Substitute Avocado for Butter to Cut the Fat from Baked Goods

1. A dedicated butter substitute

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A generation back, you didn’t have many choices when it came to butter alternatives. There was “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter,” shilled for by heartthrob Fabio, and that was about it (via YouTube). I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and the few other brands of nondairy butter alternative available in decades past were essentially just different formulas of margarine, a spread primarily consisting of fatty vegetable oils mixed with water.

Today, you have many more options for non-dairy “butters” from brands like Earth Balance, Forager, Smart Balance, and others. The primary ingredient is still usually a vegetable oil, but you will also find ingredients like pea protein and sea salt, and the taste of many current buttery spreads really do create an amazing verisimilitude of real butter. 

Best of all, a non-dairy butter substitute can be used as a direct one-for-one swap for butter without any changes to the recipe or cooking process.


Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a popular choice, mainly because it

Coconut oil is a popular choice, mainly because it cools as a solid and turns to liquid when warm, as butter does and will help maintain thickness and viscosity in a recipe. Something to note with coconut oil is the taste, though. In small amounts, there isn’t too much of a difference (if any), but in recipes that require a lot of butter, more significant amounts of coconut oil may change the taste. Choosing a refined coconut oil will yield a more neutral-tasting product compared to unrefined.

When substituting: In general, I use the same amount of oil compared with the amount of butter called for in any one recipe.

Can you use yogurt instead of butter in baking?

Yogurt. Yogurt can be a great substitute for recipes if you are looking for a healthy, low fat, and low calorie replacement to butter. … When substituting yogurt for butter in baking recipes, it is best to follow a 1:1 ratio. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, you can replace it with 1 cup of yogurt.

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3. Buttermilk

You can substitute half a cup of buttermilk for every one cup of butter. This has worked well for me in all recipes I've tried it with—with the exception of pie crust. It changed the consistency of the dough too much and made it crumbly, instead of flaky. (No buttermilk on hand? No problem! Just add one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar per cup of milk. Let it let stand for five minutes before using.)

  • How much: If the recipe calls for 1 cup butter, use 1/2 cup buttermilk.
  • Best for: Most things except pie crust

If the recipe calls for 1 cup butter, use 1 cup pureed avocado.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Seeds Can Vary

Seeds can vary in their nutrient profile. For instance, if we look above at the nutrient break down of chia seeds. You can see that the carb count is much higher than the other seeds I featured, but they do have a lot of fiber. The interesting thing about chia seeds is how they absorb water. If you mix a teaspoon of chia seeds with a tablespoon of water the seeds quickly and easily absorb all of that water. For this reason, chia seeds have the ability to bulk up inside of your stomach, which can help you control hunger for hours. So if you like smoothies and you want healthy fat to take the place of avocado you may want to also consider adding chia seeds instead of the avocado.

Nut Butter

Substitution: 1:1 ratio

Best For: toast topper, baking batter

Nut butters like almond, cashew, and peanut make delicious spreads for toast, but they can also be used as a substitute for regular butter in baking! They are rich in monounsaturated fat that can help you feel full and improve your cholesterol levels. Note that the flavors of the nut butter you use will likely impart itself into whatever batter you use it for (not that we’re complaining).

Can I use margarine instead of butter for baking?

When can I use margarine instead of butter? … In baking, melted margarine could work in recipes that call for melted butter, but in recipes that call for softened butter, swapping in tub margarine may change the texture; for example, cakes will be less tender, and cookies will generally spread out more and be less crisp.

8. Prune Puree

Similar to pumpkin puree, substitute three-quarters of a cup of prune puree (you can use prune baby food) for every cup of butter called for in a baked item. This works best for cakes and brownies, but be warned: it will darken the color of the finished product, adding a reddish-purple tone!

  • How much: If the recipe calls for 1 cup butter, use 3/4 cup prune puree.
  • Best for: Cakes annd brownies

If the recipe calls for 1 cup butter, use 3/4 cup olive oil.

Image by Marina Pershina from Pixabay

Mashed Banana

Substitution: The ratio is not precise. Start with half the amount the recipe calls for then add more if the batter seems too dry.

Best For: Cookies, pancakes, waffles

Bananas are rich in potassium and rife with fiber that can help with weight loss. Bananas can replace butter or oil in most baked goods.

What can I substitute for butter in baking?

In general, the following foods work best as butter replacements in cakes, muffins, cookies, brownies, and quick breads:

  • Applesauce. Applesauce significantly reduces the calorie and fat content of baked goods. …
  • Avocados. …
  • Mashed bananas. …
  • Greek yogurt. …
  • Nut butters. …
  • Pumpkin purée.

6. Applesauce

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It might seem odd, but yes, you can replace butter with applesauce in many recipes. (Stranger still? You can use applesauce to replace eggs in many recipes, too.) Now of course you would be ill-advised to use applesauce in place of butter for stir frying, but for other purposes, such as baking, it’s a great substitution.

Because applesauce is so moist, it’s a good idea to use a reduced amount of the stuff when it is standing in for butter. In fact, according to Bob’s Red Mill, you should use only use about half as much applesauce as butter in most baked goods — and indeed it is in baking where applesauce makes a good stand-in for butter. If you want a rather moist, dense bread, applesauce can be even better than butter. But of course, it will impart a bit of an apple taste and a sweetness (unless you opt for an unsweetened or even a homemade option).


For your morning toast, why not skip the butter and spread on some mashed avocado instead? You can serve it as-is or add a boiled, poached, or fried egg on top. Avocado and egg toast makes a nutritious breakfast that will keep you full for hours. Avocado can also be used instead of butter in baking, which results in lighter baked goods that are more filling.

Avocados contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. They are also rich in vitamins C, E, K, and B6, folate, and potassium. According to Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, there are eight clinical studies showing that avocado consumption helps support cardiovascular health. Exploratory studies suggest that avocados may also support weight management and healthy aging.

Can I use both oil and butter in cake?

Can I Use Both Butter and Oil in Cake? Oh yes, you sure can. This recipe has a combination of butter and oil to give off that nice buttery taste while keeping it soft and moist at the same time. Cake using pure butter tends to be more dense and dry compared to adding oil into the batter.

How Can You Substitute Avocado for Butter?

The easiest way to substitute avocado for butter is in your spreads. If you like butter on your bread, try using avocado.

Another great place to use it as a substitute is in your baking. But unfortunately you will need to experiment with different recipes in order to get the best results.

You might want to take it slow and only substitute for half the amount of butter, or you can dive right in and substitute the avocado in an equal amount. Keep in mind that avocado does not melt and therefore does not moisten the dry ingredients as well. So you will have to make adjustments to the recipe, and you have several options as to how you can go about it.

Your first option is to increase the amount of avocado you put in, or you can add some avocado oil until you reach a desired consistency. You can also increase your other liquids such as milk or water. Your last option is to reduce your dry ingredients. Most butters contain salt, so you may want to add extra salt to make up for it.

Once it comes to baking, you do not want to bake your dish at the normal temperature. Avocado will burn much quicker on the outside while the inside remains doughy. Reduce the temperature by at least 25 percent to start, and check on it frequently to make sure it does not burn. Naturally when you decrease the temperature you will have to increase the baking time.

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