7 Best Unsalted Butter Substitutes

The traditional butter comes from churning cream from cow milk. It is an edible fat used to grease baked and cooked items. Butter also enhances the taste and softens the consistency of food.

According to your taste and storage needs, two types of butter are available, unsalted butter and salted butter.

However, If you are out of butter just when you started to cook, you don’t have to hassle over it. In this article, you’ll find 7 unsalted butter substitutes that will save you a trip to the store.

Keep Reading to know how unsalted butter substitutes like Vegetable Shortening, Coconut Oil, Lard, Margarine, Almond Butter, Greek Yogurt, and Applesauce can make your food delicious.

What is Unsalted Butter?

Unsalted Butter

Unsalted butter is the pure form of butter. It is processed from cow milk. No extra components are added in unsalted butter, and it is pure edible fat.

Many bakers use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt in their dishes. Because using salted butter means they are putting an ingredient processed with salt already.

People who are trying to cut sodium from their diet also prefer unsalted butter. The problem with unsalted butter is its storage span. 

Unsalted butter can be refrigerated and used for only two weeks. However, if you want to increase the lifespan, store it in the freezer. Frozen pure butter can stay good for 4-5 months.

7 Unsalted Butter Substitutes

1. Vegetable Shortening

Vegetable Shortening

Vegetable Shortening is produced from vegetable oils. This unsalted butter substitute can make your baked goods fluffier and more tender than butter. It is gluten-free and 100% fat-based. Veg-shortening is popular in vegan foods.

It does not have any added water, so use the same quantity of vegetable shortening as much butter is needed in the recipe. It does not have a flavor, so the taste of the dish will not be affected.

The only catch is you can not make crusty baked goods with this substitute as it gives a soft texture to the dish.

2. Coconut Oil 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil melts and freezes at a specific temperature, just like butter. So if you are aiming for a thick consistency, go for coconut oil.

It can be used in vegan recipes, and it is nutritious. To replace butter, use an equal quantity of coconut oil.

The downside is, coconut oil can add to the flavor of the dish. Best to use it in dishes that do not require too much butter. Choose refined coconut oil to minimize the taste.

3. Lard


Lard is processed pork fat used in many dishes as a substitute for butter. It can be used for both cooking and baking both. And if you use it to make crusty goods, you will get good results. 

It is an animal fat product, so you can’t use it for vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian diets. To replace 1 cup of unsalted butter, you need 7/8 cup of lard.

4. Margarine


Margarine is best for recipes that call for melted butter. Traditionally margarine used to be processed from animal fat, but now vegetable oil-based margarine is also available.

It is a watery substance and also has some amount of sweetness and salt. If you use this in a dish, reduce sugar, salt, and liquid components according to how much margarine you use. For one cup of unsalted butter, you need 1 cup of margarine.

Margarine will give you a soft end-product, so this is not a perfect substitute for a crispy dish like a cookie.

5. Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt

It is a dairy product and works well for bread and cakes. Greek yogurt is quite meretricious, and if you go for the non-fat versions, you can add a good source of protein.

To replace 1 cup of butter, add half a cup of Greek yogurt to your recipe.

However, you can not use it as an unsalted butter substitute for all types of dishes. 

6. Applesauce


Applesauce is made with cooked and pureed apples. It is a healthy substitute for butter. You can reduce sugar in the dish if you use applesauce, as it has a natural sweetness.

Adding it to a baked dish can bind water, keep the moister in, and give the dish an excellent structure. To avoid extra calories or to change the amount of sugar in the recipe, try non-sweetened applesauce.

Use the exact quantity of applesauce as butter in the recipe. Also, if you want to make the baked good more tender, try adding Greek yogurt; that will do the trick. 

7. Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin puree is a healthy substitute for butter. It has nutrients like potassium, K vitamin, beta-carotene. 

It is the right match for winter baking. You can make the perfect muffin, cupcake, coffee cake, etc., by replacing unsalted butter with pumpkin puree.

It will add a natural orange tint and sweet, creamy flavor to your dish. For one cup of unsalted butter, one cup of pumpkin puree is sufficient.

What Does Unsalted Butter Taste like?

Unsalted butter does not have any strong flavor. Instead, it will taste creamy and very mildly sweet. 

Unsalted butter does not add any extra flavor to a dish. Instead, it enhances the flavors of the food to make it more delicious.

Because of the neutral taste of unsalted butter, many cooked and baked recipes call for unsalted butter. It adds a golden tint to baked goods like any butter.

Uses of Unsalted Butter 

Unsalted butter or sweet cream butter is generally fresher than other types of butter, as it has a shorter lifespan. 

  • Unsalted butter has a neutral flavor. It is used in cooking and baking.
  • It gives the cook complete freedom to decide how much salt the recipe needs.
  • Mainly for baked goods, unsalted butter is a perfect choice, making the dish’s flavor richer.
  • To avoid or cut down sodium intake.
  • And for deserts that do not require salt at all, unsalted butter is best.

Common Queries About Unsalted Butter

Unsalted VS Salted Butter: What is the difference?

The difference is just salt. 

Unsalted butter is pure and neutral. It doe not have any added components. The lifespan of unsalted butter is lower as it does not have any preservatives. However, because of that, it is sold more fresh than other types of butter.

In salted butter, the sodium keeps the butter edible for a more extended period. However, because of the added salt in salted butter, the salt in the recipe needs to be adjusted.

The exact amount of salt in salted butter varies between different brands. Generally, it’s around 81.79-90 sodium (mg) in one tablespoon of unsalted butter.

Is Unsalted Butter Healthy?

Unsalted butter does have vitamin A, D, E, K, and some nutrients that are good for us. But it also has high calories and saturated fat, which may promote weight gain and other health issues.

There is no solid medical proof that it’s good for health. Consuming unsalted butter in a minimum quantity is preferable.

What Will Happen If You Replace Unsalted Butter with Salted Butter in Baking?

If the recipe calls for unsalted butter but you only have salted butter in the pantry, don’t panic. It’s okay to use salted butter in baked goods too.

It will not change the flavor prominently. However, you will have to reduce the amount of salt mentioned in the recipe. And the baked delights will turn out perfect as always.

If you are using salted butter in a recipe with instructions for unsalted, reduce 1/4th tablespoon of salt from the recipe.

What Can You Use Instead of Butter in Baking Recipes?

If you are trying to cut down butter from your diet, there are many options available other than the unsalted butter substitutes mentioned already. 

  • Olive oil works well for replacing butter in cooking. But it’s not ideal for baked dishes.
  • Avocados are rich in nutrition and work well in enhancing any cooked or baked dish.
  • Almond butter or any nut butter can add a healthy side to your meals. However, you need to reduce sugar, as it will add natural sweetness to your meal.
  • Vegetable oil can also replace butter very well in cooked food items. However, in baking, it is not fit for all kinds of recipes.

If you have decided to cut down butter consumption, or you have a vegan diet, or even if you are just out of unsalted butter right now, you don’t have to say bye to the food you love. You have options many options to replace butter with.

So, now that you are planning on making some mouthwatering dishes, before you go, leave a comment about what food queries you want me to focus on? Stay healthy.

I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

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