How to Make Butterless Cookies (Multiple Recipes to Try)

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Butter makes cookies moist, flaky, rich, delectable, and downright fluffy and indulgent, as cookie makers know. But what if you really need to bake cookies and you’re short of butter? What if you’re allergic to butter?

Do you have to give up your cookie addiction? How do you create butterless cookies?

To create cookies without butter, look for a recipe that does not call for butter or use a butter alternative. Other dairy products (e.g., ghee, yogurt), fats (e.g., shortening, vegetable oil), or pureed fruit and vegetables (e.g., applesauce, avo, pumpkin) are common butter alternatives.

You can still make your favorite cookies if you avoid butter due to a milk allergy, lactose intolerance, or for health and lifestyle reasons.

There are several butter substitutes that will accomplish the same functions as butter in cookies, such as supplying moisture and functioning as a binding and rising agent.

Can You Make Cookies Without Butter?

How To Make Cookies Without Butter (Multiple Options to Try)

It is impossible to create cookies without butter; in other words, you cannot take a cookie recipe and exclude the butter. You’ll be left with a mound of dry ingredients or a dry, crumbly, eggy mixture that tastes mostly like flour.

since of its water and milk solids, butter is an important component in cookie recipes since it helps to wet the cookies and provide a soft feel. It also aids in the binding of the other components.

The butter covers the flour in a cookie mixture, preventing it from absorbing moisture and producing gluten. (Gluten is the elastic molecule that gives bread its shape but prevents cookies from becoming crisp and crispy.)

Butter is also the component responsible for the rich, delicious, and indulgent taste of cookies.

Cookies, on the other hand, may be made by substituting or replacing the butter with another comparable component, such as another dairy product, another fat, or a fruit or vegetable puree.

These butter alternatives may replace butter in cookies, making them moist, chewy, and rich, proving that you can create cookies without butter after all.

How To Make Cookies Without Butter (Multiple Options to Try)

There are several cookies made without butter that are tasty on their own. Eggs, rather than butter, give the moisture and richness in these cookies. Vegan cookies, on the other hand, eliminate both eggs and butter and are often prepared with nut butters, vegetable oil, or applesauce.

Recipes for these cookies may be found all over the internet; perform a fast search and choose your favorite. Here are a few of my favorites.


Crisp, classic Italian biscotti are produced without oil or butter and rely on eggs for moisture. These simple after-dinner treats go nicely with coffee and may be basic or flavored with chocolate or dried fruit.


Macarons are meringue-like French confections rather than regular cookies. Egg whites, sugar, almond flour, vanilla, coloring, and salt are common components in macaron recipes. However, most macarons are held together by buttercream frosting.


These coconutty morsels are frequently mistaken with macarons because to their similar names (they share a distant origin). Macaroons, on the other hand, are chewy, delicious cookies in their own right. Macaroons are created with egg whites, coconut, condensed milk, sugar, and vanilla extract.

Cake-mix Cookies

Cake-mix cookies are less conventional than other butter-free cookies, but just as delectable. They are created using store-bought cake mixes. To create cookies instead of cakes from these mixes, add either oil or eggs, but not both.

How To Make Cookies Without Butter – Use Other Dairy Products

Replace butter with another dairy product for the finest taste.

How To Make Cookies With Ghee

Because it does not contain casein or lactose, ghee or clarified butter is an excellent butter alternative for persons with a milk allergy or lactose intolerance.

If you use ghee instead of butter to create cookies, the cookies will still have a buttery taste with a nutty tint from the ghee.

When preparing cookies, substitute the butter with the equal quantity of ghee.

How To Make Cookies With Yogurt

If you are not sensitive to milk or lactose, you may use an equal quantity (or less, depending on the cookie dough) of unsweetened, full-fat Greek yogurt for the butter.

Yogurt has less fat than butter, making it a somewhat healthier option while still keeping your cookies delicate and delectable, with a nice sour taste.

How To Make Cookies With Buttermilk

Another butter substitute, particularly when you’re short of butter, is buttermilk. Buttermilk is a good alternative since it does not alter the flavor of the cookies, although many other butter substitutes do.

To replace one cup of butter, use half a cup of buttermilk in lieu of one cup of butter.

If you don’t have buttermilk but still want to bake, you can quickly make your own by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk and letting it stand for five minutes.

How To Make Cookies Without Butter – Use Other Kinds Of Fats

To create cookies without butter, just substitute the butter with nondairy fat. However, since butter is just 80% fat and 20% water, while other fats are 100% fat, your cookies may come out greasier unless you change the fat: flour ratio.

How To Make Cookies With Shortening

Shortening (e.g., Crisco, I may’t Believe It’s Not Butter, margarine, or similar nondairy shortening) may be used in place of butter in recipes by substituting the butter with the same quantity of shortening.

Because shortening contains less water than butter, your cookies will most likely be thicker than normal.

