14 Best Butter Substitutes That You Can Try!

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Butter has to be one of the most multipurpose ingredients in the kitchen. From baking to cooking and as a spread, there are many ways to use butter! But, if you are all out of the same at the last moment, look at some of the best butter substitutes here! 

Best Butter Substitutes

The best substitutes you can use in place of butter in many recipes are olive oil, margarine, vegan butter, peanut butter, Greek yogurt, shortening, coconut oil, prune butter, Mayonnaise, cream cheese, avocados, and banana. 

Butter does make everything better, for sure! It adds a lot of needed moisture to baked goodies and sauces and works very well for rendering different ingredients. But let us also remember the fact that butter is delicious! 

The aroma that butter gives out when you render garlic or even certain herbs cannot be compared with anything else! However, there are many reasons why people are ditching butter lately and instead looking for some substitutes. 

This could be because of several reasons, like turning vegan, looking for healthier options, or even lactose intolerance. Whatever your reason, switching out butter for a substitute in most recipes is effortless. 

Yes, the substitute you must pick depends on your plan to use butter. This is because only some substitutes can work for all recipes. But you will find details about which substitute works best for what kind of purpose, all in this blog post! So, let’s get right into it! 

14 Best Butter Substitutes

In this section, you will find the best substitutes you can use instead of butter. Along with their substitution ratios, I have also mentioned what recipe each substitute will work best in. Have a look! 

1. Olive Oil

olive oil last

Butter is a type of fat, so one of the most apparent substitutes must be oil! Here I have talked about olive oil, particularly for a few reasons. Olive oil has a smoking point similar to butter so it can work well for sauteing. 

Moreover, olive oil is also a much healthier option that can be used in place of butter. This is a good option if you are trying to make your food a little healthier. You can also consider using vegetable or canola oil if you would like. 

I recommend not using certain types of oils that have a sharp flavor. Moreover, oil might substitute butter in a few baking recipes, but not all. For cooking purposes, do a direct substitution of butter with olive oil. 

2. Peanut Butter

peanut buttr

Using oil instead of butter in baking recipes might not be the best idea ever. But if you use oil mixed with peanut butter, I can guarantee it will work well in most baking recipes! 

Peanut butter is a good option for most baked goods, especially cookies, sweet pie crusts, and cakes. This is because most of these recipes require the butter and sugar to be creamed together, which creates air pockets. 

This favors the baked good, and peanut butter also helps retain moisture. However, the flavor of baked goods might change slightly, so keep that in mind. To use peanut butter as a substitute, combine it with equal amounts of oil and then do a direct swap. 

3. Margarine


This fat type is widely used in baking and often by vegans in place of butter. It is one of the best vegan alternatives to butter, as it provides a similar texture. However, this is only the case for some recipes. 

Margarine is a good substitute option for many recipes, like cookies and cakes, mainly because these recipes rely on butter for moisture. However, there might be better options than margarine in recipes where butter adds texture. 

This goes for pie crust recipes and even puff pastry and croissant doughs. Margarine has a bland flavor compared to butter and will not make these products flaky or light. However, in other baking recipes, a direct swap will work just fine. 

4. Vegan Butter

vegan butter and milk

This option is similar to margarine, also made with plant-based oils. However, there is also a massive difference between the two types of fats, especially in terms of their properties. 

Unlike margarine, vegan butter gives baked products a lighter and crispier texture. So, vegan butter can be used in baking recipes like pie crusts and other flaky dough recipes. 

Vegan butter is also a good option for denser recipes, like cakes, cookies, and more. But there might be better options in recipes where butter is added for flavor since vegan butter tends to have a bland taste. In other recipes, you can directly swap the two ingredients. 

5. Shortening

Shortening substitutes

Like vegan butter and margarine, this is another obvious substitute for butter. However, it is again different. Shortening is made with hydrogenated vegetable fat, meaning it has almost no flavor. 

So, this is different from the substitute you should go for if you want something that matches the butter flavor. However, that being said, shortening has a bunch of lovely qualities, which makes it a lovely substitute. 

