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What can I substitute for butter to bake cookies?

asked by Sarah,Ring almost 5 years ago

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10 answers 5034 views
0bc70c8a e153 4431 a735 f23fb20dda68  sarah chef
Reiney

Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 5 years 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.

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8425a5f0 773c 4ccd b24e 9e75b44477a8  monita photo
Monita

Monita is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added almost 5 years 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

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

Try coconut oil.

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years 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. :)

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years 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.

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C45c94a0 2e08 45bf a73c 4235d1b3c4bb  image
added almost 5 years 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).

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

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

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Bac35f8c 0352 46fe 95e3 57de4b652617  p1291120
added almost 5 years 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?

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years 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:

https://www.google.com...

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

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

http://thespicedlife.com...

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