Substitute Butter for Margarine: Product Recommendations

Butter and margarine are two common kitchen staples that are often used interchangeably. While they share many similarities, there are also some key differences between the two. In this article, we will learn how to substitute butter for margarine, providing you with the knowledge and recommendations you need to make informed choices in your culinary endeavors.

margarine looking like butter

Margarine is a spreadable vegetable oil product that is often used as a substitute for butter. It is made by churning vegetable oils with water, milk solids, and salt. Margarine is typically lower in saturated fat than butter and is often fortified with vitamins and minerals. However, it may also contain artificial ingredients and additives.

Butter vs. Margarine: Taste, Texture, and Applications

Butter and margarine have different flavor profiles. Butter has a rich, creamy flavor, while margarine has a milder, slightly sweet flavor. Butter also has a higher melting point than margarine, which means it holds its shape better when cooked. In terms of texture, butter is firmer at room temperature than margarine. This makes it a better choice for some applications, such as making flaky pastries. However, margarine’s softer texture can be beneficial in other recipes, such as frostings and sauces.

Table summarizing the key differences between butter and margarine:
Source of fatDairyPlant oils
FlavorRich, butteryMild, slightly sweet
Melting point90°F (32°C)94-98°F (34-37°C)
TextureFirm at room temperature, soft when meltedSoft at room temperature, melts easily

As a general rule of thumb, you can substitute butter for margarine in most recipes using a 1:1 ratio. For example, if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of butter, you can use 1/2 cup of margarine.

Earth Balance Buttery Spread: This plant-based margarine is made with non-GMO canola oil, sunflower oil, and sea salt. It is free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! This popular margarine is a close substitute for butter in terms of taste and texture. It is made with vegetable oils, water, milk solids, and salt.

Becel Buttery Spread: This margarine is made with rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, and water. It is fortified with vitamins A and D.

Country Crock Original Buttery Spread: This margarine is made with vegetable oils, water, milk solids, and salt. It is fortified with vitamins A, D, and E.

Flora Original Buttery Spread: This margarine is made with sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, and water. It is fortified with vitamins A, D, E, and B12.

Additional Tips for Substituting Butter with Margarine

If you are concerned about the flavor of margarine, you can use a tub margarine that is labeled as “butter flavored. “You can also experiment with different types of margarine to find one that you prefer. For example, some margarines are made with olive oil or avocado oil, which can add a unique flavor to your dishes.


Substituting butter for margarine is a versatile culinary option that can be used in a variety of recipes. With a few simple considerations, you can create delicious and satisfying dishes that cater to your dietary preferences and culinary tastes. Explore the world of margarine and discover the perfect substitute for your butter-based creations.

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