What can I substitute for unsalted butter?

In this concise article, we will answer the question, “What can I substitute for unsalted butter?” with an in-depth analysis of salted butter, some specific substitutes for unsalted butter as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

What can I substitute for unsalted butter? 

Unsalted butter can be best substituted with margarine, vegetable shortening, coconut oil, salted butter and lard.

Substitutes for unsalted butter:

Essentially, unsalted butter is beneficial withinside the kitchen, especially for pie crusts, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and pound cakes.

Any alternative for unsalted butter will extrude the taste and texture of the baked good. 

If your butter is just too warm, no longer creamy, your fluffy cake will grow to be dense, heavy, and flat. Too cold, and you may end up with hard chunks of butter in your recipe.

Let’s briefly discuss the possible substitutes for unsalted butter:


Margarine is just like unsalted butter. However, it has a softer texture than unsalted butter. Melted margarine works excellent in recipes that require melted butter. Although, in recipes, that name for softened butter, substituting margarine can alternate the texture. 

For instance, cookies could be much less crisp, and it is going to unfold out more. In addition to that, desserts could be much less tender.


Precisely use the equal quantity of margarine as butter, simply be cautious as margarine is extra watery than butter so that you may want to lessen the quantity of liquid brought for your recipe.

Coconut oil:

Coconut oil can also be used as a substitute for unsalted butter.

Using coconut oil in place of stable fat like butter brings about a cake that is a good deal greater, wealthier and flavorful than angel meals or sheet cake. This is self-made goodness that you cannot normally locate everywhere else. Make sure your elements are at room temperature while you begin getting ready for this recipe.

In case you are making cookies, it does now no longer end up as skinny as while you operate unsalted butter. Coconut oil adjusts the feel amongst all different substitutes for unsalted butter. Also, it provides moisture.

Coconut oil can replace butter in baking at a 1:1 ratio.

Salted Butter:

An easy-to-make substitution for unsalted butter is salted butter. There is no need to increase or decrease the quantity. Salted butter has a longer shelf life than unsalted butter

This substitution is simple to do. You can use salted butter every day and use much less or no salt introduced to the recipe. To do this, alternate the unsalted butter required withinside the recipe with the same amount of salted butter. 

Afterwards, regulate the salt’s amount withinside the recipe to account for the more salt withinside the butter with the aid of lessening the recipe’s salt with the aid of using 1/4 tsp for each half cup of butter used.

Do I need to add salt if I use salted butter?

There is equal to 1/4 teaspoon salt in half of the cup of salted butter so that you can alter your recipe for that reason and the taste could be comparable.

Vegetable Shortening:

Vegetable shortening can also be used as a replacement for unsalted butter.

Vegetable shortening is most likely favoured because it preserves the consistency of the completed product while baking. So, replace it with unsalted butter for the degree. When substituting it, the cookies’ texture will alternate relying on whether it’s miles crispy or chewy. 

Vegetable shortening will alternate the flavour due to the fact shortening isn’t always as wealthy in comparison to butter. Instead, vegetable shortening permits the opposite substances to face out.


Lard is honestly rendered red meat fats that are a not unusual place substitute for plenty of old-fashioned recipes. This is a replacement that is probably tougher to return through than the alternative fats, however, it may be very useful and preserve it to your list. It is used for baking, grilling, and frying.

It is rich in vitamin D. Lard is one of the great reasserts of vitamin D. Lard is a superb supply of fat that maintains a healthful heart.

This product could make a distinction and an extraordinary effect on your recipe, however, it genuinely relies upon what you are making. 

You can use lard to make pie crusts, so one can emerge as high-quality and flaky. Lard is regularly used instead for that sort of recipe.

Which lard is best?

Leaf lard is more suitable for baking and cooking. It is also a terrific shortening and produces biscuits and pastries which might be a great deal extra smooth and flaky than the ones made of simple butter.


In this article, various substitutes of unsalted butter are described. Also, their benefits and shortcomings are mentioned briefly.



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.