Learn how to make your own vegan butter at home! This vegan butter smells and tastes exactly like real dairy butter! It is spreadable, melts, and is perfect for baking. Plus it's cheaper than store-bought, and you know exactly what is inside!
After camembert, blue cheese, and yogurt, now comes butter. It's starting to feel like a real creamery here!
The recipe was supposed to be released a long time ago, but I kept tweaking it because I was not fully satisfied with the texture.
I tried many recipes for vegan butter but couldn't find one that smells, tastes, and spreads like real dairy butter. So I had to make my own version. I don't claim to have created cultured butter though since there are already recipes that rely on yogurt to give the butter a tangy flavor. Anyway, this butter is flavorful, has the perfect texture, and is soy-free, dairy-free, and palm oil-free. Did I mention it also melts like real butter?
After some research on how butter is made, I found out it's actually a fermented product, did you know that? I didn't. But we know making fermented food is easy, right? So, ready to make your own butter?
📘 Why Make Your Own Butter?
There are several advantages of making your own vegan butter from scratch:
- Ingredient control: Did you know that over 80% of vegan butter available in supermarkets contains palm oil and flavorings? By making your own butter, you know exactly what you put inside, meaning no palm oil, no flavorings, and no preservatives. AND you can flavor it! Add chives and garlic for a savory spread, or cinnamon and raisins for a sweet treat.
- It's a fun process! Don't be scared to try it, this recipe is very easy, the only thing is that it requires some patience. Like any fermented recipe.
- Save money: Vegan butter alternatives can be quite expensive, and not available everywhere, especially if you live in a small town. With just a few ingredients from your pantry, you can make your own butter anytime. I made a quick calculation and the cost for 16 ounces of butter comes to around $5,8. This is over half the price of store-bought vegan butter!
🥣 How to Make Vegan Cultured Butter
Before starting, you will need a few specific ingredients:
- Raw cashews
- Acidophilus probiotic (or a pinch of mesophilic culture)
- Refined coconut oil
- Liquid sunflower lecithin
It starts with the cashew milk that we will let ferment to get a tangy flavor.
Start by blending soaked raw cashews with water and cultures. Then let the cashew milk ferment at room temperature for 24-48h, depending on the temperature of your house. Culturing the cashew milk gives the butter a tangier taste, a more complex body, and a richer texture. It's the secret to making it smell and taste like real dairy butter!
After about 24 hours you should see some air bubbles in your cashew milk, this means the fermentation worked and it's now ready to use. I usually let ferment mine at room temperature for 36 hours, then cover it, place it in the refrigerator and use it within the next 4 days to make the butter.
Making the Butter
Once the milk has thickened a bit and has a sour, lemony smell, it's time to blend it with the remaining ingredients. We will be using:
- Refined coconut oil - Do not use regular coconut oil, the flavor would be overpowering. Coconut oil will help the butter firm up in the fridge.
- Grapeseed oil - You can also use sunflower or canola oil.
- Sunflower lecithin - The lecithin is mandatory, without it the cashew cream will separate from the coconut oil and you will end up with two different layers. Definitely not what you want! You can also use soy lecithin if you prefer, both work.
- Salt - In my opinion, ¼ teaspoon of salt is the perfect amount, it's not too salty but enhances the flavor of the butter.
- Carrot juice - For the color. I first tried using turmeric to give it a yellow color but it didn't look natural, too yellowy. So I went back to testing and I found out carrot juice gives it a nice beige color, don't worry you can't taste the carrot! Note: You can use half of a teaspoon of annatto oil instead of carrot juice to give your butter a nice beige/yellow color.
Blend everything until smooth and fully combined.
Once this is done, transfer to a container and let harden in the freezer. After chilling in the freezer for a few hours, transfer to the refrigerator.
Since this butter is traditionally cultured, it won't keep as long as margarine. You can keep the butter for up to 7 days in a fridge.
You can keep this vegan butter for up to 2 months in the freezer. I recommend cutting it into small cubes so you can thaw just what you need.
