Which Dairy Free Margarine Is The Best?

Margarine testing.

I decided to test different widely available dairy free margarines to see which, in my opinion, is the best.

I tested for:

  • Best on toast
  • Best in a sponge cake
  • Best for pastry and
  • Best for butter cream

The contenders:

Pure soya margarine – not very good for baking.

Pure Sunflower margarine – nice for most baking.

Pure organic margarine – not very good for baking.

Stork pastry margarine – good for pastry but not for sponge cake or butter cream, it is too waxy.

Sainsbury’s Free From margarine – good flavour for general baking.

Tomor Kosher margarine – I didn’t like this at all. It is very waxy.

Supermarket block baking margarine – The baking margarine does state not suitable for milk allergy sufferers due to manufacturing process. Good for pastry but not for sponge cake or butter cream.

Vitalite margarine – best margarine for baking and spreading.

Suma soya margarine – not very good for baking.

White vegetable fat – ok for pastry, not much flavour obviously. This can be used to give a ‘royal iced’ look to an egg free cake including piping and scrolls. More about this later.

On toast

We thought Pure soya and Sainsbury’s Free From were really nice but the best was Vitalite. This could be because it tasted saltier than the others, it has a nice buttery flavour.

Sponge cake

We thought Pure organic had a nice flavour. It was hard to decide which we preferred out of Pure sunflower and Vitalite. They both had a good flavour and texture.


We found Sainsbury’s Free From and supermarket baking margarine both had a good flavour.

The best was Stork pastry block margarine and Vitalite.

Dairy free butter cream

Mixing in twice as much icing sugar to margarine. You just need to mix the sugar in gently or the mixture will split.

The best margarine for this was the Sainsbury’s Free From and Vitalite. The Vitalite didn’t seem to split as much as the others.

And the winner is…

we recommend - Vitalite.

So in my opinion, if you are to have one dairy free margarine in your fridge it should be Vitalite Dairy Free spread.

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24 Responses to “Which Dairy Free Margarine Is The Best?”

  1. […] dairy free margarine (I used Stork Pastry Marg –  see here for alternatives). 35g caster sugar 1 medium free range egg 75g Doves Farm plain gluten free flour 75g maize flour […]

  2. Lesley says:

    Totally agree with this, Vitalite even tastes “Normal” Great for my scones!

  3. Iced Gem says:

    Hi Lesley,

    I’m pleased you agree.

  4. What a really useful guide! Am just writing up a recipe for making dairy free lemon drizzle cake over on my blog, and will link to your excellent taste test. 😀

  5. Iced Gem says:

    Thanks Ali. I just had a peek at your website and really like it. x

  6. […] it’s worth keeping in mind that some are better than others for baking – here’s a great taste test that I’ve found on another […]

  7. Jenn says:

    Using vitalite and used pure soya before reading this article and still my frosting is turning very runny and is splitting. Tried keeping speed on #2 on the mixer. Also added extra icing sugar. Any other suggestions?

  8. Iced Gem says:

    Hi Jenn,

    I find it best to mix the icing sugar in with a spoon and once the sugar is mixed in not to beat it too much.

    I also use 4 times as much sugar to margarine, add a drop or two of water to soften and a little extra flavouring. I find I don’t need as much as usual as it is sweeter.

  9. Shelly says:

    I also find for buttercream to mix the vitalite straight out of the fridge, makes it stiffer

  10. Iced Gem says:

    Good tip, thanks. I would always use margarine straight from the fridge as many separate at room temperature.

  11. TESSE says:

    My baby birthday is 25th of April, when is the latest I can start with decorating the outside of my cake, and can I both use it for piping and decorations like flowers? And how do I need tokeep it preserved? I wasgoing to decorate 24th of April.Will I be able to do this with buttercream? Also, what is exact ingredients for dairy free buttercream? Also, will a mixutre of Vitalite and cookeen work or is it not nicein texture and taste? Thanks a lot,Tesse

  12. Iced Gem says:

    Hi Tesse,

    If your cake is covered it should keep for about a week. Here’s my recipe for dairy free buttercream – scroll down t o the bottom of the recipe. http://www.icedgembakes.co.uk/gluten-free-and-dairy-free-baking-recipes/victoria-sponge-filled-with-jam-and-buttercream/

    I personally wouldn’t use cookeen just vitalite.



  13. Victoria says:

    Hi Gemma

    Just stumbled across your website, your book arrived from amazon today and I love it. hace also ordered your book with deserts in – so nice to find a way for my two dairy intolerant girls with ‘normal’ food. Just wish someone would write something similar for savoury dishes.

    My daughters birthday party is on 23rd – was going to make a number three shape and then decorate with something and stick sweets on. My cake decoration skills are very very basic – so need something simple. Should I use buttercream or american frosting?



  14. Iced Gem says:

    Hi Victoria,

    Thank you I’m pleased you like my book.

    I would use American frosting if you want the cake to be white. Otherwise I would use dairy free buttercream for a better flavour, you can colour it if you want to.



  15. Ani says:

    I have a very diffult request from a client. She wants sugar free and dairy free cupcakes with some sort of icing.

    Does anyone have any tips on how to tackle this?


  16. Iced Gem says:

    Hi Ani,

    You could make the cupcakes using dairy free margarine and agave syrup in place of sugar. Use quarter less than you would of sugar and make as normally would. Icing you could make a dairy free chocolate ganache using Plamil sugar free chocolate and sweeten with agave if required or peanut or almond butter mixed with a little dairy free margarine and sweetened with agave syrup or maple syrup or check some of the dairy free whipped creams available



  17. Hannah says:

    Hi Gemma,

    Thankyou so much for this. My daughter has bad eczema and we’re doing a dairy free trial to see if it makes a difference. I am a total novice at this having not had to think about it ever before & at 5, she’s quite aware of how things taste! My heart sinks with the thought that she’s not going to beable to enjoy anything & that this will be hard for her. I was also concerned about wasting money on things that just aren’t up to the job so your guide is so helpful. Thankyou for doing the hard work for me!!


  18. Iced Gem says:

    Thanks Hannah,
    There are loads of great dairy free options available these days. Also did you know lots of usual cakes and biscuits in the supermarket are dairy free – rich tea, bourbon, digestives (check the label first as some brands may not be).


  19. Carol says:

    Hi, yes I agree with the vitalite choice, however as a past butter addict I can tell you sprinkling a little salt on it makes it taste exactly like butter even if you are adding another topping such as jam it just takes you back to the good old days of when you could enjoy loads of butter on your toast!

  20. Ann says:

    Thank you so much for informing me that vitalite is the best butter so thank you. I was little upset today because I was making a dairy free version of Victoria Sponge Cake, which did not turn out so well. I made the buttercream with Marks and Spencer’s dairy free light spread but when I put it onto the sponge cake it all ran off and turned into a bit of a failure.
    I would not recommend marks and spencers dairy free spread, but I would recommend it for toast

  21. Iced Gem says:

    Hi Ann,

    I haven’t tried Marks and Spencer’s dairy free spread yet. I will have to try it.

    Try adding 4 times as much icing sugar to the spread, this should stop it splitting.

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