The benefit of using shortening as a butter alternative is that you won’t have to adjust your cookie recipes, and the taste will be extremely similar. You will not, however, obtain the buttery richness and suppleness that butter provides in cookies.

How To Make Cookies With Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been welcomed by the wellness movement as a healthy alternative to butter. Because coconut oil is solid at room temperature and creams with sugar to a similar consistency to butter, it may be used in lieu of butter in cookie recipes.

Cookies with coconut oil have a nice crunch. However, unless you use refined coconut oil, your cookies will have a coconutty taste and a faint sweetness.

How To Make Cookies With Vegetable Oil

When preparing cookies, you may use vegetable oil for butter (such as sunflower, rapeseed, avocado, or canola oil). It is feasible to replace olive oil for butter, but since it has a unique taste, it is better reserved for savory baked items such as muffins.

Vegetable oils are a healthier alternative to butter since they include less salt, cholesterol, and saturated fat. Their taste is similarly bland. Another benefit of using vegetable oil instead of butter in cookies is that it is about six times less expensive!

Oil and butter cannot be substituted in the same quantities. Because vegetable oil is liquid at room temperature and has a larger fat content than butter, the flour-to-fat ratio must be adjusted.

Replace the butter with the same quantity of oil instead of a 1:1 ratio. For example, instead of one cup of butter, use one cup of oil.

If you’re worried about your cookies turning out oily, choose a recipe developed expressly for vegetable oil, or cut the oil ratio in half.

You don’t need to butter your cookie trays or baking pans when using oil in cookies since the oil in the mixture will keep your cookies from sticking.

Vegetable oil cookies are beautifully soft and moist, with a puffy form and a deliciously crumb-like texture.

How To Make Cookies With Nut Butter

Nut butters, notably the ever-popular peanut butter, may be used in place of butter in cookie recipes. In fact, many flourless cookie recipes use nut butter instead of regular butter as an ingredient.

Nut butters are lower in fat than butter and higher in protein content, yet they are nonetheless rich in calories. However, since nut butters are 50% fat and butters are 80% fat, you must blend nut butter with another fat (such as coconut oil) to substitute butter in a cookie recipe.

To substitute butter, use half nut butter and half coconut oil. For example, if your recipe calls for one cup of butter, use half a cup of peanut butter and half a cup of coconut oil.

You’d use nut butter in a cookie that can take a nutty taste, such as chocolate chip cookies or oatmeal and raisin cookies, rather than snickerdoodles.

To add a delightful taste to your cookies, experiment with different nut butters such as almond, cashew, or macadamia butter. Because these butters are inherently sweet, you may use less sugar in your cookies.

How To Make Cookies Without Butter – Use Fruit or Vegetables

It may seem counterintuitive to use mashed or pureed fruit or vegetables in place of butter in a dish, but you can, with delicious and nutritious results.

If you want a crisp cookie, like shortbread, skip these substitutions since the texture of your biscuit will be softer and with a cake-like crumb. Alternatively, use half the quantity of fruit or vegetable puree and half the amount of coconut oil.

How to Make Cookies With Avocado

Avocados are high in heart-healthy fats, vitamins B, C, and K, and fiber, making them an excellent butter alternative in baking. Replace the butter with equal parts mashed or pureed avocado.

The only drawback of adding avocado is that your cookies may have a somewhat greenish tint, but you won’t be able to taste it. To prevent the unusual hue, make chocolate cookies with avocado so the beautiful brown conceals the touch of green.

How to Make Cookies With Pumpkin

So, instead of one cup of butter, use one cup of pumpkin puree.Pumpkin puree is not only great for pies, but it also works well as a butter alternative. Pumpkin will function as a fat in your cookies and offer a wonderful sweetness: it pairs nicely with gingersnaps. The pumpkin substitution ratio is 1:3.

You may use butternut, hubbard, or regular pumpkin. Remember that adding pumpkin will colour your cookies orange, making them perfect for Halloween!

How to Make Cookies With Sweet Potato

Another great butter alternative is cooked, pureed sweet potato, which adds moisture and sweetness to your cookies. Sweet potato is a fantastic option since it is healthful and naturally sweet. Replace one cup of butter with one cup sweet potato.

How to Make Cookies With Applesauce

Smooth applesauce is a fantastic option for reducing fat and sugar in a dish; it is a low-calorie substitute for butter. Because of its tangy sweetness, applesauce is an excellent replacement for sugar cookies.

To substitute butter, use half the quantity of applesauce: for a recipe that calls for half a cup of butter, use a hearty quarter cup of applesauce. However, this alternative may cause your cookies to be little dry, so mix it with another ingredient.

To substitute a cup of butter, use half a cup of applesauce and half a cup of buttermilk.

