5 Best Unsalted Butter Substitutes

Unsalted Butter

There is one ingredient that the kitchen always needs and that is butter. This is our friend in almost every meal that we cook, which makes it even better.

When it comes to pies, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, pastry, or any other meal, butter is our staple ingredient in the kitchen. It is a product that can be easily found in your local market and it is a product that we depend on.

Actually, there are two types of butter: salted and unsalted. The only difference is in the sodium containment. Further, unsalted butter is mostly used as a healthier option in many recipes. 

But what if you are out of butter and you don’t want to go to the market, is there anything that you can use in your recipe that will replace the butter? 

The best substitutes for unsalted Butter are Salted Butter, Vegetable shortening, Vegetable oil, Lard, and Unsweetened Applesauce.

Moreover, read as well about what you can substitute for unsalted butter in the frosting, there is a list of replacements that will make your frosting great. 

Substitutes for Unsalted Butter

No need to worry if you are out of unsalted butter and your recipe requires, down below is a list of the best alternatives that will help you with your recipe.

Keep in mind that the replacements may cause a change in the flavor, but they will still help you save your recipe and bring out the taste that you’ll need. 

1. Salted butter


A  substitution that is very simple and easy is the salted butter option. You can replace an unsalted butt with a salted one just by adding an equal amount to your recipe.

You just have to adjust the amount of salt in the recipe, because you have an extra one in the butter. All you have to do is reduce the salt by ¼ teaspoon for every stick of butter that is used.

Since different brands of butter contain different amounts of salt, make sure to use a single stick of butter that actually contains from ⅛ to ½ tablespoon of salt. Just give your recipe a taste if there is something to adjust. There wouldn’t be any difference in your recipe.

2. Vegetable shortening

This is a product made from vegetable oils and has 100% fat. There’s no water in shortening and also there is no gluten-producing steam. This is a product that will make your baking goods very soft and tender, then the butter can make them.

It may make them taller and higher. It has no flavor and your recipe won’t be affected if you are using shortening. You can use it for making desserts, dairy-free, or vegan recipes. 

Be aware that if you use this product as a replacement for butter, let’s say if you are making a flaky pie crust recipe, the product might not turn as you expected. It is essential not to substitute this product if it is very specifically stated in the recipe that you need butter.

When making the substitution use measure for measure. For baking, it is preferred to preserve consistency. 

3. Vegetable oil

You can substitute vegetable oil instead of unsalted butter in your recipe that requires a melted one. Both products are liquid fats so they will resemble the same effect on your recipe. If you are using it for making baking goods like bread or muffins then the vegetable oil will fit perfectly.

You’ll receive very similar results as if you were making the original recipe. Actually, vegetable oil is a very common replacement and it helps as a substitute. You can easily find it in your local store.

When substituting, use ⅞ of vegetable oil for every 1 cup of unsalted butter. Make sure to carefully substitute it and it is not a very good idea for baking because it will affect the consistency. 

4. Lard

Lard is actually rendered pork fat which is a very common replacement for many old-fashioned recipes. This is a substitute that might be harder to come by than the other fats, but it can be very helpful and keep it on your list.

This product can make a difference and a different impact on your recipe but really depends on what you are making. You can use lard to make pie crusts, which will turn out to be nice and flaky. Lard is often used as a substitute for that kind of recipe. 

You can use ⅞ cup of lard for 1 cup of unsalted butter. Since this is an animal product, it won’t fit in your vegan diet and it is used as an alternative for cooking dishes and also baking. 

5.  Unsweetened Applesauce 

This is a very good substitute for unsalted butter, especially for baking goods. This is a product that has no cholesterol, fat, or sodium. It is used to bake muffins, cakes, bread and it is so good that it will help your food to keep moist without adding saturated fats.

This is a product that is already sweet and will require reducing the amount of sugar in your recipe. 

You can use half of the amount that is supposed to be used for the unsalted butter. This will help you if you are trying to be careful and you are watching out for how many calories you are entering your body. Using this as a substitute will work well in sugar cookies, banana or zucchini bread

Unsalted Butter

Butter comes in two ways: it is either salad or unsalted. So the main difference between them is in the amount of salt, so since the salted butter the amount of salt varies, bakers have developed a recipe for the unsalted.

So, in general, unsalted butter is used for recipes that are more health-focused. You can keep the unsalted butter in the freezer and if you want to use it right from the fridge, just microwave it for 10 seconds, and it will be good for us.

Actually, unsalted butter has 100 calories, 12g of fat, 7g of saturated fat, 0 g of protein, 0 grams of fiber, 0g of sugar, no calcium, sodium, and potassium. It is used for recipes that are usually dairy-free, vegan, or lower in fat. You can bake, cook, and make many recipes with unsalted butter.

What Can I Substitute for Unsalted Butter When Making Frosting?

Butter is a very important ingredient in the frosting process. So if you are out of unsalted butter read the list of what to use instead.

  • Salted butter can be used instead of unsalted. They both work and the slated one actually tastes better when it is served plain or used in simple recipes. The only disadvantage is that there is no way to find out how much salt there is in the butter so you have to be careful not to overuse salt. The sugar in the frosting will help cut the salty taste. 
  • Margarine is another replacement because they have comparable amounts of fat. Use the same ratio if you are substituting for frosting. 
  • Cream cheese can be used as well instead of butter in the frosting which will hold the sugar and keep the frost moist. It has a tangy flavor and you should use 3 to 4 ounces for every cup of butter that is required. If you are making a cake and using cream cheese do not let it sit in a room that has a higher temperature because it will turn soft and your cake won’t be good. 
  • Whipping cream will make a fluffy and light frosting. Substitute 1 cup of butter for every 3 cups of heavy cream. Mix in a bowl and add powdered sugar. It will make a stable frosting as if you used butter and it does not need to be put in the fridge. 
  • Peanut butter is the last of the replacements that will make your frosting distinct. You can’t use peanut butter to replace the whole amount of butter, so you can use ½ of peanut butter and one-half shortening. This will help the frosting and the peanut butter to reach the creamy flavor. 

Related questions:

What if I don’t have unsalted butter for cookies?

Well if your recipe requires unsealed and you are out, you can always use unsalted and you should reduce the amount of salt by ¼.

How do I know if a recipe calls for unsalted or salted butter? 

It is hard to tell but a good recipe will actually have it specified. There is the general rule that if it is unspecified then it is unsalted but every recipe requires a different one. Even though there is no need to worry if you don’t know, make sure to balance the taste. 

Do you use salted or unsalted butter when baking?

Usually, when baking, bakers use unsalted butter and it is easier to manage the salt. Most recipes that require butter are using the unsalted one as well for desserts. 

1 comment
  1. My recipe calls for 1/4 tsp of salt and I have butter with salt, I’m making chocolate chip cookies , what should I do? I don’t know my website?

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