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    Butter Substitute

    Butter, one of the tastiest and most useful ingredients out there. Some might say you can’t live without it. But they would be wrong.

    As it turns out, there are many butter substitutes that will fulfill your cooking and baking needs. And we have collected the 12 best substitutes for butter you can find!

    How is Butter Used in Cooking and Baking?

    Butter’s main function is leavening. This means it helps baked goods rise and gives them a light, airy texture. 

    It is also used as a greaser for pans, to enhance the flavor of what is being cooked, and spread on goodies for a yummy snack.

    Why Use Butter Replacements?

    Everyone is different, and may choose to substitute butter for different reasons. The most popular are:

    • For health – Butter is significantly high in saturated fat. This may cause some people to avoid it, as it could cause heart complications and possibly raise cholesterol levels.
    • Vegan lifestyle – Because butter is a dairy product and produced from animals, vegans cannot use it, causing them to seek butter substitutes.
    • Lactose Intolerance – People who are lactose intolerant have trouble digesting lactose products, so it is better to use butter alternatives.
    • Allergy – Butter is made from milk, which is an allergen for some. Even if butter can be consumed in small amounts, it is still wiser to seek replacements.
    • All out – Some may choose to use alternatives for butter simply because they ran out while cooking or baking.

    If any of these sound like you, read on for 12 life-changing butter substitutes!

    Need a butter substitute? No worries! This list of egg alternatives have something suitable for every need.

    The Best Butter Substitutes

    1. Coconut Oil

    Because of coconut oil’s structure, it can be used as a 1:1 replacement for butter. It is important to note, coconut oil has high fat as well, and is on the sweeter side.

    It would be a better butter substitution for baking, and for those who are not using alternatives for health reasons.

    2. Vegetable Oil

    Oil is very similar to butter in terms of fat content, so it is an easy alternative for butter if you simply ran out or cannot have it.

    It is extremely versatile, but I most recommend using it as a butter substitute for cookies if you want them crispy on the outside, and as a pan greaser.

    However, it does not have a water content like butter, so recipes might have a denser feel to them. Use ¾ cup of vegetable oil for 1 cup of butter.

    3. Olive Oil

    Olive oil has little differences to vegetable oil, but it may leave a flavor behind. Because of this, use it as a butter substitute for cooking or when you wouldn’t mind a hint of the flavor. Use ¾ cup of olive oil for 1 cup of butter.

    4. Margarine

    Perhaps the most common, and most accurate butter substitute, margarine is a butter-like spread made from vegetable oil. It is also a 1:1 replacement.

    5. Unsweetened Applesauce

    Applesauce is a good low-fat butter alternative. However, the lower fat content makes recipes denser, so keep that in mind. Use ½  cup of applesauce for 1 cup of butter.

    6. Shortening

    Shortening acts as a leavening agent, allowing baked goods to rise, making it a prime butter substitute for baking. It is also a 1:1 replacement for butter. 

    7. Buttermilk

    Buttermilk can be a great alternative because of its moisture and flavor. Use 1⁄2 cup of buttermilk for 1 cup of butter.

    However, buttermilk mixed with applesauce can make a spot-on butter replacement. Mix ¼ cup buttermilk and ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce to replace 1 cup of butter.

    8. Mayonnaise 

    Even though mayo may sound strange, it can be a fabulous butter substitute for cooking because of its consistency.

    It is best used when frying things like grilled cheese and scrambled eggs. Use as a 1:1 substitute.

    9. Yogurt

    Plain Greek yogurt can be used as a delectable butter substitute for cooking and baking. It is a little thicker than butter, so it makes recipes richer and creamier.

    If the recipe calls for more than ½ cup of butter, use half the amount of yogurt (think ½ cup yogurt for 1 cup butter). If the recipe calls for ½ cup or less, use a 1:1 ratio.

    10. Mashed Banana

    Bananas are sweet and can make baked goods dense, so it is recommended to use them as a butter substitute for cookies, cakes, and breads. Use a 1:1 replacement.

    11. Mashed Avocado

    Avocado is a fantastic butter alternative because of its vitamin content, high fiber, and similar fat content. Even though it seems odd, avocados have a neutral flavor and will absorb the flavors of other ingredients.

    Because of the texture, they would work best as a butter substitute for desserts like brownies. They are a 1:1 replacement for butter.

    12. Pumpkin Puree

    Pumpkin puree is ideal for breads (like banana and pumpkin), and other goodies the flavor wouldn’t clash with. It is again a 1:1 butter substitute.

    As you can see, there are plenty of options available to you. I hope you enjoyed your journey for butter replacements. Be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate’s newsletter and stay tuned for more kitchen tips!

    featured image for butter replacement post

    12 BEST Butter Substitutes

    Need a butter substitute? No worries! This list of butter alternatives have something suitable for every need.


    • coconut oil
    • vegetable oil
    • olive oil
    • margarine
    • unsweetened apple sauce
    • shortening
    • buttermilk
    • mayonnaise
    • yogurt
    • mashed banana
    • mashed avocado
    • pumpkin puree


    1. Choose a butter substitute that best meets your needs.
    2. Replace the butter in your recipe using the amounts given in the post.

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    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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