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

Margarine and shorting have soy or other highly processed oils



Lori L. February 3, 2018
As I recall Earth Balance Soy Free Butter Alternative is made with Canola Oil which is derived from "Rapeseed" Rapeseed is GMO. I would not use it. I prefer butter flavored non hydrogenated Butter Flavored Spectrum.
irina March 21, 2017
Sorry gang. I agree with Sam. Why post this question on a cooking website? It should be on a vegan website. The poster does not want "butter". They just want some medium to use to bake. Let's not call it butter. It's not anywhere remotely like butter. And don't dare spank me! I too am allowed to voice my opinion.
brunchwear March 21, 2017
Yes why on earth did someone ask a question about food on a food website? Oh it's vegan? Because Food52 doesn't have vegan recipes and has never addressed veganism/plant based topics. 🙄
Lissa March 19, 2023
Yours is an odd statement/question. My daughter has MS & Top 8 food allergies, she is not vegan or vegetarian. My granddaughter has the Top 20 food allergies, she is not vegan nor vegetarian. We require safe allergen free alternatives as well as to balance diets.
Hilarybee July 17, 2012
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!
Benjamin C. March 21, 2017
I have a question. I'm trying to make some apple brownies (which call for 1 stick of butter). I subbed out the butter with 1/2 Cup of Coconut Oil. They taste fine, but the batter was too crumbly. Should I add more coconut oil or add the 1/2 cup with some applesauce. Recipe is below: http://www.mygingergarlickitchen.com/apple-cinnamon-brownie-with-caramel-drizzle/ I'm not doing the caramel drizzle. I'm making this dairy/soy free due to my child's allergy to Dairy and Soy. Thank you
Third F. July 11, 2012
I should add that, since the oils in Earth Balance soy free are expellered pressed, it doesn't undergo excessive processing.
Author Comment
Spectrum has a really good non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening that is vegan.
Sam1148 July 11, 2012
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.


Voted the Best Reply!

Third F. July 11, 2012
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.
Author Comment
Coconut oil or coconut butter...or a combo of both!
Third F. July 10, 2012
I believe Earth Balance makes a soy free butter substitute. You can get it at Whole Foods.
Cookie16 July 19, 2012
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.
Anitalectric July 10, 2012
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 July 16, 2012
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.
beyondcelery July 10, 2012
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.
biggies M. July 10, 2012
Almond butter?
Sam1148 July 10, 2012
Apple sauce can sub for butter in some recipes.
brunchwear July 10, 2012
Apple sauce is a binder, I've heard of it as a substitute for eggs but never butter. Do you have experience with this?
Nancy March 21, 2017
Yes to apple sauce. Yes, experience with it.
Good in baking, not in pastry.
Also a prune spead callwd, if memory serves, Lekvar.
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