Don’t substitute butter: Baking is better with real butter and other baking tips


Before making the holiday cookies and treats, a few baking tips can make for better results. One key to better baking, don’t substitute butter.

Holidays and baking go hand in hand. From the holiday cookies to the pies to the cakes, the kitchen is filled tons of delicious treats. If you’re going to take the time to bake, ensuring that the final result is the best possible tasting treat is imperative. Baking tips can make for better results. One key to better baking use real butter.

When a recipe calls for real butter, the butter is a key ingredient for both taste and texture. Substituting a reduced fat spread or margarine for the butter will change both the taste and texture. For example, the biscuit could be more dense or the cake might taste wrong.

(Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for New York Magazine)

Butter, and the fat within the butter, adds both flavor and texture to a recipe. Not all butter is equal, too. European style butters have a higher fat content, specifically 84% butter fat.

Many pastry chefs prefer European style butters because of this higher fat content. European butters, like Plugra, create a luscious buttercream icing, a melt in your mouth butter cookie and flaky pastry. One day try the same recipe with European butter and regular butter and taste the difference.

While substituting other ingredients for butter may not be recommended, other baking substitutions can and do make sense. Sugar substitutions often work well. For example, 2/3 cup of agave nectar and ¼ cup less liquid in a recipe can replace one cup of sugar. The recipe will have the same sweetness level but less refined sugar.

Some bakers have looked to add whole wheat flour to recipes. Whole wheat can be added to any recipe. For example, add 1/3 whole wheat flour to the bottom of a measuring cup before adding the remaining enriched flour to reach a level cup. Also, multi-grain baking substitutions work in a similar fashion.

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Baking substitutions can sometimes work. Just don’t substitute the butter. Real butter makes both a texture and taste difference. Your baked goods will thank you.

Do you have a great baking tip? Share it with us either in the comments or tag #FoodSided.