🥞 How to Use Vegan Butter
You all know where to use butter, but here are a few ideas of what you can do with it:
- Breakfast: Spread on warm toast, and sandwiches, top your pancakes or even stir into oatmeal. Breakfast will never be the same!
- Use in baked goods: Cookies! Banana bread, cupcakes, pies, the possibilities are endless. Oh, and what about puff pastry?
- Make the frosting: Yep, you can use this butter to make buttercream frosting the traditional way, it will be soft and fluffy.
- Brown: I successfully made brown butter from it, you have to be careful not to burn it though. Then use it in cookies, sauces, etc.
- Add a flavor: Stir in risotto before serving, add to sauces, or melt on vegetables, a knob of butter will take your meal to the next level.
- Can I omit the lecithin? Unfortunately no, lecithin is essential to emulsify the oils and the cashew milk. It prevents it from separating.
- Does this vegan butter melt? Yes! It melts just like real butter, so you can use it to make sauces or stir-fry veggies.
- Can I use this vegan butter to make puff pastry? While I haven't personally tried it, I have no doubt it will work just like regular butter!
- How long does vegan butter keep? It will keep for about one week in the refrigerator, after that, I find it a bit too tangy.
I hope you are going to love this plant-based butter! With over 75 ★★★★★ ratings, it's definitely a must-try!
Thick, creamy, and soft, this vegan butter has the perfect texture. It's spreadable right from the fridge and works so well in baked goods!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Cultured Vegan Butter
Cultured Cashew Milk
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ⅔ cup water
- 1 capsule acidophilus (or a pinch of mesophilic culture), about ⅛ tsp
- ½ cup cultured cashew milk
- 1 and ¼ cup refined coconut oil
- ⅓ cup grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
- 1 teaspoon liquid sunflower lecithin or 2 teaspoon powdered lecithin
- 2 teaspoon carrot juice for color, optional
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Place the raw cashews in a bowl. Cover and let soak overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
- Drain the cashews and put them back in the bowl. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, pour the water over the cashews. This step will kill possible bacteria. Drain the cashews.
- Add them to a blender with ⅔ cup of water and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides from time to time until everything is smooth.
- Transfer to a small bowl or container and stir in the acidophilus powder. Cover with a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours. The cashew cream should have a light sour taste, and you should see some air bubbles.
- Melt the coconut oil over low-medium heat. Measure 1 and ¼ cups of melted coconut oil and put it in a blender. Add ½ cup of cultured cashew milk, neutral oil, sunflower lecithin, salt, and carrot juice. Blend on high speed for about 1 minute.
- Line a 6x4-inch container with parchment paper. Transfer the mixture to the container and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour, or until firm. Once firm, transfer to the refrigerator. It will become softer after a few hours.
- This vegan butter will keep for up to 7 days in the refrigerator. Since this butter contains live cultures it might get stronger in taste/smell as time passes. If the smell is too strong, trash it. It will keep in the freezer for up to two months.
- Recipe adapted/inspired by Vegan Baking, Miyoko's VeganButter, and Nutcrafter's Bettah than Buttah, as well as traditional butter-making techniques.
- If using mesophilic instead of acidophilus, just use a tip of a fork, or a pinch. If there are too many bacterias the cashew milk will turn bad.
- To make flavored butter: follow the recipe as stated. Once firm, let the butter on the counter for 1-2 hours, or until soft. Stir in your add-ins (herbs, garlic, or raisins, cinnamon, or chocolate for a sweet version), and transfer to a container. Place in the refrigerator until firm again.
- Nutritional information is an estimate.
- Soy lecithin can be used as a substitute for sunflower lecithin.
Can i use sunflower lecithin powder instead of liquid. What will be the proportion.
You need to use a bit more if it's powdered, about 2 teaspoons should be enough.
If we opt to use soy lecithin (because we cannot find sunflower), it is always in powder. Would we use 2 tsp? You're very innovative with your recipes. I am not a vegan and will never be because I don't think it's healthy, but I like to eat a variety of things and this is really cool!
Yes 2 tsp of lecithin powder equals about 1 tsp of liquid lecithin. Soy or sunflower, it doesn't really matter, you can use the same amount.
