11 Butter Substitutes For Edible Cookie Dough

Published Categorized as Baking Tagged

With rising health consciousness, many home bakers seek plant-based swaps to create guilt-free, delicious cookie dough. The options can be confusing, so today I will clarify the best butter substitutes for edible cookie dough that retains the classic flavor and texture you love. Get the scoop on vegan butter, coconut oil, avocado, and more so you can customize cookie dough to suit your dietary needs and baking style. We’ll also go through the pros, cons, taste, and texture of different butter replacements to make informed, better-for-you choices.

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11 Butter Substitutes For Edible Cookie Dough

Table of Contents


Margarine makes an excellent substitute for butter when making edible cookie dough. With a similar fat content, margarine mimics both the texture and taste of butter quite well.

When substituting, use:

  • 1 cup of margarine for every 1 cup of butter called for in the recipe
  • Stick margarine for stick butter
  • Tub margarine for spoonable butter

While butter brings a richer flavor, margarine holds its shape better during baking. The oils in margarine also lead to a more tender, cake-like texture. For a dairy-free dough, look for plant-based margarines made from vegetable oils and fats. Brands like Earth Balance and Country Crock offer quality non-dairy options.

Overall, margarine swaps in perfectly to edible cookie doughs. You retain the sweet flavor and scoopable consistency needed for cookie dough while benefiting from margarine’s meltability and flexibility. The dough handles and bakes similarly to an all-butter recipe.


Shortening makes for a prime butter substitute when crafting edible cookie dough. With a neutral flavor profile, shortening allows the sweet cookie flavor to shine rather than overpower. Some key advantages include:

  • Enhanced Texture – The soft yet dense consistency of shortening bakes into a perfectly scoopable edible dough. It creates a smooth, thick texture without falling flat. Use a 1:1 ratio, swapping 1 cup butter for 1 cup vegetable shortening.
  • Heat Stability – Unlike butter, shortening won’t melt or leak oil during baking. This prevents spreading and helps cookies retain their shape. The stability also enables easy handling and scooping straight from the fridge.
  • Flexible Flavor – With its mild taste, shortening provides a blank canvas for mix-ins. Feel free to incorporate chocolate chunks, peanut butter swirls, or any other imaginative additions. The shortening base uplifts rather than competes.

Overall, vegetable shortening nails the pliable dough texture needed in edible cookie dough. And its versatility in terms of flavor and functionality makes it an accessible butter alternative for the tasty treat.

Olive Oil

Olive oil makes for a heart-healthy swap when crafting edible cookie doughs. With its high smoke point and fruity, grassy flavor notes, olive oil brings tons of pros to the table, including:

  • As a monounsaturated fat, olive oil provides anti-inflammatory benefits and protects heart health. Its antioxidants and healthy fats aim to lower LDL cholesterol.
  • Part of the renowned Mediterranean diet, olive oil is associated with longer lifespans and reduced disease risk. Its nutrients boost immunity and wellness.
  • Olive oil introduces subtle fruitiness without overpowering the cookie dough’s sweetness. Its grassy, peppery kick complements flavors like oats, nuts, dark chocolate or citrus.
  • For baking, use extra virgin olive oil to maximize flavor. Make sure it’s fresh, not old or rancid.

When subbing for butter, use a 1:1 ratio, swapping 1 cup butter for 1 cup olive oil. While denser than butter, olive oil makes for a smooth, scoopable dough. It may spread more during baking so chill well before portioning. Overall, olive oil brings a tasty health halo to edible cookie dough.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil may seem exotic, but it makes a tasty, versatile butter substitute in edible cookie doughs. With its subtle tropical essence and silky texture, coconut oil brings some major perks:

  • Flavor – Coconut oil introduces a subtle sweetness and toasty flavor without overpowering the cookie dough. A little goes a long way in providing a tropical vibe. I suggest starting with 1⁄2 cup of coconut oil for every 1 cup of butter to gauge flavor impact.
  • Vegan Appeal – Being plant-based, coconut oil allows you to make edible doughs that appeal to vegan bakers. It contains no dairy or animal products. You can craft allergy-friendly, flexitarian treats.
  • Adaptability – Coconut oil solidifies at cooler temps so your dough handles just like an all-butter version. And it works in both baked and no-bake cookie dough recipes. Talk about versatility!

So if you want to add a touch of the tropics to your edible cookie dough, coconut oil makes for a smooth, flavorful butter stand-in. The coconut essence plays nice with mix-ins like dark chocolate, nuts, coconut flakes or dried fruit. I’d say it’s worth whisking in.

