Ask Niki: Reduced-fat spread

Q: "I notice you use reduced-fat spread in your recipes for baking. Can I use any spread for this? Can I just swap it for butter in regular recipes? What do I need to know to substitute successfully?"

Anne Swan

A: We do use spread in all our recipes where butter would otherwise be used. Generally, you can use reduced-fat spread instead of butter and you shouldn't notice a difference in taste or texture. Just be sure to use a spread with no less than 60% fat. Although there are spreads with less fat than this, they tend not to work so well in baking. The same applies to pastry. If you use a spread lower than 60%, the texture of your pastry is likely to be affected.

Another useful fat-saving trick is to use puréed fruit instead of half the butter in a recipe. For example, if a recipe has 200g butter, use 100g reduced-fat spread and 100g apple or peach purée, or mashed banana.

First published: Jul 2009

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