Substitution For Unsalted Butter For Baking

Substitution For Unsalted Butter For Baking

If you cannot tolerate dairy and find your fridge empty of unsalted butter? I believe it is best to have a substitution for unsalted butter. For a cup of unsalted butter, substitute 3/4 cup or 2tbsp of coconut oil or a vegetable shortening cup. Any substitute for unsalted butter will change the flavor and texture of the baked good. Essentially, unsalted butter is useful in the kitchen, especially for pie crusts, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and poundcake. If your butter is too warm, do not cream it because your fluffy cake will end up dense, lifeless, and flat. Too cold, and you will wind up with rough chunks of butter in your recipe.

Facts About Unsalted Butter

Salt is a preservative, meaning salted butter has a shelf life longer than unsalted butter. Salted butter has a shelf life of around three to four months. However, it does not mean that it has been longer on the market than unsalted butter; it merely has a longer shelf life. On the other hand, unsalted butter is a fresher product compared to salted butter.

Without the extra savory tones that could throw off your dough or batter’s delicate balance, unsalted butter adds fat and spice. Choose unsalted butter when you are uncertain or in doubt. You can still apply salt in your mixing bowl, but extracting the savory flavor from an over-salted recipe is tougher. Unsalted butter burns less quickly than its saline alternative, as an additional benefit. You can get a neat, healthier, more buttery taste when you use unsalted butter in your baking.

Find out How Much Salt Is In Salted Butter?

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Substitution For Unsalted Butter

There are different substitutions for unsalted butter. However, margarine, vegetable shortening, coconut oil, and salted butter are the usual substitutions for it since they are easy and effective substitutes. Likewise, they add texture and richness to your baking.


It is similar to unsalted butter. However, it has a softer texture than unsalted butter. Melted margarine works best in recipes that require melted butter. Although, in recipes that call for softened butter, substituting margarine can change the texture. For instance, cookies will be less crisp, and it will spread out more. In addition to that, cakes will be less tender. 

Vegetable Shortening

Vegetable shortening is most likely preferred as it preserves the consistency of the finished product when baking. So, substitute it with the unsalted butter measure for measure. When substituting it, the cookies’ texture will change depending on whether it is crispy or chewy. Vegetable shortening will change the taste because shortening is not as rich as compared to butter. Instead, vegetable shortening enables the other ingredients to stand out. 

Also, a tablespoon of vegetable shortening is not the same as a tablespoon of butter. Unsalted butter is approximately 80 percent fat. Its water is around 15 percent, and the remainder is milk solids. At the same time, vegetable shortening is 100 percent fat. 

Coconut Oil

It is a great substitute for unsalted butter. However, it does not spread as much compared to unsalted butter. For instance, if you are making cookies, it does not become as thin as when you use unsalted butter. Coconut oil changes the texture among all other substitutes for unsalted butter. Also, it adds moisture. Use coconut oil at room temperature when substituting unsalted butter. It is essential when making pie crust since coconut oil needs to be solid and chilled when cut into the flour. The same is applied as the butter process. 

Salted Butter

This substitution is easy to do. You can use regular salted butter and use less or no salt added to the recipe. To do this, substitute the unsalted butter required in the recipe with an equal quantity of salted butter. Afterward, modify the salt’s quantity in the recipe to account for the extra salt in the butter by lessening the recipe’s salt by 1/4 tsp for every 1/2 cup of butter used.

In the US, a small amount of salt added to the commercial butter sold in a grocery store will not change the recipe in any way. On the other hand, imported butter, farm-sourced fresh butter, and boutique brand butter contain more salt. That is why it should be accounted for when baking.

Salted Butter


Use different substitutions for unsalted butter because you want to have absolute control of your baked good’s taste. You can regulate the taste of the finished product since you can control the salt. So, it is ideal for taking a recipe and making it once with each of the substitutions and observe which is the best substitute for unsalted butter.

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