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:February 14, 2017


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 in 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 but the Omega-3. We 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. It has a wonderful consistency that is soft, but solid at room temperature. It 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 of the slightly higher smoke point than the Soy-Free. This enables 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. Still she was impressed by how well it performed in all types of recipes. Her Ginger Snap cookies, for example, baked up perfectly with it in place of margarine. The only change was the texture – it 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!

The Facts on Earth Balance Buttery Spreads

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

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, 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.


  1. Can all Earth Balance products be used in medium to high heat cooking/frying? If not, what are the restrictions.

    – thanks

    • This is a better question for the company, but I don’t personally use them for stovetop cooking because they do contain flax oil, which is low heat. I believe the buttery soy-free sticks, specifically, are made with medium heat oils and no flax oil.

  2. These products do not use sustainably sourced Palm oil. If you care about protecting rain forest ecosystems that harbor great biodiversity, including endangered orangutans, do not support this product. I use a palm oil sustainability rating app to ensure I am making choices I can stand by.

    • Hi Rachel, yes, everything on our website is dairy-free by ingredients, which means it is casein-free, too. Casein is a protein in milk, so if a product is made without dairy/milk ingredients, it’s also made without casein, lactose, etc.

  3. Thank you Alison for the jump start on search for a butter substitute for my lactose intolerant 14 yr old daughter Sarah who loves to butter warm bagels and bake just about everything in the desert category. (cutting down on sugar is long going effort!)

    Will test non-dairy Earth Balance products. Any other specific recommendations re ingredients. Soy and all is okay, and she’s not vegan.
    Thx again

  4. I’m new to this lifestyle.

    I’m doing my best to be a vegetarian.

    I’ve stopped drinking milk, and I’m loving the Almond milk as a substitute.

    Not sure where to find vegetarian cookies or other sweets that contain no dairy.

    How do I give up sour cream?

    what do I sub for that?

  5. I have just found out I have high cholesterol and am also lactose intolerant, so I gave up butter to try this earth balance original. I love it so much I even think it fast better than most butters. I think I will try the milk next.

    • So glad you found something you are enjoying that works for your diet Vivienne! After going strictly dairy-free (no other dietary changes) my cholesterol plummeted 100 points (all LDL falling). High cholesterol runs in my family, so my dad went dairy-free and his numbers immediately fell, too!

  6. Alison Thoms on

    Hello. We in our family love Earth Balance, we have been using it for years. But recently certain health studies have been brought to my attention, about how Canola Oil is really not healthy nor truly organic even if the bottle says it is. And I have noticed on the Earth Balance containers that one of the other ingredients in it is, Canola Oil. I have stopped buying Earth Balance for a short time because I didn’t want to add Canola oil to my diet. But I gave way and still buy and eat Earth Balance. I enjoy it so much….

    So I have a request could you please replace the Canola oil with another oil and still make the same yummy vegan Earth Balance spread? It would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

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