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The Best Substitutions for Coconut Butter

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Coconut butter is a great substitute for regular butter. While coconut butter is made from coconuts, it differs from coconut oil. You can use the butter as both a condiment and in baking.

The plant-based blend is a great-tasting and healthy alternative to most oils and butter. However, it can be tricky to find and use a coconut butter substitute. You may have come across coconut butter in a recipe, only to find you don’t have any. And unlike regular butter, substitutions for coconut butter are not always easy to come by.

Read on to learn more about each coconut butter alternative.

Coconut Butter

What is Coconut Butter?

Coconut butter is butter or spread that is made from the pulp of coconuts. Coconut butter can be used in dessert baking and even spread onto toast.

Unlike coconut oil, coconut butter is more of a solid unless it is exposed to heat.

Because of coconuts’ natural sweetness, it is easy to add ingredients such as sugar and chocolate to coconut butter. The sweet flavor profile makes coconut butter a well-loved, healthy substitute for regular butter or margarine.

The problem with coconut butter is that there are very few substitutes. How you replace it can depend on what your reasoning for substitution is.

5 Healthy Coconut Butter Substitutes To Try

Most people who work with coconut butter do so because the butter is healthier than coconut oil. In general, coconut butter is one of the healthiest alternatives to using butter that is high in saturated fats.

If you are someone who is in need of a healthy alternative but you do not have access to coconut butter, consider the following options.

1. Applesauce

A bowl of Apple Sauce

Apples are nature’s candy. Applesauce is a good coconut butter substitute and can also be used in many situations that involve baking.

Applesauce carries a lot of natural sweetness, without the extra calories and fat that most butter has. The texture of applesauce can substitute regular butter or margarine in dense desserts, such as cakes and brownies.

Note that applesauce is very sweet, so be careful how much you are using compared to any sugar that may have already been added to your dessert.

If you are looking to substitute butter for dietary reasons, you can use the same applesauce measurements as you would for butter. However, if the texture or sweetness becomes too much, you can cut the applesauce in half with oil.

For example, if the recipe calls for one cup of butter, you can swap the butter with a cup of applesauce. Or, you can use half a cup of applesauce and half a cup of oil.

2. Greek Yogurt

A bowl of greek yogurt

Greek yogurt, or almost any kind of yogurt, is a great coconut butter substitute.

Greek yogurt not only carries a much lower fat content than butter, but yogurt can also add a lot of protein to the recipe.

Because of the creamy texture, Greek yogurt is a great alternative for people who want the same mouthfeel that butter has. Likewise, desserts that have had yogurt added to them often have the same texture as desserts made with regular butter.

Greek yogurt can be added at a 1:1 ratio. If a recipe calls for one cup of butter, you can swap the butter out for one cup of Greek yogurt.

3. Mashed Bananas

A bowl of mashed bananas

Bananas, like applesauce, are another great fruit-related alternative for coconut butter.

Mashed bananas have a creamy texture and carry a lot of potassium. In general, bananas are very good for the heart and blood pressure. Even if you are not attempting to cut calories or fat, you may want to consider adding bananas to your recipes to up your potassium intake.

While bananas are sweet, they are usually easy to work with in terms of flavor. After mashing the bananas, you can add them to any baking recipe at a 1:1 ratio, similar to yogurt and applesauce.

4. Avocados


Avocados are slightly different in the sense that they do not carry a lot of natural sweetness.

However, avocados are a great alternative to coconut butter because of the healthy fats and nutrients they can bring to a recipe. Apart from the nutrition value avocados hold, they also provide a very creamy consistency that matches regular butter.

Because of the very subtle flavor profile that avocados have, it is easy to introduce avocados to a recipe without worrying about a drastic change in flavor.

The ratio for substituting coconut butter with avocados is 1:1. One cup of butter will equal one cup of avocado.

5. Vegan Butter

Cashew Peanut Butter
Cashew Peanut Butter

There are a lot of vegan alternatives on the market lately, and butter is no exception. Vegan butter is an excellent option for those looking for butter to use in entirely vegan recipes.

Vegan butter is a strong contender on the list, as it already features coconut oil. Vegan butter is made out of refined coconut oil and a mix of other oils and flour.

Plant-based butter is one of the best substitutes for coconut butter because of its use of coconut oil. While vegan butter is a healthy alternative, it also carries a similar flavor profile as coconut butter. The coconut’s unique flavor profile is one of the reasons it is difficult to find a replacement for its butter.

The ratio for swapping coconut butter with vegan butter is 1:1.

Similar Flavor Profile To Cocount Butter

Besides health, the other issue that people often have with finding a coconut butter replacement is the unique flavor that coconuts bring.

Coconuts butter and oils are known for being healthy, but many people are drawn to the taste of coconuts as well. And unfortunately, it can be hard to imitate that flavor.

Apart from the aforementioned vegan butter, there are a couple of different options if you are missing coconut butter from your pantry.

1. Nut Butters

While nut butters will not taste the same as coconut versions, they still have a strong flavor profile that might make up for the missing coconut vibe.

For example, coconut butter can be swapped out for peanut butter, almond butter, or hazelnut butter. Keep in mind that nut butter tends to be higher in fat and sugars than the healthier alternatives listed above.

But if you are relying on a strong flavor profile in your recipe, consider using nut butter. And when it comes to nut butter, there are often low-fat variations of different nut butters.

2. Improvise A Coconut Butter

If you already have coconut-based ingredients in your pantry, you may be in luck.

Using coconut oil and even raw coconut can help in situations where you are looking for coconut taste. Depending on the recipe, there are different ways that you can implement coconut oil into your food as a substitute for coconut butter.

If you have raw coconut or shredded coconut, it can also be easy to whip up a makeshift coconut butter at home. However, the time you are willing to spend making a homemade version is entirely up to you.

Final Thoughts

Fortunately, after reviewing all of the options in the article, you will most likely not have to resort to making handmade coconut butter.

Depending on your reasoning for choosing the ingredient, there are many comparable healthy or tasty alternatives available.

If coconut butter is hard to come by, or you’ve run out and can’t take a trip to the store, chances are you have something in your kitchen that can work as a coconut butter substitute.

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About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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