Vegetable Oil and Butter Substitute for Baking

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A common question I get on many of our baking recipes is: “What is a substitute for butter”. To answer that question, we’ve gathered up some of our favorite substitutes for butter and oil in baking that you can try in your own kitchen. These are substitutes that many of us can find easily and already have in our pantry and are great for homemade cake recipes, cookies, and many baked goods.

substitute for butter options.

There are often times we want to make our favorite recipes and the recipe calls for oil or butter which, to our horror, we don’t have. Or, some are lactose intolerant and need to find another option. Rather than freak out, these are some of the substitutes we find instead.

Many of these substitutes will be so good that you will find yourself using the healthier options MORE often than the oil and butter counterparts. And why not? If you can use a veggie or fruit and achieve the same (sometimes better!) results…do so!

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Great ideas for oil and butter alternatives in baking. What can you use to substitute butter in cookies? This will tell you!

Alternatives for 1 cup of oil in baking:

1 cup oil = 1 cup applesauce
1 cup oil = 1 cup pumpkin or squash puree
1 cup oil= 1/2 cup banana, pear puree, peach puree

What is a substitute for butter (1 cup) in baking?:

1 cup butter = 1 cup applesauce
1 cup of butter= 3/4 cup of avocado (best used in chocolatey baking)
1 cup butter = 3/4 cup beet puree (best used in rich cakes, red velvet!)
1 cup butter = 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (best for spiced baked goods)
1 cup butter = 1/2 cup banana, pear puree, peach puree
1 cup butter = 1 cup coconut oil

Can I substitute vegetable oil instead of butter in all instances?

Yes, mostly. For every 1/4 cup of butter, use 4 tablespoons of oil. But be warned, this substitute doesn’t work for recipes that call for creaming the butter and sugar together. That, unfortunately needs the real butter.

What is a good substitute for butter in cookies?

For most recipes, you can sub out a liquid oil in slightly less quantity than the recipe calls for (see the tip above). Be aware that if a recipe calls for salted butter, you will want to add a bit of salt to the recipe. And, if possible, only sub out PART of the butter with the oil. This will help make sure it tastes as great as possible and has good texture.

What is a good substitute for butter and oil in brownies?

Yes!! You can substitute butter and oil with applesauce or Greek yogurt. Even Avocado. Applesauce will give you a more cake-like texture. My favorite is Greek yogurt but experiment with your own.

What about Greek Yogurt? Can that be used to substitute for butter?

Not completely. But, you can certainly sub out HALF of the butter. Just don’t replace all if it with Greek Yogurt.

Can I use coconut oil for baking?

Coconut oil is a bit tricky to simply replace the butter. For recipes that call for melted butter, it would probably work fine. But recipes for pie crusts, scones, cakes, and other recipes calling for soft butter to be creamed…don’t use coconut oil.


I hope this gives you some healthier options for oil and butter in your baking, or simply helps you out when you run out of one when you are making your favorite recipes. We use many of these substitutes on a regular basis, simply because we run out of butter.

By the way, YES…you can absolutely freeze butter. Stock up when it is on sale and keep it in your freezer.

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