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How to substitute olive oil for butter

Updated April 17, 2017

Olive oil is a better choice for those worried about the health benefits of their cooking and baking because it contains monounsaturated fat. This type of fat lowers your risk of heart disease by reducing lipoprotein cholesterol levels in the blood. Using olive oil also doesn't sacrifice too much taste over butter and can actually benefit foods by making them last longer. Know the right measurements and you can start adding olive oil to your recipes immediately.

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  1. Convert the amount of olive oil you are using to match the butter measurements in the recipe. The standard conversion from butter to olive oil is to multiply by 0.75 and round up or down to the nearest whole 10 or unit. For example, measure out 1.5 teaspoons of olive oil for a recipe that requires 2 teaspoons of butter and use 90 ml of olive oil for a recipe that needs 125 ml of butter. See the link in the Resources section for a full conversion table and common examples.

  2. Warm up the olive oil if using it in a bread recipe. You can store olive oil in the fridge to make it last longer but avoid mixing it straight into bread dough. Using cold olive oil actually stunts the growth of the yeast in bread dough because of the lowered temperature. Instead, warm up the olive oil in a bowl of warm water until it is loose enough to pour.

  3. Add olive oil to cake and bread recipes to make the foods last longer. Olive oil has antioxidant properties that mean it has a longer-lasting quality than other oils and fats. It is also packed with Vitamin E, which helps to maintain the freshness of baked and cooked foods.

  4. Ensure that you avoid using olive oil in any recipe that requires you to cream sugar, for example, biscuits. Creaming sugar can only really be done with butter or lard, and olive oil has a liquid content too high to make fluffy creamed sugar. Also avoid substituting olive oil for butter in cake icing, which needs to remain solid at room temperature.

  5. Tip

    The ideal temperature for storing olive oil is 14C.

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About the Author

Matthew Caines

Matthew Caines began writing and editing in 2008 and has since gained valuable experience in the publishing industry working for national publications such as "The Guardian," "Sartorial Male," "AREA Magazine," "Food & Drink Magazine," "Redbrick Newspaper" and "REACH Magazine." He has a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Birmingham, U.K.

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