substituting oil for butter in cakes

i make a lemon cake with almond paste, lemon zest and limoncello. it uses 1/3 cup oil but it also has 5 Tblspns butter. anyone know from experience how much oil would replace the butter? i'm making it for someone who can't tolerate dairy. maybe 1/3 cup would b enough or maybe i should go to 1 full cup of oil. i can always cut back or add if i get the ratio wrong. Tx

  • Posted by: alan
  • October 18, 2021


Nancy October 19, 2021
OK you got reliable info for this cake. In future, maybe make olive-oil based cakes for those who can't tolerate dairy.
alan October 19, 2021
thanks for the help, everyone. the woman i'm making the baked goods for has a husband who isn't just lactose intolerant. he has some kind of allergy that he will get sick from the slightest hint of butter. i'm in israel so i don't know what butter substitutes exist. i have several cakes, cookies that don't use dairy. the limoncello cake i mentioned i will make w oil instead of butter.
AntoniaJames October 18, 2021
The butter in this recipe adds flavor, no doubt. I'd replace it with a good "vegan butter" alternative. Baking on a regular basis for someone who is lactose intolerant, I've found the Miyoko's product called "European-Style Cultured Vegan Butter" works quite well in cakes.
It's also one of the few vegan butters that browns nicely. I read somewhere that's because it has nuts in it, whose proteins and sugars make browning possible. ;o)
drbabs October 18, 2021
Following up on what Nancy said, 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon equals 1/3 cup, so I’d probably simplify it by using 2/3 cup oil. Or you could clarify the butter (melt it and strain out the milk solids) so you’d get the butter flavor without the dairy.
alan October 18, 2021
clarifying the butter is an interesting possibility if, in fact, that would negate the dairy intolerance. i'll have to verify that. Tx
Nancy October 18, 2021
Alan, since most commercial butter in USA is about 80% fat (remainder is water and some milk solids), I use 80% oil by volume as replacement for it in recipes.
Thus, 4 tbsp oil for 5 tbsp butter in original.
alan October 18, 2021
thanks for the info. do u agree that clarifying butter to remove the milk solids would work for a dairy-intolerant person?
Nancy October 18, 2021
Alan, allergies or intolerances vary so much, I would rely for an opinion on the person who has the condition or a medical professional (which I'm not, sorry, :)]
alan October 18, 2021
i did ask the woman who wants me to make it for her husband to sign off, yes
Recommended by Food52