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Butter, Margarine and Spreads


They make butter from fresh or soured cream and by law, it must contain at least 80% fat. Milk solids and water make the remaining 20%. For baking, ONLY use butter in the stick form. Whipped butter has air beaten into it and cannot be directly substituted for stick butter.

In all recipe development and testing, our recipes uses regular stick butter that contains salt. You may substitute unsalted butter for regular butter with little difference in the overall taste of the recipe.


By law, margarine must contain 80% vegetable fat. They make it from soybean, canola and corn oils. Because they make margarine from vegetable oil, it contains less saturated fat than butter.

For baking, ONLY use margarine in stick form. The softer margarine found in tubs may have air beaten in to it that will negatively affect the outcome of your recipe.

Margarine made with 80% fat is the only acceptable substitution for butter. Read package labels carefully. Many products will look like margarine, but they are actually spreads.


Spreads contain less than 80% fat by weight. Water typically replaces the fat in spreads. DO NOT use spreads in baking unless a recipe calls for a specific type of spread.

Reduced Calorie or Low Fat Butter or Margarine

These products have considerably less fat than regular butter or margarine and usually contain added water and air. Unless a recipe specifically lists these products, do not use them for baking as poor quality and texture will occur.

Measuring Butter and Margarine

Use the tablespoon and cup indicators on the wrappers to measure butter or margarine. If your butter wrapper does not list tablespoons and cups, use the following guidelines:

  • 1/4 cup equals 4 tablespoons or 1/2 stick
  • 1/3 cup equals 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/2 cup equals 8 tablespoons or 1 stick.
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