6 Best Oil Substitutes for Butter


Butter is a key ingredient used in cooking and baking. It adds flavor, contributes to the texture and mouthfeel of the recipe.

However, some may want to avoid butter due to dietary restrictions or are lactose intolerant. Some may run out of butter and want a replacement. In such instances, oil works well as a substitute for butter, especially if the recipe calls for melted butter.

This article will discuss different oil substitutes for butter without imparting the dish’s taste and texture.

6 Best Substitute Oil for Butter

This subsection will list different oil substitutes for butter. As oils are liquid, you may have to reduce its amount or other liquids in the recipe when substituting for butter. Also, due to butter’s versatile nature, choose an oil alternative that may mimic the same characteristics as butter in the particular dish.

Olive Oil

Olive oil obtained from the olive fruit is rich in monosaturated fatty acids and antioxidants, making it a healthy choice for cooking.

Olive oil may substitute butter for sautéing, pan-frying, or roasting in cooking pasta dishes and savory meals. Use ¾ cup of olive oil for 1 cup of butter.

However, it may not replace butter in baking dishes that require cold, solid fat to create dough. Instead, it may work well in recipes that call for melted butter. It may also work well as spreads.


Olive oil may be a healthy substitute for butter in savory and baking dishes that require melted butter.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an edible oil derived from mature coconuts with medium-chain triglycerides that has potential health benefits.

Coconut oil may be substituted for butter anywhere from sauteeing to cooking savory dishes due to its versatile nature of being both solid and liquid.

It may substitute butter in the baking dishes at a 1:1 ratio. However, it may slightly change the flavor of dishes as it has a distinct taste. In such cases, refined coconut oil may be used to yield a neutral-tasting product.


Coconut oil with similar properties as the butter may substitute for butter in both cooking and baking.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is a blend of oil from oil-bearing seeds including, corn, cottonseeds, peanuts, palm nuts, and soybeans, that remain liquid at a lower temperature. It has a mild flavor and may replace butter for cookies, cakes, and bread.

Substitute ¾ cup of vegetable oil for every cup of butter in the baking recipe. However, it may not work well in recipes that require creaming.


Vegetable oil may substitute butter, especially in baking dishes. However, it may not be a healthy alternative.

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseeds are the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, dietary fiber, and lignans. Flaxseed oil obtained from cold pressing the oil from seeds is versatile. It may substitute butter in baked goods, such as muffins, cookies, and bread.

Flaxseed oil adds a nutty taste and boosts texture. It gives a reduced-calorie product with an enhanced nutritional profile and good sensory properties. However, it is not recommended for frying as it may undergo oxidation giving off-flavors.


Flaxseed oil may substitute butter in baking dishes to increase its nutritional value.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil obtained from avocado is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that have been associated with cardiovascular system benefits and anti-inflammatory effects.

It has a neutral flavor that may work as a substitute for butter. It may also work in place of melted butter in savory dishes. However, many prefer pureed avocadoes as a butter substitute for its creamy nature.


Avocado oil may be a heart-healthy substitute for butter due to its neutral flavor profile.

Safflower Oil

Safflower oil is produced from safflower seeds. It includes a high-linoleic acid type that is rich in polyunsaturated fats and a high-oleic acid type rich in monounsaturated fats. American Heart Association calls these healthy fats.

It is a good all-purpose oil with a neutral flavor and may substitute butter in cooking. Polyunsaturated safflower oil may be suited for cooking over lower heat or for raw preparations, and the monounsaturated type may be ideal for cooking at high temperatures.


Safflower oil is a less popular choice that may be a healthy substitute for butter in both cooking over low heat and frying.


When not to use oil for butter?

Oil may not work for butter in the recipe, which requires creaming. When creaming, butter imparts air into products, entrap gases from leavening agents, and produces a fluffy texture. However, using liquid oil may make a flat product.

When is the smoke point of oils?

Smoke point is the temperature at which the oil starts smoking and produces toxic fumes. Different oils have different smoke points due to their chemical properties. One with low smoke points is ideal as salad dressings and dips, whereas oils with higher smoke points are used for frying.

Bottom Line

Butter is a popular cooking and baking ingredient that some want to avoid due to dietary restrictions and personal preference.

There are plenty of oils that may replace butter in baking, spread, and savory dishes. You may experiment with different alternatives and choose the one that provides the desired consistency and flavor.

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About Barbara Foster

Barbara is a traveler who has traveled to more than 25 countries. She loves the variety of food she gets to experience on her trips and maintains detailed journals of her travels which she plans to publish as a book someday. She loves to bake. Her favorite cuisines are Italian, French, and Mexican.