By Kenneth Lin

BOOP Your Baking! The 16 Best Butter Substitutes

Butter has been a fan favorite in the kitchen for centuries. However, if you’re looking to make a dietary switch, there are plenty of wholesome butter alternatives available. 

Read on as we explore some delicious substitutes for butter that will add flavor to your cooking without compromising flavor. 

Why Should You Consider Replacing Butter?

Ah, butter — the delicious, creamy spread that is a staple in so many recipes. While there's no denying that butter tastes amazing and can make an ordinary dish extraordinary, there are some very good reasons why you should consider swapping out your beloved butter for something healthier. 

Whether you're looking to reduce calories and fat or trying to avoid dairy, here are some of the reasons why you may want to consider avoiding butter:

Butter Is High in Saturated Fat. 

When it comes to heart health, saturated fat is something you want to limit as much as possible. That's because it can raise cholesterol levels and leave you at a higher risk of developing heart disease. 

So if you're looking for a way to reduce your intake of saturated fat, swapping out your butter — which is high in saturated fat — for a healthier alternative may be just what the doctor ordered. 

Butter Is High in Calories.

Believe it or not, one single tablespoon of butter contains over 100 calories — and that adds up fast! If you're trying to watch your calorie intake, it might be best to opt for something a bit lower in calories.

Butter Is an Allergen.

Some people are lactose intolerant or have allergies to dairy products. For these folks, butter is off-limits. Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious and nutritious alternatives out there that don't contain dairy. This way, butter lovers can still enjoy their favorite foods without risking an unpleasant reaction.

Butter Lacks Nutrients.

There are plenty of butter substitutes that also have nutritional benefits — such as nuts and seeds like almond or sunflower seed butter and plant-based spreads such as coconut oil or olive oil spread (which are both cholesterol-free). 

These options can provide essential vitamins and minerals (like vitamin E) that regular ol' butter simply doesn't have.

What Are Some Better Butter Alternatives?

Ready to BOOP your baking with a better butter alternative? Here are our top butter substitutes that you should definitely try. 

1. Avocado

Packed with healthy fats, avocado can make whatever dish you’re whipping up incredibly creamy without breaking the calorie bank. 

Simply mash up an avocado and use it in place of butter in recipes like brownies or chocolate cookies. Chocolatey recipes pair well with this butter substitute, as the cocoa helps mask any of the avocado flavor while still capitalizing on the creaminess.

2. Applesauce

While it might sound strange, applesauce actually serves as a great substitute for butter in some recipes! 

For example, if you’re baking sweet bread, such as banana bread or carrot cake, replace the butter with applesauce. The result is a less greasy and more moist finished product that still has plenty of flavor. In fact, applesauce might even make your recipes tastier.

3. Vegan Butter

If you’re looking for a butter substitute that still has the same texture and flavor as real butter, a vegan butter alternative is your best bet. These products are made with plant-based ingredients like plant oils, making them dairy-free. 

Plus, vegan butter alternatives often still have that rich, buttery flavor that we all love. Use it when baking or spread it on toast.

4. Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are packed with healthy fats and essential omega-3 fatty acids — hence why you’ll find them in our BOOP cookies

You can grind them up and mix them into your recipes in place of butter — but you can also use them as a topping on toast or add them to your usual baked goods recipes, like pancakes or muffins, for some extra flavor. 

Flax seeds add a nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with sweet and savory baked goods.

5. Safflower Oil

Safflower oil is a great substitute for butter because it has a high smoking point, making it suitable for baking. 

Even more, safflower oil is rich in healthy fats, meaning it can give your dish a nice creamy texture while also supporting your health. Safflower oil is best used in recipes that call for melted butter. 

6. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is another excellent substitute for butter because it adds richness to your food without all of the calories. 

Greek yogurt is also rich in probiotics, which can help support digestion and overall gut health. Use it in place of butter in baked goods like cookies or muffins for a fluffy and delicious end result, or choose it as a toast topping for an extra kick of protein!

7. Vegetable Shortening

Vegetable shortening is made from all-natural vegetable oils, and it’s largely considered a healthier alternative to butter. 

It has a high melting point, which makes it great for baking, and it’s free from cholesterol and trans fats. You can use vegetable shortening in place of butter when making pie crusts, biscuits, or cookies.

8. Dates

For a tasty, natural sweetness, dates are a fantastic butter substitute. 

In many recipes, you can puree them in a food processor until smooth and use them just like you would butter. What’s more, they’re rich in minerals and fiber, so they’re good for you, too. 

Here at BOOP, we use dates to add a perfect hint of sweetness to our oatmeal cookies. If you’re curious to see how dates work as a better butter substitute, we recommend sinking your teeth into a BOOP

9. Pumpkin

If you're looking for something sweet to replace butter in baking recipes, try using pumpkin puree instead. 

