I've been scouring the net for DIY spreadable butter recipes but nearly all of them use Canola oil, but all I've got available here is Vegetable Oil and Coconut Oil. What's worse is that none of them really seem to say anything about substituting either oil for spreadable butter.

Is there anything wrong with using either in a spreadable butter recipe?

UPDATE: So I probably should've mentioned that I was in the Philippines. That apparently makes a difference, as even the vegetable oil is actually coconut oil :-/. Palm oil and coconut oil seem to be all we have here.

I attempted it with the palm oil I had and while the softness was what i wanted the final product had a funny smell and a weird taste. I'm getting ready to try again.

  • Are you planning to hydrogenate them?
    – Matthew
    Sep 13, 2013 at 15:49
  • It doesn't explicitly ask about spreadable butter, but... cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/31982/…
    – Cascabel
    Sep 13, 2013 at 15:57
  • @Matthew What do you mean by "hydrogenate"? Sep 13, 2013 at 23:29
  • @cornjuliox a lot of spreadable butter substitutes rely on hydrogenated oil, essetially the same process as carbonating it, but using hydrogen.
    – Matthew
    Sep 14, 2013 at 21:28

3 Answers 3


In terms of spreadability, the real issue is the level of saturation.

Coconut oil is quite saturated (especially for a vegetable based lipid), and so it is far more solid at room temperature than most oils. (Cocoa butter would be another exception; it is quite hard at room temperature).

Generic vegetable oil, at least under US labeling laws, may contain any number of vegetable oils including corn, soy, rapeseed (canola) and so on—or even a mixture of any or all of these. They are all quite similar in the saturation and viscosity at room temperature, and so any of them should perform similarly in your butter application.

So go ahead and use the vegetable oil.

  • What are your thoughts on palm oil for this butter application? Sep 18, 2013 at 2:56
  • Palm oil evidently is fairly saturated, and so harder at room temperature. I have no personal experience with it to say if you would be likely to approve of the outcome of using it to soften butter.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Sep 19, 2013 at 8:53

I would use vegetable oil personally, as quite often what's labelled vegetable oil is made from canola. Sunflower oil would also work, and probably groundnut/peanut oil. Any neutral tasting oil would do really.

  • Your vegetable oil might also be soybean. (Often in stores in the US, I've seen soybean labeled as vegetable, and canola labeled as canola.)
    – Cascabel
    Sep 13, 2013 at 15:57

I actually do this with olive oil. Two sticks of room-temp butter + half a cup (or so) of olive oil, blend until combined, done. Easy!

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