What do you think is unhealthy in a vegan diet?
Oreos cookies are the worst
The stamp "Vegan" !
Vegan food is, in general, a lot of junk and chem food. It just doesn't make use of any animal product, that's all. But that's all good because 9.8/10 Vegans don't care about their own health. 😉
Thank you Thomas!
Hi Thomas I could only get granules. Will I grind them into a powder?
Yes, I think it can work if you grind it into a powder. I'm also going to try using a powdered version next time to try it. I will make sure to update the recipe with the results!
Butter is another raging success in this house. Many thanks Thomas. Can the butter be frozen?
You're welcome! Yes, it can be frozen and freezes very well. Just thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.
You really are amazing! I have made some of your cheeses and theu are so time intensive, but worth it (ie i could never have come up with it myself)
Awesome! Thanks for the rating 😉
Thanks for another great recipe, Thomas!! This butter tastes great and made wonderful gluten, dairy and soy free pie crusts.
Glad to hear you liked it Sandy! 🙂
It came out just perfect. I love your very creative recipes.
Thanks for the feedback Maria!
This is brilliant! I'm curious if you can use other nuts besides cashews as a base - so many people seem sensitive these days. Will have to give your version a try! Bravo!
Thanks Dana 🙂 I guess it could work with almonds, or maybe macadamias but haven't tried it yet.
I've just made this with sunflower seeds instead of cashews and it worked perfectly
Awesome! Glad to hear it worked!
Hi what was the weight of the sunflower seeds you used, thanks
Thank you very much for this recipe. It works really brillant and also omnivores are satisfied. As I am vegan since more than 5 years, was looking for a product without palmoil-seeds. Perfect and thank you very much for your work! As I held workshops for making vegan cheese I always recommend your page.
You're welcome Robert! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂
I was wondering : is refined coconut oil the same as deodorized coconut oil? Meaning, if I buy some for this recipe, will I be able to use the rest for the foie gras recipe? 🙂 It says it has a neutral flavor on Amazon.
Yes it's the same! So you can use this coconut oil for both recipes 🙂
So I made this butter. I was buying Miyoko's vegan butter at Trader Joe's, but then they stopped carrying it. It was right around then that I got your recipe. You made it look like something I could do. I really wanted to make it a couple days ago, but I didn't have sunflower oil. I had already cultured the cashews, so I decided to go ahead and make it. I used about 1/8 cup olive oil and a little extra coconut oil to make up for the other oil. I happened to have some red palm oil that I had bought on a whim and I added a teaspoon of that. It made it THE perfect color. Mine is like real butter - hard right out of the refrigerator, and better to spread after it warms up. I like it like this. It is soooo good! I love this butter. It's my new favorite thing! I made bread just to go along with it.
Thomas, you are genius. I think your blog is really underrated. You should be nominated for one of the most innovative vegan chefs!
Thanks for the feedback Victoria!
I'm so happy to hear you like the recipe and that you can now make your own instead of buying it!
I agree 100% I'm blessed that he is here sharing all of this talent with us. This is making me happy and satisfied to eat vegan!
Thank you! I was just going to ask if it would work to use olive oil instead. It has a buttery flavor and a much better omega ratio. The coconut oil will do everything the red palm with do (except the color) without the environmental hit (sustainable labels aren't real for palm oil - some of those labelled sustainable are worse than the conventional - and those are horrifying!). Anyway, thanks for validating the olive oil.
I am definitely making this butter again for Christmas. I will flavour it with dill and salt flakes. The basic recipe is also very good, first I thought it was bland but I got used to it and it is just the best butter! Perfect with my homemade sourdough bread. Happy Christmas!
Thanks for the feedback and rating Riikka!
Usually, the butter flavor develops even more after a few days. Have a Merry Christmas too!
Wow! You did it once again! This is so much better than most of the vegan butters on the market, and SO MUCH less expensive than Miyoko's.
It is delicious! Unfortunately, I love spreading it on fresh bread and toast. I say unfortunately, because well, it's hard to stop eating it!!!!
