13 Best Butter Extract Substitutes For You

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Different food extracts are used to deepen the flavor of your dishes. To name a few, we have vanilla extract, almond extract, coffee extract, lemon extract, and butter extract. There’s also caramel extract. It is a bit rare so you can use its substitutes. Find them all here!

butter on a table

Although, I ain’t the biggest fan of butter (yeah, I don’t like buttering up!), I can’t be astounded enough by the buttery deliciousness it gives to my dishes and cakes. Butter extract promises that butter taste which is a perfect addition to your recipes!  

Keeping healthy eating in mind, I decided to bake a few cookies for my son. But things went awry when I found out I was out of butter extract. My mother came to the rescue and confided in me the best substitutes for butter extract, which did wonders like the original.  Curious enough?

Some of the best butter extract substitutes are butter, vanilla extract, almond extract, vegan butter, and butter flavoring.

Are you wondering what butter is, what its extract is, and why we are even discussing substitutes? Following scribbles are dedicated to the nosy food preparers!

Quick Peek: Butter Extract

Butter Extract

The sections that follow are like a mini-guide to butter extract – we are going to talk about its uses, flavor, texture, culinary uses, and health benefits.

What Is Butter Extract?

Butter extract is the extract of butter. It is prepared by boiling butter with water and straining the mixture. It is used in cooking to enhance the flavor. There are other ways by which butter extract can be prepared. Using artificial flavors like vanilla or lemon is one of them. 

Is Butter Extract Same As Butter Flavor?

Okay! So, you must be wondering if extracts and flavors are the same. While the terms are often used interchangeably, they aren’t actually the same. Specifically, there is a noticeable difference when it comes to our discussion topic.

Butter flavoring is prepared by mixing the components present in the butter with water or alcohol. Your end product is a buttery liquid with loads of butter flavor! 

Describing Butter Extract: Flavor and Consistency

Butter extract is used to simulate the flavor of butter in recipes. So it is easy to surmise that butter extract has a creamy, buttery flavor. Being an extract, it has a liquid consistency. 

Uses of Butter Extract

As I have reckoned before, butter extract is your answer if you want the goodness of butter with less fat content. It is primarily used to improve the flavor of baked food products. 

It simulates butter’s real flavor and richness and renders a unique buttery taste to your baking expeditions; cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pancakes, waffles, and pastries. It is also used for frosting purposes along with almond and vanilla.  

Butter Extract on The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Butter extract is the resultant liquid when you boil butter in water and strain the mixture. It doesn’t hold a significant place on the health radar (although it’s a queen on the flavor radar). That said, butter can be beneficial in supporting bone health and preventing the risk of osteoporosis. Butter contains saturated fat, which is imperative for optimum brain functioning.

Why Should We Substitute Butter Extract?

Butter extract is a delicious addition to your recipes, be it cakes or cookies. If you are an avid user, there is a chance that you might run out of it sooner than you imagine. That puts you in the Code Red situation.

Also, if you are refraining from anything that might contribute to those extra inches on your waist, butter might be on the list, and consequently, you might want to avoid butter extract.

All these reasons force you to seek alternatives. Not to worry, I have a list of easily available butter extract substitutes that work amazingly well. Shall we get into the good part then?

10 Best Butter Extract Substitutes

Let’s see what are the butter extract substitutes that you can use. The thirteen best butter extract substitutes are as follows:

1. Butter


Uh oh! No, I am not messing with you. What else can you substitute butter extract with more than the primary source itself? Butter! Real, salted, or unsalted butter is the finest way to acquire that buttery, creamy deliciousness in your recipes.

Go for unsalted butter as the ideal butter extract substitute so that your salt preferences can be adjusted accordingly while cooking. I am certain butter is positively available in almost every grocery shop nearby you.

You can also use some sweet creamy butter. Don’t know how to make it. Well, here’s the recipe for sweet creamy butter.

