substitute for butter in cookie dough

Butter is a quintessential ingredient in cookie dough, contributing to flavor, texture, and the perfect cookie experience. However, there are times when alternatives to butter are sought after, whether due to dietary choices, health considerations, or flavor experimentation.

Purpose of Butter in Cookie Dough:

Flavor Enrichment: Butter imparts a rich, buttery taste that enhances the overall cookie flavor.
Texture Enhancement: It contributes to a tender and soft texture in the finished cookies.
Spreadability: Butter helps cookies spread evenly while baking, resulting in that iconic cookie shape.
Moisture and Chewiness: It retains moisture in cookies, leading to a chewier texture.
Binding Agent: Butter binds the ingredients together, forming a cohesive cookie dough.

Why Replace Butter in Cookie Dough:

Vegan or Dairy-Free Diet: Individuals following plant-based or dairy-free diets avoid using animal-derived butter.
Health and Nutrition: Some people prefer healthier fat options or have dietary restrictions.
Flavor Variety: Alternatives can introduce unique flavors that enhance the cookie profile.
Allergies or Intolerances: Dairy allergies or sensitivities might necessitate butter alternatives.
Reduced Saturated Fat: Individuals seeking to reduce saturated fat intake may opt for substitutes.

Substitute: Coconut Oil

Coconut oil brings a hint of coconut flavor to the cookies while providing a moist texture.

Nutrient Amount per 1 tbsp
Calories 120
Total Fats 14g
Carbohydrates 0g
Proteins 0g

How to Make: Substitute softened coconut oil for softened butter in your cookie recipe.

Substitute: Avocado

Avocado introduces healthy fats and a creamy texture to the cookies.

Nutrient Amount per 1/4 avocado
Calories 80
Total Fats 7g
Carbohydrates 4g
Proteins 1g

How to Make: Blend ripe avocado until smooth and use as a 1:1 substitute for softened butter.

Substitute: Nut Butters

Nut butters like almond or peanut butter provide a nutty flavor and healthy fats to the cookies.

Nutrient Amount per 2 tbsp
Calories 180-200
Total Fats 14-18g
Carbohydrates 6-8g
Proteins 6-8g

How to Make: Use an equal amount of nut butter in place of softened butter.

Substitute: Applesauce

Applesauce adds moisture and natural sweetness to cookies, making them softer and slightly fruity.

Nutrient Amount per 1/4 cup
Calories 25
Total Fats 0g
Carbohydrates 7g
Proteins 0g

How to Make: Replace half of the butter with an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce in your recipe.

Substitute: Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt adds moisture and a tangy flavor while reducing fat content.

Nutrient Amount per 1/4 cup
Calories 35
Total Fats 0.5g
Carbohydrates 4g
Proteins 6g

How to Make: Substitute half of the butter with an equal amount of Greek yogurt in your cookie dough.

Nutritional Facts Summary Table:

Nutrient Calories Total Fats Carbohydrates Proteins Source Works Best In
Coconut Oil 120 14g 0g 0g Plant-based Moist texture
Avocado 80 7g 4g 1g Fruit Creamy texture
Nut Butters 180-200 14-18g 6-8g 6-8g Nuts Nutty flavor
Applesauce 25 0g 7g 0g Fruit Natural sweetness
Greek Yogurt 35 0.5g 4g 6g Dairy Tangy flavor


  • Will coconut oil make my cookies taste like coconut? Coconut oil adds a subtle coconut flavor but it’s not overpowering.
  • Can I use avocado in chocolate chip cookies? Yes, avocado can work well in chocolate chip cookies and adds a unique twist.
  • Will nut butters alter the texture of the cookies? Nut butters can contribute to a softer texture and nutty flavor.
  • Is Greek yogurt suitable for vegan cookies? No, Greek yogurt is a dairy product and not suitable for vegan baking.


While butter is a staple in cookie dough, various substitutes offer exciting alternatives to meet dietary preferences and explore new flavors. Whether you choose coconut oil, avocado, nut butters, applesauce, or Greek yogurt, these substitutions provide opportunities to create delicious and satisfying cookies.

Ji Eun Kim

Written by Ji Eun Kim

Don't listen to anyone who says you can't be vegan and do well in sports and fitness. Vegans can do great, look good, and feel awesome!

substitute for butter in baking bread

substitute for butter in soup