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Imitation Butter Flavoring Substitute

Imitation Butter Flavoring Substitute

Imitation butter flavoring is used in a number of recipes from sweet desserts, to savory dinner, to snacks like popcorn.

If you are out of imitation butter flavoring no need to worry, there are a number of great substitutions you can use no matter what you are making.

We will cover both dairy free and dairy alternatives so no matter what dietary restrictions you may have, you are covered.

So what are the best imitation butter flavor substitutes?

The top substitutions for imitation butter flavoring are butter, butter extract, coconut oil, ghee, shortening, or a hard cheese.

Make sure to read how to best use each imitation butter replacement as which one to use depends on the type of recipe you are making.

Imitation Butter Flavor Alternatives

Imitation butter flavor is a popular ingredient for non dairy recipes. But it is not just used in recipes for those who cannot eat dairy. So we will cover both dairy and dairy free imitation butter alternatives. Read on for each option and how to use them in your next recipe.


stick of butter on cutting board and knife

The best way to get that creamy buttery flavor in your recipe is to use butter! It is obviously not a dairy free option, but if you can have dairy in your diet butter is the best substitution.

Butter works in every recipe that calls for imitation butter flavoring. It can be used in desserts, savory dishes, and for snacks like popcorn.

Use a 1:1 ratio when subbing butter for imitation butter flavor.

Butter Extract

measuring spoon of butter extract

The next best imitation butter substitute that contains dairy is butter extract. Butter extract is used to add a buttery flavor to all types of dishes. It works well in sweet recipes as well as savory.

If you are looking for a simple way to add butter flavor without adding actual butter this is a great way to go.

Butter extract can be found in the baking section of most grocery stores and is relatively inexpensive.

When using butter extract in a baked or savory recipe, use 1 teaspoon for each tablespoon of imitation butter flavor.

Coconut Oil

melted coconut oil and whole coconut

If you are baking a dessert that calls for imitation butter flavor, coconut oil is the best substitute to use. Coconut oil is dairy free and provides a similar texture and creaminess to butter flavoring.

Coconut oil is readily available at most grocery stores, but is more expensive than imitation butter flavor. Use a 1:1 ratio when subbing in coconut oil.


measuring spoon of ghee and jar

Ghee is clarified butter and is an exceptional substitute for imitation butter flavor in baked and savory recipes.

Ghee is a dairy product and does have a stronger flavor than imitation butter. It can be found at most local supermarkets, but is more expensive than imitation butter.

Ghee should be used at a 1:1 ratio when replacing imitation butter flavoring.


block of vegetable shortening

Cooking shortening is a great non dairy substitute for baked goods. It works well at adding a creamy texture and rich flavor to baked dishes.

It is not as well suited for savory recipes though, so one of the other substitutes should be used if that is what you are making.

Use a 1:1 ratio of shortening to imitation butter flavoring.

Hard Cheese

It may sound strange, but hard cheese like parmesan and Romano make a great alternative to imitation butter when making a savory dish when combined with a stock.

They will provide a similar flavor to butter with a creamy texture reminiscent of imitation butter.

Hard cheese is not dairy free, so if you have dietary restrictions it will not work. But if you have no dairy restrictions hard cheese works amazing in dishes that use a stock.

Can you use real butter as an imitation butter flavor replacement?

Yes. You can use real butter in place of imitation butter flavor. Butter works in all types of recipes that call for imitation butter, but it is not dairy free. Butter is an ideal imitation butter flavor replacement for those who can eat dairy.

What is artificial butter flavor made of?

Most artificial butter flavor products contain soybean oil, beta carotene, and salt. The flavor is generally produced by adding acetylpropionyl, acetoin, or diacetyl.