How much butter to replace vegetable oil?

In this article, we will answer the question “How much butter to replace vegetable oil?”, and what changes are to expect in the food and in your diet when using butter to replace vegetable oil. 

How much butter to replace vegetable oil?

For every ⅓ cup of oil, use 5 ⅓ tbsp of butter instead. Butter works great in place of vegetable oil especially in baking, where it moistens the crumb and imparts a richness to the end-product flavor. 

What are the benefits and drawbacks of using butter in the place of vegetable oil?

The benefits of using butter in the place of vegetable oil are related to the sensory properties yielded by the use of butter and the nutritional benefits provided by milk butter. 

The main purpose of fat in a baked good is to help create and stabilize air bubbles, altering the texture of the final product. Butter has this property, while vegetable oil, because of the liquid form, does not.

Butter is a great substitute for vegetable oil in baking. It has a very rich taste and provides a creamy texture while softening the crumb of baked goods. Vegetable oil, on the other hand, does not overwhelm the recipe with its flavor because it tastes very neutral (2).

Regarding the health effects of using butter in the place of vegetable oil, it will depend on the type of vegetable oil that has been substituted. Vegetable oils have distinct properties, as discussed in the sections below. 

In general, the ingestion of saturated fatty acids are related to increased rates of coronary heart diseases, whereas a higher intake of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats was associated with a decreased risk of heart diseases (3). 

However, there are controversies concerning the use of butter, as studies suggest that, differently from vegetable oil, butter consumption has a protective effect against cholesterol increase due to the presence of conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) in its composition (5). 

Other studies indicate relatively small or neutral associations of butter consumption with mortality, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes (3). In addition, vegetable oils are a source of polyunsaturated fats, which are related to reduced incidence of heart disease (3).

While butter is a source of vitamin D which is important to bone formation and immune system (7) and vitamin A, which is important for eye health (8), vegetable oils are a source of vitamin E, which is a potent antioxidant (9).

According to studies on fat consumption and mortality rates, every 1- tablespoon/day increment of butter or margarine consumption was related to 7% and 4% higher all-cause mortality, respectively. 

In contrast, each 1-tablespoon/ day increment of canola oil or olive oil consumption was associated with 2% and 3% of reductions in all-cause mortality, respectively (1).

What are the health benefits of butter?

The health benefits of butter are the following:

  • A source of vitamin A and D – vitamin A can reduce inflammation, while vitamin D is a key vitamin to the absorption of calcium in the bone (7,8)
  • Source of conjugated linolenic acid – Studies have reported that conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) can significantly decrease the occurrence of some types of cancers in mice, as well as mammary tumors in rats. In addition, studies suggest that CLA has antioxidant properties and protective effects against increasing cholesterol levels.
  • Lipids in butter contain special fatty acids, such as phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, sphingomyelin, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylserine. These lipids have unique health properties (5).

What are the health benefits of vegetable oil?

The health benefits of vegetable oil depends mainly on the origin of the oil and its processing. The following sections give some highlights on different vegetable oils:

Extra-virgin olive oil

Extra-virgin olive oil is high in unsaturated fats. The lipid fraction mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids in olive oil gives its lipophilic character responsible for protective properties on coronary, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, granting anti-thrombotic and regulation effects of blood pressure (4).

Peanut oil

Peanut oil has a mild and sweet nutty flavor and is high in saturated fats. Only a tbsp of peanut oil provides 11% of the RDI for Vitamin E (2).

Flaxseed oil

Linseed oil is one of the most unsaturated vegetable oils, resulting from its high level of linolenic acid (2).

Grapeseed oil

Grape seed oil has beneficial properties for health that are mainly detected by in vitro studies, such as anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties, and may interact with cellular and molecular pathways. 

These effects have been related to grape seed oil constituents, mainly tocopherol, linolenic acid, resveratrol, quercetin, procyanidins, carotenoids, and phytosterols (6).

Other FAQs about Oils which you may be interested in.

Does sesame oil go bad?

Can you use olive oil in a cake mix?

Can vegetable oil go bad?


In this article, we answered the question “How much butter to replace vegetable oil?”, and what are the other substitutes of vegetable oil?


  1. Zhang, Yu, et al. Cooking oil/fat consumption and deaths from cardiometabolic diseases and other causes: prospective analysis of 521,120 individuals. BMC med, 2021, 19, 1-14. 
  2. Gunstone, Frank. The chemistry of oils and fats: sources, composition, properties and uses. John Wiley & Sons, 2009.  
  3. Górska-Warsewicz, Hanna, et al. Butter, Margarine, Vegetable Oils, and Olive Oil in the Average Polish Diet. Nutrients, 2019, 11,12.
  4. de Alzaa, Ana Florencia, Claudia Guillaume, and Leandro Ravetti. Olive Oil—New Perspectives and Applications. 2021. 
  5. Berger, Alvin, Mathilde Fleith, and Gayle Crozier. Nutritional implications of replacing bovine milk fat with vegetable oil in infant formulas. J pediatr gastroenterol nutr, 2000, 30, 115-130..
  6. Garavaglia, Juliano, et al. Grape Seed Oil Compounds: Biological and Chemical Actions for Health. Nutr Metab Insights, 2016, 9, 59. 
  7. Vitamin D. National Institute of Health
  8. Vitamin A. National Institute of Health
  9. Vitamin E. National Institute of Health