What Can I Substitute for Butter? – Top Healthy Alternatives to Butter

What Can I Substitute for Butter? – Top Healthy Alternatives to Butter

If you are searching for what I can substitute for butter, you have definitely decided to cut some calories. Finding healthy substitutes for butter might sound an easy task, but trust me, it is not. A wide range of substitutes for butter is available in the market, which makes it find the right one. Here is an article to help you in finding the butter substitutes. 

If you are a starter, there is a big market of butter alternatives. There are various low-fat kinds of butter that are made from canola or olive oil. There are margarine brands, low-calories butter, and plant butter that can be used as butter alternatives for baking. 

Reasons to Replace Butter

Butter is a famous baking ingredient and spread made from cream or churned milk. There are a few reasons people decide not to consume butter. Below mentioned are some common reasons. 

Lactose Intolerance

Some people having the issue of lactose intolerance  try to tolerate the amount of lactose present in butter without severe reactions (Source). Nevertheless, there are some people who are more sensitive to lactose as compared to others, and they avoid butter due to this reason. 

Milk Allergy

Though butter made of milk is low in protein, it still contains casein (milk protein), which can be allergenic (Source). People with milk allergy use substitute for milk to avoid health issues. 

For people with milk allergy, it is essential to be cautious about butter intake. If you have a severe allergy, then you should avoid milk completely. 

Health Reasons

Many people avoid milk due to health reasons. For instance, some avoid butter as it is high in saturated fat. Too much intake of saturated fat is associated with the risk of heart disease (Source). 

Some studies present the evidence that saturated fats present in butter might increase the cholesterol level more as compared to saturated fats present in other dairy products such as cream. 

Many people also avoid butter as it contains a higher amount of calories. So, if you want to reduce the calorie intake, it is better to replace butter with alternatives. People who follow a vegan lifestyle also avoid butter as it is a dairy product. 

Purpose of Butter in Baking

In baking, butter is used as a leavening agent. It means butter introduces air into the baked food items and makes them fluffy and light. 

In addition to this, butter contributes to the moist and flaky texture of the baked food items. It also adds to the tasty and rich flavor. These properties are essential for baked goods; otherwise, they might be flat, flavorless, and dry. If you want to avoid using bitter, there are various healthy alternatives for it. 

Fats and Oils to Replace Butter in Baking

Some fats and oils have properties comparable to that of butter, which makes them great and healthy alternatives of butter. 

Olive Oil 

Olive oil is popularly used in many Mediterranean recipes. You can use olive oil in any recipe that includes cooking on the stovetop. Keep in mind to use a little less olive oil as compared to butter for cooking purposes. 

Olive oil contains monounsaturated fat, which is better as compared to saturated fat, and butter does not have it.

Consuming olive oil is healthy for the heart as it can reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues and mortality in people at high cardiovascular risk (Source). Other benefits of monounsaturated fat are low cholesterol and better blood sugar control. Therefore, it is a good idea to use olive oil as a butter alternative for cooking.


Ghee is clarified buttes, and it has a nutty aroma and taste. You can use ghee in place of butter at a ratio of 1-to-1 in cooking and baking. 

Nevertheless, in some recipes, you might need to change the amount of ghee as it has more moisture as compared to butter. Ghee is the best alternative for butter in baked goods that need cooking at higher temperatures. 

Pro Tip – If you are quitting the butter consumption to follow a vegan lifestyle, you should not use ghee as a butter alternative.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a perfect butter alternative for baking as it returns to a solid-state at room temperature. Coconut oil has a different taste, which could change the taste of many baked goods. It is better to use refined coconut oil as it tastes less like coconut. You can use unrefined coconut oil in recipes that need rich or tropical chocolate flavors.  

Coconut oil is the best alternative for people trying to avoid dairy, as it offers a wide range of health benefits. It is highly beneficial for people seeking products to reduce their fat content

Other Substitutes for Butter in Baking, Cooking, and Spreading

People avoid butter due to reasons like it is high in saturated fats, lactose intolerance, or they want to follow veganism. Here are some butter alternatives that you can use in cooking, baking, and spreading. 

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a healthy alternative to butter. It is high in protein and suitable for use in a wide range of baking recipes. It is perfect for adding a little bit of tanginess to the recipe. 

In order to keep the baked goods moist, opt for using full-fat yogurt. Nonfat yogurt results in crumbly-finished and drier products. 

Greek yogurt is a perfect butter alternative for baking, but you should avoid it if you are allergic to the protein. 


Avocado is highly nutritious, which makes it a perfect answer to the question of what can I substitute for butter. 

Adding avocado not only enhances the nutritional value of your baked goods or meal, but it also substitutes that saturated fat of butter for monounsaturated fat. 

Mashed Banana

You can also use bananas as a substitute for butter. While using a banana for butter, replace it in equal amounts. You also use bananas as a substitute for oil. In this case, use ¾ cup of mashed banana in place of 1 cup oil for baking goods like cake, bread, and muffins. Using bananas also reduces the total cooking time by 25%, so be careful while cooking. 

The best part about bananas is that they add nutrients to the food and enhance its overall nutritional value without adding fat. Nevertheless, bananas might add a different flavor and sweetness to some recipes. 

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin can be used as a substitute for butter in baking. In order to use pumpkin puree at the place of butter in baking, multiply the butter’s amount to ¾ and use that much amount of pumpkin puree. For instance, if a recipe requires one cup of butter, then use ¾ cup of pumpkin puree in its place. You can also replace cooking oil with pumpkin puree. For oil, the ratio is one to one. 

Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A and other nutrients, which makes the meal highly nutritious and healthy. Nevertheless, pumpkin puree is more watery as compared to other butter alternatives, so use it wisely. 


Applesauce is one of the best and most popular and healthy butter alternatives for baking. It is highly beneficial to cut calories and enhance the nutritional content of various recipes. If sugar is the concern, you can use unsweetened applesauce. 

It can act as a binding agent when baking and can create slight changes in the texture and taste. In oil-based goods, when applesauce is substituted for butter, it creates a sweet and soft texture. 

In baking, replacing butter with applesauce leads to the creation of a more dense and moist loaf. While using applesauce, you can reduce the number of sweeteners as applesauce is naturally sweet. 

Nut Butter

There are various varieties of nut butter, including the ones that are derived from peanut or almonds. Like avocados, nut butter adds nutrients and healthful fat to recipes. It also enhances the density of some baked goods and might also change the flavor. 

Nuts such as peanut, cashew, macadamia, and almond add their flavor and characteristics to the recipes. It makes them best for bars, cakes, cookies, brownies, muffins, and quick bread. 

Butter Substitutes for Spread

Butter is popularly used as a spread for crackers, buns, bread, and other food items. If you do not consume butter, you can still add spread to the food using butter alternatives. Below mentioned are some foods that could be ideal for spreads. 

Nut Butter – You can easily spread nut butter on crackers or toast. Try peanut or almond butter.

Olive Oil – To make a zesty spread, combine olive oil with pepper and basil. 

Cheese – If you are okay with dairy products, then try cream cheese, ricotta, or cottage cheese. 

Hummus – You can use hummus for both dipping and spreading. 

Avocado – Use a tablespoon of avocado as a spread. 

Final Words

You can use a wide range of healthy foods to replace butter in baking. Now that you know what I can substitute for butter, what are you waiting for? Add a new taste to your food by replacing butter. While baking, try different types of butter alternatives to find out the right one for you. DO share your experience, buy dropping a comment. 


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