8 Unsalted Butter Alternatives

8 Unsalted Butter Alternatives

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When you begin your baking adventure, you will find yourself reaching for butter often. Butter is a versatile ingredient that gives a magical touch to all of your baked creations. It tenderizes them, makes them flaky, and gives an incredible taste to them. It’s hardly surprising that this substance is so popular.

Although you may already have butter in your fridge ready to use for bread or cooking, it may not be the same butter that is often used in baking (unsalted butter).

You’ll be relieved to learn that you don’t need unsalted butter to bake. In truth, there are other alternatives available. To mention a few, regular salted butter, lard, and coconut oil.

My name is Angie, and I’ve been baking for almost 10 years. Everyone who has opened my fridge knows that butter is a necessity for me, and I always have at least five blocks on hand. What can I say, baker’s issues?

In this essay, I’ll provide you four unsalted butter alternative choices.

Do you want to learn more? Buttercup, fasten your seatbelt.

Why Unsalted Butter?

When you follow a baking recipe, youll notice that even if it clearly asks for unsalted butter, it will also call for salt for some reason.

If you’re anything like me, your eyes would be rolled back at this point because Hello? What’s the point of the additional step? Is it obvious that I have nothing else to do with my time?

I’m kidding, not at this degree of passive-aggressiveness, but you get the idea.

This is done so that the quantity of salt injected can be carefully monitored and regulated. Different brands of salted butter are likely to have varying levels of salt. Recipes might urge you to use unsalted butter and add salt separately to make the dish more simply and consistently repeated.

Substitute 1: Salted Butter (Top Choice)

I know what you’re thinking, but bear with me! Please skip this area if you are a professional chef so that I do not humiliate myself.

When you investigate alternative possibilities, keep in mind that salted and unsalted butter are identical but for the additional salt. A fast and simple, but not always the greatest, solution is to simply decrease or remove the salt in your recipe and replace it with salted butter.

Personally, I am guilty of doing this since salted butter is just more readily available where I reside. Instead of adding additional salt to my brownie, cookie, or buttercream recipes, I use salted butter instead. I feel that the salty properly balances and brings out the sweetness and other tastes, and it also saves me time.

If you’re not too concerned with the precise amount of salt in your recipe, I strongly suggest substituting salted butter for unsalted butter. It may be used in a 1:1 ratio.

Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted for cake?

For the cake, use salted butter instead of unsalted. Therefore, you should minimize the quantity of salt in the dish totally. The last thing you want to bite into is a piece of cake that tastes like sand rather than a wonderful treat.

Substitute 2: Lard

Lard, like butter, is fat derived from an animal, in this instance pigs. Lard is soft and pale in color, and it adds a lot of flavor to baked foods. Lard has a greater fat content (almost 100%) than butter, which only has around 80%.

When substituting butter with lard, use a 1:1 ratio. Nevertheless, since lard contains less water, it is advised that you substitute one cup of unsalted butter with one cup of lard for a more realistic replacement.

I recommend using this substitute in baked foods, such as dough or pie crust. I wouldn’t advocate replacing butter with lard to create buttercream since it would just turn into lard cream, which doesn’t seem very pleasant to me.

Substitute 3: Shortening

Shortening is any solid fat at room temperature. Although lard should legally be included in this category, shortening generally refers to hydrogenated vegetable oil.

Shortening is often used in baking to create flaky pastry. It is less expensive and simpler to regulate than butter, which varies greatly in composition depending on the brand. Shortening has no salt, making it an excellent alternative for butter in baking recipes.

Since shortening, like lard, is just fat, you should use roughly a cup of it for every cup of unsalted butter.

Substitute 4: Coconut Oil

Is there a vegan substitute? It is always an affirmative! Coconut oil, like butter, is high in saturated fat, much more so than butter. It has several health advantages and may be used in both baking and frosting.

Regular, refined, and fractionated coconut oil are all available. I propose using standard coconut oil to replace for unsalted butter since it will better mimic the texture of butter.

When using coconut oil as an unsalted butter alternative, keep in mind that it will most likely have a strong coconut taste. You may find that it adds an intriguing twist to the treatment you are creating, or you may despise it.

Instead, use clarified coconut oil, which has no discernible coconut taste. If the coconut flavor is too strong or does not complement your baked item, I recommend using a refined coconut.

Substitute 5: Vegetable Oil (Best Non-Dairy Option)

Any kind of vegetable oil will work well in baked products. Vegetable oils provide an unbelievable degree of moistness to any baked good, particularly rich cakes and delicious brownies.

Since vegetable oils are dairy-free, they are a wonderful alternative for vegetarian and vegan bakers.

Substitute 6: Olive Oil (Healthiest Swap)

Anybody seeking for a heart-healthy alternative to unsalted butter will appreciate baking with olive oil. Because of its recognized health advantages, olive oil is a common culinary necessity (including mine).

Although olive oil is a terrific, nutritious substitute for unsalted butter, you must choose olive oil with a subtle taste. Otherwise, it may overshadow the flavor of your baked good. This is particularly true for lighter treats like sugar biscuits.

Use olive oil in a 3:4 ratio, but never in recipes that require creaming the fat with sugar. This is a tragedy waiting to happen.

Substitute 7: Applesauce (Low-Calorie Option)

While butter is really delicious, it is high in calories. But it doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your favorite cakes, bread, and other treats.

Which is the best option? In a 2:4 ratio, replace the unsalted butter with applesauce. For example, if a cup of butter is called for in the recipe, substitute a cup of applesauce.

Since this substitution is so sweet, you may need to lessen the quantity of sugar in your recipe.

