A cake recipe of mine calls for ½ cup of Vegetable Oil Spread (Specifically stating 70% fat), which I don't currently have.

I found questions that deal with substituting either Butter for Oil, Oil for Butter, and Butter for Margarine and have read their answers.

However, despite now being able to extrapolate how likely substituting (which I think is the best alternative) Oil for (What is understand is) the Margarine-like product called for in the recipe, I found no questions/answers that address this swap specifically. Am therefore keen on the communities opinions on which is the best substitute, why and any caveats?

  • To get an answer on what the "best" substitute is, you would have to provide some criteria, or at least a specific recipe or application.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Jul 20, 2013 at 20:45

2 Answers 2


In the US, to be labeled as margarine, the product must contain 80% fat per the Standard of Identity. The spread simply cannot be called margarine.

However, with a fat content of 70%, it is quite close to a standard margarine, and is likely otherwise the same thing.

Almost all recipes have enough tolerance that you could substitute regular margarine, real butter, or another vegetable oil 1:1. If you want to be more exact, you could approximate pretty closely (for easier math) by just using 3/4 the amount of a 100% fat product like shortening or vegetable oil, or 7/8 as much margarine or butter.

  • Despite the rant in another question, you will note that in an answer I do provide citations. I don't hold comments to such a high standard.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 23:39
  • I don't feel it was a rant, just a discussion. As you provide more info than Jefromi in this question, I am marking this as the "correct answer". I am sorry if I stepped on your toes on the other quesiton, just wanted to make (what I felt was) was a useful suggestion.
    – user66001
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 0:07

It's vegetable oil spread, not vegetable oil. It's just another name for margarine, which is normally made from vegetable oil. So substitute as you would for margarine, because that's what it is.

Without knowing the recipe, I have to assume oil is a bad substitute here, because generally you don't want to substitute a liquid fat for a solid fat. But if you're just melting it, for example, it wouldn't matter.

  • Sorry, I wasn't aware that the recipe made a difference. Also, not sure why the word "spread" it italicized in your answer (I am aware that what it calls for is spread, and I wanted opinions on using oil, without stating what type).
    – user66001
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 0:09
  • @user66001 Because you assumed the best substitute for vegetable oil spread was oil (presumably at least partially because it says vegetable oil in the name) but the important part is that it's a spread. That's the thing that makes it obvious that it's solid, and you probably don't want a liquid substitute, and also makes it clear it's essentially margarine.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 0:18
  • Ahh... unfortunately not, the assumption actually came from information in the cited questions, not despite the fact I didn't mention "Vegetable" alongside "Oil". Thanks for your answer.
    – user66001
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 0:23

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