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The 5 Best Substitutes for Butter in Frosting

Are you looking for ways to enhance the flavor and texture of your frosting?

Have you ever thought about using butter in frosting? Using butter instead of shortening is a great way to get a delicious, creamy texture.

Not only does it add flavor, but it also helps the baked goods hold their shape.

But if you don’t have any butter on-hand or are looking for substitutions, there are some excellent alternatives that can step in and make your frosting just as good as they were before.

In this article, we’ll look at five of the best substitutes for butter in the frosting, so you can always have a delicious and creative treat to share with your friends and family.

What is the Purpose of Butter in Frosting?

The purpose of butter in frosting is to add flavor, richness, and texture to cakes, cupcakes, and other baked goods.

The buttery finish of a good frosting can bring an ordinary cake to life.

The use of butter in frosting goes back centuries, with many cultures developing their own techniques to make delicious frostings.

Butter adds a richness that can’t be replicated; it has a tender yet thick consistency that binds the ingredients together while providing superior taste and mouthfeel.

To get the most out of butter in your frosting, it is important to use high-quality butter at room temperature; too hot or cold can affect the texture and appearance.

Incorporating softened butter into your icing creates a smooth, soft and creamy consistency that is perfect for layer cakes and cupcakes.

Through careful use of butter in your baking, you can create attention-grabbing confections that are sure to impress.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Butter in Frosting

If you are looking for a healthier alternative to butter when it comes to frosting, there are many different options available.

From plant-based sources like coconut oil or avocado to dairy-free alternatives like margarine and vegan butter, the choice is up to you.

Here are five of the best substitutes for butter in frosting that can help make your recipe or treat a little bit healthier.

1 – Margarine

Margarine is a popular butter substitute that has been used in many recipes since its invention.

This yellowish spread has a texture that is more solid than butter but still easy to spread on bread or toast.

It also has a mild flavor which complements other ingredients nicely.

Those who enjoy baking can use margarine as an alternative to butter in commonly made recipes, such as frosting for cakes, allowing for fuller icing without the extra fat from the butter.

If making frosting with margarine, try substituting all or part of the butter’s required amount, as this will help create better texture and structure when using it as decoration on cupcakes and other desserts.

2 – Vegan Butter

Vegan butter has come a long way over the years and is now beloved by many for its rich and creamy taste.

Although there are differences in texture compared to dairy butter, it can generally be used as a substitute for baking applications, such as frostings.

It has a smooth consistency that melts easily and can be used to create silky textures that are perfect for spreading or swirling on cakes or cupcakes.

When adding it to frosting recipes, simply use a 1:1 ratio of vegan butter to unsalted dairy butter that is specified in the recipe.

It’s the perfect way to make sure your treats aren’t just delicious but also vegan-friendly.

3 – Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a fantastic ingredient to keep around your kitchen, no matter how experienced you are in the cooking space.

The light oil has a nutty, tropical flavor that complements a variety of dishes and sweets.

Unlike other oils on the market, coconut oil solidifies if it’s chilled – giving it a similar texture to butter.

That makes it an ideal replacement for butter in frosting.

To substitute traditional butter with coconut oil, simply melt the coconut oil into liquid form and use it in place of melted butter in the recipe – no further ingredients or adjustments are needed.

4 – Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a soft, mild-tasting cheese that is perfect for making creamy sauces, dips, and spreads.

It has a thick yet spreadable texture and provides a subtle tangy flavor to any dish you blend it with.

Its creamy, delicious taste adds depth and dimension to many dishes, like bagels with lox and cheesecake.

For those looking for an alternative to butter in the frosting, cream cheese is the answer.

By replacing butter with cream cheese, you’ll get a richly flavored icing that sets quickly but still holds its shape when piped or spread onto cakes or cupcakes.

Best of all, cream cheese is incredibly versatile, so you can pair it with jams or jellies for sweet and savory varieties of frosting.

5 – Heavy Cream

Heavy cream, also known as heavy whipping cream, is a luxurious, rich dairy product commonly used in sweet and savory recipes alike.

It has the lightest, creamiest texture of all types of cream; its delicious taste can be described as being almost buttery due to a high concentration of fat.

When it comes to baking cakes or cupcakes, heavy cream can provide an extra-fluffy frosting – simply use a ratio of one part butter and three parts heavy cream for delectable results.

Alternatively, you can replace the butter altogether with the same measurements for an even lighter, fluffier texture.

All in all, whipped heavy cream adds an unbelievably creamy finish to any dish.


In conclusion, there are a variety of options to choose from when it comes to substituting butter in the frosting.

Whether you’re looking for a vegan-friendly option or something with a creamy texture and flavor, these five ingredients can provide the perfect alternative to traditional butter.

Margarine, vegan butter, coconut oil, cream cheese, and heavy cream all have unique properties that make them ideal for baking and can help you create the perfect sweet treats – with a little bit of imagination.

So, don’t be afraid to try something new and experiment in the kitchen.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Butter in Frosting

The 5 Best Substitutes for Butter in Frosting
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Margarine
  • Vegan Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Cream Cheese
  • Heavy Cream


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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