How to replace butter with oil

Can butter be replaced with oil in both sweet and savory recipes? Not only can it be done, but by following a few simple tips, you will achieve practically the same results as the original version with butter.

So, why use our Olive Oil instead of butter? This may come down to health reasons, food intolerances, or because we follow a plant-based diet.
Food intolerances or greater attention to the types of fat we decide to use and in particular, the percentages of saturated and unsaturated fats contained in dishes we consume, may lead to the replacement of butter with oil. Ideological choices, so for example the decision to follow a plant-based diet, as is the case for vegans, or simply a desire to have fun and experiment in the kitchen, may also inspire us to replace butter with olive oil.

In order to correctly replace butter with oil, first and foremost it is important to understand the composition of both fats. Butter contains around 80% of fatty acids and 20% water, whereas olive oil contains virtually no water at all.
This lack of water is a fundamental detail for correct conversion, especially if you need to prepare large amounts of a particular dish. Let's take a look at why and how to replace butter with oil, the correct way.


How to convert amounts of butter into oil?

Now that we understand the composition of both fats, it becomes obvious that in order to replace butter with oil, we need to subtract 20% of the total weight. So for example, if we need to replace 3,5 oz. of butter with oil, 2,8 oz. of oil will be necessary (3,5 oz. - 20% of the total).

Butter must be replaced with oil in this way when dealing with small amounts, like when preparing a cake, for example.
When preparing for lots of people and quantities increase, the correct replacement of butter with oil also requires the addition of the amount of water present in butter. So, for 35,3 oz. of butter in a recipe, in addition to 28,2 oz. of oil, it is also best to add 7,1 oz. of water, to rebalance the liquid to solid ratio.


Butter-oil conversion table in grams:

To make this operation easier, the table below shows amounts in grams that can be used as a conversion guide for both fats, valid for replacing butter with oil, and vice versa.

Butter (oz.) Oil (oz.)
0,7 0,5
0,88 0,7
1,1 0,8
1,2 0,9
1,4 1,1
1,6 1,3
1,8 1,4
2,1 1,7
2,8 2,3
3,5 2,8
4,2 3,4
5,3 4,2
6,3 5,1
7,1 5,6
8,8 7,1
10,6 8,5

Replacing butter with oil for desserts: can it be done?

When we decide to replace butter with oil in a recipe, we need to bear in mind that extra virgin olive oil has an intense, aromatic flavor that doesn't always go well with the preparation of desserts.

So it is best to use oils with a delicate flavor, like our Extra Virgin Olive Oil Delicato or Carli Pure Olive Oil. In this way it is possible to make desserts with a balanced flavor, in which the flavor of the oil exalts the other ingredients, for a remarkable taste and consistency.

Cake with olive oil and yogurt

Savory dishes: can butter be replaced?

Butter can be replaced with oil in all sweet and savory recipes: pan-fried dishes, risottos, béchamel and much more.

The important thing is to stick to the right conversion amounts when replacing butter with oil, and to choose the olive oil with the right aroma that goes best with the dish being prepared.