I am planning to cook a French bœuf bourguignon, but a vegan version. Apart from the wine and the herbs, I recall that the butter had quite an impact on the vegetarian version that I previously made.

When reading about vegan butters online the goal is usually to aim for a certain consistency, for baking etc. Is there a way to add butter flavor to this vegan recipe?

  • Yeah, the latter idea had crossed my mind - diacetyl?
    – noumenal
    Feb 13, 2018 at 19:37
  • 3
    Diacetyl is indeed key to most artificial butter flavor - it is also actually in butter. BTW; in case you happen to get your hands on the pure substance: Careful with that stuff, it is said to be toxic when undiluted. Feb 13, 2018 at 19:48
  • Diacetyl of what?
    – Alchimista
    Feb 18, 2018 at 14:12
  • @Alchimista (CH_3CO)_2
    – noumenal
    Feb 18, 2018 at 15:47
  • 1
    Ah butanedione. Certainly what you need. It should be ok. I do not think you will breath lot of it for normal food kitchen preparation. :) toxipedia.org/display/toxipedia/Diacetyl
    – Alchimista
    Feb 18, 2018 at 15:58

3 Answers 3


I actually substitute high quality olive oil for everything in my cooking now. There is a 'butter oil' which is olive oil pressed/infused with celery seed and lettuce extract which actually has a remarkably similar flavor profile. So if you live near any specialty olive oil shops that is definitely something to ask for! It's great on popcorn too. And better than all these funny hydrogenated oils.

https://unrefinedolive.com/collections/infused-olive-oils/products/butter-infused-olive-oil?variant=39727564114 This is the product I was talking about.

  • 1
    Hard to imagine how fennel contributes to a buttery flavour. Do you have the ingredients for that oil? Can't find them online.
    – Richard
    Feb 14, 2018 at 17:30
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    unrefinedolive.com/collections/infused-olive-oils/products/… this is exactly the oil I bought, in the description it says it is infused with celery seed and lettuce extract! I will correct my comment above
    – soup4life
    Feb 14, 2018 at 22:39

Many of the modern "vegan butter-like spreads for cooking" have a passable butter flavor, not like the margarines of yore. You do want to get one that mentions it can be used in cooking/baking, rather than the "light" versions that are nearly half water. That's a fairly simple substitution. I'm knee-jerking away from suggesting a specific brand, both to be not spamming and because there are several options.

  • 2
    I find the ones made of mostly or partly of palm oil to be the most delicious and reminiscent of butter. So not a particular brand, per se, but something to keep an eye out for. Feb 14, 2018 at 8:03

Macadamia Nut oil fools people as clarified or drawn butter

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