I know, it's super addicting! Spread it thick! 🙂
Thanks again for your feedback Bev!
Hi! I tried making Myiokos butter from her book and it doesn't taste the same as her butter that you buy.
I'm looking forward to your version. It is way too expensive at $6.00 a block.
Hi Debra, I never tried the version from her book or the store-bought one, so I can't say for sure but I think you will like this one 🙂 Since it's cultured, it has the same taste and flavor as regular butter. Let me know if you try it!
I have everything to make it. I'll be doing it this weekend and let you know 🙂
Sharon sUZANNE Obrien
Her book version isn't cultured like he store bought is. We asked her at a Vegfest.
Hi There. I have a question if that's ok?
The butter mixture looked curdled after blending the cashew cream, oils and lecithin. I've put it in the freezer to see how it looks afterwards but, I think something has gone wrong.
Maybe too much pro-biotic? - the cream was quite thick when I added it.
Or maybe not enough Lecithin? - I have a powder so used 2 tsp
Maybe coconut oil too warm after melting?
I'm ready to give it another go anyway so, if you have any advice, that would be great. I can tell it's going to be great when I get it right!
Thanks for any help
Jacky, Mine did something similar the first time. It seemed as though the powdered lecithin would not blend entirely in the blender. I now use an immersion blender to blend the 2 teaspoons into the cream mixture first. I blend till I can hardly see the lecithin specks. Then add the remaining oils and blend till creamy. It's perfect!
Amazing. thank for the tip. I'll try again at the weekend and report back.
I never had this problem, so I'm not sure what went wrong. I don't think the thick cashew cream is the problem because mine is also thick. Maybe the coconut oil was too hot, not sure.
I have some powdered lecithin so I'm going to try it soon to see if it works the same as the liquid one.
Regarding your first batch: maybe try to let your butter sit at room temperature for one hour, then put it in your food processor and process until smooth and fully combined. Transfer back to the container and place in the fridge to harden.
Thanks for the advce. I'm trying again right now! I'll report back the results.
The second batch came out amazing! a mixture of ensuring the oil was sufficiently cooled, stirring in the powdered lethicin to the cashew first and then pouring oil in slowly made the resulting mixture much creamier. I thought I could see it start to split a little when I stopped blending but a coupe of hours in the freezer sorted it out.
Thanks Sandra and Thomas for the tips to get it right and Thomas, thank you so much for the recipe, it's really is great...we are just shovelling it in spread on fresh bread!! My New year diet has taken a sudden downturn
So glad to hear your second batch went well! I'm sorry to hear about your New Year diet but it had to stop at some point right? 🙂
Mine has looked curled as I was pouring it into a container…
Lecithin powder can sometimes take a while to dissolve. I stirred mine into the cashew cream and let it sit for half an hour. Also, I found 2 tsp wasn’t quite enough to stop it splitting. 3 tsp worked better.
Can we use guar gum or arabic gum instead of sunflower lecithin. Pls reply. Thanks
I'm not the ex pert but that doesn't sound like it would work.
I saw it here and hence asked .
I'm afraid it won't work as those are not emulsifiers.
Hi...Thanks for sharing! I'm trying out this recipe... Question: As the recipe only requires 1/2 cup of cultured cashew milk what are your suggestions to do with the rest of the milk in the recipe? Looking forward to your comments!!
Most of the time I use it in curries, it adds a nice sour cream flavor. You can also use it to make pasta sauces!
Great recipe, I decided to give it a shot as I am familiar with Miyoko’s Vegan Butter in stores and wanted to make a similar product myself.
Everything went super great! However, after going over the recipe a third time after making it and noticing a slight separation, I realized I used all of the cashew cream from steps 1-4. Whoops!
Might I suggest adding n step 5 the words “1/2 cup” before “cashew cream”. Even though I read through your whole post twice and recipe twice before starting, I still assumed you meant “all of the cashew cream you made” because there is no separation of the cashew cream instructions and the final butter instructions. I now have a very off-balanced proportion, but luckily I measure everything by weight and take notes so I’ll be able to figure out how to save it! I’ll let you know how it all works out 🙂 I’m always up for a challenge 😉
I also used Victoria’s suggestion of 1 tsp of organic, fair trade and sustainably sourced red palm oil, and it really does make the perfect color for those who don’t mind that type of ingredient. Thank you for that tip, Victoria!
