12 Margarine Substitutes for Baking and Cooking Recipes

Margarine Substitute

Margarine is a processed product that doesn’t contain dairy. It’s made of vegetable oil and other food supplements. This product is mainly used in baking and cooking. You may often need margarine substitutes for various recipes when your recipe requires oil or fat-based substance to become soft and fluffy.

There are 3 types of margarine; hard, bottled liquid margarine, and soft. Hard margarine is used for baking and cooking. Liquid margarine is used for cooking and topping meals. Soft margarine is used as a spread. BTW, Most margarine found in stores is vegan.

Check the List of the Best Margarine Substitutes 


Butter is more expensive than margarine but it is the best alternative to margarine. Butter is made from churned milk or cream. It contains fat and water: 80% fat and 20% water. If you have allergies to butter then you’d better search for another substitute. 

You can use it in the bakery and in cooking to give your dishes a light, mild and subtle touch. One cup of butter can substitute for one cup of margarine. Cookies, cakes, and other baked products made with butter are softer, compared to bakeries made with margarine. 

There are several types of butter; unsalted, salted, and butter with several spices in it. So, consider this when you decide to choose butter instead of margarine. Opt for the one matching your dish, meal, or dough.  

Vegetable Oil 

Vegetable oil is produced from different types of fruits, seeds, grains, and nuts. It is often used in baking and cooking as it’s considered to be rich in fats. Many recipes in bakeries require vegetable oil, which means that you can use it without worrying about the flavor. Your dish will taste good and won’t have an unpleasant aroma.  

Usually, a few drops of oil is enough to substitute for margarine. Depending on the number of other ingredients, you can use it more or less. Compared to butter and many other substitutes, vegetable oil is vegan and healthier. 

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is made of pasteurized milk and cream, lactic acid, and stabilizers. This soft and light mixture is widely used not only in baking but also in cooking and making sauces. Homemade cream cheeses contain milk, cream, lemon juice, and salt. Depending on what you cook or bake, you can add some other spices. 

Cream cheese substitutes for margarine by a 1/1 ratio. If you want to bake cookies and cakes that taste soft in the mouth then use cream cheese instead of margarine. Bakeries made with cream cheese look fluffier and smell more pleasant. Make sure you use full-fat cream cheese in baking to keep the required amount of moisture in your dish. 

Avocado Oil

One of the heart-healthy oils high in vitamin E and unsaturated fat is avocado oil. It is used almost in all fields of cooking including roasting, baking, stir-frying, and adding as a topping on salads. 

You can use it instead of margarine if you want to have a fluffy texture for your dough. Avocado oil has a tender aroma which will be reflected in dishes. Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting for margarine. 

Avocado oil allows you to avoid much use of cholesterol and saturated fats. You can utilize it when baking a cake and it will provide it with extra moisture, which is necessary for most types of cakes. 


Applesauce is one of the most affordable alternatives to margarine. You can make it at home from peeled apples and use it, especially in cakes and cookies that require either apple flavor or margarine. 

The biggest advantage of applesauce is that it decreases the number of fats and cholesterol in desserts. Thus, it’s good for vegans and those who look for recipes to include in their diet. 

On the other hand, the sweetness of apples will be reflected in any way. So, you may use less sugar if you choose applesauce instead of margarine. One and a half teaspoons of applesauce can replace one teaspoon of margarine.


Lard is the melted pork fat that’s similar to olive oil and canola oil. It contains too much fat to replace margarine and may not be a good substitute for vegans. 

However, lard is good for health as it also contains oleic acid and comes with 20 % less saturated fat than butter. It is used in baking and usually provides a pork-like flavor to baked products. It is an ideal choice if you want to enhance flakiness in pie crusts.

Coconut Oil

The biggest fans of coconut flavor and taste may also want to have it in their baked goods. If you are one of them then choose coconut oil instead of margarine. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid and saturated fat which are good for the composition of blood lipids. It is often used in desserts and sweets such as cakes, cookies, and muffins. 

Cocoa butter

Considered 100% vegan, cocoa butter is another good margarine substitute.  It contains antioxidants and polyphenols, which are good for health. This product is mainly used for making chocolate but you can use it in sweet and savory recipes if you want to get some creaminess and subtle cocoa flavor for your dish. 

Nut Butter

Peanuts, almonds, or cashews are the most popular nuts from which we get soft nut butter. They are rich with vitamins and perfectly replace margarine. 1 tablespoon of peanut butter has as much fat as 2 tablespoons of margarine. 

You can make nut butter at home if you have nuts in hand. Just blend them well and use them in making cakes, cookies, creams, and other sweets. Add some flavors depending on the nuts you use. 

Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta is an Italian cheese made of whey milk. It tastes slightly sweet and has quite a soft texture. You can substitute it for margarine in some baked recipes but it is used for spreading as well. 

Ricotta cheese becomes creamy when you cook it. If you prefer using it in sweets then you may use it with roasted fruits or jam.

Olive Oil

As for olive oil, it is an ideal alternative to margarine if you prefer eating healthy. This oil contains monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and vitamin K. It offers a strong flavor, that’s why be careful with the amount you use in the bakery. Consider using it in a 3:4 ratio when substituting for margarine. 

You may rather use it in herb loaves of bread or biscuits than in cakes because the olive oil taste is unavoidable in sweets. 

Mashed Bananas

Don’t be surprised to see mashed bananas on this list. They are used the same way as applesauce.

Mashed bananas are soft and mild in taste. This fruit is high in potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. It can provide your cakes, biscuits, and other bakeries with the necessary moisture, nutrients, and flavor.  The simplest way to replace bananas with margarine is using sliced bananas on breakfast toast. 

FAQs about Margarine 

How is butter different from margarine?

Margarine is made from vegetable oils while butter is made of heavy cream. Margarine contains unsaturated fats while butter is rich in saturated fat. Margarine is considered to be vegan, whereas butter is not. According to the research, margarine is a healthier product than butter. 

What are the health benefits of margarine?

Fat found in margarine contains vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin E. It’s also high in  omega-3 fatty acid which is good for the health of the heart.  Additionally, plant sterols included in it help to decrease cholesterol levels.

What is the best substitute for margarine for baking?

Perhaps the best substitute for margarine is butter especially when it comes to baking. They have a similar texture, taste, and color. For recipes where you regularly use margarine, you can always replace it with butter.  In a word, bakeries made with butter don’t differ from those made with margarine, but butter is more expensive than margarine. 


If you often bake sweets with margarine then you may try different margarine substitutes in your recipes to find out the most suitable alternative for every dish. Before using each of these products you’d better check the ratio to margarine. 

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