Holiday Food Substitutions

How to substitute yogurt for fat in baking

While a little fat in your diet is good, too much saturated fat may lead to health problems. If your are looking for ways to cut down on fat in your diet, consider substituting plain yogurt for fat in your baking. According to the University of Wyoming, substituting fat with yogurt works especially well in baking recipes for cookies, muffins, brownies and cakes. Substitute plain, fat-free or low-fat yogurt whenever your favorite baking recipe calls for oil, shortening, butter, milk and even sour cream.

Step 1
Replace sour cream in your recipes with equal amounts of yogurt. For instance, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of sour cream, substitute 1 cup of yogurt.

Step 2
Cut the amount of butter in your baking recipes by half. Subtitute the other half with ¼ cup of yogurt for each cup of butter called for in the recipe. If your recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, add ½ cup of butter and ¼ cup of yogurt.

Step 3
Substitute yogurt when your baking recipes call for oil or shortening. Cut the suggested oil or shortening by half. Add ¾ cup of yogurt for every cup of oil or shortening that you remove from the recipe.

Step 4
Reduce the amount of milk in your recipes and replace it with yogurt. Substitute ¼ of the requested liquid with yogurt. For instance if your recipe calls for 4 cups of milk, replace 1 cup with yogurt.

  • Applesauce, bananas, pumpkin and prunes are also commonly used fat replacements in recipes.
  • Drain the liquid from the top of the yogurt before adding it to your recipes. This will ensure that you do not add too much liquid to your baked produces. Dropping the yogurt into a strainer prior to adding it to your recipes can help.

Anita McLaughlin, MS, RD, is a clinical nutritionist at Norton Cancer Institute. For more information, please call (502) 629-1234.


  • University of Wyoming: Fat Substitution in Home Baking
  • Taste of Home: Yogurt for Lower-Fat Baking
  • University of Missouri Extension: How to Modify Recipes to Reduce Fat


(502) 629-1234

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