What is the Best Substitute for Butter?

What is the Best Substitute for ButterSo you just found out that you need to cutback on your butter intake but you LOVE baking and baked goods so you must figure out what is the best substitute for butter. Does this mean you can never eat cake or donuts again? Are you feeling like life as you know it is over??

RELAX! There are some solutions

A bit dramatic maybe but giving up butter can be a very challenging thing. Butter is an awesome ingredient that adds tons of flavor to any recipe so finding a suitable substitute may take some trial and error. There are many butter substitutes on the market that taste good and are a bit more healthy.

So what is the best substitute for butter?

There are several substitutes for butter and once you start trying them you can judge for yourself what is the best substitute for butter.

Start with an open mind and recognize that these substitutes are not going to taste exactly like butter. Remember that just because the flavor is a bit different that does not mean that it is bad.

Open your mind and your taste buds and you won’t be disappointed.

Olive Oil

Substituting olive oil for butter when cooking is a fast and easy way to make your food healthier—and tastier.

Olive oil is one of the oldest and most-used oils in the world, with some historians claiming it was used as far back as 5500 BC. It’s not surprising that so much has been written about it, considering its many benefits. It’s naturally high in monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to lower cholesterol and decrease heart disease risk. It’s also high in antioxidants. Plus, it tastes delicious.

Olive oil can be used for butter in most recipes at a 3:4 volume ratio. If a recipe calls for 1 cup (225 grams) of butter, for example, 3/4 cup (180 ml) of olive oil can be substituted.

Because olive oil is a liquid, it can’t be used to replace butter in recipes that require the fat to stay solid or a lot of creaming, such frosting and angel food cake. The rich flavor of olive oil complements recipes that are fruity, nutty, or savory, such as pumpkin bread or muffins.

What is the best substitute for butter? Margarine??

This is probably  the best substitute for butter when baking doughnuts, cookies, and cakes. It is a natural source of vitamin A (a vital nutrient to the health of all cells) and has no trans-fats, so you can eat lots of it without fear of causing heart disease.

Margarine helps cookies hold their shape slightly better than butter, so if the shape of your cookies is essential to you, this butter substitute is worth considering.


Ghee is simply clarified butter by definition, but the taste is utterly different to me. Butter has a taste similar to heavy cream, whereas ghee has a taste similar to frying oil.

In cooking and baking, ghee can be used in place of butter in a 1-to-1 ratio, just as coconut oil.

However, because ghee contains more moisture than butter, it may be necessary to adjust the amount of ghee in some recipes. Ghee is best used as a butter alternative in baked items that demand higher temperatures of cooking.


Because a stick of butter equals 1/2 cup, a half-cup of shortening may appear to be a direct substitute. In real-life baking, this isn’t true because shortening is a pure fat, whereas butter isn’t. The majority of butter is made up of fat, with the rest being mostly water.

If your recipe only asks for one stick of butter, you can typically get away with using shortening instead, but the finished baked dish will have a different texture. When you use shortening instead of butter, cookies that spread and have crisp edges become fluffy and cake-like. It’s not quite an apples-to-oranges comparison, but a few tweaks will undoubtedly improve your results.  

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a type of vegetable oil and can be used in place of butter at a 1:1 ratio. It’ll do everything butter does because it’s solid at room temperature and melts when heated. Working solid coconut oil into the flour will tenderize and leaven your cake in the same way that butter would. You don’t need to make any other changes to your recipe.

If you’re replacing a lot of butter, this alternative can give your cake a coconut flavor.

What do you prefer? What is the best substitute for butter for you?

So if you need to cut back on your butter intake don’t fret! There are several alternatives you can try. The key is to experiment with different substitutes in various recipes until you find a combination you like.  

If you’re interested in learning how butter is made check out this article.

 Many of the recipes on our site can be made using a butter substitute. Check them out here.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.