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What can I substitute for butter to bake cookies?

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Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

Why do you want to?

(serious question, if it's for vegan / dietary concerns then this will affect the answer)

Butter is usually the best option in cookies - flavour, chemical behaviour - so anything else tends to be a compromise.


Monita is a recipe tester for Food52 and a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

I frequently substitute butter with non-dairy margarine (Mother's brand is best) when baking cookies. It may not be as good as butter in a side-by-side comparison but on their own, they taste very good

adeline89 added over 1 year ago

Try coconut oil.

The Spiced Life added over 1 year ago

In most cases, lard. But in most cases, except dairy allergies, if you were willing to eat lard you would be willing to eat butter. :)

ATG117 added over 1 year ago

margarine will work well if you're not bothered by the reasons people cite to avoid it. If you're using coconut oil, you make get an oilier cookie with a slightly different texture. But there are many vegan recipes that use it.

Sadassa_Ulna added over 1 year ago

Cold-pressed palm oil (non-hydrogenated) is similar to coconut and it will work well but it's not as tasty as butter. A neutral liquid vegetable oil (like canola or corn) can be substituted in most situations using a third cup oil for every half cup butter; the cookies will be chewier than those made with butter or palm or coconut (results will vary depending on type of cookie, I like it for Tollhouse-style chocolate chip because I like them soft and chewy sometimes).

hkellyis added over 1 year ago

Coconut oil! I've just started using it when baking and I absolutely adore it.

SeaJambon added over 1 year ago

A number of folks are suggesting coconut oil - my question to you (intended seriously) is how do you compensate for flavor loss? I've made quite a number of cookies in my day, and both butter and margarine add a certain richness. Recently, I've been making cookies for a friend with both a dairy and soy allergy, so used coconut oil. The look and texture was just fine but the taste was noticeably "flatter" -- missing a certain richness. Kind of "blah" overall. So I'm curious, what do you do to compensate for this lack of richness, or is it just par for the course and something that we have to accept?

The Spiced Life added over 1 year ago

Just wanted to say that lard definitely adds that richness. Has the OP ever said why s/he is avoiding butter?

See for example these cookies:


The Spiced Life added over 1 year ago

Dang it can I not edit my answer? Agh. Here is the cookies:


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