Plant-based eating has been gaining popularity in the UK for some time now. One of the benefits of eating vegan butter is that it's high in monosaturated fats. Compared to non-vegan butter, it's low in saturated fat. Vegan butters are derived from plant-based oils like coconut, olive, avocado, and more.
Whether you're after a block of butter for baking cakes and cookies or a margarine alternative for spreading on toast, there are loads of delicious products to try that taste almost exactly like their dairy counterparts. In this article, we'll share the best vegan butter to buy at Amazon, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, and Planet Organic, from top brands such as Flora, Vitalite and Pure!
mybest UK Specialist Kate Roberts is a registered paediatric dietitian and expert in vegan and plant based diets. Collaborating alongside us, we invited Kate to bring further insight into the world of vegan diets.
A recommendation service that carefully researches each product and consults with experts across many disciplines. We are constantly creating new content to provide the best shopping experience from choosing ‘cosmetics’ to ‘food and drink’, ‘home appliances’ to ‘kids and baby’ products, reaching users all across the United Kingdom.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
Table of Contents
Vegan butter primarily uses different vegetable oils in place of dairy, with some of the most popular ones being rapeseed, sunflower, and olive. These are all fairly neutral in flavour so they're a good place to start if you're new to the world of plant-based spreads.
Shea butter, which comes from the nuts of karité trees in Africa, is another common ingredient in butter substitutes. It's quite high in saturated fat, but provides creaminess and a slightly nutty flavour.
Coconut is also widely used, with some brands using its oil and others using the flesh. It has a rather overpowering flavour though, so butter made with this ingredient may not be suitable for some savoury snacks and dishes.
Vegetable oils such as rapeseed, sunflower or olive are my preferred choice due to their polyunsaturated fat content. Shea and coconut have a high ratio of saturated fat, therefore they are less healthy because saturated fat contributes to increased cholesterol levels in the blood. If you enjoy the flavour of the shea and coconut-based butters, try to eat smaller amounts.
You may notice that palm oil crops up often in the ingredients list of vegan products - it's technically plant-based, but there is much debate over how ethical this type of oil is because of how it's produced.
Palm oil is a major driving force behind greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation, which directly leads to the destruction of the habitats of wild animals such as orangutans. While some brands containing the ingredient have been certified by the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), many vegans argue that it generally isn't sustainable or cruelty-free, and prefer to avoid it for these reasons.
A lot of vegans avoid palm oil due to its links to deforestation and climate change. Certified sustainable palm oil has to meet a set of environmental and social criteria with the aim to minimize the negative impacts of palm oil cultivation.
If a recipe calls for butter when baking, you may have to buy a different product than one that you'd use for spreading on toast. Look for a vegan butter that comes in block form rather than a tub as this typically indicates that it's intended for cooking with. This type of butter will often have a higher melting temperature which makes it more difficult to spread, but much better for use in the kitchen.
It all depends on the recipe that you want to follow, though - the perfect butter for cookies, for example, may not work as well when baking a cake or pastry. Frosting can also be tricky to make, as a soft, margarine-like product may not hold as well as a solid stick of butter.
Not all vegan spreads are suitable for baking, so it's essential to read the label. Blocks of margarine with a higher melting point can be better for baking, especially for things like pastry or shortbread.
If you ask us, there isn't a better breakfast than a couple of crumpets dripping with butter! To get that deliciously creamy and slightly salty taste without the dairy, your best bet is to stick with products that have "buttery" in the title.
Usually, these will have a softer formula which means they're easier to spread on toast or teacakes, and they'll come in a plastic tub that'll keep them fresh. Some might come in a block form too though, just like traditional butter.
Soft vegan butter is very useful to have available for spreading on bread or toast. There is a wide variety for sale. Watch out for spreading it too thickly, vegetable fat has just as many calories as animal fat!
