Substituting Oil for Butter in Recipes

I have heard you can swap canola oil for the margarine/butter in a cookie recipe. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of margarine or butter, how much oil would I use in it's place? Thanks!


By Shirley from MI

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June 21, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm not sure where I got this information, but here is what I have:

Butter/margarine = Oil
1 tsp = 3/4 tsp
1 tbsp = 2 1/4 tsp
2 tbsp = 1 1/2 tbsp
1/4 cup = 3 tbsp
1/3 cup = 1/4 cup
1/2 cup = 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
2/3 cup = 1/2 cup
3/4 cup = 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp
1 cup = 3/4 cup

For types of oil to use - Olive oil is the best choice because it is 77% monounsaturated (the "good" fat.)

Extra virgin olive oil - meets exacting taste and aroma standards - Use for dressings, marinades, sauces & for basting meats & drizzling over soup and vegetable dishes.


"Pure" olive oil - all-purpose cooking oil for grilling, sauteing, stir-frying and in pasta sauces.

"Light" or Mild olive oil - is olive oil with just enough extra virgin olive oil added to give it a light flavor and color.

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June 20, 20090 found this helpful

Don't substitute anything for butter. It adds it's own special richness. Don't use margarine, it eventually causes cancer & many other terrible things. Butter is not bad for you, no matter what all of those misguided & misinformed people out there think. Julia Child lived a long time & was a great cook. She used butter! Butter is great stuff, tastes great. There is no substitute!

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June 20, 20090 found this helpful

Yes, you can substitute for butter. I use applesauce due to medical reasons. It takes the fat out of lots of my recipes and adds great taste.


Give it a try. Then if you don't like it, don't use it again.

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June 20, 20090 found this helpful

You can always swap butter for margarine But think twice before you do, although butter has a higher fat content it is definitely better for you than margarine. For instance, did you know that margarine is only 1Chromosone away from being plastic? Why would anyone want to eat plastic? if you're worried about calories use applesauce it a better alternative to plastic (or near plastic). Butter is a real food although a bit more caloric, but still real as apposed to synthetic margarine. If using in cooking just add a little butter and the rest veg. oil to help with the calories as well.

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June 21, 20090 found this helpful

I don't think previous posters understood your question. I don't have the ratios but various oils


can be used in place of butter or other solid shortenings, there is a basic formula for the traditional products, such as butter, lard, plain margarine,etc Since I don't bake cookies or cakes don't know how the substitutions go, but if you call your library and ask them to help you find Tel.# for the Cooperative Extension (its a government org, and very hard to locate in Tel directory) but Coop Extension and request the info..they are (or used to be)free
they can tell you or send you a print-out.

While you are at it, if you have any other cooking? ask about those also. They may only be in office certain days, (and in NY state you have to contact them by elevenish) Joy of Cooking (my 30yrs+old one) advises to only use specific recipes that use special techniques when using oil for baking cakes(no mention of coolies) and it has a number of such recipes , A later edition of Joy of Cooking is probably available at any public library, check out the detailed info in the section called Know Your Ingredients. It covers loads of stuff. Best of Health to you and yours

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June 21, 20090 found this helpful

Sorry, I just read moonylisa and she corrected what I wrote. I did not state that the applesauce you use in a 1 to 1 ratio.


1/4 cup butter would be 1/4 cup applesauce.

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June 27, 20091 found this helpful

I find good results with half butter & half extra vergin olive oil for all my baking.

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