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Substitutes for Butter in Recipes

I don't mean to start a war here, but I am 77 and I have eaten butter all my life. I don't do the half measure and I don't add water. If a recipe calls for butter I use it because it is dairy. Who knows what is really in margerine. I remember during WWII when butter was not available and we had to use margarine. Even as a little kid I hated it. I have lived for a long time on butter, in my mashed potatoes and in my pastas while they are cooking. At my house if the instructions say butter I use butter. We scramble our eggs with it. And DH and I are healthy as a pair of horses.

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July 6, 2004

When preparing a recipe that calls for margarine or butter, try this. Instead of using one of those products, she used an equal amount of water rather than just omitting the butter altogether.

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Butter is a type of shortening that helps create good volume, texture and forms emulsion in cakes. When you start baking and you run out of butter you can still substitute it with oil. Oil is also a type of shortening but the difference is that oil is liquid and butter is solid, but they have the same effect.

canola oil bottle

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I've had great success baking with no-fat, plain yogurt instead of butter. Baking powder biscuits, spice cake, bread, muffins; everything's turned out great thus far.

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6 Questions

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March 22, 2018

I have a recipe that calls for 9 tablespoons of butter. I don't have any butter. What can I use in place of butter?


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March 22, 20181 found this helpful
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You can substitute applesauce (especially if baking something sweet). You can also use oils, mashed avocado or banana, or nut butters. I have read that you can substitute beans but I havent tried this one; the rest I have actually tried and it works well

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March 24, 20180 found this helpful
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I have used equal amounts of margarine, shortening or applesauce with good success. I more frequently use coconut oil or if I'm out sometimes I use vegetable oil. The only thing is with the oils (especially coconut oil) you need to reduce the amount by 13 so for 9Tbs of butter you would use 6 Tbs of coconut oil instead. The reason for this is that it tends to be a bit oily of you use the full amount.

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April 28, 2012

I'm cooking fudge and the recipe calls for butter. I only have margarine. How much margarine equals 1 stick butter?

By Sandra

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April 29, 20120 found this helpful

They are equivalent in cooking - one stick of margarine equals one stick of butter. The results may be different so be careful if the recipe says 'butter only', or 'margarine only'. My mother-in-law is the baker in our family, and she says that margarine has some water content to it, and makes some things 'runny' as she calls it. I guess it would only make a difference if it were cut out cookies.

Best of luck to you!

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April 29, 20120 found this helpful

If you have the soft margarine in a tub, don't use it, it will definitely turn out wrong. It has even more water in it than regular margarine.

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