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Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads

Original, Soy-Free, with Olive Oil (also soy-free), Organic, Omega-3
$3.99 to $4.99 per 13- to 15-ounce package

Reviewed by:
On December 5, 2014
Last modified:December 5, 2014


As of yet, we haven’t found a brand that can touch this butter alternative. It bakes, cooks, and spreads just like a good margarine, but with natural ingredients and without hydrogenated oils. There is a variety for almost everyone, but despite their slight ingredient differences, all have a similar salted butter taste and consistency that works well in everything from cookies to frosting to savory sauces.

Updated Review! Otherwise known as dairy-free, non-hydrogenated margarine (yikes! I know, the “M” word), Earth Balance Buttery Spreads have dominated the dairy-free and vegan butter alternative scene for quite some time. And for good reason…

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads - All dairy-free and vegan, soy-free options


Recently upgraded with a new look and shape (they are cute and sturdy square tubs), Earth Balance Buttery Spreads come in an array of varieties to keep almost everyone happy: Original, Soy Garden, Soy-Free, with Olive Oil (also soy-free), Organic, and Omega-3.

Among our team of reviewers, we’ve sampled all of the varieties, and have found that each acts as a slightly salty butter sub that bakes, cooks and spreads like margarine, but with natural ingredients and without hydrogenated oils. In fact, I think Earth Balance Buttery Spreads have gained quite the following with health-oriented consumers who aren’t even on a dairy-free diet!

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads are sold in almost every grocery store I shop in, but the Original, Organic and Soy-Free varieties seem to be the most readily available. Of those, I typically purchase the Soy-Free, because I do a lot of “free-from” recipe testing.

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads: A dairy-free and vegan staple (with soy-free options) that bakes, cooks, and spreads like margarine, but with natural ingredients and no hydrogenated oils

As you can see, it is whipped to near perfection, and has a wonderful consistency that is soft, but solid at room temperature, and melts just as it should when it hits the pan or oven. Though I usually bake with oil rather than butter alternatives, I love Earth Balance Soy-Free in oatmeal cookies. It also makes fantastic dairy-free caramel, delicious homemade frosting, and is a flavorful base for dinner sautes.

Sarah is partial to Soy Garden or the Original, because they have a slightly higher smoke point than the Soy-Free, enabling her to make her higher heat baked good recipes, like popovers and brownies. She also finds the Soy-Free to be a touch softer and saltier than the others.

Hannah actually thought the Soy-Free spread could use a pinch more salt when used simply as a spread, but she was impressed by how well it performed in all types of recipes that she had previously used stick margarine for. Her Ginger Snap cookies, for example, baked up to an identical appearance and taste, with a texture that was close, but just a touch cakier.

Between the lot of us, we’ve enjoyed the Earth Balance Buttery Spreads when making Simple Toast and “Butter”, Snickerdoodle Blondies, Mylk Chocolate Frosting, Vegan Butter-Poached Potatoes, Browned Butter Vanilla Cupcakes, Vegan Girl Scout Samoa Cookies, Popovers, and Gluten-Free and Vegan Iced Nog Bread.

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads - dairy-free, vegan, and so many delicious ways to enjoy them!

Certifications: Earth Balance Buttery Spreads are Certified Kosher Parve. One variety is Certified Organic. They are also labeled as vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO, but I didn’t note any certifications.

Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Earth Balance Buttery Spreads are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free (take note that they do use pea protein, though), vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian. Select varieties are also soy-free. Nonetheless, check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.

For More Product Information: Visit the Earth Balance website at www.earthbalancenatural.com.

About Alisa Fleming

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

View all posts by Alisa Fleming →

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living


  1. LindaDecember 5, 2014 at 8:12 pmReply

    I am so thankful and appreciative of this wonderful product! Its the only Dairy free margarine that I know of but it tastes just like butter! Its exceptional in cooking and baking!

  2. Erin TaylorDecember 6, 2014 at 8:42 amReply

    Earth Balance Butter – in sticks tried for first time and it tastes as good as or better than butter!! I am a newbie to Vegan….long time vegetarian. Erin

    • Alisa FlemingDecember 9, 2014 at 10:18 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Erin,

      The sticks and the spread are very similar – I’ll be doing a review on those soon!

  3. Francine SingerDecember 6, 2014 at 6:38 pmReply

    I used to be able to buy this at walmart and sam’s club, Now this year I have been told that both of these stores no longer carry this brand. Do you have any suggestions of where to buy it? I live in central TX.

    • Alisa FlemingDecember 9, 2014 at 10:18 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Francine, I would see the Earth Balance website – they have a store locator.

  4. LindseyDecember 9, 2014 at 9:52 pmReply

    I love this company’s products. They just came out with a vegan mac and cheese and it’s absolutely delicious. In fact, I have yet to have had anything I didn’t like from them.

    • Alisa FlemingDecember 10, 2014 at 7:33 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Lindsey, so glad you’ve discovered their other products, too! Our review of their mac and cheese products will be up at the end of the month!

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