View Full Version : sub for butter in baking?

10-03-2007, 10:08 AM
I have my oatmeal cookie recipe here and waiting for me but I only have 1 stick of butter and it calls for 2. Any good substitutes?

If I were to sub apple sauce is it 1 for 1?


10-03-2007, 10:14 AM
Here's what food subs says...


10-03-2007, 10:20 AM
If calories/fat are not an issue, personally I'd use shortening, an equal amount. (I do that with some cookie recipes anyway.) Applesauce, etc. will work, but the texture will be different. In cakes, etc. it's not as noticable, but cookies have a higher percentage of fat by definition, so the difference will be more obvious. Not bad, just different.

10-03-2007, 10:24 AM
When I bake cookies, I usually use 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening in the recipe. For me, they turn out better that way than all butter or all shortening. But, it's just a suggestion. I know some people won't even touch shortening.

10-03-2007, 10:28 AM
You might try applesauce! I keep some in the freezer in 1/2 cup containers. I use it always in making brownies instead of oil.

10-03-2007, 10:34 AM
Good question. I am always subbing applesauce for butter in baking (I use a 1 to 1 ratio), except for when I bake cookies, because I have the impression that cooking subs are a bit trickier--so I am curious to see what others have to say.

Having said that, I looked in my Secrets of Fat-Free Baking cookbook by S. Woodruff to see if I could get an answer. Woodruff says, "In most cookie recipes, fat subsitutes like fruit purees, nonfat yoghurt, and mashed cooked pumpkin can easily replace half the fat, while liquid sweeteners, prune-puree and prune butter can replace all of the fat..."

She goes on to say that in cookie recipes you can replace half of the butter, etc. with half as much applesauce, mashed banana, or fruit puree, or all or part of the butter with three-fourths as much of liquid sweetener (say for ex. you are subbing 8 tbs of butter with liquid sweetener, you would use 6 tbs of the liquid sweetener). She defines liquid sweeteners as honey, molasses, maple syrup, fruit juice concentrates, fruit spreads or jams, etc.

Hope this helps some and does not add more confusion...

10-03-2007, 12:53 PM
Thanks for the replies! I actually don't have shortening in the house... Fat isn't an issue for this batch of cookies, just not enough time to get to the store to get more.

I do like the idea of pumpkin puree - especially for oatmeal raisin cookies! It is the season. Great suggestion!

I will post my results!


10-03-2007, 01:01 PM
How about making a half batch of the recipe instead? I don't tend to enjoy the cake-y results that happens when you use something like applesauce or another replacer in cookies. Sometimes they work out, but usually the texture is not all that great.

10-03-2007, 08:06 PM
I totally agree with Joe.

If you use applesauce or a pumpkin puree, you end up with something more resembling a muffin. It can taste great, don't get me wrong, but to me it's just not a cookie.

And I tend to prefer chewy cookies, so using applesauce as a sub is right out.

10-04-2007, 07:27 AM
I just made some cookies that called for applesauce as an ingredient in addition to a small amount of butter. they were ok immediately after baking but by the next day distinctly tasted like applesauce. they got dumped.
I'd go with a half recipe. If I want a cookie, I want it to taste like a cookie.

10-04-2007, 07:47 AM
Applesauce, and fruit purees in general, do not make a cookie, when used as a fat substitute. They make, as lindrusso says, something more like a muffin top.

The best fat substitute for cookies that I found is brown rice syrup. Not that that's something most people (other than me!) have just lying around the house. However, any kind of syrup, such as corn syrup or molasses, is pretty good. Honey can be weird -- just because honey can be weird, in baking -- something to do with enzymes. Syrup makes a chewy rather than a crunchy cookie, but at least the texture is still "cookie". Don't forget to reduce the sugar.

10-04-2007, 11:13 AM
Yeah, I'd say hold off on applesauce and go with 1 cup hard shortening, or 7/8 cup vegetable oil per 1 cup of butter. Other substitutions can be found here. (http://www.recipe4living.com/Common/Article.aspx?id=50930)