What Can I Substitute for Butter?

Dear Home Ec 101:

I started to bake some cookies and realized I’m completely out of butter and margarine. Is there anything else I can use?

I can’t believe I’m out of butter!
Heather says:

Substitutions are a piece of cake if you know where to look. For your particular dilemma you have a choice.

1 cup of butter can be substituted with:

  • 7/8 cup lard + 1 tsp salt
  • 7/8 cup oil + 1 tsp salt

The texture will be slightly different, but your cookies will be edible. This site is an incredible resource for almost any substitution you may need.


  1. Rachel on March 16, 2007 at 8:39 am

    Thanks, Heather!

  2. Heather on March 14, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    Rachel, I believe you are thinking of a substitution for baking powder.

    1 tsp baking powder can be substituted with:
    * 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 5/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
    * 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 cup sour milk or buttermilk or yogurt (decrease liquid called for in recipe by 1/2 cup)

    The list in the link is fairly inclusive.

    After much Googling, I’ve confirmed my suspicion, as far as applesauce, it works better with some applications than others and this is why it’s not listed as a standard substitution.

  3. Rachel on March 14, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    Isn’t there some other substitution in baking, buttermilk for cream or tartar or something else weird like that?

  4. Blogarita on March 13, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    Some recipes let you substitute applesauce for all or part of the fat. Might be worth doing a Google search.

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