Butter Substitutes: Easy Baking Swaps for Butter

This is a great post if you're looking for some butter substitutes for either baking or just to go with your bread! Lots of healthy alternatives!

Butter is a globally known baking and cooking ingredient; it is incredibly popular and, while it is delicious, there are some times, recipes and occasions that call for a substitute.

This post will explore all those suitable alternatives that surprisingly look, behave and sometimes taste like the real thing.

What is Butter?

To narrow down our suitable alternatives for butter, we first need to understand what butter is used for. But before we proceed, let me quickly point out that butter isn’t the same thing as margarine.

While butter is made from churning milk or in some cases, cream, margarine is a non-dairy product that is made from vegetable oil, salt, and emulsifiers.

Some brands add milk to theirs as well. It is one of the most common substitutes for butter (just make sure yours is free of trans fats).

Culinary Uses of Butter

  • It makes cheese last longer by preventing molds from forming
  • A tablespoon of butter in a pot of boiling water will stop it from boiling over.
  • It used for making pastry products
  • It is used as an emulsifier
  • It lends a rich, buttery flavor to everything it touches.
  • It is used to grease and coat pans for cooking

Salted Butter or Non-Salted Butter

Most cooks prefer unsalted butter (also called sweet butter) to salted butter for several reasons.

The amount of salt in salted butter varies by brand, which can cause inconsistent results in recipes.

Another reason to avoid salted butter is that the salt acts as a preservative, which means that salted butter can be kept longer on market shelves and isn’t always so fresh; salt can also mask the flavors.

To gain greater control over your recipes, always go with unsalted butter. That way you can just add the right amount of salt your recipe calls for.

Amazing Butter Substitutes

1/2 lb salted butter 1 cup margarine, 7/8 cup lard +1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup shortening +1/2 teaspoon salt,7/8 cup vegetable oil +1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of cooking butter 1/3-second spray of cooking spray
1 cup of butter 3/4 cup of olive oil
1 cup unsalted butter 1 cup shortening,7/8 cup lard, 7/8 cup vegetable oil,
1/2 the amount of butter required Replace with Unsweetened applesauce
1/4 of the butter required Replace with flaxseed meal
1/2 the amount of butter required Replace with baby food prunes

Other Butter Substitutes

Ratio of butter to substitute Substitute
1:1 Coconut oil
1:1 Ghee for
1:1 Greek Yoghurt
1:1 Mashed Bananas
1:1 Avocados
1:1 Nut Butters

Please note that there might be some slight change in texture, flavor or taste when using any of these substitutes. If you do try any of these substitutes while cooking, be sure to let me know how it goes as I always look forward to feedback from my readers.

Healthy Butter Substitutes

Looking for some healthier substitutes for butter? Check out the infographic!

I love this list of butter substitutes. I don't cook with butter all that often so these are really helpful! Using avocado is my favorite substitute!

Infrographic from Sheknows.

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