Click to purchase
Brilliant for Baking and Cooking
A Certified Organic Spread With No Palm Oil
Salted Plant Butter
Versatile, Delicious, and From a Well-Known Brand
Organic Coconut Butter
Ethically Sourced and Organically Produced
Dairy Free Spread
Excellent Value for Money
Dairy-Free Buttery Spread
A Simple, Sunflower-Based Spread for Sandwiches
You may get a sense of déjà vu when looking at this review - yes, it's another product by Naturli'! So why have we included another of their butters on our list? It's simple - this one has the same great taste but is aimed more at use in the kitchen as it has a much firmer consistency.
Unlike other baking blocks that we've already mentioned, this one is totally free from palm oil which gives it bonus points! Just, as we mentioned in the last review, avoid this brand if you're allergic to nuts.
Most other vegan butters at a low price point contain palm oil, but this tub from Naturli' uses coconut oil and shea butter instead to create a creamy texture. Free from additives and certified organic, it's one of the yummiest spreads on the market in our opinion.
If you're looking for something tasty to spread on your sandwiches or crumpets, you can't go too far wrong with this option. Those with a nut allergy should steer clear though as it contains almonds!
If there's a butter brand that's known all over the UK, it's Flora! Most people will be familiar with Flora's taste, and fortunately their vegan offering tastes just as good as the dairy version. Available in both salted and unsalted varieties, it's a useful item to have in your fridge due to its versatility.
This is definitely one of the better tasting vegan butters around and it's a great all-rounder that can be used for baking, cooking, and spreading. The only downside is the inclusion of palm oil - although it is RSPO certified at least!
This delicious product is made from 100% organic coconut oil, so it's full of healthy fats. As Coconut Merchant purchases the coconuts directly from the farmers and reinvests money back into those farming communities, it's also an ethical choice.
There's obviously a strong coconut taste to this butter, which is great for cooking a Thai curry or adding flavour to sweet bakes. It doesn't work very well as a spread though because of the high melting temperature.
While this offering from Vitalite is very similar to the previous entry on our list, it's lower in fat than the Pure spread. It also contains 75% less saturated fat than traditional butter, so it's a good option for those trying to eat healthier.
Palm oil is still present in this product though and again, it hasn't got the strongest flavour, but that means it works well in sarnies. For the low price, we can't complain too much - especially as it provides around 100 servings per tub!
The first product on our list is a great cheap option if you're looking for something to replace the butter in your sandwiches. Sitting somewhere between margarine and butter in terms of taste, it's fairly mild in flavour.
As with several of the lower-ranked products on our list, palm oil plays a big part in the makeup of this spread - which isn't ideal. It's RSPO certified at least, but some readers may want to go for a more sustainable substitute.
Vegan butter generally seeks to replicate the texture and creaminess of regular butter using plant-based ingredients instead of cow's milk. It should basically look, taste, and melt the same as dairy butter.
You might be wondering how vegan butter differs from margarine - well, although they share a lot of properties, not all margarine is vegan as it often contains small amounts of dairy. Plus, vegan butter tends to vary in terms of its flavour profile, with some being slightly salty while others have a nuttier taste, whereas margarine tastes pretty mild.
We should also mention that while some vegan butters will contain nuts, products like cashew butter and almond butter aren't actually a substitute for traditional butter - they're more like sweet spreads. Still, if you're a fan of peanut butter then it may be worth trying some of these other nut-based spreads out as well!
Since vegan butter is derived from vegetable oils like avocado or olive, they have higher amounts of monounsaturated fats. These fats are linked to some benefits like heart health, blood sugar control, and more. Moreover, vegan butter has lower amounts of saturated fat. Overall, they are better than the regular butter, though it depends on the brand as well.
Vegan butter is usually high in calories. However, one shouldn’t rely on it for important nutrients, as they should be taken from fruits, vegetables, legumes, and more.
Written and researched by David Sexton
When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
PC and cameras
Home appliances and electronics
Cosmetics and skincare
Food and drinks
Kids and baby
Interior and furniture
DIY and tools
Sports and fitness
Books, CDs, DVDs
Cars and motorcycles
Housing equipment and renovation
Smartphones and mobile phones