Baking with Olive Oil Instead of Butter

Swapping olive oil for butter cuts saturated fat. Plus, good olive oil adds a wonderful, nuanced flavor to baked goods and keeps them moist.

Baking with Olive Oil Instead of ButterButter is made from the fat and protein solids found in milk. While most butter you’ll see in grocery stores comes from cow’s milk, butter can also be made from the milk of sheep, goats, buffalo and other mammals. Olive oil is a fat obtained from the olive, a tree-growing fruit. There are numerous different types of olive oil. Oils can be labelled as “virgin,” “extra virgin” or “premium extra virgin” refer to how little the oil has been processed.

As a rule of thumb, substitute three-quarters of the butter in a recipe with olive oil. That is; If a baking recipe calls for a stick of butter (8 tablespoons), for example, use 6 tablespoons of olive oil.

Another substitution for butter is coconut oil, which when cold can mimic the texture of butter, making it useful for pies and tarts. It will also give you some of the “loft” olive oil does not. Just like olive oil, coconut oil comes in different stages of purity.


  • For a beautiful green salad with olive oil is exquisite.
  • You’re looking to eat healthier. Olive oil has significantly less saturated fat than butter, so it’s often a more heart-healthy choice.
  • Butter has a very low burn point, which makes it ill-suited to anything more than pan frying. The burn point of olive oil is around 410 degrees F (210 degrees C), which will generally cover much cooking; butter’s burn point is about 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  • You’re making a marinade.
  • You want to avoid dairy.
  • Spread or spray olive oil onto breads to which you would normally add butter, including garlic bread, French bread, bagels and toast.

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