Wondering how to replace butter when baking pies and desserts? Here’s a simple list of oil-free substitutes for butter in baking. Wondering why it’s important to substitute butter in baking recipes for oil-free alternatives?
Visit EasyVeganMealPrep.com for the recipe and full blog post.
Butter is found in almost every recipe ever created in America. You’ll be hard pressed to find a classic frosting recipe, cookie recipe, pancake or waffle recipe that doesn’t contain butter. This is why we are on a mission to help America (and beyond) go plant-forward and are making it a priority to help home cooks learn how to replace butter in baking recipes using healthy, plant-based alternatives.
What is butter?
Butter is defined by the USDA as:
“…the food product usually known as butter, and which is made exclusively from milk or cream, or both, with or without common salt, and with or without additional coloring matter, and containing not less than 80 per centum by weight of milk fat, all tolerances having been allowed for.
Milk is defined by the USDA as:
Milk is the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows.
By definition, butter is a secretion from a cow made into a food product. This is not something a healthy human needs in their diet which is why many doctors recommend a plant-based diet. Unfortunately, most of the recipes we were raised on contain butter. Thankfully, we have many substitutes for butter and they are listed below.
Why do recipes use oil and butter in recipes?
Often times recipes call for fat, such as butter or oil in a baking recipe to give the baked good a certain mouthfeel, body, weight, and craveable flavor. This same effect can be accomplished using whole food sources, such as ground nuts, pureed fruit such as banana and apple, as well as plant-based alternatives such as yogurt and silken tofu. When substituting oil in your recipe for one of the follow oil-free alternatives, you’ll want to replicate the texture and consistency of the item you are replacing. Butter is generally creamy, fatty and has a higher water content containing about 15-20% water. Oil is basically all fat with very little water content but lots of consistency.
How to make an oil-free butter substitute
Making an oil-free butter substitute is easy, simply blend together a combination of approximately:
If your recipe usually calls for 1 cup butter, you would blend a butter substitute that is about 80% fat and 20% plant-based milk or water. Consider the fruit you are using, some contain liquid such as apple juice and you’ll want to factor that in. Avoid making this too complicated, you’re simply making a pureed, creamy spread or pourable mixture similar to soft or melted butter.
Vegan oil-free butter substitutes for baking
Instead of using butter in your recipes, substitute butter for one of these plant-based ingredients or combinations of ingredients:
Ground nuts or seeds
Ground peanuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, walnuts and other nuts and seeds are great for replacing the fat and creaminess of butter in recipes. Spread a nut or seed butter on your morning toast, or blend it with fruit or vegetable purees with a little liquid to make an even more buttery spread or liquid.
Yogurt has a great consistency which is perfect for substituting butter. Consider that yogurt does have a high water content so you may want to blend the yogurt with a little nut or seed butter to make it thicker. Or simply using as a cup-for-cup butter substitute in cookies, baked goods, and for moisture-rich frostings.
Silken tofu also has a great consistency perfect for substituting butter in recipes, however it doesn’t contain the fat that butter has. Use silken tofu in recipes where fat isn’t as important or blend silken tofu with something that has naturally occurring fats such as nuts or seeds. Use silken tofu as a cup-for-cup replacement for butter in frostings, dips and spreads.
Homemade oil-free butter substitute
Easily make a homemade oil-free butter substitute using any of the combinations of nuts, liquid and fruit. This mixture is a great substitute for butter in pie crusts, pie crumble toppings, dough, and for cookies.
Peanut butter + plant milk + banana
Peanut butter + plant milk + apple
Walnuts + plant milk + banana
Walnuts + plant milk + apple
Vegan oil-free butter substitute recipe
Makes about 1 cup
1 cup peeled bananas, seeded apples or pumpkin puree
2 tbsp peanut butter, sunbutter or cashews
1 tbsp plant-based milk or water
Pinch salt, optional
Blend all until creamy. Use this butter substitute as melted butter in baking or as softened butter in making pie crusts and doughs.