Earth Balance Buttery Sticks


As an avid dairy-free baker, I was once loyal to Earth Balance Shortening. It twas sadly discontinued, but Earth Balance Buttery Sticks have persisted and even expanded in options.

Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (Review) - dairy-free and vegan butter alternative - great for baking

For years I was hesitant. Weren’t the Earth Balance Buttery Sticks just the Buttery Spread packed into another format? Were they really any different? In fact, Earth Balance Buttery Sticks have a blend that’s just a touch firmer. And it does seem to hold up a little bit better in many baking applications.

Earth Balance Buttery Sticks Review - dairy-free, vegan, and why we use the soy-free version

I use the Soy-Free version (red package) of Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, but not just because they’re soy free. A wonderfully thoughtful reader named Emiliy emailed me with a theory she and her husband had tested about why Earth Balance sometimes tasted funny or almost “burnt” when baked. I’d heard this from many readers, so my ears perked up. She noted that many versions contain flax oil, which goes rancid at moderate to high baking temperatures. They tested with Smart Balance (made by the same company, but doesn’t contain flax) and found that the baked goods didn’t have that burnt flavor. After reading the labels, I discovered that the Soy-Free Earth Balance Buttery Sticks don’t contain flax oil. I put it to the test, and personally, I think the results were delicious.

The Soy-Free Earth Balance Buttery Sticks were amazing for making the Perfect Buttery Pie Crust. I’ve never been a crust fan, often eating the filling and leaving it behind, but I found myself nibbling on the baked crust alone!

Earth Balance Buttery Sticks Review - dairy-free, vegan, and why we use the soy-free version

I also used the Earth Balance Buttery Sticks to make a Dairy-Free Buttercream Frosting and it held up so much better at room temperature than the Buttery Spread usually does. That said, it gets really thick when chilled, so it needs a good whip before spreading.


We loved the flavor, too, and my friendly Sarena agrees. She made a chocolate frosting with it and said, “WOW! Earth Balance delivered on the buttery name. The frosting was truly decadent and had the wonderful flavor of an all-natural butter base.” She now uses it in many applications, including her Con Cookies, and says, “It is the perfect safe alternative for all of my dairy free baked goods that need butter for their structure.”

Con Cookies Recipe - A dairy-free favorite for conventions, when everyone needs energy on the go!

Earth Balance Buttery Sticks are non-hydrogenated, and made with an oil blend of palm fruit, canola, and olive. The “Vegan” Buttery Sticks also contain flax and soybean oils, but don’t let the name fool you. Both the Soy-Free and Vegan varieties are dairy-free and vegan.

Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (Review) - dairy-free and vegan butter alternative - great for baking

The Facts on Earth Balance Buttery Sticks

Price: $3.29 per lb (4 sticks)

Certifications: Earth Balance Buttery Sticks are Certified Kosher Parve.

Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Earth Balance Buttery Sticks are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian. There are also Soy Free Buttery Sticks available. Nonetheless, always read the ingredient statement and 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

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What Others Are Saying ...

Fantastic for Baking

5.0 rating
February 14, 2019

Yes, the sticks really do make a difference when it comes to baking. Just a touch saltier and firmer than the buttery spread, the sticks can tackle pie crust, cookies, and stable buttercream with ease. I do recommend the soy-free for taste. It doesn’t contain flax oil which may be the key to its better baked flavor.


About Author

Alisa is the founder of, 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.


  1. I’ve been a huge fan of EB buttery sticks. If one works quickly (it’s softer than real butter) you can still get a flaky pie dough or biscuits.

    I just had a disaster this Thanksgiving with my snappy ginger snaps. Every year same recipe. This year they turned out greasy and soft. No snap at all! I wrote to EB to see if they’d changed the formulation and they said no. But I changed nothing in the recipe or technique. Do you have tips for leaving the grease behind?

    • This exact same thing just happened to my friend for her holiday bake sale two weeks ago! She said, same recipes as every year, she always uses Earth Balance, and it was a greasy mess. It’s possible that they have a bad batch where they didn’t properly bind the emulsified margarine.

      With greasy cookies, I typically reduce the oil, by at least 1/4, but up to 1/2. Then, when the dough is combined, I add enough dairy-free milk beverage to get the right consistency. Since you’ve made these cookies a lot, odds are that you’ll know when the consistency is right.
      You can also try my recipe for “snappy” molasses cookies, which uses oil instead of buttery sticks ->

  2. Unfortunately, just found out from the company that they have discontinued making the sticks. Tubs are still available, though.

  3. Pingback: Oatmeal Energy Cookies for On-The-Move Days (Dairy-Free Recipe)

  4. For health reasons – need to adopt oil free vegan diet. Will miss butter! Will vegan butter sticks work for me?

    • vegan or dairy-free “butter” is essentially margarine, which is oil-based. If you need to be oil-free, then no, that won’t work for your diet. Sorry!

  5. Peter Flemming on

    Where can I purchase Earth Balance buttery spreads in Ontario, Canada. I live in the city of Guelph.