Almond Butter

Almond butter introduces nutty essence and protein power when swapped for butter in edible cookie doughs. With its dense, creamy texture, almond butter mimics the mouthfeel of fatty butter beautifully.

  • For best results, use an all-natural almond butter with just one or two ingredients – roasted almonds plus salt. Steer clear of oils or added sugars.
  • Substitute 1 cup of butter with 1 cup of almond butter. You’ll achieve a fairly equal fat and calorie tradeoff. Though denser, almond butter whips into the same fluffy, scoopable dough.
  • The nutty flavor plays well with mix-ins like dark chocolate, coconut, dried cranberries, cinnamon and vanilla. Feel free to get creative!
  • Almond butter amps up the protein significantly – we’re talking 7 grams per serving versus 1 gram in butter. So if you want to feel less guilty devouring edible dough, almond butter makes for a nutritious swap.

Overall, almond butter introduces delightful nuttiness and healthy fats to edible doughs. Your treats become more protein-powered and the dough retains that sweet, decadent butteriness we all crave.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter introduces nutty essence and protein power when swapped for butter in edible cookie doughs. With its dense, creamy texture, peanut butter resembles the taste of fatty butter beautifully.

  • For best results, use an all-natural peanut butter with just peanuts and salt. Avoid added oils or sugars.
  • Substitute 1 cup of butter for 1 cup of peanut butter. You achieve a similar fat and calorie profile. Though denser, peanut butter whips into the same scoopable dough.
  • The nutty peanut flavor complements mix-ins like chocolate chunks, oats, vanilla, and dried fruit. Get creative with peanut butter cookie variations!
  • Peanut butter significantly amps up the protein – nearly 8 grams per serving versus 1 gram in butter. So if you want a more nutritious edible dough, peanut butter is a healthy, protein-packed substitute.

Overall, peanut butter introduces delightful nuttiness and good fats into edible doughs, while retaining that sweet, decadent butteriness we crave. The peanut essence plays nice with other flavors for customizable edible cookie dough creations.

I have a recipe for peanut butter cookie dough that you can try!

Cashew Butter

Cashew butter introduces a subtle nuttiness and velvety texture when subbed for butter in edible doughs. With a milder flavor than peanut or almond butter, cashew butter adds a delicate nut essence without overpowering the cookie flavor.

When substituting:

  • Use a 1:1 ratio, swapping 1 cup of butter for 1 cup of cashew butter
  • Opt for all-natural cashew butter with minimal ingredients – just cashews and a touch of salt

The rich, fatty taste of cashew butter mimics butter beautifully. Though dense, it whips into a scoopable dough with a smooth, frosting-like consistency. Cashew butter brings a fudgy quality similar to using Nutella or chocolate hazelnut spread.

Mix-ins that complement the mild nuttiness include chocolate chunks, coconut, oats, ginger and vanilla. The cashew essence uplifts other flavors subtly without stealing the spotlight.

Overall, cashew butter makes for a pleasantly nutty, protein-packed sub in edible doughs. With about 5 grams of protein per serving, it edges out butter’s 1 gram. So if you want a “healthier” dough with cashew creaminess, this mild nut butter shines.

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin puree makes for a supremely moist, seasonal substitute when crafting edible cookie doughs. With its dense, velvety texture, pumpkin puree mimics butter’s rich mouthfeel while introducing autumnal spice.

  • For best results, use 100% canned pumpkin puree – no added sugars or flavors. The simple, unsweetened variety provides a clean pumpkin flavor.
  • Substitute 1 cup butter for 1 cup pumpkin puree – you achieve nearly an equal calorie and fat tradeoff.
  • Despite its thick, frosting-like consistency, pumpkin puree whips into a smooth, scoopable dough. It brings tons of pros:
    • Moisture – The high moisture content keeps cookie dough fudgy and prevents dryness.
    • Flavor – Subtle sweetness with warming cinnamon-nutmeg notes. Pumpkin brings a seasonal twist without overpowering.
    • Adaptability – Works great in no-bake edible doughs and baked cookies too. Freezes well for longer storage.

So if you want to give your edible doughs a touch of autumnal spice, pumpkin puree brings moisture, richness and seasonal soul – a butter swap worth blending.

Speaking of autumnal cookie dough, check out these yummy recipes on my blog:


Applesauce introduces fruit-powered sweetness when used in place of butter in edible cookie doughs. With its smooth, sauce-like consistency, applesauce mimics butter’s richness while dialing back the need for added sugars.