As an added plus, applesauce will keep your baked items moist and have a melt-in-your-mouth feel that everyone will adore.

Substitute 8: Margarine (Runner Up)

The next item on the list is margarine. To begin with, many individuals prefer margarine over butter, so this may not be a huge shift if you are a fan of margarine.

The main disadvantage of substituting margarine for butter is that it might change the final product. Cookies made with margarine rather of butter, for example, spread out more and have less crunch, even if the taste stays the same.

Margarine has more water and salt than unsalted butter. For the best results, skip the salt entirely and decrease the liquid components by a pinch.

What Can I Substitute for Butter in Frosting?

Isn’t it true that your cake wouldn’t be complete without the delectable frosting? Whether you want basic buttercream frosting or something with more depth, like maple frosting, one thing is certain: you cannot create it using applesauce or olive oil. What are your options?

You have three excellent choices for replacing butter in a frosting recipe.

  • Margarine. Margarine, as previously stated, is extremely similar to ordinary butter. You may use it in your frosting recipe as long as it has a high fat content (at least 80%).
  • The cream cheese. There’s a reason cream cheese frosting is so popular; it’s silky smooth and delicious. You may substitute 3 to 4 ounces of cream cheese for each cup of butter icing.
  • The cream is thick. Whipped cream frosting’s light and airy texture makes it one of the greatest choices for baked desserts, and it’s created with heavy cream. Substitute one cup of the butter with three cups of heavy cream and whisk until smooth.


Still have questions about unsalted butter? I may be able to assist you. See below for some responses to frequently asked questions on the subject!

What can replace butter in baking?

Several alternative components may be used in lieu of butter. It all comes down to what you’re creating and how butter affects the dish. Two of the most prevalent alternatives are margarine and shortening.

Why is European butter better?

Many people believe that European butter is better because it contains more fat and is churned for a longer period of time, making it more taste.

Can I substitute oil for unsalted butter?

The answer is dependent on how you want to use unsalted butter. It is feasible to use oil in place of some of the fat asked for in a recipe, or to use it sparingly to keep batter or dough from sticking to the pan.

I would not propose replacing unsalted butter altogether with oil in baking since it will alter the emulsification of the liquids and result in a greasier product than you would want.

What do you do if a recipe calls for unsalted butter?

If the recipe asks for unsalted butter and you only have salted butter (or any salty substitute), decrease the quantity of salt in the recipe. Reduce salt by one teaspoon for every cup of butter or other salty replacement.

Is oil better than butter in baking?

In terms of moistness, oil may outperform butter in baking. Nevertheless, you won’t get the same decadent taste that butter does.

Final Thoughts

Unsalted butter is simple to substitute. After you understand the function of unsalted butter in your recipe, you may find a suitable substitution.

Have you had trouble substituting unsalted butter? What did you end up using, and how did it turn out? Share your favorite replacements with us in the comments section!

Angie’s Bio


What can I use as a substitute for unsalted butter?

Unsalted Butter Substitutes

1 cup unsalted butter may be replaced with 1 cup shortening, 7/8 cup (14 Tbsp. or 34 cup + 2 Tbsp.) vegetable oil, or 7/8 cup lard.

What can I substitute for 8 oz of butter?

Some of the most popular butter substitutes include coconut oil, olive oil, safflower oil, and coconut butter. Coconut oil may be both a solid and a liquid depending on the temperature. Its adaptability is quite useful depending on the intended purpose.

How much salt do I add to 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter?

Some recipes ask for salted butter, but don’t panic if you only have unsalted butter; there’s an amazingly simple technique to make it work for the recipe you’re using. With 8 tablespoons of butter, use 14 teaspoon salt. Remember that one stick of butter equals 12 cup.

How much salt do I substitute for unsalted butter?

So here’s a simple rule of thumb to follow if you want to use unsalted butter in the recipe. Remember that for every half cup (1 stick or 14 pound) of salted butter needed, add 14 teaspoon of salt to Challenge Unsalted Butter.

What is the same as unsalted butter?

Both salted and unsalted butter may be used equally in any recipe, but if the recipe expressly asks for unsalted butter, it’s likely because the recipe has been tested with it and it’s the recommended butter for that specific dish.

What to do if you need unsalted butter but only have salted?

2 cup of butter. 1 teaspoon of salt = 4 teaspoons If you come across a recipe that asks for unsalted butter but you only have salted butter, just reduce the salt in the recipe by the same ratio as above- 1 teaspoon.

Can I substitute salted for unsalted butter?

2 cup salted butter (which is usually — but not always! 12 cup unsalted butter + 1 teaspoon salt 12 cup unsalted butter plus 1 teaspoon salt In a pinch, you may substitute salted butter for unsalted, as long as you lower the quantity of salt in the recipe. For example, if a recipe specifies 1

What happens if you use salted butter instead of unsalted in baking?

According to the website, salted butter has a larger amount of water than unsalted butter — anywhere from 10% to 18% — and this may also interfere with your bakes. Since water does not react well in baking, the greater water percentage of salted butter might result in soft and mushy baked goods.

How much salt is in each stick of salted butter?

According to the National Dairy Council (NDC), “usually, salted butter includes 1.6-1.7 percent” salt. This is somewhat more than 7 grams, or slightly more than 1 teaspoon.

What is the best butter substitute?

Canola and vegetable oils are two of the most prevalent butter alternatives. These low-cost solutions typically don’t have much flavor, so you don’t have to worry about them impacting the flavor of your final product. Olive oil makes light baked items with mild fruit aromas.

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