Can you use butter in place of vegetable oil?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you use butter in place of vegetable oil?”, and what are the other substitutes for vegetable oil?

Can you use butter in place of vegetable oil?

Yes, you can use butter in place of vegetable oil. Both types of fat add moisture and tenderness to the end product. 

When you use butter in place of vegetable oil, the end product has a more rich flavor. Moreover, a cake made with butter tends to be moister since the butter also contains water in addition to the fat.

Butter as a substitute for vegetable oil won’t work for you if you are someone who has a dairy allergy. The same goes for people who are following a kashruth-restricted diet.

Unlike vegetable oil, butter is solid at room temperature. Therefore, you need to melt it in the microwave or onto the stovetop. Let the melted butter come to room temperature instead of using it right away.

If you want to use vegetable oil in place of butter, substitute every 1 cup of butter with ¾ cup of vegetable oil.

Using butter in a Chiffon cake

Just like an angel food cake, chiffon cake is light and fluffy. But chiffon cake has a richer flavor due to the addition of oil and eggs. The secret to the fluffiness of the chiffon cake is the whipping off the fat. 

If you are using vegetable oil, you need to beat it to incorporate air into the cake batter. If you opt for butter, beat it until it turns foamy and pale. Then fold in the beaten egg white mixture carefully so that you do not deflate the egg whites.

Important notes about butter and oil substitutions

In small amounts, you can get away with substituting oil with butter in a 1:1 ratio. When substituting in larger quantities, the 15% moisture content of the butter comes into play and needs to be considered. 

If you are substituting vegetable oil with a cup or more of butter, you need to cut back on the amount of liquid in the recipe. Just reduce a couple of tablespoons of the liquid for every cup of butter in your cake recipe.

6 best substitutes for vegetable oil

Canola oil

Since vegetable oil is a blend of different plant oils, a major part of it consists of canola oil. So it is no surprise that you can use pure canola oil as a substitute for vegetable oil.

Just like vegetable oil, canola oil has a very neutral flavor and a high smoke point. Due to extensive processing, canola oil does not have a very impressive nutritional profile.

Canola oil is extracted from the rapeseed plant. It contains a good amount of monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats with small amounts of saturated fats.

Sunflower oil 

Sunflower oil is also a common ingredient of vegetable oil. It has a neutral flavor and can be used in place of vegetable oil. Sunflower oil is a rich source of Vitamin E. But it contains an unbalanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Extra virgin olive oil

Due to minimal processing, extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest substitute for vegetable oil. It is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins. However, extra virgin olive oil has a distinct flavor. 

Therefore, it is best used in dressings and for shallow frying on low-medium heat. Extra virgin olive oil is not desirable for baking due to its robust flavor.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil helps lower blood cholesterol. But it has a high content of saturated fats that limits its health benefits. Coconut oil used in moderation could provide many health benefits.

It makes for a great substitute for vegetable oil in frying due to its high smoke point. The sweet and nutty flavor of coconut oil compliments the flavor of most baked products like cakes, muffins, brownies, etc. It adds extra oomph to these products. 

Avocado oil

Avocado oil is a bit expensive. But it is a rich source of healthy fats and Vitamin E. The subtle flavor of avocado oil does not overpower the flavor of your recipe.


Use unsweetened applesauce in place of vegetable oil to add moisture to your cakes, muffins, and brownies. 

Cut back on the amount of sugar in your recipe if you opt for sweetened applesauce. Replace every cup of vegetable oil with 3 quarters of a cup of applesauce.


In this article, we answered the question “Can you use butter in place of vegetable oil?”, and what are the other substitutes for vegetable oil?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.