Can butter be substituted for vegetable oil in baking?

In this brief study, we will answer the question, “can butter be substituted for vegetable oil in baking? We will also talk about substitution techniques and their critical points.

Can butter be substituted for vegetable oil in baking?

Yes, butter can be substituted for vegetable oil in baking. Utilize the exact amount stated in the instructions (for instance, if the recipe asks for 1/3 cup oil, substitute 5 1/3 tablespoons butter). Melt it and then allow it to cool somewhat.

Butter is one of the simplest substitutions for cooking oils that we are aware of, and it imparts an abundance of flavor to everything it touches. 

However, substituting butter for canola or olive oil is not as straightforward as a one-for-one substitution (like it is in baking). This is because butter has a lower heat tolerance than other fats and contributes more moisture and milk solids to your culinary efforts.

Cake Substitute for Vegetable Oil?

In any cake, fat performs a variety of functions. It lends the cake softness, adds richness, and contributes to the cake’s moist and delicious mouthfeel. Certain fats, such as olive oil, butter, and even lard or bacon fat, provide a unique taste to certain dishes.

Vegetable oil is a relatively neutral, clean-flavored fat, and its use in a recipe is only to soften, enrich, and moisten the crumb of the cake. This also makes it simple to replace if you don’t have any oil on hand or if you want to add a little bit more to your cake. Butter is perhaps the finest and most apparent substitute for vegetable oil.

Substituting Butter for Oil

Substituting butter for vegetable oil in a cake that asks for vegetable oil accomplishes a few things. To begin, butter adds a small amount of moisture to a cake since it includes some water in addition to its fat. Secondly, and perhaps most significantly, it imparts more taste and richness to the crumb. On the other hand, the use of butter renders the cake inappropriate for anybody who must avoid dairy due to allergies, kashruth, or other dietary restrictions.

One apparent disadvantage of replacing butter with oil is that oil is a liquid fat whereas butter is solid at normal temperature. To use butter as a canola or vegetable oil replacement, melt it in the microwave first and then let it cool to room temperature while assembling the other ingredients. It is ready to use when it is barely warm to the touch.

Incorporating Butter into a Cake Mix

Substituting butter for oil in a cake mix is a simple procedure. Sliced and melt your butter, preferably in a microwave-safe measuring cup, to ensure you’ve cut the right quantity of butter. The lines written on the wrapper of the butter do not always correspond to the stick within.

When the butter has cooled, add it to the mixing bowl in place of the oil. If you’re adding butter to enhance the flavor of your box mix and make it more homemade-like, you may also make a few additional adjustments.

Making a Chiffon Cake with Butter

Oil is used in a very small number of scratch cakes. Some are chef-inspired concoctions that highlight the fruity tastes of premium olive oil, while the majority are chiffon cakes. These are similar to angel food cake in texture and taste but have a deeper flavor due to the inclusion of eggs and oil. They must be handled cautiously since fat has a terrible tendency of deflating egg whites and reducing the fluffiness of the cake.

With a chiffon cake, the fundamental method is to beat the oil – or, in this case, melted butter – into the cake portion of the batter, and then gently lighten the mixture by folding in the beaten egg whites. 

Other FAQs about Butter which you may be interested in.

Can butter go bad if left out?

Can you replace vegetable oil with butter?

Can butter be used in place of margarine?

Two Critical Points Regarding Butter/Oil Substitutions

1. You can replace melted butter for oil 1:1, but only up to a point. 

Because butter contains up to 15% water, it makes a difference if you’re preparing several recipes. If you’re baking a double batch of scratch cake or two boxes of mix, you may want to decrease your liquids by a couple of teaspoons for every cup of butter used.

2.Additionally, keep in mind that this is a one-way journey.

In most cake recipes, oil cannot be substituted for butter. When butter and sugar are creamed together, millions of tiny air pockets are created in the butter. As the cake bakes, the air pockets capture the gas produced by the baking powder or soda in the recipe. Without butter, the cake would be thick and have an unpleasant leathery texture.


In this brief study, we answered the question, “can butter be substituted for vegetable oil in baking? We also talked about substitution techniques and their critical points.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.