substitute for butter in frosting

When it comes to decadent frosting, butter has long been the go-to ingredient. However, whether due to dietary choices, health concerns, or a desire for unique flavors, there are times when you might want to explore alternatives. In this article, we’ll delve into five substitutes for butter in frosting, each with its own distinct qualities and benefits.

Purpose of Butter in Frosting:

  1. Richness and Creaminess: Butter lends a luxurious texture and creamy consistency to frosting, creating a delightful mouthfeel.
  2. Flavor Enhancement: The natural buttery taste adds depth and richness to frosting, complementing the sweetness of desserts.
  3. Structure and Stability: Butter provides structure and stability to frosting, making it easy to spread and decorate cakes and cupcakes.
  4. Aesthetic Appeal: Butter-based frosting yields a smooth and glossy finish, enhancing the visual appeal of baked goods.
  5. Flavor Carrier: Butter acts as a carrier of flavor, allowing other ingredients to shine while harmonizing the overall taste.

Why Replace Butter in Frosting:

  1. Dietary Preferences: Substitutes cater to individuals following dairy-free, vegan, or lactose-free diets, expanding dessert options for all.
  2. Health Considerations: Many substitutes are lower in saturated fats and cholesterol, aligning with heart-healthy choices.
  3. Allergen Awareness: Butter alternatives accommodate those with dairy allergies or sensitivities, ensuring inclusive treats.
  4. Flavor Exploration: Exploring substitutes introduces exciting new flavor profiles, enhancing your baking repertoire.
  5. Texture Variation: Different substitutes offer diverse textures, allowing you to create frostings ranging from light and airy to rich and dense.


1. Coconut Oil – Substitute for Butter in Frosting:

Coconut oil brings a subtle tropical aroma and flavor to frostings. Its solid consistency when chilled makes it a suitable substitute for butter in various recipes.

Nutritional Values Per 1 oz
Calories 120
Total Fats 14g
Carbohydrates 0g
Proteins 0g

How to Use: Melt and cool coconut oil before incorporating it into your frosting recipe. Adjust quantity based on desired consistency.

2. Greek Yogurt – Substitute for Butter in Frosting:

Greek yogurt offers tanginess and creaminess to frostings. It adds a delightful hint of acidity that complements sweet treats beautifully.

Nutritional Values Per 1 oz
Calories 16
Total Fats 0.2g
Carbohydrates 1.3g
Proteins 2.3g

How to Use: Incorporate Greek yogurt into your frosting mixture, adjusting the quantity for desired taste and texture.

3. Avocado – Substitute for Butter in Frosting:

Avocado adds a velvety smoothness and a boost of healthy fats to frostings. Its mild flavor pairs well with sweet creations.

Nutritional Values Per 1 oz
Calories 50
Total Fats 4.5g
Carbohydrates 2.5g
Proteins 0.5g

How to Use: Mash ripe avocado until smooth and mix it into your frosting recipe, adjusting the amount to achieve the desired texture.

4. Nut Butters – Substitute for Butter in Frosting:

Nut butters, such as almond or cashew butter, infuse frostings with nutty flavors and contribute a creamy texture, perfect for nut lovers.

Nutritional Values Per 1 oz
Calories 180-200
Total Fats 15-18g
Carbohydrates 6-8g
Proteins 4-6g

How to Use: Blend nut butter with other frosting ingredients, adjusting the amount to achieve the desired flavor and consistency.

5. Applesauce – Substitute for Butter in Frosting:

Applesauce adds natural sweetness and moisture to frostings, resulting in a light and airy texture that’s perfect for guilt-free indulgence.

Nutritional Values Per 1 oz
Calories 15
Total Fats 0g
Carbohydrates 4g
Proteins 0g

How to Use: Replace part or all of the butter with unsweetened applesauce in your frosting recipe, adjusting for sweetness and texture.

Nutrition Facts Summary:

Substitute Calories Total Fats Proteins Carbohydrates Source Works Best In
Coconut Oil 120 14g 0g 0g Coconut Frosting, especially in tropical desserts
Greek Yogurt 16 0.2g 2.3g 1.3g Yogurt Versatile for many frosting types
Avocado 50 4.5g 0.5g 2.5g Avocado Smooth and creamy frostings
Nut Butters 180-200 15-18g 4-6g 6-8g Nuts Nutty-flavored frostings
Applesauce 15 0g 0g 4g Apples Light and airy frostings


1. Will using coconut oil make my frosting taste like coconut?
Coconut oil adds a subtle hint of coconut flavor, which can enhance certain frostings.

2. Can I use Greek yogurt for dairy-free frosting?
Greek yogurt can be used in dairy-free frosting recipes if you choose a non-dairy yogurt alternative.

3. Will avocado frosting turn brown?
Avocado frosting may darken slightly over time due to oxidation, but it’s still safe to eat.

4. Can I combine nut butters with other substitutes?
Absolutely, combining nut butters with other substitutes can create a unique flavor profile.

5. How can I add sweetness to applesauce frosting?
You can add a touch of honey, maple syrup, or a sweetener of your choice to balance the tartness of applesauce.


Discovering substitutes for butter in frosting opens up a world of creative possibilities in baking. Each alternative brings its own texture, flavor, and nutritional benefits, allowing you to tailor your frostings to various dietary preferences and taste preferences. So, whether you’re looking for dairy-free options, healthier choices, or simply a new twist on classic recipes, these substitutes are here to elevate your baking adventures.

Yuki Tanaka

Written by Yuki Tanaka

I'm from Utashinai and I love tasty food and nice words. I also write blogs, take pictures of food, and create recipes. Cooking and baking are my favorite things to do!

substitute for baking soda in chocolate chip cookies

substitute for brown sugar in chocolate chip cookies