Rumen bypass fat is commonly added to increase energy intake in dairy cattle. The objective of this study is to examine the addition of rumen bypass fat during finishing period on performance and carcass characteristics in grain fed steers. This study was conducted as a completely randomized block design with 126 cross-bred steer calves (initial BW 471.5 ± 7.5 kg) randomly assigned to pens with 9 steers/pen (n = 7 pens/treatment). Each pen was randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups; rumen bypass fat treatment (CCS, calcium soap of palm fatty acids) and control diet (CT, tallow). The diets were formulated to be isonitrogenous and isocaloric. Animals were fed twice daily at 110 % of the previous daily ad libitum intake. Blood from each sample was taken from the jugular vein. Muscle and adipose samples were collected from the longissimus dorsi regions. Feedlot performance and carcass characteristics were assessed. To examine adipogenic gene expression, quantitative real-time PCR was completed. Steers fed the CT had a greater level of performance for most of the parameters measured. The CT group had greater DMI (P < 0.05) and tended to have greater ADG (P < 0.10). Marbling score (P < 0.05) and quality grade (P < 0.05) were greater for steers fed the CT diet than those fed CCS. The longissimus muscle area tended to be greater (P < 0.10) in steers fed CT (87.60 cm(2)) than those fed CCS (84.88 cm(2)). The leptin mRNA expression was down-regulated (P < 0.05) in adipose tissue of steers fed a CCS when compared to those fed CT. These data suggest that calcium soap of palm fatty acids can be added to finishing diets without significant reduction in final body weight, although there may be modest reductions in marbling and quality scores.