share?

brunchwear added almost 2 years ago

Sorry I lost the question and kind of just realized the 'my question' spot. To be short as possible I I'm not a vegan (this was in debate) I just eat a very limited amount of dairy, it makes me very fatigue. And I don't like margarine because I prefer to stay away from hydrogenated oil and I also try to limit my soy intake.

Third Floor Kitchen added almost 2 years ago

I believe Earth Balance makes a soy free butter substitute. You can get it at Whole Foods.

Cookie16 added over 1 year ago

I use vegan recipes a lot, and this is very often called for. I just made some vegan thin mints and used Earth Balance. Works very well.

a Whole Foods Market Customer added almost 2 years ago

Coconut oil or coconut butter...or a combo of both!

Sam1148 added almost 2 years ago

I hate to join the anti-vegan faction here. But why? If it's for social reasons, you have to question where does your food come from in the winter if you live in the north and the carbon footprint of bringing you fruit in New York in December. I also question the 'healthy' as some vegan things are far more lab processed depending on factory process than just butter etc.

Vegan food is fine and well for me...but I cringe when I see frankenburgers, or meat like products, or butter substitutes...Which are born in a lab. It's still factory food you can't make at home--despite the 'organic' vegan label. If you're committed to the life style, don't use substitutes made in a lab. Just forgo any processed lab created foods no matter what, or rethink your diet choices into local products. Local butter, milk and creme and eggs are great IMHO.
It's ironic that vegans want to 'get back to nature' when they purchase non-local stuff or want substitutes manufactured by a lab. Or coconut oils..etc..ect which have a much higher carbon footprint from being shipped from tropical regions to the states.

Third Floor Kitchen added almost 2 years ago
Voted the Best Answer!

I know that many people have strong feelings and misperceptions about other peoples’ decisions to limit the types of food they put into their bodies. Some of these decisions are based on medical issues others on firmly held ethical beliefs. I can understand this having been a vegan for many years and one who still eats mostly plant based foods. What I can’t understand is the need on the part of a small minority of the Food52 community to offer unsolicited advice to vegans, vegetarians, and those who choose to limit gluten in their diets. Brunchwear asked a simple question about soy-free butter substitutes. Why this constant need on the part of some to give unrequested for information or snide and condescending comments about ‘frankenburgers”? Just answer the damn question and if you don’t like the question, skip it and let someone else answer it.

a Whole Foods Market Customer added almost 2 years ago

Spectrum has a really good non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening that is vegan.

Third Floor Kitchen added almost 2 years ago

I should add that, since the oils in Earth Balance soy free are expellered pressed, it doesn't undergo excessive processing.

Hilarybee added almost 2 years ago

For baking, I like to use coconut oil or Spectrum non-hydrogenated shortening. I have a small bakeshop, and we do a lot of vegan baking for customers with allergies and for vegans/vegetarians. I started making soy-free shortening using a tutorial I saw on veganbaking.net. I use about 2/3 coconut oil and 1/3 sunflower oil. You could also use safflower oil or canola oil.


I agree with Mattcooper. Let's have some more respect on the hotline, for members and those seeking answers to simple questions. The goal of hotline is to help people, no make them feel badly about their choices. It really frustrates me to see F00d52ers ragging on each other!

No need to email me as additional
answers are added to this question.