  • Substitute 1 cup butter with 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce for an equal volume. Though runnier, applesauce whips into a nicely scoopable dough.
  • The natural sweetness of fruit cuts down on the sugar required in recipes by up to half. Rely on the applesauce itself to sweeten.
  • Applesauce brings a moist quality that prevents dryness. Its high moisture content keeps cookie dough fudgy and luscious.
  • The mild fruit essence uplifts flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, lemon, and vanilla. Savory mix-ins like oats, nuts and coconut also complement the gentle apple notes.
  • With 2 grams of fiber per serving, applesauce edges out butter’s 0 grams. It amps nutrition compared to plain butter.

Overall, applesauce makes for a stellar natural sweetener in edible doughs, lowering sugars considerably. The fruit infusion provides a delightful essence too.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt introduces tangy essence and protein power when subbed for butter in edible doughs. With its thick, creamy texture, Greek yogurt taste is similar to butter while dialing up nutrition.

  • For best results, use plain nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt. Avoid added sugars or flavors. The tart plain variety provides a nice tangy contrast to cookie dough sweetness.
  • Substitute 1 cup of butter for 1 cup of Greek yogurt – you achieve a similar calorie tradeoff with more protein and less fat. Despite its dense texture, Greek yogurt whips into a smooth, scoopable dough.
  • The tangy flavor plays well with mix-ins like lemon, berries, dark chocolate, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. Get creative with flavors!
  • With a whopping 15-20 grams of protein per serving, Greek yogurt significantly amps up nutrition versus butter’s 1 gram. It makes for a protein-packed, gut-healthy substitute.

The thick, creamy essence of Greek yogurt makes it a stellar tangy and nutritious butter stand-in for edible doughs. You achieve a pleasantly tart twist with extra nutrition to boot.


Mashed bananas make for a stellar butter stand-in when crafting luscious edible doughs. With their dense, creamy essence and natural sweetness, bananas mimic butter’s richness while introducing delightful tropical flair.

When substituting:

  • Use 1 mashed ripe banana for every 1⁄2 cup of butter. While runnier, bananas whip into a smooth, scoopable dough when mixed properly.
  • Mash bananas well before adding to remove any lumps. I suggest mashing with a fork for a perfectly smooth puree.
  • Opt for spotty, speckled yellow bananas – these tend to be sweeter and softer, leading to ideal mashing consistency. Slightly underripe fruit works too.
  • Stir banana puree into the dough quickly to prevent browning. Acidic mix-ins like lemon or pineapple help prevent discoloration.

Beyond delightful flavor, bananas add tons of nutrition. With vitamin C, potassium, fiber and magnesium, bananas make for a healthier butter stand-in. The fruit essence introduces a yummy tropical soul too. I’d say banana power shines bright in edible dough!

Doesn’t matter if you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or just want to shake things up. There are a handful of stellar ways to sub butter in edible cookie doughs. From heart-healthy olive oil to protein-packed Greek yogurt, coconut oil’s tropical flair to almond butter’s nutty essence, these alternatives mimic butter’s richness while dialing up nutrition.

So spread the edible cookie dough love and get creative with substitutes!

Overall the alternatives make cookie doughs accessible for all diets and cravings while retaining that sweet decadence we love. And isn’t that what it’s all about – having our cake, err, edible cookie dough, and eating it too? However you slice it, margarine and friends have got you covered. Dough on!

What is a good substitute for butter in cookie dough?

Good butter substitutes for cookie dough include coconut oil, which provides richness without dairy; avocado oil, which offers creaminess; and vegan butter, which mimics the texture that butter provides. Olive or vegetable oil can be used too.

What is a substitute for cookie butter?

Nut butters like almond or cashew butter can replace cookie butter in recipes. Reduced fat creamy peanut butter delivers protein and cuts some calories. Sunflower seed butter offers nuttiness without nuts. Chocolate hazelnut spread is a sweet option kids enjoy.

Can I use oil instead of butter in cookie dough?

Yes, you can substitute oil for butter when making cookie dough. Good options are canola, coconut, avocado, and olive oil. Reduce any other liquids in the recipe. Oil may produce cookies that are crispier or more crumbly compared to butter.

What is the best butter substitute?

For a butter stand-in that behaves most like the real thing, non-hydrogenated vegan butter is the best substitute. It has a rich taste and creamy texture that bakes, spreads, and melts similarly to dairy butter. Olive, avocado, and refined coconut oil also work well depending on the application.

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind CooksDream.com, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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