More Healthful Baking

I made a delicious batch of Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Bars recently. Reducing the sugar in the recipe worked well. It made me curious about reducing the amount of the butter and sugar again (using only half the sugar and half the butter of the original recipe). Here are some accumulated tips for more healthful baking:


  • In cookie recipes, for each whole egg, use two egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute (BHG)


  • Change the flour: To increase fiber, substitute whole-wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour (so instead of 1 cup all-purpose flour, use 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (Mayo Clinic).


  • Reduce the fat: Cut the amount of butter or oil in half.  Replace the eliminated fat with and unsweetened applesauce or other fruit puree, which also helps retain moisture — instead of 1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick or 4 oz.), use 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup applesauce (BHG and Mayo Clinic). Pureed pumpkin was mentioned on several sites.
  • Greek yogurt: Replace half the amount of butter in your cookie recipes with half the amount of full-fat plain Greek yogurt. For example, if the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick or 4 oz.), use 1/4 cup (2 oz.) of butter and 1/8 cup (1 oz.) Greek yogurt (Fit Sugar)
  • Swap melted butter for olive oil: use 3 Tablespoons olive oil for each 1/4 cup of melted butter (Fine Cooking)


  • Omit the salt: Salt isn’t usually needed. Baking soda contains sodium and provides leavening (Mayo Clinic).


  • Start by reducing sugars gradually until you’ve decreased them by one third or more. As you reduce the sugar in your baked goods, try adding spices like cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, nutmeg, ginger and mace to enhance the sweet flavor of foods. Spiced foods will taste sweeter if warmed (life clinic).
  • To reduce calories, cut the sugar in half (Mayo Clinic).
  • To enhance the perception of sweetness, double the vanilla and the cinnamon (Mayo Clinic).

Here’s a guide for baking with less sugar from life clinic. For every cup of flour, use only:

  • Cakes and cookies, 1/2 cup sugar
  • Muffins and quick breads, 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Yeast breads, 1 teaspoon sugar