Earth Balance Buttery Spreads for Nearly Everyone’s Taste

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Updated Review! Earth Balance Buttery Spreads have dominated the dairy-free and vegan butter alternative scene for quite some time. And for good reason. Unlike margarine, these buttery spreads contain saturated fat instead of trans-fat, but boast the same buttery flavor and richness.

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, from Soy-Free to Olive Oil to the newer European Style (for pastries and artisan breads.

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads - All dairy-free and vegan, soy-free options (Reviews & Information)

Putting Earth Balance Buttery Spreads to the Test

Among our team of reviewers, we’ve sampled all but the Omega-3 and the European Style. 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! But you can leave your own rating and review below!

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 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!

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads for Nearly Everyone’s Taste

Here are the hard facts on each variety. Please note that the Earth Balance Coconut Spread is in a separate review post since they don’t classify it as a buttery spread. Plus, the versions below are all coconut-free!

Original

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads - All dairy-free and vegan, soy-free options (Reviews & Information). Pictured: OriginalIngredients: natural oil blend (palm fruit, canola, soybean, flax, and olive oils), filtered water, contains less than 2% of pure salt, natural flavor (plant derived from corn, no msg, no alcohol, no gluten), pea protein, sunflower lecithin, lactic acid (non-dairy), and naturally extracted annatto for color. Contains: soy.*

Nutrition (per 1 tablespoon serving): 100 calories, 11g fat, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 0g protein.*

Soy-Free

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads - All dairy-free and vegan, soy-free options (Reviews & Information). Pictured: Soy-FreeIngredients: oil blend (palm fruit, canola, safflower, flax, and olive oils), water, contains less than 2% of salt, natural flavor, pea protein, sunflower lecithin, lactic acid (non-dairy), and naturally extracted annatto (color).*

Nutrition (per 1 tablespoon serving): 100 calories, 11g fat, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 0g protein.*

Organic Whipped

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads - All dairy-free and vegan, soy-free options (Reviews & Information). Pictured: WhippedIngredients: natural oil blend (palm*, soybean* canola*, and olive* oils), water, salt, flavor*, soy flour*, soy lecithin*, lactic acid (non-dairy), annatto* for color. *organic. Contains: soy.*

Nutrition (per 1 tablespoon serving): 100 calories, 11g fat, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 0g protein.*

Olive Oil

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads - All dairy-free and vegan, soy-free options (Reviews & Information). Pictured: Olive OilIngredients: oil blend (palm fruit, canola, safflower, flax and extra virgin olive oils), water, contains 2% or less of salt, natural flavor (plant derived from corn), pea protein, sunflower lecithin, lactic acid (non‑dairy), and naturally extracted annatto (color).*

Nutrition (per 1 tablespoon serving): 100 calories, 11g fat, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 0g protein.*

Omega-3

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads - All dairy-free and vegan, soy-free options (Reviews & Information). Pictured: Omega 3Ingredients: oil blend (palm fruit, canola, soybean, flax, algal, and olive oils), water, contains less than 2% of salt, natural flavor , pea protein, sunflower lecithin, lactic acid (non-dairy), and naturally extracted annatto (color). Contains: soy.*

Nutrition (per 1 tablespoon serving): 100 calories, 11g fat, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 0g protein.*

European-Style

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads - All dairy-free and vegan, soy-free options (Reviews & Information). Pictured: European StyleIngredients: vegetable oil blend (canola, palm and olive oils), water, salt, pea protein isolate, sunflower lecithin, natural flavor, lactic acid, beta carotene (color).

Nutrition (per 1 tablespoon serving): 100 calories, 11g fat, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 0g protein.*

More Facts on Earth Balance Buttery Spreads

Price: $3.99 to $4.99 per 13- to 15-ounce package

Availability: Earth Balance Buttery Spreads have become quite mainstream, and at least one variety is sold in most major U.S. grocery stores. Natural food stores, like Sprouts and Whole Foods, tend to sell several varieties.

Certifications: Earth Balance Buttery Spreads are Certified Kosher Parve and Non-GMO Verified. One variety is Certified Organic.

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.

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

*Always read the ingredient and nutrition statement prior to consumption. Ingredients, processes, and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company or product. Contact the company to discuss their manufacturing processes if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. No food product can be guaranteed “safe” for every individual’s needs. You should never rely on ingredient and allergen statements alone if dealing with a severe food allergy. 

Average Reader Review

4.6
Rated 4.6 out of 5
4.6 out of 5 stars (based on 14 reviews)
Excellent86%
Very good7%
Average0%
Poor0%
Terrible7%

Leave Your Rating & Review for This Product

What Others Are Saying ...

Red container great/yellow original not so great

Rated 5 out of 5
February 24, 2021

I do give Earth Balance Red container/soy free 5 stars. We love to bake gluten/dairy free with the red soy free container. I bake 100’s of cookies, muffins, bars, etc. BUT!, unfortunately the yellow original Earth Balance does not bake so well. At Christmas the store ran out of the red container/soy free so I used the original; the cookies would not bake properly. Another person I know said the same thing. We cannot figure out why.

Avatar for Marg.
Marg.

Great buttery taste

Rated 5 out of 5
January 4, 2021

I’ve been searching for a butter free spread for a long time, and I’m thrilled to have found this. It’s good on toast and for baking.

