There are several reasons why people try to eliminate or cut down on butter in their diet.
Some people try to keep their cholesterol levels under control because of the amount of saturated fat that is in butter. Others may be lactose intolerant and butter is made from cream or milk which is whipped until the end result is butter.
Most recipes for baked goods call for some type of oil or butter so that the finished product is moist and the flavors are evenly distributed. But what if you have everything together to make a batch of brownies and you realize you are out of butter?
Are there products you can use in place of butter when you want to make brownies? Luckily there are some simple substitutions you can use that you may already have on hand.
Here are 8 ingredients you can try in your favorite brownie recipe.
How to Make Brownies Without Butter
1 – Coconut Oil
When it comes to baking, coconut oil is a good substitute for butter, especially when making brownies. Just like butter coconut oil is an unsaturated fat and you can use it in the same proportions as butter when using it as a replacement.
You won’t have to worry about a coconut taste but your brownies may end up tasting a little bit sweeter.
2 – Olive Oil
Olive oil, on the other hand, does have a definite flavor that is more on the savory side. It can be used as a healthy alternative to butter when baking but you may want to opt for a lighter olive oil.
As a change from butter, you only need 3/4 of a cup of olive oil in exchange for a cup of butter.
3 – Applesauce
Many health-conscious people have been using applesauce as a replacement for butter for years in order to cut down on fat. When using this product make sure you use applesauce that is unsweetened, otherwise your brownies may be a little too sweet.
Even though there is no fat in applesauce it is high in fiber and your baked goods will still come out nice and moist. You can add it in the same amount as butter or you can add half the amount of applesauce with the other half oil to give it some fat content.
4 – Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt has become a popular ingredient when used in cooking as well as baking. It is brimming with health benefits that make it an excellent substitution for butter.
Even full-fat versions of Greek yogurt are low in fat while packing a high amount of protein for a low number of calories.
Another plus is you only need half the amount of Greek yogurt to replace butter in your recipes. If your brownies need a cup of butter you only need a half cup of Greek yogurt.
5 – Avocado
With the popularity of guacamole and avocado toast, more people have this nutritious one-seeded fruit on hand at all times. The avocado is a healthy superfood that is rich in vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids.
You can easily use a mashed avocado in place of butter to make moist and delicious brownies that are even healthy.
6 – Bananas
Mashing a ripe banana will give you moist brownies that have the added bonus of a natural sweetness from this simple fruit. You can substitute it in equal proportions as butter in your recipe.
7 – Pumpkin Puree
When you taste how tender and flavorful your brownies come out when you use pumpkin puree, you may never want to return to using butter again. Canned pumpkin is easy to keep on hand all year round and it offers the health benefits of vitamin K, potassium, and beta-carotene.
You can use the same amount of pumpkin in place of the butter called for in the recipe.
8 – Buttermilk
Buttermilk is another item that adds a richness to baked goods. Because it is tangy you will just end up with delicious brownies that are not too sweet.
Most people don’t usually have buttermilk in their fridge but you can easily make a homemade version by combining a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar with a cup of milk.
After about 5 minutes you will end up with a chunky buttermilk you can use in place of butter.
9 – Nut Butters
Whether you have peanut butter, almond butter, or even cashew butter on hand, nut butters are a great and equal substitution for regular dairy butter when making brownies.
You will enjoy a creamy baked good that will have a touch of extra added flavor.
10 – Black Beans
While it may sound odd to be adding black beans to replace butter when making brownies, you will be surprised at how moist and delicious they will come out. Puree the beans and you can exchange them for butter in the same exact ratio.
In addition to adding moisture, black beans pack additional fiber and protein giving them additional healthy benefits.
11 – Prune Puree
Pureed prunes make an excellent substitute for butter for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan. You can create your prune puree by combine 1/2 cup of prunes that have been pitted with 1/4 cup of water in a blender.
You will only need a 3/4 cup of prune puree to replace a cup of butter.
12 – Vegetable Oil
You don’t need a special oil to replace butter in your brownie recipe. Vegetable oil will work as an alternative ingredient in place of butter, just use less of it. You only need 3/4 cup of vegetable oil to replace a full cup of butter.
No matter what your reasons are for replacing butter when baking your brownies, any of the above ingredients make a fine substitute. Try one or several until you find the one that works best for you.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.