Thank you again, Thomas- I’m glad I stumbled upon your blog, and I am excited to try my hand at your cheese recipes as well.
Hi Chef Bug!
Cool name by the way 😉
I try to make the recipes as clear as possible but you are right, if you don't read very carefully it can be confusing. I edited the recipe and added "1/2 cup" as you suggested. The reason I recommend making more cashew milk than needed is that it's very difficult to blend to a smooth consistency if you use less than 1/2 cup of cashews.
Regarding the red palm oil, that is interesting and will definitely try it next time as making carrot juice for just two teaspoons is a bit time-consuming!
Anyway, thanks for your feedback!
Thomas, you can always freeze the carrot juice in an ice tray, so that whenever you need 2 tsp, you can pop out one cube and dissolve it into your mixture.
Could you just use the extra cashew milk to make another batch? I'm thinking make enough to end up with double the end results without leftovers
I'm afraid the extra cashew milk won't be enough to make another batch.
Thank-you for generously sharing your creations. I'm in the process of fermenting my first batch of cashew camemberts. They are maturing into very convincing cheeses so far. My confidence in your research and my comfort with fermentation led me to try the butter. I completed the butter today and the texture is wonderful. However, as a non-vegan I can't say that it tastes like traditional butter. My batch is similar in flavour to raw button mushrooms! I'm open to the unexpected and I'm sure any number of things could have happened in the process that created this flavour, including the fermentation or perhaps the quality or quantity of cashews.
It won't be solo on toast, but I will find many ways to integrate it in dishes. I just thought I'd share my results and will try it again to compare notes. Although I commend you for creating a butter with a good texture, I can't offer a higher rating at this time due to the flavour and the slight difficulty of accessing the lecithin and refined coconut oil in a small community.
I made this butter but added a half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to give it some acidity as my fermenting didn’t produce much. Also put half a teaspoon of nutritional yeast. My whole family are just amazed! It’s LIKE BUTTER. My husband who has joined us on the vegan path could not let his cows milk butter go. He has now. Thank you so much Thomas.
I used soya lecithin granules , sokaedthem for an hour in water then added.
I might have half of England reading your blog soon.
So glad you and your family liked it!! 🙂 Your comment made my day Lynn!
Regarding the acidity, maybe try to let the cashew cream ferment a bit longer at room temperature next time. I even noticed that the cream becomes sharper in the fridge after another 2-3 days.
Hello! The water separated from the cashew cream when i was fermenting it, should i opt the water out or mix it with the cream before adding other ingredients?
Hum, I'm afraid I have never seen that happen! I think your cashew cream was a bit too hot, and that may have caused the separation.
If the cashew cream is still good, I would recommend mixing it with the water again.
Hi! Thanks for sharing! I bought Now'a 50 Billion Probiotic Powder (https://www.nowfoods.com/supplements/probiotic-10-50-billion-powder), and I use about 1q4 teaspoon to make cashew yogurt with it.. How much would you recommend to use for this butter? And cheese?
Well, it's hard to say exactly...your powder has a lot of probiotics. I wouldn't use more than 1/8 tsp for 3 cups of cashews.
I have made your butter and it is delicious. I wanted to tell you that I colored mine with annotto (achiote) oil that I had on hand from cooking asian food. Just a few drops colored the butter beautifully. One recipe keeps in the fridge for a long time for use in cooking or coloring.
Thanks for sharing Sandra! I think annatto is also used in some cheeses to give them an orange color.
Does the coconut oil have to be refined or does unrefined work as well?
Unrefined coconut oil will work but your butter will have a coconut flavor 🙂
I am your number 1 fan for the camembert and I would love to try this butter but I can't find edible liquid lecithine. I see you are living in France now, as I am : can you tell me where to find it please ? The one I bought from Amazon said "do not ingest" on it. Thanks !!
