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Is Cookie Butter Vegan? Can Vegans Eat Cookie Butter?

Is Cookie Butter Vegan? Can Vegans Eat Cookie Butter?

Answer: It depends. The answer is mostly yes because the commercially available cookie butter is generally vegan-friendly. The only reason why some vegans avoid it is the use of palm oil.

Is Cookie Butter Vegan? Can Vegans Eat Cookie Butter?

When you see the word ‘butter’ in anything, it immediately triggers a negative thought. However, it will surprise you that most cookie butter is considered vegan. 

Therefore, the answer to the question “Is cookie butter vegan?” is both yes and no. But before diving into some in-depth analysis, here are some essential things to know. 

What Is Butter and Where Does It Come From?

Butter is a pure dairy-based product. It is obtained from the fats and proteins from the cream of milk, and at room temperature, it is in a semi-solid state. So it is clear that butter is not something vegans would want in their diet. But butter is an essential component when it comes to baking anything.  

What Is Vegan Butter?

For all vegans, this is some good news. There is something called ‘vegan butter,’ so you can make it a part of your diet. It is an essential component, especially for baking purposes, and makes food taste better.

Vegan butter is a purely plant-based product. The primary butter sources are vegetable oils, salt, emulsifiers, and water. It is also known as margarine. However, it is essential to note that not all margarine is vegan-friendly because sometimes some brands also include dairy products like milk or cream. But you should not worry about it because they mention it on the product labels. 

Margarine is an excellent substitute for regular butter. It does not compromise on the taste, and it shares similarities with nutritional values as well. However, compared to traditional butter, margarine typically contains less cholesterol and saturated fats and a higher concentration of trans fats. 

Why Is Cookie Butter Vegan?

Conventional butter often uses eggs as an ingredient in butter. But thankfully, most cookie butter is egg-free. And this is true for most of the processed food that you often buy from the store. 

Cookie butter is a significant component of processed vegan food because it helps with the shelf life. And it is also believed that since cookie butter is a plant-based product, it is a better alternative to conventional butter for extending shelf life. 

What to Watch Out for When Using Cookie Butter

Even though most commercially used cookie butter is vegan, there are instances where non-vegan elements are part of the ingredients. And one of the components used in cookie butter is dairy products, which vegans do not favor. For example, Ahoy’s butter used in chocolate chip cookies has dairy products. 

And similarly, other processed food products like Oreo also use non-vegan-based cookie butter. So these are things that you should check before purchasing from any store. 

Homemade cookie butter is another product that needs attention from vegans. Generally, most homemade cookie butter is not vegan-friendly. And the reason is that cookie butter requires additional fats not satisfied by conventional oil. So many people substitute butter for oil when preparing cookie butter.  

Margarine is an excellent substitute for conventional butter and is vegan-friendly. However, since not all margarine is vegan-friendly, it is not the perfect alternative. 

So the thing with cookie butter as a vegan product is tricky. Sure there are substitutes like margarine, but it is not a 100% vegan product. So it would help if you watched out for these things when you decide on getting cookie butter for your vegan diet or baking purposes.

Vegan Cookie Butters to Try

Since differentiating between vegan and non-vegan cookie butter is tricky, it is easy for you to get lost when deciding which one to buy. Many cookie butter products are not vegan-friendly, and things can even mislead you into buying the wrong product. So to help you out, here are some of the best vegan cookie butter to pick from the store. 

Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter

Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter is excellent vegan cookie butter. Every ingredient used in the production is vegan-based. The essential ingredients are:

  • Soy flour 
  • Wheat flour 
  • Citric acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Candy sugar syrup 
  • Coconut, palm, and canola oils
  • Vegetable-based emulsifiers 
  • Non-dairy butter 
  • Beta carotene 
  • Nutmeg and cinnamon 

All these ingredients are vegan-friendly. 

Trader Joe’s Crunchy Cookie Butter

Another vegan-friendly cookie butter is from the same brand Trader Joe’s. The Crunchy Cookie Butter has all the elements that qualify it as a vegan product. To get a clear picture, here are the ingredients used in the production process:

  • Soy flour 
  • Wheat flour 
  • Candy sugar syrup 
  • Lecithin emulsifier 
  • Vegetable oil
  • Palm, canola, and coconut oils
  • Sodium hydrogen carbonate 
  • Nutmeg and cinnamon 

None of the ingredients is animal-based. However, the only problem is the use of palm oil. The cultivation and extraction of palm oil include vast areas of deforestation and animal displacement. And because it has a direct adverse impact on the environment, many vegans tend to avoid palm oil in any form. Nonetheless, you can still treat Trader Joe’s Crunchy Cookie Butter as a vegan. 

Lotus Biscoff European Cookie Spread 

The European cookie spread by Lotus Biscoff is another excellent vegan cookie butter. It is another commercially available cookie butter that you can easily purchase. All the ingredients are vegan-friendly. The ingredients are:

  • Soy flour 
  • Wheat flour 
  • Salt
  • Citric acid
  • Sodium bicarbonate 
  • Vegetable oil
  • Soya oil
  • Palm, sunflower, and canola oils
  • Sugar syrup 
  • Brown sugar syrup 
  • Soy lecithin 
  • Cinnamon 

These ingredients prove that the Lotus Biscoff European Cookie Spread is a vegan-friendly product. The only questionable element is palm oil.

Cookie Butter Caveats

While knowing how your cookie butter is made is essential, it is also worth mentioning that the standard cookie butter recipe varies from place to place.

Cookie butter has its origins in Belgium. And it all started in 2007 with the brand Lotus Biscoff. Today, it is one of the world’s most recognizable cookie butter brands. 

Trader Joe’s is another famous brand that sells some of the most refined cookie butter. It is a US-based brand, and you can find its products across major stores and online sites. 

The use of cookie butter also varies from one place to the other. For example, in Sweden, bakers extensively use cookie butter as one of the primary ingredients. And it also finds its way into one of their traditional dishes called Punsch-rolls as the main ingredient. Meanwhile, in Denmark, cookie butter has a different name. They call it Troffel-Masse, a chief ingredient in confectionery cakes. So these are some interesting caveats that are worth knowing about cookie butter.

The Difference Between Cookie Butter and Cookie Dough

Many people confuse cookie butter with cookie dough because they look similar. So before you purchase any cookie butter, you must know the difference, so you don’t make a mistake.

Cookie butter is a spread that looks like dough. And the reason is that cookie butter is a product of baked mashed and ground cookies. The powdered cookie is then mixed with oil, additives, sugar syrups, etc.

It is worth pointing out that cookie butter does not use any cookies. There is a particular cookie called Speculoos. So companies make use of this type of cookie exclusively. 

On the other hand, cookie dough is different from cookie butter because of how it is prepared. Cookie dough is prepared from the ingredients used to make a cookie. So you can call them raw cookies because they are not yet baked. 


In conclusion, can you label cookie butter as vegan? The answer is mostly yes because the commercially available cookie butter is generally vegan-friendly. The only reason why some vegans believe that it does not qualify as a vegan product is because of two main reasons:

  1. The use of dairy-based products and,
  2. The use of palm oil

Apart from those two reasons, no valid arguments make cookie butter a non-vegan product. 

And as discussed earlier, there is a wide range of recipes for making cookie butter at home. So that allows you to control which ingredients you should use and avoid. Homemade cookie butter is the safest way to ensure that you do not use any non-vegan ingredients.