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The 5 Best Substitutes for Unsalted Butter

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Why is unsalted butter better for baking? Most recipes call for unsalted butter to ensure the dish isn’t too salty.

Salt acts as a preservative, so unsalted butter has a shorter shelf life and will go bad quickly.

That said, you can substitute salted butter for unsalted in a pinch.

Just remember to cut back on the amount of salt in the recipe.

So what’s the best substitute for unsalted butter? We’ve rounded up five of the best substitutes for unsalted butter so you can bake to your heart’s content.

What is Unsalted Butter?

what is unsalted butter

The main difference between salted and unsalted butter is, of course, the presence of salt.

Unsalted butter is, quite simply, butter without salt.

Salt acts as a preservative, so unsalted butter has a shorter shelf life than its salted counterpart.

In addition, salt enhances the flavor of butter, so unsalted butter is less flavorful than salted butter.

For this reason, many chefs prefer to use unsalted butter in cooking so that they can control the level of saltiness in their dishes.

Although it has a shorter shelf life and is less flavorful than salted butter, unsalted butter has advantages.

It is easier to spread than salted butter and whips up into lighter, fluffier textures.

As a result, unsalted butter is ideal for baking delicate cakes and pastries.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Unsalted Butter

If you’re out of unsalted butter or looking for a healthier option, there are several substitutes you can use in its place.

Here are the five best substitutes for unsalted butter:

1 – Salted Butter

salted butter

Few things are as delicious as a slab of butter melting on a warm piece of bread.

Butter is essential in many recipes, from classic dishes like mashed potatoes and homemade cake to more modern creations like avocado toast.

It’s also a key component of many beloved comfort foods, such as grilled cheese sandwiches and macaroni and cheese.

While many different types of butter are available, salted butter is often the best choice for cooking and baking.

The salt helps to enhance the flavor of the butter, making it more versatile and convenient.

In addition, the salt helps to preserve the butter, ensuring that it will remain fresh for longer.

2 – Lard


Lard has been used for centuries as a cooking fat and is well known for its distinct flavor.

Because lard is made from pig fat, it has a high saturated fat content, which makes it solid at room temperature.

This characteristic makes lard ideal for baking, as it helps to create flaky pastries and crusts.

In addition, lard can be used in savory dishes to add richness and depth of flavor.

Although lard is not as popular as it once was, it remains an essential ingredient in many traditional recipes.

For those looking to add a unique flavor to their cooking, lard is worth trying.

3 – Shortening


In cooking, shortening is a fat that is used to create a crumbly texture in pastry and to make baked goods more tender.

It typically has a high melting point, which allows it to be used in pie crusts and other items that require a flaky texture.

Shortening can be made from either animal fats or vegetable oils, though the latter is more common.

While it was once the preferred choice for baking, shortening has fallen out of favor in recent years due to health concerns about its high saturated fat content.

However, it remains a popular ingredient in many commercial baked goods.

4 – Coconut Oil

coconut oil

Looking for a delicious, healthy alternative to butter? Try coconut oil.

This versatile oil can be used in sweet or savory dishes and has a host of health benefits.

Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, metabolized differently than other types of fat.

In fact, coconut oil can help boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.

Additionally, coconut oil is an excellent source of antioxidants and can help improve your cardiovascular health.

So why not give it a try? substituted in any recipe that calls for unsalted butter.

Just remember to use it sparingly, as it is still a high-fat food.

5 – Olive Oil

olive oil

For generations, olive oil has been a staple of the Mediterranean diet, prized for its health benefits and unique flavor.

In recent years, olive oil has also become increasingly popular in the United States.

As more Americans seek to incorporate healthy fats into their diet, olive oil has become a flavorful and versatile alternative to traditional unsalted butter.

Unlike butter, which is made from animal fat, olive oil is plant-based and contains monounsaturated fats that have been shown to improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

In addition, olive oil has a lower smoke point than butter, making it ideal for sautéing or frying.

As Americans continue to embrace healthy cooking methods, olive oil will likely become even more popular in the years to come.


In conclusion, unsalted butter is a great ingredient that can be used in many different recipes.

However, there are some substitutes that can be used in its place.

These substitutes include: salted butter, lard, shortening, coconut oil, and olive oil.

Each of these substitutes has its own unique flavor and texture that can be used to create different dishes.

Nevertheless, unsalted butter is still the best ingredient to use in baking and cooking.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Unsalted Butter

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


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Cooking time


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  • Salted Butter

  • Lard

  • Shortening

  • Coconut Oil

  • Olive Oil


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

Recipe Video

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