You can find sunflower lecithin here: http://caramel-a-tartiner.fr/nosproduits/lecithine-de-tournesol-ogm-100-gr/ or soy lecithin here: http://caramel-a-tartiner.fr/nosproduits/lecithine-de-tournesol-bio-460-gr-copie/
Hi there, I haven't yet made this but I have started with the cashew mixture. I could only find refined coconut oil in liquid form, rather than the usual solid stuff. Will this work?
Thank you in advance. I was really excited to see a Vegan butter recipe as it's impossible to find one in the shops that doesn't contain palm oil!
I'm not sure what you mean by liquid form, does it harden if you put it in the refrigerator? If it does then yes you can use it, otherwise, it won't work as coconut oil is essential to help firm up the butter.
New subscriber here, and I'd like to try this butter recipe. I have the Silk brand Cashew Milk in my fridge at the moment. I assume that I can start out with this product, rather than making my own cashew milk from scratch, right?
I have never tried using store-bought cashew milk to make this recipe so I can't tell. In my opinion, this milk is less rich in cashews than making your own. The fact that it contains natural flavors may also affect the taste of the butter.
Okay, thanks. Also I'm not sure if using coconut oil is good for my personal dietary needs. Is there an alternative oil that suits the purpose? Thanks.
I'm afraid there is not...maybe use refined cocoa butter, but you will have to tweak the recipe a bit to get a spreadable consistency.
I do not know if the local CVS carries Acidophilus Probiotic. May I purchase any probiotic in capsule form? I have a feeling the answer is no, but I did want to ask. Thank you.
Unfortunately, I can't give you a precise answer on that subject. There are so many different probiotics that some may work and others won't, it really depends on what/how many cultures they contain. If you make your own yogurts from a brand of probiotics, then use these, it will work. Otherwise, I would recommend acidophilus, or maybe check online to see which brand can be used to make yogurt.
This is ridiculously tasty. I had to invest in the ingredients as I didn't have them otherwise but it was well worth it! Thank you so much! I put smoked sea salt in mine!
Thanks for the feedback Rox, smoked salted butter sounds amazing!
I love your recipes,thanks for everything
Thank you Angy 🙂 You're welcome!
Is it ok not to perment the cashew ?
I'm afraid it's not, the fermentation is really essential to get a butter flavor.
Hi Thomas, thank you for the recipe! A quick question: When I use 1/2 cup cashews and 2/3 cup water, it makes 1 cup cultured cashew cream. But in the recipe it says 1/2 cup cashew cream. Is that correct?
That is correct! You can use the full cup of cashew cream if you want but you will have to double the other ingredients. I recommend making 1 cup of cashew cream because it's very difficult to blend the cashews if you make less than that. Otherwise, you can use the cashew cream (add salt) leftover in curries, sauces, on top of potatoes, etc.
Hey there! BIG FAN!
Just one prob - If I follow the link for the Acidophilus probiotic - the page is blocked..
is there something I have to consider before ordering my own Acidophilus probiotic ?
can I get organic ones? what's the name of the ones you usually use?
And are the capsules vegan too? 🙂
Thanks! I assume it's because you are not from the US and Amazon redirects doesn't always work. Here is the one I use. It's the Solgar Advanced Acidophilus Plus that contains 500M microorganisms. Sure, organic can work too!
Absolutely, delicious, Thomas. My lecithine had gone hard so I did without, making using the mayonnaise method of pouring the oils in slowly. Maybe the texture is not perfect but the taste…oh my goodness!!
The same happened to me once! Even though I close the packet very well the lecithin became hard after a few months. Happy to hear you still liked the butter!
This looks amazing! I'd love to try it.
I have BlueBonnet's acidophilus probiotic that expired 12/2017. Do you think I can still use it? It was kept sealed in the fridge...
Okay, so apparently one capsule of BlueBonnet’s acidophilus probiotic contains 3B microorganism, which is quite a lot. The brand I'm using contains only 500M so I would recommend using only 1/3 to 1/2 capsule. Regarding the expiration date, I wouldn't worry too much about it, especially if you kept it in the fridge.