5 Simple Substitutions for Healthier Baking

If you bake a lot at home (and particularly if you make your own frosting), you probably know that sweets and baked goods are essentially an elegant and beautiful butter delivery system. However, for a huge amount of cakes, cupcakes, and other baked goods, there are incredibly easy substitutions you can make that can save you a whole lot of calories! Bake healthier today and try one.

Carrot Cinnamon Cupcakes from While Chasing Kids

Carrot Cinnamon Cupcakes from While Chasing Kids

Unsweetened applesauce

Applesauce makes an excellent substitution for most types of fats, particularly oil. For the closest, best results, you can safely use it as a substitute for 1/2 of the fat. If you substitute more than that, your cakes may turn out a bit moister and wetter than they would otherwise, but it's still tasty! It works extra well with quick breads such as banana bread and zucchini bread.

Plain yogurt

Plain yogurt or greek yogurt are great substitutions too! Replacing half (or more) of your oils and fats with will give your baked goods the perfect consistency and texture without all of those extra calories.

Black beans

Instead of baking your brownies with flour, how about using black beans? If you've got an urge for chocolate, it could be a big helper! You'll be amazed at the fudgey, rich texture you'll get - and no one will guess the secret ingredient. You can get some extra protein and forgo the gluten with this substitution.

Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Brownies

Mashed Bananas

Bananas (and other pureed fruits) makes an excellent oil replacement! For the best results, only switch out half of the suggested amount of oil or fat. Of course, you should be aware that the fruit will impart a bit of flavor into the dessert you're making, in addition to a bit of natural sugar. You may want to decrease the amount of added sugar to accommodate.


Avocado might seem an unlikely addition to sweets, but it's a fantastic replacement for butter in baked goods! The avocado's natural butter-like texture and the ease of mashing it make it a very simple switch, and you're getting tons of healthy fats instead of unhealthy ones. Flavor-wise, avocado also pairs shockingly well with chocolate, which  makes it a great option for chocolate cakes, cupcakes, and brownies!

Chocolate Avocado Cake from Joy the Baker