15 Butter Substitutes For Baking | KitchenAid (2024)

15 Butter Substitutes For Baking | KitchenAid (1)

Butter is a kitchen staple that gives many baked goods and dishes an undeniably delicious, rich flavor. This versatile ingredient is used in baking and sautéing every day in kitchens across the world. It helps make baked goods tender and tasty, it enhances soups and sauces and it’s wonderful spread on bread and rolls. If you’re wondering how to substitute butter because you’re out of it, you want to mix things up, you’re vegan or you just want to cut back on it, there are a number of butter alternatives for baking and cooking that make terrific, craveable dishes.

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WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF BUTTER IN BAKING?

Butter is a solid fat—comprised of about 80% fat and 20% water and milk solids—that not only adds delicious flavor to baked foods, it also adds moisture, helps ingredients from sticking together, helps baked goods rise and creates a tender crumb by preventing strong gluten from forming. Butter also has the advantage of melting evenly and absorbing surrounding flavors well. This in turn, can help create consistent flavor throughout a recipe.

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WHAT ARE BUTTER ALTERNATIVES FOR BAKING?

There are a number of fats and other ingredients that can be used in place of butter in baking and cooking. It’s important to understand the role of butter in the dish you’re preparing to help determine the best ingredient for swapping with butter. Read on to understand how the following 15 ingredients can act as butter substitutes for different recipes and dishes.

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1. MARGARINE

Margarine is a fat that is made mostly from vegetable oil that’s flavored to taste like butter. It can make a suitable stand-in for butter—particularly for baked goods—because it can create a softer texture due to its high water content. You can use a 1:1 substitution of margarine for butter. The downside to this ingredient is that it’s highly processed, so you’ll want to use it sparingly.

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2. SHORTENING

Shortening is 100% fat, made from hydrogenated vegetable oils. It has a neutral flavor that allows other ingredients to shine through. Like margarine, it can be used in a 1:1 substitution for butter. The solid fat form of shortening doesn’t completely mix with dry ingredients when it’s cut into them; this creates marbling in dough, resulting in light, flaky pie crusts and biscuits. It’s also useful for creating stable icings, and can be used for frying chicken and other proteins. Look for butter-flavored shortenings for a closer resemblance to real butter.

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3. OLIVE OIL & VEGETABLE OIL

Olive and vegetable oils can be swapped out for butter in many recipes and can help create moist, tender baked goods. Cookies and cakes baked with olive oil have a light, fruity flavor, while vegetable oil is neutral oil so it doesn’t impart any flavor. If your recipe calls for butter, you’ll want to cut down on the amount of oil used to compensate for the extra liquid. Use ¾ of oil for every cup of butter. If your recipe calls for melted butter, you can make a 1:1 swap for oil. Oil won’t make suitable butter substitutes for things that rely on fat to remain solid like frosting. Although it will impart a different flavor than butter, oil makes a great butter substitute for cooking sautéd dishes.

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4. COCONUT OIL

You can substitute coconut oil for butter in a 1:1 ratio. The oil—which can be both a solid and a liquid—can bring a coconut taste to foods, so it works seamlessly in chocolate dishes or dishes with tropical flavor profiles. Use it for a wide variety of baked goods and to help create a crisp cookie texture. Using refined coconut oils will helpminimize the coconut flavor. This recipe for Coconut Curry Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup gets all its fat and deliciousness from coconut oil and coconut milk.

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5. PUMPKIN PURÉE

Pumpkin purée makes a tasty, nutrient-rich butter alternative in baking. Not only does pumpkin bring a sweetness to baked goods, it also can bring creaminess and a seasonal warmth. Use a 3:4 ratio when subbing pumpkin purée for butter; so, like oil, you’ll want to use ¾ of purée for every cup of butter the recipe calls for. Use a KitchenAid® food processor to make a silky purée for butter substitutions.

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6. APPLESAUCE

Unsweetened applesauce makes a great butter substitute for lightening up brownies, cookies, cakes and quick breads. For every cup of butter called for, use 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce.

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7. GREEK YOGURT

Greek yogurt has a consistency closer to solid, rather than melted butter. When used properly it will help lighten baked goods up with a creamy, tangy goodness reminiscent of buttermilk. If you’re using a cup of butter or less, replace the butter with 1 cup of full-fat Greek yogurt. If your recipe calls for more than a cup of butter, you’ll need to tweak the flour in your recipe by adding about ¼ cup more to compensate for the yogurt’s extra moisture.

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8. BANANAS

Bananas bring a creamy, fruity goodness to dense baked goods. Substitute an equal amount of ripe bananas for the butter in your recipe for cakes, muffins, breads and some cookies, including oatmeal.

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9. PLANT-BASED BUTTER

Although slightly different in flavor than regular butter, vegan butters can be used in a 1:1 ratio to produce baked goods and frostings that are similar in texture to those baked with dairy butter. Plant-based butters are also tasty on bread and rolls, can be used for sautéing and are delicious drizzled over vegetables.

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10. AVOCADO OIL

Avocado oil, which is subtly fruity in taste, has a high smoke point, making it a good butter substitute for searing, sautéing and even frying doughnuts. It also makes a great drizzle instead of butter for foods like fish. Replace the butter in your recipe with an equal amount of avocado oil.A puréed avocado can also be used in a 1:1 swap with butter for another tasty alternative.

