Margarine is a product that is most often made from processed vegetable oils. This product can be very easily found in a local marketplace or a store, and it is financially reachable to everyone. Of course, there are times when you simply just run out of margarine, and you wonder what can you use to substitute it with. Don’t worry, we got you!
Butter, cream cheese, olive oil, coconut oil, and different kinds of nut butter can all be great alternatives for margarine in your baking and cooking.
All these products have their own differences and similarities and if you want to find out more about them and their uses them keep on reading this article.
Substitutes For Margarine
Since margarine is the ultimate non-dairy alternative to butter, why can’t butter be a dairy substitute for margarine?!
Butter is a dairy product made from milk. For me, this is food that I like to have at home at all times. We know that butter is used in everyday cooking, baking, and spreading on toast. It is made from 80% fat and 20% water or other components. Because of its high-fat content, butter is considered high-calorie food and should be consumed in moderate doses. So, be careful with your daily butter intake.
How is Butter Made
Butter is made by separating the cream from the milk and extracting all the liquids from it. Then, the cream is shaken until the fat from the milk (the butter) is completely extracted from any liquid and becomes separated from it. This process of extraction and separation is called churning.
How To Make Your Own Butter At Home
Before I tried to make it by myself, I always thought that butter was something that was very hard to produce at home, without having the right tools and the right education. Turns out, I was fairly wrong, and now butter is something I love making when having people over for brunch or breakfast. Honestly, there is nothing better than a toast with the flavor and texture of homemade butter. You can make unsalted butter, salted butter, and butter with different types of spices in it.
For this recipe, all you need is:
- Whipping cream
- Mason jar
- A sieve
- Measuring cup
Now, let’s get to the fun part and make the butter.
Start by putting half of your whipped cream in the mason jar along with the salt and sweetener (again, non-essential). Close the jar tight and start the process of extraction by shaking the cream for 10 minutes or so. Your arms may get sore from this fun little exercise but hey, you are making your own butter and sacrifices have to be made.
After a while, you will start to see that your cream is basically being whipped and looks foamy. This is the process of separating the buttermilk from the cream so just keep going, and don’t stop even if your arms are getting a bit sore. After 10/15 minutes you are done with your shaking and you should see the butter floating above your buttermilk like a little yellow ball. Now comes the straining process.
Put the sieve you prepared above your measuring cup and strain the buttermilk from the freshly made butter. And there you have it, the easiest homemade butter recipe you will ever find with only a few ingredients.
Note that this process of extraction doesn’t remove all the buttermilk and liquid from your butter and because of that, I recommend storing your finished product in the refrigerator and using it for no more than two or three days since it can go sour.
To substitute margarine with butter in baking, simply just measure one cup of butter(or a stick of butter) for every cup of margarine that is needed.
Cream cheese is a good alternative for substituting margarine when your recipes aren’t affected by the low-fat content of the cream cheese. I recommend putting cream cheese in foods that won’t be affected by the change of taste and fat proportion. If you want to, you can also use cottage cheese instead of cream cheese.
How To Substitute Butter With Cream Cheese In Baking
During baking, butter or margarine(whichever you’re using) is used to soften your baked goods and add the moisture that comes from their high-fat content. So, If you’re willing to substitute margarine or butter for cream cheese, make sure the cream cheese is a full-fat one. When putting butter or margarine in your baked goods, it usually has to be softened or melted, so it can easily incorporate into the whole dough and give it even moisture. So, do the same thing with the cream cheese. Remember that cream cheese has its own taste, texture, and fat content, so the baked goods can turn out to be a little stiff and slightly different in taste. Honestly, just don’t risk it if you don’t have to. Cakes and cookies made with margarine or butter are far superior to the ones made with cream cheese.
Coconut oil can replace margarine in baking, but keep in mind that the coconut taste can affect the flavor of your baked goods. Other than that your baking should go on smoothly and without any problems. Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting coconut oil with margarine or butter.
What Can You Expect When Baking With Coconut Oil
- Coconut oil is in a solid consistency at room temperature and can easily melt when the temperature is slightly higher.
- When baking with coconut oil, make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature.
- Coconut oil can be used for greasing up pans, baking trays, tins, and other baking dishes.
- If you don’t like the coconut flavor, use refined coconut oil which has a neutral smell and taste.
- Coconut oil is saturated fat and it has a higher burning point than most oils, which makes it perfect for stir-fries and roasting vegetables, although not exactly healthy for you because of its trans fatty acids.
