Coconut Oil as a Butter Alternative

Other than sans serif typefaces and all things summer, I enjoy baked goods. In particular, I like cookies. Cake is the form of baked good with which there is the most creative potential—so many decorating possibilities!—but it’s not a sweet treat I find myself craving. Cookies, however, are something I find drool-worthy. I wish I could eat them for every meal. Tip of the hat to Clif Bar for their white chocolate macadamia nut bars; these things taste just like cookies and have been my triathlon treat of choice for quite some time.

Most cookies are not what they would call “good” for you. Somehow the anti-butter propaganda penetrated into the depths of my brain (typically protected by a strong shield of “I don’t believe in calories; I only believe in delicious”) and these days I find myself grossed out by the huuuuuuuge amounts of butter that are found in virtually every cookie recipe I’ve ever attempted. Lately, I’ve taken to experimentation with butter alternatives, and most of the results are (obviously) not as good as the with-butter versions. I’ve tried substituting Greek yoghurt, applesauce, soy milk or basically any plant-based fat I can think of, and none have yielded anything close to as delightful as the traditional cookie.


chocolate chip cookies made with coconut oil

My latest butter alternative attempt was coconut oil in chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t go all the way; I only substituted half the butter for the equivalent amount of coconut oil, but the result was sooooo good! They taste like……cookies! Slightly crispy on the outside and very soft and chewy in the middle, these chocolate chip cookies are the real deal, and if you’re currently buying into the plant-based fats mentality, then this is a recipe you should try.

Here is my chocolate chip cookie recipe, adapted from one I found on

Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (I use 325 on convection). Mix together flour and baking soda; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, coconut oil, and brown sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips (and nuts if you’d like). Drop cookies in 1” rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in preheated over. They’re done when edges are golden brown.

Next butter substitute I’m trying: avocado. Anyone have recipe ideas?


2 thoughts on “Coconut Oil as a Butter Alternative

  1. Dinner of Herbs

    I used avocado in a coconut lime sugar cookie recipe. I went all the way, and used all avocado and no butter. The cookies came out with a very interesting flavour, but I would suggest only subbing half the butter, at least at first. You can always go back and make a second batch if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. 🙂
    Here’s the link to the recipe I used, in case you want it:


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