Butter vs Oil


Gandire Alea

[Wicked Awesome Translator], Female
Blog Posts:
All fats, whether solid or liquid, provide flavor and richness. Fat also helps with leavening, which is what helps the dough rise.

Provides Flavor
Baking with fats creates a rich tasting experience and more flavor overall. Another plus: cakes and cookies will be moister when baking with fat.

Tender Crumb
Fat creates tender baked goods by slowing down the formation of gluten. When fat coats flour it acts as a barrier between the protein and water. That’s why rich bread like brioche or cinnamon rolls are richer and more decadent in comparison to a baguette or Italian loaf, which don’t have any fat in them.

Leavening Agent
Solid fats, like butter, can help baked goods rise. When you cream butter and sugar together, it creates an aerated mixture that provides lift before, during, and after baking. Butter also contains water, and when the water evaporates, it creates flakey layers critical to a pie crust or biscuit.

Butter is considered a solid fat because it is solid at room temperature and oil is considered a liquid fat because it’s liquid at room temperature. Because of this, you can’t rely on oil to provide any leavening help in baked goods, which can result in a denser texture.

Do not substitute one for the other

Soups and Snowbun like this.


    1. Gandire Alea Jul 23, 2021
      @Snowbun That will look into that and make a future blog post
    2. Snowbun Jul 23, 2021
      Hmm I have some personal notes on this subject. Basically what I don't ever recommend doing is substituting butter for margarine unless it's a product made specifically for baking by the manufacturer. Margarine or any butter substitute can have varied compositions depending on the brand, so results may also vary a lot. Butter is a lot more straightforward. It's only salted/unsalted (and sometimes cultured). Cakes made with oil are usually fluffy in texture, a little bit less dense than butter. I've had mixed results with coconut oil (which is solid at low room temperature) but overall, I think it's a good plant-based fat substitute. For savoury baked goods (small buns and bread): lard, rendered bacon fat and oil will mostly have the same effect from my experience.