Baking Substitutions for Nutrient Density

Baking Substitution


Its that time of year again to make your holiday favorites; cookies, cakes, pies, and candies. You don’t have to sabotage your healthy eating habits. You can still stay on track without feeling guilty with a couple of these substitutions.

Flours: there are better options to give you a more nutrient dense option rather than a calorically dense one.

Substitute: 1c flour

  • 1cup pureed black beans ( gluten free, high in fiber) brownies,cookies
  • 1/3c coconut flour +1 egg ( gluten free, adds fiber, vegan, and low carb)baked goods, pancakes
  • 1c nut flour + 1tsp baking powder ( gluten free, vegan, high in protein and omega 3)baked goods
  • 1c whole wheat flour ( high in fiber and vitamins) everything
  • 1c oat flour ( high in fiber) baked goods and breads

Sugars: there are several options to give you the same sweet taste with out all of the added simple carbohydrates and sugars

Substitute: 1c sugar all used for baked goods

  • 1c applesauce ( low in sugar and cuts calories) * for every cup of applesauce used reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/3c. 
  • 1/2tsp vanilla = 2 tbsp of sugar ( low in sugar and cuts calories)
  • 2/3c honey ( low in sugar , high in vitamins, and cuts calories)* decrease oven 25 degrees
  • 2/3c agave nectar (low in sugar and cuts calories)
  • 2 tsp stevia (low in sugar and cuts calories)
  • 3/4c maple syrup ( low in sugar, cuts calories, and contains trace minerals Zinc and Manganese)
  • 1/2c Yacon Syrup (high in soluble fiber, helps to regulate blood sugar, prebiotic (inulin/FOS), and is low on GI scale)

Fats: while fats are good for you and provide health benefits, there are still better options than others

Substitute: for butter and oil ( certain kinds)

  • 3/4c greek yogurt for 1c oil ( cuts fat and calories)cakes, breads, cookies
  • 1/2 applesauce + 1/2c oil or butter for 1c oil or butter ( cuts fat and calories) * for every cup of applesauce used reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/3c  muffins or sweet breads
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed + 1 tbsp water for 1 tbsp butter ( vegan, high in fiber, and omegas)  baked goods with a nutty flavor
  • 3 tbsp of chia seed+ 1tsp of water for 1c butter ( vegan, high in protein and fiber, cuts calories, lower in fat) muffins, cakes, and breads
  • 1c avocado for 1c butter (cuts calories) brownies and cookies
  • 1 banana to 1c butter ( cuts calories, low in fats, and high in vitamins) brownies and cookies
  • 1c coconut oil for 1 cup oil ( medium chain fatty acids) baked goods

Eggs: eggs are a great source of vitamins, protein, and fats, but can add in unwanted calories. There a couple of substitutes you can choose from which can also be good for anyone following a vegan diet or are allergic to eggs.

Substitute: 1 egg

  • 1/4c applesauce + 1 tsp baking powder for 1egg ( vegan) brownies, cakes, and muffins
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds + 1c water for 1 egg ( vegan) baked goods
  • 1 tbsp flax meal  + 3tbsp water for 1 egg ( vegan, high in fiber, high in omega 3) muffins, cakes, and cookies
  • 1 banana for 1 egg ( vegan, more vitamins) baked goods
  • 2 egg whites or 1/4c egg white substitute = 1 egg ( lower in fat and calories) any recipe calling for eggs

Dairy: there are substitutes for  certain types of dairy in the case that can provide more protein and less sugar or be a better option for those that are lactose intolerant.


  • Use plain greek yogurt in place of sour cream cup for cup ( more protein less carbs)
  • Cashews soaked in water and pureed in place of cheese sauce ( healthy fats and vegan) pureed into a sauce for alfredo, cheese, and cream cheese icing
  • 1c Almond, Cashew, or coconut milk for 1c milk ( less sugars and calories)


Happy baking and a happy holiday!

Healthfully Yours,

Krystal Goodman