How to bake all the best vegan desserts - without butter!
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So, you’ve got a sweet tooth. Sadly for us vegans, butter is a star ingredient in many of our favorite pastry items, including muffins, cakes, and cookies. But, don’t worry, you don’t have to give up dessert just because you don’t eat dairy. Use these 6 butter substitutes for vegan baking instead! 

6 butter substitutes for vegan baking

1. Vegan butter

Butter up your baked goods with some vegan butter!

Portions are exactly the same – and so is the flavor! Honestly, you won’t notice a difference.  

2. Coconut oil

Coconut oil can be used as a substitute for many fats and it’s one of our favorite substitutes for butter. It’s virtually flavorless, so your vegan version won’t taste any different than the original, and it’s not bad for your health, either!

Like with vegan butter, there’s no fancy math required to make this substitution. Simply use exactly what the recipe calls for.


Coconut oil is a butter substitute for vegan baking

3. Vegetable oil

Vegetable oil can also be used instead of butter. Baked goods made with oil are more moist and better for you, as well, because they don’t contain saturated fats like butter.

This one’s not a straight across substitute, though. If you’re using oil instead of butter, use about ¾ of what the recipe calls for.

Vegetable oil is a butter substitute for vegan baking

4. Bananas

Indulge your sweet tooth by swapping out regular butter with bananas! First, mash the banana and simply swap out an equal amount of this mash with butter. For example, if a recipe calls for 1/3 cup of softened butter, you’ll need to add 1/3 cup of mashed bananas, instead!

Using smashed bananas in lieu of butter will speed up the baking time, so keep a close eye on those sweet treats while they’re in the oven!

bananas are a butter substitute for vegan baking

5. Avocado

Mashed avocados are an excellent substitute for cream cheese, mayonnaise, onion dip – and butter! This healthy fat will load your treats with extra nutritional goodness and make them more soft and moist.

You only need half as much avocado as you do butter, so divide the recipe butter measurement by two, and get mashing!

Avocados are a butter substitute for vegan baking

6. Applesauce

Applesauce can also be used to replace butter. Like with avocados, simply use half the required butter amount. Baked goods containing applesauce are denser, so save this substitute for treats like muffins and energy bars.

applesauce is a butter substitute for vegan baking


Ready to start baking?!?! Here’s a special plant-based dessert recipe from our cookbook.

Chocolate Mocha Almond Cake

Chocolate Mocha Almond Cake from the Wholesome Culture Cookbook


Makes 1 cake 

Prep time: 30 minutes 

Cook time: 20-25 minutes 

  • Vegetable shortening for coating pan 
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons flour for dusting
  • 1/2 cup almonds, sliced 

Cake batter:

  • 1 cup vegan butter, softened 
  • 1 and 3/4 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons ener-g egg replacement powder, plus 6 tablespoons water 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 3/4 cup plant milk of choice
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour 


  • 1 cup vegetable shortening 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cold brew concentrate or strongly prepared coffee 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 and 1/2 cups organic powdered sugar 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease three 8 inch cake pans with vegetable shortening and dust with a small amount of flour. 
  2. Using a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar for 2 minutes on medium. Add in egg replacer powder plus water, cocoa powder, plant milk, baking soda, vanilla, and salt and mix well. 
  3. Then, add in the flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix well. 
  4. Divide batter evenly amongst the cake pans and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes. Then carefully remove the cakes from their pans.
  5. To prepare the frosting, mix together the shortening, cocoa powder, cold brew concentrate or strong coffee, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Beat with a hand mixer until fluffy. 
  6. Once the cake has cooled completely, spread a layer of frosting in between each layer of cake. Then pipe or spread the rest of frosting onto the outside of the cake. Once frosted, press the sliced almonds into the sides of the cake. 


If you loved reading this article about butter alternatives, check out these other articles that will have you cooking vegan meals like a pro!



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