8 Best Butter Substitutes for Cookies


Butter is one of the vital ingredients in baking cookies that add flavor and melt in the mouthfeel that is very tough to beat. It interacts with other ingredients and prevents the excessive development of gluten proteins during mixing.

However, there may be few reasons that one wants to avoid butter. Some may be allergic to butter or intolerant to lactose, while few may want to replace butter for health reasons. Or may run out of it while baking.

Therefore, in this article, we analyze various ingredients that may be used as butter substitutes.

8 Best Butter Substitutes for Cookies

In this subsection, we will discuss some of the butter substitutes for cookies. However, replacing the butter in the cookie recipe may change the cookies’ texture, which is very important to keep in mind when using these substitutes.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is versatile because of its ability to remain solid below a certain temperature and act more like butter. Also, it has a low melting point and easily digestible.

Swap the same amount of refined coconut oil for softened butter in the cookie recipe. The refined coconut oil does not impart a strong coconut flavor to cookies.

The cookies tend to be more dry and crumbly on the outside and chewy on the inside compared to cookies with butter. Check out a recipe for cookie using coconut oil.


Coconut oil may substitute butter in making cookies due to its properties similar to butter.

Prune Puree

Prune puree is obtained from the prunes, which are dried plums. It contains fiber, pectin, sorbitol, and reducing sugars, known for its health benefits.

Prune puree is a fruit-based butter substitute that provides sweetness and humectancy in cookies. The matrix of fiber and sorbitol within prunes interrupts gluten structure causing cookies to be moist. Therefore, cookies may be chewy compared to cookies with butter due to moisture retaining capacity.

Here is the link for butter-free cookies with prune purees.


Prune puree may be a healthy butter substitute for butter in baking cookies. However, reduce the amount of sugar and liquid content.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is rich in proteins, calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium, which boost the immune system and promote a healthy digestive tract.

It may replace butter in the cookie recipe. It can add creaminess and moistness to the recipe making the cookies chewier. Non-fat yogurt may result in dry cookies, and therefore, full-fat yogurt is recommended.

Check out this recipe for butterless blueberry cookies with yogurt.


Greek yogurt may substitute butter in cookie recipes for a nutrient boost and extra chewiness.


Applesauce is rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, potassium, vitamin A, and calcium associated with many health benefits. It can be store-bought or made at home.

It may substitute butter when baking cookies. When using applesauce in place of butter, it is recommended to replace half of the butter with applesauce. It creates sweet and soft textured cookies and not crisp textured cookies. Also, it is preferable to use unsweetened apple sauce.

Here is the link to a no butter choco-chip cookies with applesauce.


Applesauce may be a healthy fat substitute for baking cookies. However, it may create mushy cookies.


Avocado is loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E, fiber, and magnesium that is associated with many health benefits.

It is a popular creamy substitute for butter in making brownies and muffins due to its soft texture and mild taste. It may also replace butter in making cookies. However, the cookies using avocadoes are soft and gooey.

Here is a link to making cookies with avocado as butter substitute


Avocado is a tasty and healthy substitution for butter while making cookies. It significantly reduces the fat content in cookies.

Mashed Bananas

Bananas are a rich source of vitamin B6, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C that may benefit cardiovascular and digestive health.

It may substitute butter in baking dense baked goods, including cookies, due to its creamy nature when mashed and high starch content.

One may have to check the cooking time earlier than usual or reduce the oven temperature while using bananas. Also, it is recommended to reduce the sugar content.

Check out this link for butterless banana cookies.


Mashed bananas may provide extra nutrients and decrease cookies’ calorie content when used as a substitute for butter.

Nut Butter

Nut butter, including almond butter and peanut butter, is rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats, protein, fiber, and lower blood cholesterol levels.

It may substitute for butter in a cookie due to its high protein content that gives structure to baked cookies. However, it may change the density and flavor of cookies.

Here is the link for cookies using nut butter.


Nut butter may substitute dairy butter and will add its characteristic flavor for cookies. However, it is rich in calories.

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin puree is a good source of vitamin A, B6, C, and E that is proposed to have many health benefits.

It may substitute butter in cookies for adding flavor and buttery texture. However, pumpkin puree may add moisture dough and adjust the amount of liquid in the dough.

Check out the recipe for healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies without butter


Pumpkin puree may be a healthy substitute for butter in the cookie. The resultant product is soft and chewy.


Can margarine substitute butter in making cookies?

Margarine is the emulsified fat made from plant oils and manufactured to resemble butter. Butter has a lower melting point compared to margarine causing the cookie to spread more and be crispier. However, margarine may make the cookies spread out and sometimes may burn.

What is the role of fats in cookies?

Fats play a role in the spread of cookies. It acts as a lubricant during mixing and prevents the formation of a gluten network in the dough. It also keeps the quality, grain, mouthfeel, and texture of the cookies.

Can I substitute butter with ghee for making cookies?

Ghee may be used to substitute butter in making cookies. But the cookies tends to be crispier. It may make the batter dry, and therefore, liquid moisture may be required.

Bottom Line

Many classic cookie recipes call for butter that play many roles in providing desirable textural properties of cookies. However, you may run out of butter or want to avoid it, and in such cases, there are few alternatives.

You may pick a substitute that will ensure that the cookies’ flavor and texture do not alter much.


https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/bananas/ https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322072176_Application_of_Peanut_Butter_to_Improve_the_Nutritional_Quality_of_Cookies

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About Betty Ellis

Betty is a food researcher who spends most of her time analyzing the nutritional aspects of various foods. She also researches methods to enhance taste, as well as how to store certain types of foods. She enjoys cooking for herself and her three dogs even though she doesn't have a lot of free time outside work.