Shortening is an excellent option in baked goods since it makes cakes lighter and fluffier than butter. Moreover, shortening is also a good option for frying since it has a higher smoking point than butter. A direct swap of the two should work fine. 

6. Greek Yogurt


Unlike regular yogurt, Greek yogurt tends to have a thicker and fattier texture. For this reason, it can work well as a substitute for butter in quite a few recipes. Of course, Greek yogurt is not the ideal substitute for recipes where butter is heated. 

Moreover, Greek yogurt might not make an ideal substitute for recipes where butter is added for flavor. This is because Greek yogurt tends to carry a slightly sour taste, which is less fatty than butter. 

However, Greek yogurt is an attractive option for most baking recipes. When used in cakes and cookies, Greek yogurt will cut down on fat content and not compromise the overall texture. You can use it as a substitute for butter in the same quantity. 

7. Mayonnaise


This one may seem out there, but hear me out! As you may know, Mayonnaise is made by emulsifying egg yolks with oil. This tends to give it a fatty texture and flavor, which can work perfectly fine in place of butter in many recipes. 

Mayonnaise might not work as the best option in baking recipes, especially cakes, and cookies, which are meant to have a sweet flavor. This is because Mayonnaise has a tangy flavor, which it incorporates into whatever it is mixed with. 

But, Mayonnaise is a good option in recipes like grilled cheese, mashed potatoes, or any such thing where you need that fatty flavor like butter. A direct substitution of the same will work perfectly fine in most cases. 

8. Cream Cheese

Cream cheese

This type of cheese is soft and has a high-fat content, making it work as a butter substitute in several recipes. However, cream cheese is not a good substitute for baked goods like Mayonnaise. 

Mayonnaise provides these recipes with tang but will only do a little to the texture. However, using cream cheese instead of butter in any recipe will highly affect the overall texture, so it’s best to steer clear of the same in this situation. 

But cream cheese can work in recipes with a rich and fatty flavor similar to butter. Cream cheese can be a great addition to mashed potatoes and makes a lovely spread option. In either case, use it in the same quantity as butter in these recipes. 

9. Applesauce


Applesauce is the best place to begin if you are looking for vegan or lactose-free alternatives for butter. Applesauce makes a great substitute for butter in baked recipes and, unlike other substitutes, can work in various recipes. 

Applesauce tends to make baked goodies dense and moist, which favors several recipes. This mainly includes options like bread, cakes, and muffins. However, there are better options than applesauce in recipes where you need a crunchy and flaky texture. 

It includes cookies, pies, tarts, and even puff pastries. Applesauce also imparts a very mildly sweet flavor, which is excellent for dessert recipes. While using it as a substitute for butter, use half the quantity of apple sauce with equal amounts of oil, and then do a direct swap. 

10. Bananas

mashed banana

Similar to applesauce, bananas are an excellent vegan substitute for butter. Moreover, they are also a great substitute option if you want to cut down the fat content in any of your baked goods. Another advantage of using bananas- they are naturally sweet! 

So yes, the advantages of using bananas as a substitute for butter are significant. But can bananas make a good substitute in all recipes? Sadly, no! Bananas are not an option for savory recipes or where butter is used as a spread. 

However, bananas work well in quite a few baked goods. Bananas are a good option for cakes and muffins but not worth considering for bread or tarts. Use half the amount of bananas as the butter in a recipe. 

11. Avocados


This fruit is packed with healthy fats, which makes it a great vegan substitute for butter. However, with avocados, a few things need to be kept in mind. Firstly, to use avocados in any recipe instead of butter, you will need a perfectly ripe and soft one.

Avocados are not an excellent substitute for savory recipes, but they can be used as a spread as they provide a fatty texture. They can work well in baked recipes, but will also alter the flavor and texture. 

Avocados are best used in recipes with other dominant flavors, mainly with chocolate as one ingredient. Moreover, you can directly swap butter with avocados but increase the number of wet ingredients to balance it out. 

12. Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin Puree

If you are fond of the flavor of pumpkins and want to relive the fall all around the year, then pumpkin puree is undoubtedly an option worth considering! Pumpkin puree, too, is fatty and packed with moisture. 

So, due to this, it can work well in place of butter. However, pumpkin puree is not an option in recipes with creamed butter. Instead, pumpkin puree can be used in ready-to-make recipes where butter is used. A direct substitution will work fine. 

13. Prune Puree

Prune Puree

Like the last substitute option, if you are looking for something that also provides a distinct flavor to your baked goods, then prune puree is worth considering. It is naturally sweet and packed with moisture and nutrients. 

Again, similar to pumpkin puree, you might have to use prune puree in more straightforward recipes. There are better options for recipes where the butter is creamed, like most cookies and cakes. 

Moreover, prunes tend to have a dark color and a distinct flavor. So, remember that whatever recipe you use them in, they will add these characteristics to the same. If these are things you are okay with, use equal quantities of prune puree and oil as a substitute for butter in the same amounts. 

14. Coconut Oil


It is one of the most versatile substitutes that can be used in place of butter. Coconut oil works well in sweet and savory recipes and has similar properties to butter. Moreover, coconut oil is also vegan! 

Coconut oil, when in its solid form, can work well in most baked recipes, like cakes, pies, and cookies. Melted coconut oil might not work as a spread, but it is still a good option for cooking and rendering. 

If you want something other than a strong flavor of coconut oil in your food, go for refined coconut oil. If you particularly like the taste of coconut oil, then an unrefined version works fine. In either case, a direct swap can be done while substituting. 

Short Recap For Butter Substitutes

Here is a short recap of the butter substitutes that we just discussed. Here, I have mentioned the best substitutes you can use based on the type of recipe you are looking at. 

Best Butter Substitutes For Cooking: 

  1. Coconut Oil, 
  2. Olive Oil
  3. Vegan Butter

Best Butter Substitutes For Baking Cakes: 

  1. Applesauce
  2. Greek Yogurt
  3. Bananas

Best Butter Substitutes For Baking Flaky Crusts: 

  1. Shortening
  2. Vegan Butter

Best Butter Substitutes To Use As A Spread: 

  1. Avocados
  2. Mayonnaise
  3. Cream Cheese

Best Butter Substitutes That Are Vegan: 

  1. Shortening
  2. Applesauce
  3. Bananas
  4. Prune Puree
  5. Peanut Butter

How To Use Butter Substitutes

Best Butter Substitutes

14 Best Butter Substitutes That You Can Try

The best substitutes you can use in place of butter in many recipes are olive oil, margarine, vegan butter, peanut butter, Greek yogurt, shortening, coconut oil, prune butter, Mayonnaise, cream cheese, avocados, and banana.
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  • Olive Oil
  • Peanut Butter
  • Margarine
  • Vegan Butter
  • Shortening
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cream Cheese
  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Pumpkin Puree
  • Prune Puree
  • Coconut Oil


  • 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 make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Butter is among most kitchens’ most widely and commonly used ingredients. Butter also imparts flavor to most savory recipes and provides texture to baked goods. 

It may seem impossible to look for a substitute option for butter. But luckily, that is not the case at all! There are a bunch of lovely substitutes that work very well in place of butter. 

You can pick the substitute based on the recipe you are working with and the properties you seek. I am sure you will end up cooking a storm! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What sort of banana should be used as a substitute for butter? 

A fully ripe banana or even an overly ripe banana will work fine as a substitute for butter. 

Can margarine be used as a substitute for butter in flaky dough recipes? 

Margarine will provide different qualities than butter, so it is not an excellent option for flaky dough recipes. 

What sort of recipes can avocados work in as a substitute for butter? 

Avocado can work as a spread and in dessert recipes with dominating flavors. 

Can plain yogurt be used as a substitute for butter? 

Plain yogurt is not an ideal substitute option, as it has less fat content than Greek yogurt. 

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