Greek yogurt is a versatile ingredient and isn't just for breakfast anymore.

Greek Yogurt Instead of Butter in Baking

by Amber Canaan

Substituting Greek yogurt in place of butter decreases the fat content in any recipe. Greek yogurt may also be used in place of cream, buttermilk and sour cream. Try using Greek yogurt in cakes, sauces and marinades for a healthier result. Always use plain, unflavored Greek yogurt unless your recipe lends itself to a flavored version.


Aside from lowering the fat content of the recipe, yogurt is also beneficial because it helps retain the moisture in your recipe and helps avoid dried out baked goods. Yogurt also contains live cultures that benefit the digestive and immune systems. If your recipe involves a temperature over 120 degrees Fahrenheit, these cultures will be destroyed because of the heat. Fortunately, you will retain the moistness and flavor that the yogurt brought to your recipe.


To substitute Greek yogurt in place of butter, the University of Missouri Extension office recommends substituting the yogurt in an equal amounts. Altering a baking recipe can be tricky though. Baking is very precise and making substitutions can change the result. If other liquids like milk or water are required in your recipe, it may be necessary to reduce the amount slightly to maintain the correct consistency.

Nutritional Aspect

Greek yogurt is high in protein and calcium and lower in calories than butter. Using yogurt in place of butter in any recipe will increase the nutritional aspect of the dish because of these factors. For individuals sensitive to milk products, non-dairy versions of Greek yogurt are available in some stores. Such products are made using coconut or other non-dairy milks. These products can also be substituted for butter in a variety of recipes.


Before adding yogurt to any recipe, bring it to room temperature to ensure that it blends easily. Adding cold Greek yogurt to a hot recipe can cause the yogurt to separate, resulting in unsightly lumps in your dish. Additionally, avoid using aluminum plans or other baking dishes when cooking and baking with Greek yogurt. The acid in the yogurt reacts poorly with aluminum. Use stainless steel or glass baking dishes instead. Making substitutions can be a bit of a trial and error process, so experimenting may be necessary.

About the Author

Amber Canaan has a medical background as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and pediatric oncology. She began her writing career in 2005, focusing on pregnancy and health. Canaan has a degree in science from the Cabarrus College of Health Sciences and owns her own wellness consulting business.

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