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11. MAYONNAISE

The eggs and oil in mayonnaise can add moisture and richness to both sweet and savory dishes. Use it for decadent chocolate cakes or to bring a creamy texture to doughs. Next time you make a grilled cheese, spread the outside of the bread with mayo instead of butter to achieve a golden brown, crisp sandwich.

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12. GHEE

Ghee is butter that’s been cooked and strained until the water and milk-solids are separated and then removed, creating a type of concentrated or clarified butter with a rich, nutty taste. Ghee can be used like butter in a 1:1 swap. Use it for baked goods, and because the water has been removed, it has a higher smoking point than butter, so it’s great for frying and sautéing as well.

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13. NUT BUTTER

Rich, tasty and nutrient-dense, nut butters like almond, cashew, peanut and tahini make excellent butter substitutes for baking and cooking. They will help retain moisture in batter and dough and give your baked goods and other dishes a nutty flavor. In addition to being a tasty ingredient in dishes, they are delicious spread over breads and rolls. These vegan and gluten-free Chocolate Tahini Cookies get their craveable, nutty goodness from tahini instead of butter.

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14. CHEESE

Cream cheese, mascarpone, ricotta and even cottage cheese can replace the butter in many recipes. Use high-quality whole milk cheeses in a 1:1 ratio for butter and consider straining ricotta or cottage cheeses through cheesecloth to help ensure they aren’t adding too much liquid to your recipe.

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15. HUMMUS

Hummus is a Mediterranean dip typically made from chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon and spices. It can be used instead of butter in soups and sauces and is delicious spread over pita or other breads and rolls.

TIP: HOMEMADE BUTTER IN A STAND MIXER

If you’re out of dairy butter or you want to ensure great homemade quality and freshness, consider making your own butter. The only ingredient you need for homemade butter is two pints of heavy cream. Use a KitchenAid® stand mixer with the wire whip accessory to whip it up with little effort.

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WHAT ARE SUBSTITUTES FOR MELTED BUTTER IN BAKING?

If your recipe calls for melted butter, you can replace it in a 1:1 ratio with any of the oils mentioned above. Because they contain a lot of liquid, applesauce and pumpkin purée can also be swapped for melted butter, but they may create a denser baked good.

WHAT ARE SOME VEGAN BUTTER SUBSTITUTE OPTIONS?

Plant-based butters are excellent vegan butter substitutes. Not only are they easy to swap out with butter in baked goods and cooking, they are also tasty spread on veggies, potatoes, breads and muffins. Plant-based oils also make good stand-ins for butter. Pure coconut oil, in particular, can mimic all the properties of butter, making it an ideal butter alternative for baking and cooking.Learn more about different vegan substitutes to use for baking.

BUTTER SUBSTITUTES FOR BAKING, COOKING, SPREADING, CREAMING, VEGAN

BAKINGCOOKINGSPREADINGCREAMINGVEGAN
MARGARINEXXXXX*
VEGETABLE SHORTENINGXXXX
OLIVE/VEGETABLE OILXXX
COCONUT OILXXXX
PUMPKIN PURÉEXX
APPLESAUCEXX
GREEK YOGURTXX
BANANASXX
PLANT-BASED BUTTERXXXXX
AVOCADO OILXXX
AVOCADOXXXXX
MAYONNAISEXXX
GHEEXXXX
NUT BUTTERSXXXXX
CHEESEXXX
HUMMUSXXXX

*Margarines without milk or whey

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WHAT RECIPES CAN I USE BUTTER ALTERNATIVES FOR?

There is a suitable butter substitute for any recipe that calls for butter. Use oils for recipes that call for melted butter and solid alternatives like shortenings and margarine for recipes that call for cold or solid fats—including pastries and buttercreams. Consider swapping out applesauce, bananas and pumpkin purées for butter to lighten up baked goods recipes. Use cheeses, nut butters and hummus for some baked goods and spread recipes.

You won’t miss the butter (or flour) in this gluten-free and vegan Damp Lemon Almond Cake. It uses a combination of olive oil and unsweetened applesauce for a tender, flavorful dairy-free cake. Use the KitchenAid® blender to whip up the ingredients. Or, try this Lemon Yogurt Olive Oil Cake that gets its unctuousness from olive oil and tangy Greek yogurt. The batter comes together seamlessly in a KitchenAid® stand mixer with the .1

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EXPLORE KITCHENAID® COUNTERTOP APPLIANCES

Whether you’re blending pumpkin purée with a KitchenAid® immersion blender or creaming ingredients in a KitchenAid® stand mixer for cakes and cookies, you’ll find everything you need to create imaginative and craveworthy dishes with the KitchenAid® countertop appliances collection.

DISCOVER MORE BAKING TIPS FROM KITCHENAID BRAND

  • How To Make Butter In A Stand Mixer Learn how to make homemade butter in a KitchenAid® stand mixer. This butter recipe is simple to follow and easy to make with a stand mixer and accessories.
  • How to Soften Butter in a Microwave If you forgot to take your butter out ahead of time, learn the method of softening butter quickly with a microwave and explore tips on how not to melt your butter.
  • How to Cut Butter into Flour Cutting butter into flour can be done a few ways. You can use knives, a pastry cutter or a food processor to cut butter. Learn methods for cutting in butter.

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15 Butter Substitutes For Baking | KitchenAid (2024)

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