This butter substitute adds moisture and sweetness without any added fat or calories, and it's packed with vitamin A and other essential nutrients. 

10. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the healthiest options out there when substituting for butter because it contains healthy fats that are good for your heart and skin. 

It has a slightly sweet taste, so use it accordingly when baking. From cookies to brownies to cakes, coconut oil might be the perfect way to add another level of flavor. 

Coconut oil works especially well in vegan recipes since it doesn't contain any animal products!

11. Olive Oil

Not only does olive oil provide rich flavor to savory dishes, but it has been proven to help lower cholesterol levels, too. 

Try using olive oil to substitute about three-quarters of the butter a recipe calls for. Similar to safflower oil, olive oil works especially well in recipes that require melted butter. 

12. Mashed Bananas

Bananas are high in fiber and potassium, which means they can provide energy throughout the day while still being low in calories compared to other sources of carbohydrates. 

Try mashing up bananas before baking them into treats like banana bread or cookies, or use them in place of butter in apple crumble, peach cobbler, or granola recipes. Mashed bananas work to bind your ingredients together while also adding a delicious sweetness.

13. Nut Butter

Almond butter provides tons of protein and healthy fats, as well as vitamin E, which helps protect against free radical damage. 

Almond butter can be great for adding a creamy texture and sweetness, which makes for a delicious addition to dessert recipes in place of butter. 

Another classic nut butter option, peanut butter packs more protein than most other nut butters while still providing your body with healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. 

To use this beloved alternative in place of traditional butter, simply combine a 50/50 mix of peanut butter and oil. Make sure the peanut butter is soft and creamy — not stiff. Use the same amount of this mixture as you would have for butter. 

The only thing to keep in mind here is that your nut butter will likely alter the flavor of your final product. If you’re going for a true chocolate brownie recipe, for example, using peanut butter in place of butter will probably leave you with chocolate-peanut butter brownies instead. 

14. Ghee

Ghee is clarified butter which means all the milk solids have been removed from regular butter leaving behind only pure fat — meaning no lactose intolerance issues here! 

Ghee is full of healthy fats like omega-9 fatty acids as well as vitamins A and E, making it a healthier alternative to regular butter.

15. Fruit or Veggie Puree

This butter alternative works great when making desserts such as pies and tarts, since fruit is often already part of the recipe! 

You can also use fruit purees instead of traditional ingredients like eggs, milk, and cream cheese when baking cakes or cupcakes — just be sure to adjust measurements accordingly so that your finished product isn’t overly sweet.

Just like fruit purees, vegetable purees make excellent substitutes for traditional ingredients like butter, eggs, milk, and cream cheese when baking cakes or cupcakes. Vegetables like carrots and spinach can be blended until smooth, creating an all-natural alternative that is still creamy and delicious. 

Carrot puree, for example, works as a great butter substitute in carrot cake recipes.

16. Tofu

Believe it or not, tofu makes an excellent substitute for butter in both savory dishes as well as sweet treats such as ice cream or even cheesecake. 

Unlike other dairy-free options out there, tofu offers lots of protein while still providing plenty of moisture, too — which means no dry cakes here. Just keep in mind that tofu is soy-based, and you should avoid it if you have a soy allergy.

The Bottom Line on Butter Substitutes

As you can see, there are many delicious alternatives to using traditional butter in your cooking needs. Whether you’re looking to cut down on fat intake or simply enjoy something different every once in a while, these better butter replacements will have you covered no matter what your dietary needs may be. 

So go ahead — try one today and see how delicious healthy eating can truly be. And while you’re at it, enjoy a BOOP cookie or two. BOOP cookies are made with butter alternatives like safflower oil, so you can enjoy the scrumptious taste of a homemade cookie without having to worry about your dairy allergy or dietary preferences. With oats, chia seeds, and deliciously sweet dates, BOOP cookies are a surefire way to please your sweet tooth and your stomach.

Trust us; your taste buds will thank you later!

BOOP Bakery™ believes cookies are better off enjoyed than locked away in a cookie jar. BOOP created a line of craveable, soft-baked cookies that allow health-conscious consumers and cookie connoisseurs alike to indulge without the guilt that comes with most processed sweets and treats. BOOP set out to bake delicious, wholesome, craveable cookies everyone can freely enjoy any time of day, whenever, wherever, whyever, proving no moment is too small for a BOOP!

Sources:

Is Butter Really Back? | Harvard Public Health Magazine

Claim Certification Program | Plant Based Foods

The Truth About Yogurt Probiotics | Intelligent Labs

9 reasons to add pumpkin to your diet | OSF HealthCare

Coconut Oil | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Is extra-virgin olive oil extra healthy? | Harvard Health