10 Best Margarine Substitutes


Margarine is a product made from hydrogenated vegetable oil and other food additives. It was made as a cheaper substitution for butter. And yes, it looks and tastes similar but the process of making is very different than butter.

Margarine can be made in 3 forms: hard for cooking and baking, bottled liquid margarine to cook or top dishes, and soft margarine for spreading.

The best substitutes for margarine are butter, lard, cream cheese, olive oil, coconut oil, Cocoa butter, Nut butter, Ricotta cheese and Avocado oil.

Substitutes for Margarine

1. Butter


Butter is a dairy product made from churned milk or cream. Thus, if you are vegan, lactose intolerant, or have a milk protein allergy don’t use it.

When you use butter in cookies, cakes, or other baked things they are softer, brown better, and have a better buttery texture, than when you use margarine. It’s the ideal but more expensive substitute for margarine.

2. Lard


Lard is white semi-solid fat made by rendering the fatty tissue of the pigs. It is higher in monounsaturated fats (they are good for cardiovascular health), oleic acid, and has 20 % less saturated fat than butter.

Lard has a neutral flavor, and when used for baking it gives a rich and light flavor. Buit if the recipe is vegetarian or vegan you should consider using some other substitute.

3. Cream cheese

Cream cheese

Cream cheese is made of milk, cream, and stabilizers such as carob bean gum and carrageenan. You can make it at home with milk, cream, lemon juice or vinegar, and salt, and you can also add some herbs, fruits, spices, or whatever you want.

If you are using this instead of margarine use the same amount. Cookies and cakes baked with cream cheese have a rich, fluffy unique flavor and they are melting in your mouth. Cream cheese can be used for spreading with some paprika, garlic, and fresh parsley.

4. Olive oil

Olive oil

If you want to make healthier cakes and cookies, or other recipes use olive oil instead of margarine. It is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid and antioxidants which have many benefits for your health.

Olive oil has a strong flavor and can be used in herb loaves of bread or biscuits. But if you want to use it for cakes, or cookies it will give them an olive oil taste which some people don’t like. In most recipes, olive oil is substituted for margarine at 3:4 proportion.

You can use it for spreading too but only from the freezer because it gets thick in cold. However, olive oil is not good for baked goods that required the fat to remain solid.

5. Unsweetened apple sauce


Apple sauce is made from apples, with or without sugar, and is low in fat and sodium. It is used if you want to lower the amount of fat and calories in baked foods.

This sauce creates a sweet and soft texture so it’s better to use it for cakes, muffins, brownies, or bread. If you want to make cookies, biscuits, and other crispy recipes, use other substitutes.

Apple sauce substitution should be 1:1 ratio and always use the unsweetened form.

6. Coconut oil

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a good substitute for margarine because of its ability to return to a solid form at room temperature. It has a very specific coconut flavor if it’s not refined.

However, when it’s used in cooking it has a very neutral flavor. Coconut oil is best for cakes, cookies, muffins, and other sweets. Use it as a 1:1 ratio with margarine but have in mind that it’s rich in saturated fats which can increase your cholesterol levels.

7. Cocoa butter

Cocoa butter

Cocoa butter is a healthy fat rich in antioxidants and polyphenols. It’s used for making chocolate and has a cocoa flavor.

This substitute is great for both sweet and savory recipes giving them creaminess and soft cocoa flavor, but you should always use melted cocoa butter because it hardens at room temperature.

It can be used for brownies, truffles, and cakes. Always use unrefined cocoa butter.

8. Nut butter

Peanut Butter

Nut butter can be made from peanuts, almonds, or cashews. It’s solid at room temperature which makes it a good margarine substitute. Nut butter can be easily made at home, all you have to do is to buy the nuts you prefer and blend them.

Depending on your taste you can add some spices. When you are using it for the first time trade half of margarine for nut butter, so if you like it add more next time. The flavor depends on the nuts you are using.

9. Ricotta cheese


Ricotta cheese is made of the whey of milk. It has a smooth texture without added salt which makes it a good substitute for margarine, for spreading, and in some baked recipes.

Ricotta is creamy when baked and it can be served with sauteed vegetables and bread. Or in a sweet version with roasted fruits or jam.

10. Avocado oil

Avocado oil

Avocado oil is made of the pulp of avocadoes and is rich in vitamin E and monounsaturated fats. It has a high burning point which makes him great for roasting, sauteing, baking, stir-frying, and cooking.

When used in baking it gives a slightly grassy and mild avocado flavor and fluffy texture. For margarine substitution, it’s best to use a 1:1 ratio.

Related Questions

Can you use butter instead of margarine in a recipe?

You can use butter instead of margarine. However, there may be some changes in texture and taste.

Can I substitute olive oil for margarine?

Yes, you can substitute olive oil for margarine in a 3:4 ratio.

What can I use instead of margarine or butter?

Instead of margarine or butter, you can use lard, olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, avocado oil, nut butter, cream cheese, and ricotta cheese.


Margarine was made as a substitution for butter with a lower price for the military and poor. First, it was white but to improve the sale they began to add yellow color to make it look more like butter.

Nowadays there are many types of margarine you only have to choose the right one for you. The best substitute for margarine is butter. However, if you don’t like dairy you can use olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil for baking or frying.

If you want to enjoy a slice of bread with a good spread use nut butter, ricotta cheese, or cream cheese. There are different varieties of products and recipes.

You can experiment until you make the ideal cake, cookie brownie, or bread. Make your recipe and share it proudly with your friends and family.

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