The purpose of fat in recipes is to maintain the moisture of the product. You can decrease the amount of fat used up to 50% and not replace with anything and still have an acceptable product, although it will be a bit tougher. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, use 2/3 or cup instead.

Do not use a light or calorie reduced margarine to bake with. The water content in these products is quite high and often the product is a failure.

Baking tips for Cookies

  • Bake fat reduced cookies at 275 - 300F. Do not over-bake. Baking at a reduced temperature will reduce the toughness. They will need to bake a bit longer.
  • Cookies that contain oatmeal or oat bran are easier to reduce the fat, as they make a more tender product.
  • Shortbread does not turn out well if the fat is reduced.

Baking tips for Cakes, Muffins and Quick Breads

  • Keep the taste of nuts, coconut, or chocolate chips, but reduce the amount used by 25 50%. For example, instead of 1 cup of walnuts, use cup.
  • Toast nuts to bring out their flavor
  • To reduce the fat in cheesecake, use lower fat cream cheese. Cheesecakes do not turn out well if the fat is reduced too much.
  • Add shredded carrot, zucchini, apple, canned pumpkin or pineapple, fresh or frozen berries, or rhubarb to increase fibre, nutrition and taste in your recipes.
  • Substitute half the white flour with whole wheat or barley flour to increase the fibre content.
  • Paper liners can be hard to peel. Try spraying liners or muffin tins with non-stick spray or use a non-stick muffin tin. Use parchment paper to line cake and loaf pans.
  • Bake muffins at 350F and quick breads and cakes at 325F.

Using Fruit Puree Instead of Fat

Applesauce:
good substitute in gingerbread, chocolate and white cakes and recipes in which you do not want to change the original flavor

Mashed Bananas:
good for muffins, quick breads and chocolate cake

Pureed Pears:
good in quick breads and coffee cakes

Pureed Peaches:
good in muffins and spice cakes

Pureed Prunes:
good in chocolate based recipes

Mashed Squash, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin:
adds a super moist texture to most baked foods. They are especially good in spice cakes, loaves and cakes that contain pineapple, orange or apple.

Substitution list:

Instead of:

Try:

Butter, Margarine, Shortening
or Lard
1 cup (250mL)

cup (125 mL) butter and cup (125 mL) puree fruit
cup (125 mL) butter and cup (125 mL) buttermilk or low-fat yogurt
1 cup (250 mL) pureed fruit
cup (175 mL) oil

Butter, Margarine, Shortening
or Lard
1/2 cup (125mL)

cup (50 mL) butter and cup (50 mL) fruit puree
cup (50 mL) butter and cup (50 mL) buttermilk or low-fat yogurt
cup (125 mL) fruit puree
1/3 cup (75 mL) oil

Sugar
1 cup (250mL)

cup (125 mL) sugar and cup (125 mL) sugar substitute

Baking chocolate
1 oz

3 Tbsp (45 mL) cocoa and
1 tsp (8 mL) oil

Egg
1 whole

2 egg whites
cup (50 mL) fat free egg substitute

Cream Cheese
8 oz (250 g)

8 oz light cream cheese

Cream
1 cup (250 mL)

1 cup (250 mL) evaporated skim milk

Milk, whole
1 cup (250 mL)

1 cup (250 mL) low fat buttermilk or skim milk

Nuts
1 cup (250 mL)

cup (125 mL) toasted nuts