6 Butter Substitute for Pancakes


Pancakes are easy to make, favorite light, flat cake served with a variety of toppings or fillings. Butter gives tenderness to the texture of pancakes. It also gives an indulgent, rich taste.

Suppose you are low on butter or want to avoid butter due to health reasons and dietary restrictions; some substitutes can be used in place of the melted butter.

In this article, let us discuss what you can swap for butter in pancakes.

6 Butter Substitutes for Pancakes

This subsection lists different ingredients that will yield better results as butter substitutes in making pancakes.

You may have to adjust the batter’s consistency and cooking temperature while using these butter substitutes for making pancakes.

Canola Oil

Canola oil is characterized by a substantial amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids that help with heart health.

It is considered a healthy butter substitute due to its fatty acid composition, light flavor, and smooth texture. It may be used in replacement of butter in the pancake batter for making soft and light pancakes.

Here is a recipe to make fluffy pancake using canola oil.


Canola oil may replace butter for making fluffy and light pancakes due to its mild flavor and versatility.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that have been associated with cardioprotective properties.

Therefore, it may be a healthy alternative for butter in making pancakes. It may be used in the batter and also for brushing the pan.

As olive oil comes in different varieties, opt for a lighter variety to avoid a strong scent in pancakes.

Here is the recipe for making pancakes with olive oil instead of butter.


Olive oil may be a healthy substitute for butter in making pancakes. It is preferable to use extra virgin olive oil to avoid a strong scent.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acid, lauric acid, which has been associated with reduced cardiovascular diseases and immune-boosting properties.

It may be swapped for butter in making pancakes as it has properties similar to butter.

It remains solid at low temperature and liquid when warmed up. Like butter, make sure it is in liquid form before adding it to the dry ingredients. It gives the pancakes with same texture as butter but with a mild coconut scent.

Here is the link to making the fluffiest pancakes using coconut oil.


Coconut oil is another butter substitute that gives the softest and fluffiest pancakes with a mild coconut flavor to them.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is a blend of plant-based oils, including sunflower, soybean, canola, and peanut oil. It is a source of edible fatty acids that helps in providing energy when required.

It has a light, subtle flavor and, therefore, is used as a substitute for butter while making pancakes. It adds tender and moistness to the batter.

Check this recipe for no butter pancakes using vegetable oil.


Vegetable oil is popularly used as a substitute for butter for making pancakes due to its subtle flavor.


Applesauce is rich in antioxidants, called phytochemicals, that help to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases. It does not have saturated fats and has fewer calories compared to butter.

It is a great addition to the pancakes as a butter substitute. It moistens the pancakes as it contains pectin and adds a hint of apple flavor.

Homemade or store-bought apple sauce may be used. It is preferable to use unsweetened applesauce or reduce the amount of sugar if using sweetened applesauce.

Check out this recipe for making applesauce pancakes.


Applesauce may be a butter substitute in pancake batter for creating a sweet and soft texture.


Ghee is the clarified butter prepared by heating butter or cream. It is a preferable source of edible fat in India with many beneficial properties.

Ghee may substitute butter in pancakes due to its strong nutty and buttery taste. Also, it does not burn easily; therefore, it is ideal for making large quantities of butter without burning them.

Here is the link for making ghee-making pancakes.


Ghee may substitute butter in making pancakes to impart a nutty, caramelized flavor. However, it may not be a healthy butter substitute.


How does butter help with the Maillard reaction of pancakes?

Adding pre-melted butter to the batter helps in getting the Maillard reaction which causes the browning of pancakes. It is a form of non-enzymatic browning.

What is the role of butter or oil in pancakes?

Butter or oil helps prevent the formation of chewy gluten, adds flavor, helps pancake brown, and keeps it from drying. Also, it adds flavor and improves the texture of pancakes.

Can pancakes be made using greek yogurt as a butter substitute?

Greek yogurt may be used to make fluffy pancakes. It adds flavor and also protein boost to the pancakes. However, you may need some fat for cooking pancakes. Check this recipe for making greek yogurt pancakes.

Bottom Line

Butter substitutes may give pancakes a nutritional boost and make them a preferable breakfast option for all.

A person may need to adjust the quantity of replacement and cooking temperature to get the pancakes’ correct fluffy texture. You may experiment with different substitutes and pick one that suits your taste preference.

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About Barbara Foster

Barbara is a traveler who has traveled to more than 25 countries. She loves the variety of food she gets to experience on her trips and maintains detailed journals of her travels which she plans to publish as a book someday. She loves to bake. Her favorite cuisines are Italian, French, and Mexican.