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Apr 14, 2008 11:30 AM

Cake Baking: Can You Substitute Butter for Oil?

In cake baking, can you substitute butter for oil?

I suspect because oil is a liquid and butter is solid (semi-solid?) you can't just do a simple ounce-for-ounce replacement. You must have to rebalance the recipe somehow.

Has anyone done this in cake baking -- gotten rid of the oil and used butter instead? If so, please share your methodology. I'd be interested in hearing both success stories as well as experiments that didn't work out.

Thank you!

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  1. No, it doesn't work well, in general. They're a different percent fat; butter being part water. And, as you said, it affects the texture with one being solid and having different properties. It's possible to substitute by playing with the liquids but, overall, I'd find a recipe that calls for butter. This might help, if you're interested:

    1. I have done this sucessfully when the amount was small - less than a half a cup. I just melted that butter and used an equal amount to the oil. I can't say how it would work in something that called for a larger amount. Most of my recipes call for butter anyway.

      1. Depends what kind of cake. Often the butter and sugar are beaten together to incorporate air, thus making the cake lighter. This cannot be done with oil. A loaf style cake will often use oil.