How To Make Cookies With Bananas

Mashed banana may also be used as a butter substitute, giving vitamins, fiber, and moisture to your cookies. However, the banana taste will show through, so use this alternative only if you want a bit banana-breadish cookie.

Cookies prepared with bananas are likewise thicker and less crispy than those made with butter. One banana is around the size of one stick of butter.

How To Make Cookies With Prunes

Prunus purée is another butter substitute that also serves as a sugar substitute. You may either make your own or utilize jarred baby food. 1 cup prunes may be substituted for 1 cup butter.

Prune puree will give your cookies a dark brownish purple hue, hence it’s best utilized with chocolate cookies.

How To Make Cookies Without Butter – Substitution Ratios

Substitute Ratio Example
Ghee 1:1 1 cup butter = 1 cup ghee
Yogurt 1:1 1 cup butter = 1 cup yogurt
Buttermilk 1:1/2 1 cup butter = ½ cup buttermilk
Shortening 1:1 1 cup butter = 1 cup shortening
Coconut oil 1:1 1 cup butter = 1 cup coconut oil
Vegetable oil 1:3/4 1 cup butter = ¾ cup vegetable oil
Nut butter 1:1/2 (+ coconut oil) 1 cup butter = ½ cup nut butter + ½ cup coconut oil
Avocado 1:1 1 cup butter = 1 cup avocado
Pumpkin, sweet potato 1:3/4 1 cup butter = ¾ cup pumpkin
Applesauce 1:1/2 (+ buttermilk) 1 cup butter = ½ cup applesauce + ½ cup buttermilk
Banana 1:1 1 cup butter = 1 cup mashed banana
Prune puree 1:3/4 1 cup butter = ¾ cup prune puree

Final Thoughts

Choose a butter-free cookie recipe, such as classic Italian cookies like biscotti or meringue-style cookies like macarons, to bake cookies without butter.

However, you may create butter-free cookies by using another vegetable-based fat, such as vegetable or coconut oil, or by replacing the butter with a fruit or vegetable puree, such as avocado or applesauce.

However, be sure to use the correct ratio of the alternative ingredient, since not all butter substitutes may be substituted in the same quantity as butter.


What can I use in cookies if I don’t have butter?

The following items, in general, perform well as butter substitutes in cakes, muffins, cookies, brownies, and quick breads:
Applesauce. Applesauce decreases the calorie and fat content of baked foods substantially.
Bananas mashed.
Yogurt from Greece.
Butters made from nuts.
Purée of pumpkin.

Can I use oil instead of butter to make cookies?

You may be out of butter, but you almost certainly have a bottle of oil on hand, so grab it and make some cookies. Oils are great for muffins and fast breads, but they may also be used in cookies. For every cup of butter called for, use 34 cup olive or vegetable oil.

How do I substitute butter for cookie dough?

A decent rule of thumb for this replacement is to replace about 34% of the butter in a dish with olive, canola, or vegetable oil (for example, if the recipe asks for 1 cup butter, use 34% cup oil). If the recipe specifies for melted butter, however, you may switch the components in equal quantities without changing your ratios.

Can I use milk instead of butter in cookies?

Butter is also the component responsible for the rich, delicious, and indulgent taste of cookies. Cookies, on the other hand, may be made by substituting or replacing the butter with another comparable component, such as another dairy product, another fat, or a fruit or vegetable puree.

How much oil do I substitute for butter?

2 tablespoons of oil.There is no hard and fast rule for how much oil to use to substitute butter, but you may usually use roughly three-quarters of the quantity of butter called for in the recipe. For example, if the recipe asks for 10 tablespoons of butter, you may use around 7 1

What is a healthier substitute for butter?

Other times, substituting butter with avocado, applesauce, yogurt, or even pureed beans might reduce calories and fat, enhance the nutrition profile, or design a dish to meet your dietary requirements.

What can I substitute for butter in chocolate chip cookies?

Best Butter Substitutes for Chocolate Chip Cookies
Olive oil or vegetable oil. I’ve placed this first since it’s an item you’re almost certainly already have in your cupboard! …
The oil of coconut.
Vegan butter or margarine.
Pureed pumpkin.
Yogurt from Greece.

What is a substitute for butter and oil?


In baking, applesauce is a common alternative for both butter and oil. It, like many other replacements, may reduce calories while increasing the nutritional value of many meals.

What is equal to 1 stick of butter?

rectangular blocks weighing 2 lbs.2 (half) cup. 1 cup is equal to two sticks of butter. Four sticks is one pound, and many pound cake recipes ask for four sticks, or an entire carton of butter. Butter is available in 1 pound packages everywhere in the nation.1 stick of butter = 1

What happens if you leave butter out of a cookie recipe?

Butter is essential for the structure of the cookie; without it, you’d likely end up with a strange dry combination of flour and other dry ingredients, along with potentially a few clumps of egg, that doesn’t even form into a dough that can be baked.

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