When I first started adapting recipes to be vegan, there was only one option for substituting butter — margarine. Not being a margarine fan, I was disappointed because it can make baked goods greasy and oily tasting. These days more and more companies are introducing their versions of vegan butter, and some of them are absolutely amazing. Miyoko’s Creamery stepped into the limelight first with a “butter” so grand it could be eaten plain, on toast, without any complaints about it being vegan. Although I still have a great fondness for Miyoko’s dazzling array of vegan dairy products, I’ve looked into other choices.
One selection I have shared in recent recipes is Flora Plant Butter. This butter comes in salted and unsalted versions, like Miyoko’s. It works beautifully in baked goods, making tender cupcakes and delightfully chewy cookies, and it is moderately priced. It’s not as phenomenal on toast, as Miyoko’s is, but I often prefer the results it produces in baked goods.
Milkadamia is a brand of non-dairy milk I enjoy, but I have not sampled their Buttery Spread. An article on vegan butter from Veg News has piqued my curiosity and Milkadamia’s offering may soon be up for experimentation in my kitchen. The post goes through a run-down of 11 butter substitutes, with Miyoko’s and Earth Balance topping the list. Also mentioned are Melt Organic, Country Crock, Forager, I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter, The Cultured Kitchen Better Buttah, Califia Farms, New Barn Organics, and Kite Hill. I hope to explore these new “butters” one day.
While I don’t have the means or opportunity to try all of the vegan butters out there, I have baked with a few. King Arthur Baking also tested a couple of substitutes, and compared them to the same goods baked with butter (a test I won’t be doing). When using Land O Lakes butter as a control in recipes for biscuits, crust, cookies, cake, puff pastry, and frosting, they concluded:
“Miyoko’s European-Style Cultured Vegan Butter and Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks are both highly recommended substitutes for dairy butter. In recipes where they’re the only vegan substitute, both vegan butters will produce baked goods with texture similar to that of dairy butter, with flavor being the main difference.”
So, I go in search of new butters in an effort to make extraordinary decadent treats. And, no, I don’t work for any of these food companies. I just wish I did.