Olive oil has recently found its way into the world of baking and it already has replaced margarine and butter in baked goods. There are lots of cakes, cookies, and bread recipes that are simply amazing when olive oil is added.
Olive oil cuts down the bad cholesterol and saturated fats(which are not healthy, along with the trans-fats) and gives your baked goods Vitamin E and lots of antioxidants(both have major health benefits). So in conclusion, olive oil is a good substitute for butter, margarine, lard, coconut oil, and other oils and fats especially if you’re concerned for your health. It gives your baked goods extra moisture, especially when put in a cake, and who doesn’t want a moist cake or cookies. Olive oil cake is something always recommend for people to make when they want a moist, crumbly cake.
Olive oil is used as a substitute for margarine and butter only when the recipe requires the fat to be in liquid form, not when it should be creamed with sugar or other ingredients.
Peanut Butter (Or Any Other Nut Butters)
Peanut butter is in fact a type of butter with a rich flavor, so it is possible to replace margarine with it. But note that peanut butter (and other nut kinds of nut butter) have about 50% fat and the other 50% are proteins, fibers, and liquids. So, when substituting margarine for it, add an equal amount of oil and any nut butter to enhance that fat content. Your baked goods will have a great buttery flavor, even if it is peanut butter.
Peanut butter and other kinds of nut butter can go great in cookie recipes, brownie recipes, cake recipes, pancakes, banana smoothies, pastries, etc…
Types of Nut Butter
The most popular kinds of nut butter other than peanut butter are almond butter, walnut butter, and hazelnut butter. These are all made from extracting the oils and fats from the nuts by grinding them up until they’re made into a smooth paste with high-fat content. You have so many options for nut butter, but you can never go wrong with the one and only peanut butter and almond butter. Nut butter gives pastries a strong flavor and a nutty taste, so it’s not your usual substitute for butter.
What is Margarine And What Is It Used For
Margarine is a product made from processed vegetable oils. It was made with the intention to be a butter substitute and in most situations, it can be. Depending on what kinds of oils are put in it, margarine can consist of polyunsaturated fats which are healthy for your heart and lower the risk of heart disease.
That being said, margarine can also consist of trans-fats. Trans-fats are made industrially, by processing the oils and changing their natural texture and consistency. These fats are considered fairly unhealthy.
To make these trans-trans into a solid form like margarine, first, they have to be exposed to a high temperature, high pressure, and hydrogen gas. This process is called hydrogenation and can cause many health problems, bad cholesterol, and even affect your skin.
What is Margarine Used For
This product can be used in many different ways, but its main purpose is to basically be a vegetarian alternative to butter in cookies, cakes, quick breads, and other pastries, but also to be spread on toasts and crackers. Margarine acts the same as butter in baking and cooking.
If you wish to substitute your butter in a baking recipe with margarine, the ratio is 1:1, meaning that for a cup of butter you should replace a cup of margarine. This is a good butter substitute for baking because it can easily melt and incorporate its moisture all over the pastries, making them moist and soft.
This vegetable spread is usually a non-dairy product, made without milk and other animal produce. It really is a helping hand in the kitchen for when you don’t have butter at hand. Melted butter can be replaced with melted margarine.
Differences Between Butter and Margarine
- Butter is a dairy product made from churning cream, opposed to margarine that is made with processed vegetable oils.
- Butter consists of saturated fats that can be quite damaging for your LDL cholesterol levels, margarine is considered a slightly healthier version of butter because it’s made from vegetable oils.
- The quality of the butter depends on the diet of the cow producing the milk. Margarine quality depends on the types of vegetable oils and how are they processed.
- Margarine has air bubbles incorporated in it and because of this, pastries made with margarine have an extra flaky texture.
Other Alternative For Margarine
- Applesauce can be an alternative for margarine. Simply replace half the amount of margarine in your recipe for cup applesauce. Use unsweetened applesauce so it doesn’t affect the taste. To make applesauce just put cut-out apples in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Greek Yogurt replaces margarine in most recipes, but it does affect the taste and the consistency. Replace one cup of margarine with one cup of full-fat yogurt in your recipes.
- Avocado significantly reduces the fat content in your cookies and baked recipes, so that makes it a healthy alternative for margarine. Avocado is used in desserts like brownies, cakes, and puddings. It also has the same fat content as butter.
- Pumpkin can be a substitute for either oil or margarine in recipes. Use 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree instead of one cup margarine.