As one of the pantry essentials, every baker and cook should have butter and oil on hand at all times. Although sometimes used interchangeably, they can have different functions. Is butter as a oil substitute okay? Yes! What you should know about switching one out for the other and when to do so is as follows. It's not always as direct as using one in place of the other when replacing butter with oil (and vice versa). For successful substitute each and every time, stick to these steps: 

Using 1:1 substitution of butter for oil is the simplest possible substitution. Coconut, canola, vegetable, and olive oils ought to all function properly in this. To proceed, simply melt the butter and let it cool at room temperature (for example, if the recipe calls for 1/2 cup oil, substitute 1/2 cup of melted and cooled butter). 

Using Butter For Oil 

What about swapping butter for oil? Depending on the type of oil, it can give your baked goods a nuanced flavour and much-needed moisture. A decent rule of thumb is to substitute vegetables, canola, or olive oil for about 3/4 of the butter in a dish (for example, if the recipe asks for 1 cup of butter, use 3/4 cup oil). For coconut oil, you can employ a 1:1 ratio. 


Butter is a necessary ingredient in many recipes since it lends structure (especially to certain cakes). For a cake, creaming the butter and sugar creates a good amount of small air bubbles that, when combined with baking soda or powder, give the batter a fluffy yet strong texture. The cake would come out more denser than you might have wanted if you were to use only oil. 

It's best to use a 50/50 mixture of butter and oil rather than omitting the butter altogether if you're unsure. In this manner, you can benefit from the oil's additional moisture without compromising the structural stability that butter offers. 

When you're cooking, butter can be used in place of oil (and vice versa). But it's not always as easy as you might think because butter contains both water and milk solids. When using butter in place of oil, keep these suggestions in mind: 

Pan frying or sautéing? Before adding other ingredients, allow the butter to bubble, melt, and settle over low heat. This enables the fat to reach an appropriate temperature while cooking some of the moisture. 

Regular butter won't hold up to the high heat of a stir-fry, so avoid attempting to stir-fry with it in place of oil. Instead, choose ghee or clarified butter. Choose clarified butter or ghee for roasting at high temperatures.