Avatar for Sheri
Sheri

Ingredient list

Rated 1 out of 5
December 6, 2020

I have used the original earth balance and also the Soy free, I have read all ingredients from both containers and they are the same ingredients on both containers neither says soy on them and I was unaware of the corn ingredient in the original earth balance.
This website has more explanations of ingredients, then on the label. I am quite upset as I am allergic to corn.

Avatar for Roschelle
Roschelle

Response from Go Dairy Free

The Original has always contained soy – it’s just hard to see on the label, but is listed. It’s one of the oils used.

Is this butter supposed to have a safety seal?

Rated 5 out of 5
September 19, 2020

Ahh, I’ve been excited to try this butter but when I brought home the original butter.. it doesn’t have a protective seal?? Is this normal??

Avatar for Stacie
Stacie

Response from Go Dairy Free

You’d need to contact the brand about this issue.

Best butter alternative

Rated 5 out of 5
August 13, 2020

My family has been using Earth Balance for years!!!! It is simply the best we have recently changed to the soy free, it is absolutely delicious. We have tried all except the new European style and love all of them. I highly recommend the whole line of Earth Balance

Avatar for Linda Taylor
Linda Taylor

Can't tell the difference!

Rated 5 out of 5
July 13, 2020

I recently began replacing my dairy products with alternatives as I run out. I’ve used Earth Balance’s Soy Free buttery spread for about a month now and I love it! I have not used it to cook with yet, but I love using it as a spread. It tastes so much like real butter that my dad, a dairy lover, never notices the difference!

Avatar for Alayna
Alayna

Excellent for Christmas Cookies

Rated 5 out of 5
June 28, 2020

I have used Earth Balance Original spread for daily use since at least 2014 due to a dairy allergy – tastes great! When the sticks became available, I started using them for all of my Christmas cookies that called for margarine (11 of 13 recipes; about 144 dozen every year) and was quite happy. The few that actually called for butter contininued to get butter until Dec 2018 when I decided to just try it because I wanted to get to eat those for once! I’ll never go back, it’s better than butter!!! So crispy!!!!

Avatar for Christine Masleid
Christine Masleid

tastes like average butter which is good

Rated 4 out of 5
March 30, 2020

I think its hard to really mess up butter otherwise I’d give it five stars. Also the whipped one is the best because its less like a rock.

Avatar for fiona
fiona

Better than butter

Rated 5 out of 5
January 5, 2020

I have been using this for years and love it more than butter. I am not dairy free but prefer this on toast and in recipes. I have not tried baking with it but will soon.

Avatar for Charlene Barnes
Charlene Barnes

handles like butter; use 1:1 in recipes

Rated 5 out of 5
December 2, 2019

I like this “butter”, it is good on toast, and is good in baking. It also comes in pre-measured sections wrapped in foil in a cardboard package – excellent choice for the environment.

Avatar for R. Farmer
R. Farmer

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food 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, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

78 Comments

  1. Earth Balance used to have a coconut version and it was my favorite! But they discontinued it and I’ve missed it. I do like that they have baking sticks now. I just wish I could find Earth Balance at more stores.

  2. I use and like the Earth Balance margarine with Olive Oil, but is the plastic tub that it comes in free of “BPA” (“Bisphenol A”), which health experts are cautioning us about.

  3. It says on the packaging that it should be stored in the fridge — has anyone tried keeping it on the counter like regular butter? It doesn’t spread as well cold 😉

  4. Marissa Jaciuk on

    I like this product a lot but am disappointed to find it is the exact same ingredients as becel olive oil margarine except for the one dairy ingredient. Kind of shows how marketing can show a product being “so healthy and balanced” but its really the same.

  5. I was told I need to be Dairy free, my issue is I’m a baker, so how will this butter work for making cakes, frostings Nd other baked goods.. thank you

  6. Joanne Maccagnano on

    I’ve been using Smart Balance for a very long time and absolutely love it. I am afraid to try anything else. Can anyone out there assure me I will like Earth Balance as much or better?

  7. I’ve always read that vegetable oil is terrible for you. EB uses 78% vegetable oil. How is this considered healthy? Don’t get me wrong, I have been using this, but for the past 3 days, my BP has been higher than usual. and I have been using EB exclusively since august.

    • Vegetable oil is a broad category – this could be any plant-based oil and the studies on each vary from not healthy to very healthy, so it’s hard to weigh in! But if any food is having a negative effect for you, then it may be worth considering another option. This is a good thing to discuss with your physician.

  8. carolyn dfowell on

    Just wanted to mention, i’ve been off dairy for 20 + years. Your margarine is the only one i use, because its actually good for me. You use cold pressed oils – YEAH.

  9. We became vegan over two years ago and we have been using Earth Balance since then. We honestly prefer EB to dairy butter. It tastes so much better!

  10. Pingback: Debbie's Food Smarts

  11. Says it’s vegan but it has palm oil in it. Which they tried to hide by calling it “palm fruit”. Very disappointing because it’s delicious… Hoever I cannot condone burning out orangutans and poisoning elephants for it.

    • Hi Mallory, they are RSPO certified. Palm oil can actually be more sustainable than coconut oil, as long as it is sustainably harvested. Under RSPO guidelines, no orangutan habitats can be disturbed. Read more here – https://www.rspo.org.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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
    Jim

  15. 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?

  16. 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!

  17. 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! 🙂