Making cookies without butter is easier than you might think! In this post, I’ll show you how to masterfully substitute butter in any cookie recipe, ensuring irresistible taste and texture. And as a practical illustration, we’ll walk together through a step-by-step guide to making delicious, butterless chocolate chip cookies.
There are many reasons to want to replace butter in cookies, and just as many solutions. Whether you are lactose intolerant, on a vegan diet, or simply looking for healthier alternatives, here are some ingredients you can use.
1. Vegetable oil
Let’s start with the healthier, plant-based, lactose-free alternative to butter.
The most common choice is extra-virgin olive oil. However, you can also use milder tasting alternatives such as corn oil, rice oil, or canola oil. Melted coconut oil is also a great alternative.
To substitute butter for oil, you need to keep in mind that the percentage of fat in these two ingredients is different. So, for 100 grams of butter, you will need about 80 grams of oil.
2. Milk yogurt
Any kind of white yogurt will do. Personally, I prefer Greek yogurt. I use this alternative mostly in recipes like my homemade muffins, but it is also great for making cookies.
This time, the proportions are reversed: for 100 grams of butter, you’ll need 125 grams of yogurt.
→ If you want to try out other recipes with this alternative ingredient, go check out my yogurt coffee cake recipe as well!
3. Peanut butter or soy butter
Few things are as delicious as peanut butter cookies, but don’t knock soy butter off until you try it! Both of these ingredients are a great alternative to traditional butter. As you can guess, the ratio to follow for the substitution is 1:1.
4. Almond cream
In addition to being readily available in specialty organic food stores, this ingredient can also be easily prepared at home. Simply blend the almonds at high speed until smooth.
Again, the right proportion is 1:1. However, if you think your cream is too fluid, you can increase to 125 grams per 100 grams of butter.
5. Avocado pulp
Avocado pulp is rich in good fats, and is a great vegan and healthy substitute for butter.
To use it in your cookie recipes, you will need to mash it with a fork or blend it with a blender until it reaches a consistency similar to that of softened butter.
The right ratio is 125 grams of avocado pulp per 100 grams of butter.
Margarine is not as healthy as the other butter alternatives I have listed so far, but its low cost and the fact that there are lactose-free and plant-based versions still make it a good choice. The proper ratio is 1:1.
What you’ll need for this recipe
All-purpose flour: or self-rising flour, if you prefer. You don’t need baking soda for this recipe, but a small amount of leavening agents will ensure that your cookies have a soft texture while maintaining their crispy edges. I’ve made tests with both options and the difference is not that big, so it’s up to you and to what’s in your staple right now.
Dark brown sugar: it’ll give your cookies a subtle caramel flavor. If you’re not really into brown sugar, most recipes that feature it work perfectly with the same amount of white sugar. And if you like doing experiments as much as I do, try making 3 different batches of cookies using white, brown, and a mixture of 50/50 white and brown sugar. I know that some people like to make their chocolate chip cookies with coconut sugar as well, but I haven’t tried it yet.
Extra-virgin olive oil: when making pastry, olive oil is one of my favorite butter substitutes. I like the extra flavor it can give to cookies.
A big egg: For some types of cookie dough, it’s better to use only egg yolks. For this one, however, I recommend using the whole egg.
Chocolate chips (optional): or chocolate chunks, if you prefer. Any type of chocolate will be perfect as long as you like it. My favorite option is dark chocolate chips, but feel free to use milk chocolate or any other alternative.
If you want, you can also add 1 or 2 teaspoons of almond milk to the wet ingredients while making the dough.
As usual, you will find the precise amounts for each of the ingredients listed above in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. If you want, you can also add some cinnamon or vanilla extract to the dough while kneading, or toss in some crushed nuts along with the chocolate chips.
- measuring cups;
- an electric mixer or a hand whisk;
- a rubber spatula;
- a baking sheet or a cookie sheet
- a cookie cutter (optional)
- an oven.
After you’ve gathered your ingredients and they’ve reached room temperature, start by sifting the flour in a medium bowl and set aside.
Now, grab a large bowl and break the eggs in it. Next, add the sugar and whisk gently.
Pour in the oil and mix thoroughly until all the wet ingredients are incorporated.
Then, blend in the dry ingredients starting with the flour and gradually adding the chocolate chips. Use a spatula or your hands to combine everything. Keep in mind that this recipe yields a slightly sticky cookie dough.
Now comes an important step. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes. While some online recipes skip this step, I highly recommend it as it reduces the dough’s elasticity and creates a more delicate, chewy texture in your cookies.
Once the half-hour mark has passed, remove the plastic wrap and place the dough ball on a tabletop. Adjacent to it, lay a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Use a small cookie scoop or your hands to portion out small cookie dough balls, and then flatten them slightly to give them the desired cookie shape.
Preheat your oven to 356°F and bake the cookies in static mode for approximately 25 minutes.
While they bake, the aroma of freshly baked cookies will fill your kitchen, whetting your appetite. Once they have turned golden brown, carefully remove the cookies from the oven and transfer them to a plate or tray. Cover them with a clean cloth to allow them to cool completely.
Once your olive oil chocolate chip cookies have cooled, it’s time to indulge! Grab your favorite airtight container to store any leftovers. Trust me; these cookies will disappear quickly, but if you manage to save some, the airtight container will help maintain their freshness.Print