By baking, I mean cakes / muffins / biscuits.

This is mainly to cut down on fat.

I've tried replacing butter with yoghurt in all of these and the results were OK.

Are there any cases where it's not a good idea?

I generally replace with equal ratios e.g 100 ml butter = 100 ml yoghurt.

Is this the best ratio?

  • 3
    "I've tried replacing butter with yoghurt in all of these and the results ere OK." - Didn't you just answer your own question?
    – hobodave
    Jul 28, 2010 at 21:47
  • 3
    Not really - wondering if anyone else has tried this with excellent results and also interested in the ratio.
    – rbrayb
    Jul 29, 2010 at 2:18
  • For another option, I sometimes use sour cream instead of yogurt for butter replacement in muffins/quick breads (still with a direct substitution).
    – Rebekah
    Jul 29, 2010 at 3:47
  • 1
    The day you manage replacing butter/margarine with yoghurt in puff or danish pastry, or even in ice or hot water pie crust, please post a recipe :) Feb 16, 2017 at 10:54

7 Answers 7


I guess it depends on what the substitution is for.

Certainly if the butter is just for flavour, it's a reasonable substitute (I think I'd use slightly more yogurt). But 9 times out of 10, fat is the main reason the recipe is calling for butter! Yogurt cannot substitute for a fat (butter) because it has very little fat.

If you lower the fat content of a baked good then you'll generally end up with a product much denser and less flakey. So if you feel you must do this for some reason, then I would increase the sugar in the recipe to compensate (sugar inhibits gluten formation and will help to make the result less chewy).

The other thing you'd better keep in mind is that yogurt is naturally sour and will become even sourer when baked at a high temperature. The longer you bake, the more sour it will become, so you might need to amp up the sugar significantly to maintain the proper flavour.

So for the most part, no, yogurt is really not a substitute for butter or any other fat. Obviously this is partly a matter of personal taste, and if you're happy with the result, then continue doing what you're doing - but I think I'd definitely hesitate to eat a cake that was baked with yogurt instead of butter.


I'll admit, I'd never tried it, but for muffins, I'll often replace 1/2 to 2/3 of the oil in a recipe with some sort of liquid-like fruit (either applesauce or mashed previously frozen banana), so I don't see why yogurt wouldn't work.

In those case, the oil went in as a liquid; if you had a baked good that required creaming the butter, or cutting it in, I would not try replacing it.

I would also be concerned with the increased acid; it's possible that you might want to experiment with cutting some of the baking powder and replacing it with 1/2 as much baking soda as you removed, so you're more pH neutral, but I have no idea how baking soda is needed to balance out yogurt.

As you're from NZ, I'm going to assume 'biscuits' in this case is what Americans call cookies -- I would not try replacing butter in what Americans call biscuits, as you add the fat solid (sometimes cold), to make the them flaky.


I do it all the time. Usually I swap out half the butter for half as much yogurt, either plain or vanilla, usually low fat. Sometimes I do Greek yogurt. I'm working on adjusting certain recipes so that it's ALL yogurt and I've had the best luck with banana bread and muffins. They are delicious and nobody knows the difference. If a recipe has more than 1/4 cup of butter, I definitely start swapping. I do the same for oil but it's closer to an even swap.


It works awesome in banana bread, especially if you use vanilla yogurt.


I substituted equal parts of yogurt for butter in my chocolate chip cookies and the structure of my cookie was completely flat like a pancake (possibly flatter with holes in the edges). But when you use your spatula to remove the cookie you can only remove the inside of the cookie so it created a sort of cookie dough ball look.

I was terrified but when compared to my normal cookies (made with the butter) they were ranked the exact same in my food science experiment in my college class. So taste wise my cookies were still delicious but appearance wise they were a little hideous.

P.S. I used the chocolate chip cookie recipe from smitten kitchen (I love them!).

  • Creating air bubbles when creaming butter and sugar is an important part of most cookies - the bubbles add structure to the finished cookie.
    – KatieK
    Oct 1, 2012 at 17:24

You can replace it just fine - I read that the moisture butter provides simply acts to keep flour from forming long protein strands, and keeping baked goods from turning into rubber. So apple sauce or yogurt can replace butter any time! It just makes you bakes goods softer, so don't use that on crispy goods such as cookies.

  • 2
    The butter doesn't provide moisture to prevent the long protein strands, it provides fat to do this. These strands do just great in the presence of moisture, for example in bread, where they are desirable, because they make the bread chewy. Also, the fat provides other changes to the texture, not really attainable with moisture.
    – rumtscho
    Mar 16, 2012 at 13:31

Today I baked chocolate chip muffins with bananas and vanilla yogurt and were delicious! I didn't use any butter!

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