Can I substitute margarine for butter in baking?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can I substitute margarine for butter in baking?” and will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using margarine instead of butter.

Can I substitute margarine for butter in baking?

Yes, you can substitute margarine for butter in baking. Margarine can be used in place of butter in baking; however, the result may differ from what you expected. Baked products may be less moist, harder, and more susceptible to burning. If the butter isn’t available, stick margarine is a good substitute. In most cases, soft or tub margarine will not hold up as well in recipes.

What is margarine?

Margarine is made by mixing hydrogen atoms with vegetable oil in a chemical reaction. It is cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat, and high in ‘good’ fats that can help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Dairy and dairy-free alternatives are available.

If you are allergic to milk products, seek a dairy-free version of margarine.

Margarine fat content can range from 30 to 80 percent. The quantity of trans fats in different types of margarine varies. Stick margarine has the most trans fats, as opposed to the tub or spreadable margarine, which generally contains no trans fats.

Margarine vs. Butter: Pros and Cons

Butter and margarine have a similar flavor and texture, although margarine typically contains less saturated fat and more water. If you only want to put anything on your bread or pancakes, you may use either margarine or butter. When margarine is substituted for butter in baking, however, the outcome might be quite different.

Here are a handful of the most prevalent problems:

·         Cakes may have a harder texture.

·         When cookies are baked, they might spread out more. When softened margarine is used in recipes that call for cold, firm butter, such as pie crusts or laminated doughs, the results are generally disappointing.

·         Shortbread cookies and other baked products that rely on the flavor of butter will be harmed if margarine is used instead of butter.

Expect your baked items to be less tasty as a result of the reduced-fat level in margarine. The fact is that butter’s fat is what makes it taste so much better and gives it a chewier, more pleasant texture. Generally, if a recipe asks for butter, use butter unless the recipe specifies that margarine may be substituted. When butter is substituted for margarine, the result nearly always differs dramatically.

Substituting margarine for butter without a guarantee of success is probably not a risk worth taking. To establish if margarine will provide the same outcomes as butter, each recipe must be thoroughly evaluated.

Why is margarine considered a good alternative?

One of the primary concerns is that many “low fat” or “light” margarine products may include a lot of water, which might spoil your baked goods. Not only will the texture of your baked items be altered, but so will the spread and flavor. Butter has a rich, creamy taste that is difficult to achieve with margarine.

Soft margarine will frequently affect the recipe’s result, and not in a positive way. Expect your baked products to be dryer and less moist than normal. The finished product will also be flatter than if it were prepared using butter, increasing the risk of burning.

Alternative for butter


When it comes to baking, shortening is a great alternative to butter. It may be used in the same amount as butter in a recipe, but it lacks taste, therefore bakers generally add a little extra. (However, if you have buttered shortening on hand, you’re in luck!) Because there isn’t any water, baked products are more delicate and softer.

Vegetable and olive oil

You may be out of butter, but you almost certainly have some oil on hand, so grab it and get baking. Muffins and fast bread benefit from oils, but cookies can also benefit from them. For every cup of butter, use 3/4 cup olive or vegetable oil.

Coconut oil

When you run out of butter, replace it with equal quantities of coconut oil in almost any baked item. Coconut oil not only adds a tropical touch to desserts, but it also works well as a butter alternative in quick bread, cakes, brownies, cornbread, muffins, and yeast bread. It’s one of the few butter alternatives that make cookies crispy. Use refined coconut oil if you don’t want too much coconut taste.

Pumpkin puree

If you like pumpkin, replace the butter in your sweets with it. To figure out how much pumpkin puree to use, multiply the amount of butter in a recipe by 3/4. (For example, if a recipe called for 1 cup of butter, you would substitute 3/4 cup pumpkin.) It’s used in fast bread, cakes, cupcakes, bars, and cookies as both a fat and a sweetener. Keep in mind that pumpkin will affect the color of your cookies (hope you prefer orange!) and make them thicker.

To check the recipe containing butter and margarine, click here 

Other FAQs about Margarine that you may be interested in.

Can I substitute margarine for shortening?

Can I substitute margarine for vegetable oil?

Can I use margarine instead of butter for cookies?


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can I substitute margarine for butter in baking?” and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using margarine instead of butter.