2. Vanilla Extract

vanilla extract

Vanilla extract is the most commonly used butter extract substitute, not for its flavor but just for the namesake (extract!). Vanilla extract (my precious!) is made by soaking vanilla beans in water. It can replace butter extract and render that rich, creamy, and warm flavor.

You can opt for vanilla extract as the best alternative for butter extract in sweet-baked food products and strictly not in every other dish called butter extract. Hmmm….wondering the quantity required to replace? Read on to find out!

Also, want to know a great and unique way you can use vanilla extract? Well, just make vanilla brownies. I have the recipe for vanilla brownies right here with me.

3. Almond Butter

almond butter

For making cakes, cookies, and brownies, almond butter is a viable option as a butter extract substitute. It assuredly gives you that unique, rich, buttery flavor, adding depth to your preparation simultaneously.

Vegans must be relieved with this substitute as it is dairy-free. But those who are allergic to nuts must be crossing their eyebrows by now. 

4. Vegan Butter

Vegan butter, also known as plant-based butter, is prepared by mixing plant-based oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, or palm oil with water. Vegan butter doesn’t contain dairy since it is made from plant-based oils. 

Vegan butter feels very much like regular butter. It has a rich, delicious creamy flavor and buttery texture. Being low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat, vegan butter is a healthy alternative to butter extract.

5. Butter Flavoring

Butter flavoring is essentially a mix of the isolated components of butter, such as diacetyl (which is responsible for making butter what it is) and alcohol or water. It obviously has a flavor similar to butter – to be more precise, it is intensely flavorful and is a clear, transparent liquid.

In baking recipes, butter flavoring is one of the ideal butter extract substitutes since it can render the exact creamy flavor of butter.  

6. Olive Oil

olive oil

Olive oil is another worthy butter extract substitute that can make your recipes super rich in flavor and ultra glossy. Choosing extra virgin or light olive oil is highly recommended if you wish to saute meat or veggies.

But you should take care and ensure that you don’t fry or roast using olive at high temperatures. Olive oil may not be a great substitute in recipes that include baking. 

Want to know a great recipe you can make with olive oil? Here’s the recipe for mustard chicken with olive oil.

7. Applesauce


Applesauce is the oil-free, healthy substitute for butter extract with which you can replace butter extract. Unsweetened and homemade applesauce can give moisture and richness to your baking recipes. However, not all recipes can yield successful results.

The demand for your recipe has to be understood before choosing applesauce as the option. You can only use applesauce for soft recipes and not in recipes that demand a crispy or crunchy texture.

8. Almond Extract 

Almond Extract

Almond extract is a versatile ingredient that is made by combining almond oil and ethyl alcohol. It is a richly flavored extract used to enrich cookies, cakes, cheesecakes, muffins, pancakes, and desserts.

The best thing about almond extract is that it tastes nothing like almonds since bitter almonds are used to make oil and eventually bitter almond oil. Almond extract has a strong, sweet flavor.

So how does almond extract work as a substitute? The almond extract may not give you the buttery flavor you are hoping for, but it can perk up the flavor of your recipe altogether, thus becoming a considerable butter extract substitute.

9. Greek Yogurt

greek yogurt

Greek yogurt makes your baked food moist and tender, similar to butter extract. Not to mention the tangy flavor that compliments the food. Greek yogurt can make your cakes richer and denser than the cakes made using butter extract, making it one of the finest replacements for butter extract.

I have one such recipe that showcases how yogurt can be great in a cake. It’s the bubblegum cake recipe and it’s right here.

10. Canola Oil

canola oil

Canola oil is another worthy substitute for butter extract as it gives rich texture and moisture. It doesn’t yield a flavor and therefore doesn’t add to any flavor. But it has been successfully swapped with butter extract to get fat-free dishes.

One such example where canola oil is of great help in baking is the Outback Steakhouse bread recipe. You can find the recipe for Outback Steakhouse bread here!

11. Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is obtained from pressing sunflower seeds. It comprises linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fat, and oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, making it a supreme healthy ingredient.

Sunflower oil is available in both refined and cold-pressed forms. Refined sunflower oil has a neutral taste, and cold-pressed forms have a nutty, buttery flavor making it a considerable substitute for butter extract. 

12. Ghee


Ghee is simply butter that has been simmered and strained. That is, ghee is clarified butter with all of its moisture extracted. Ghee has a flavor that is buttery but with slight undertones of a nutty, roast flavor as well. It has to be noted that the flavor of ghee differs according to the quality of milk that is used to prepare it.  

You might have seen ghee in different textures. Ever wondered the reason behind that? Ghee comprises many fatty acids which have various melting points, and this allows ghee to exist with different textures. You can notice ghee in solid, creamy as well as liquid consistencies.

So, how does ghee work as a butter extract substitute? Ghee has a high melting point which makes it capable of being used for any cooking process, and its nutty, profound buttery flavor makes it a worthy alternative for butter extract.

13. DIY Butter Extract

What if you run out of substitutes for butter extract? If you have a cup of butter at home, you can very well prepare your own butter extract quite easily.

Add butter and water to a pan and bring the mixture to a boil. (Be cautious not to burn the butter lest you want the enriching flavor ruined). After cooling the mixture, press and separate butter from the mixture and the remnant water you hold in your own version of butter extract.

How Can You Use These Substitutes Instead Of Butter Extract?

 While I have listed out the substitutes, you must have cursed me for not mentioning the measurements. Bursting the bubble, let me indulge you in the measurements of some of the substitutes needed to be swapped with butter extract.    

The SubstituteRequired Amount (to replace 1 teaspoon Butter Extract)
Butter¼ cup
Vanilla Extract1 teaspoon
Almond Butter1 teaspoon
Olive Oil½ teaspoon
Applesauce1 teaspoon
Greek Yogurt1 teaspoon
Canola Oil¾ teaspoon

A Short Recap

So, if the list was long enough for you to remember, let me help you through some points:

Best Butter Extract Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor

  1. Butter
  2. Vegan Butter
  3. Butter Flavoring
  4. Vanilla Extract.

Best Butter Extract Substitutes In Terms Of Texture-

  1. Vanilla Extract
  2. Almond extract
  3. Butter flavoring
  4. Ghee
  5. DIY butter extract

Best Butter Extract Substitutes In Terms Of Availability

  1. Butter
  2. Vegan butter
  3. Almond butter
  4. Vanilla extract
  5. Ghee
  6. Olive oil

How To Substitute Butter Extract In Different Recipes

butter on a table

Butter Extract Substitutes

Some of the best butter extract substitutes are butter, vanilla extract, almond extract, vegan butter, and butter flavoring.
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  • Butter
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Almond Butter
  • Vegan Butter
  • Butter Flavoring
  • Olive Oil
  • Applesauce
  • Almond Extract
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Canola Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Ghee
  • DIY Butter Extract


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


You now have a clear understanding that there are easily available butter extract substitutes you can lay your hand on if you are out of butter extract. But utmost care has to be taken while choosing the type of substitute.

Every recipe has to cater to certain demands and choosing a substitute that fulfills those demands is quite significant.

Some of the substitutes work only for savory dishes, while others work only in baking recipes. Depending on the texture and taste of your recipe, feel free to try out these substitutes and enjoy your dishes! See you next time with another article.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Can you make your own butter extract?

Butter extract can be easily made at home by boiling butter in water and straining out the mixture. 

 Can I use melted butter instead of butter extract?

Melted butter can be used instead of butter extract.

Does butter extract taste like butter?

Butter extract imitates the flavor of butter which is why butter is the ideal substitute for butter extract.

How to convert butter into butter extract?

Unsalted butter that weighs half a pound should be mixed with a cup of water to convert it into a cup of butter extract.

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