The Best Healthy Baking Swaps

The experimenting all started in my first college apartment. No, not that kind of experimenting. I’m talking about baking! College Emily would sometimes (ok, kind of often) turn down plans in order to stay in, watch a movie, and come up with a new baking concoction. Aside from my occasional anti-social behavior, I’ve always had a major sweet tooth and have loved finding healthy ways to satisfy it.

You can thank my love-hate relationship with sugar for recipes like my Chocolate Banana Nut Protein Pancakes, Tropical Mango Smoothie Bowl, Yogurt and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries,  Double Chocolate Single Serve Mug Cake, and the delicious 20+ recipes in my new Eat Guide.

The easiest way to start experimenting with baking recipes is to swap out the not-so-healthy ingredients for healthier ones! It’s simpler than you think. Use this healthy baking substitute guide to turn your favorite treats into nutritious snacks.

Healthy Baking Substitutions

Buy your healthy ingredients!

Coconut flouralmond flourprotein powderoat flour

Datescoconut sugar, Stevia

unsweetened apple sauce, coconut oil

Do you have any secret healthy swaps for baking or cooking? Tell me in the comment box below! I love getting new ideas from you.

Want more of my healthy baking recipes?? Pre-order your Life in Spandex Eat Guide, filled with 20 of my favorite breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and treats now for 20% off!

Sign up now for your free 5-Day Metabolism Jumpstart Plan!

If you’ve already subscribed to Life in Spandex, check your inbox! I’ve sent you your plan.

* indicates required

Health and happiness,




*Disclaimer: There are Amazon Affiliate and Influencer links in this blog post. However, I only post products I use and believe in. All opinions are my own.

Hi and welcome to Life in Spandex! I'm Emily, a personal trainer who believes there should be no secrets standing in your way to getting fit. I am sharing my knowledge here on this blog in order to help you reach your goals. Fitness should be fun, eating healthy should taste good, and feeling your absolute best is the ultimate goal. Let's get fit together!
  1. OMG I’m all about the swaps while baking and the one I love most is substituting while flour with oatmeal! It gives so much more texture and its healthy, like all the other swaps of course! Thanks for sharing

    1. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are my favorite ?. You’re so welcome

  2. Oh I love that info graphic, it’s perfect!! Thanks for the tips!

    1. Thank you, Kathleen! I’m so glad you like it

  3. Great substitution list. My kids love to bake but I am always trying to make it healthier.

    1. You and me both, Shannon! Let me know if you come up with anything good

  4. Great list! I love using almond flour mixed with coconut flour to bake with. Seems to make baked goods more moist!

  5. Good post! I love the smell of coconut flour don’t you? On Sunday we went to a live restaurant where I indulged in dessert because it was a chocolate avocado mouse cake and it was incredibly delicious!!!

    1. Thank you, Jaqueline! Yes I do!! Oh my gosh that cake sounds amazing. Chocolate anything… yes please! 😉

  6. This is WONDERFUL I love using dates, bananas and applesauce to sweeten things

    1. Thank you Shelby. Mmm mmm so good!

  7. COCONUT FLOUR = my GO TO flour for ALL baking!!!! I friggin’ love it 🙂

    1. Me too!!! It’s addicting.

  8. Thank you for these handy swaps! I am always looking to make things healthier but never know how much I should use of the alternative. So definitely pinning this baby!

    1. Yay! I’m so glad you like it, Leah! ??

  9. These are such awesome ideas! I’ve definitely used some of these before, but only when a recipe called for them. I love that you’ve marked down the exact amounts needed. I’ll be pinning this for sure!

    1. Thanks, girl!! Happy I could help you experiment in the kitchen!

  10. Great tips here! Never thought of the added flavor of using coconut oil looking forward to trying.

    1. Thanks Shannon! It’s so yummy and adds a slight coconut aroma too

  11. I love these substitutions! I bake a lot and while I don’t really consider the health-aspect of it all that much, it won’t hurt right? I do love using coconut oil.

    1. Definitely won’t hurt! Who knows you may even prefer it!

  12. Not only are these healthy alternatives, but it sounds like these picks would improve the flavor as well! Looking at you, almond flour and mashed bananas! I love avocado as well, so I’ll have to give that one a try next time.

    1. Yes they make my baked goods taste so good! Let me know what you make 🙂

  13. This is super handy! Pinning for future reference because I’ve often thought about substituting ingredients for something healthier, but don’t know where to start!

    1. Thanks Annie!! Let me know when you use them.

  14. Thank you for the ideas! I need a printable so I can hang this on the inside of my cupboard.

    1. Oh I love that idea! Let me see what I can do for ya

  15. Banana instead of sugar?! That’s a new one for me that I’m excited to try! Love substituting apple sauce for butter/oil 🙂

    1. Yes!! Let me know how it goes, Melanie!

  16. This is perfect. I crave sugar, often! I’m always looking for something that taste as good but would be a better substitue. BTW, your body is AMAZING!

    1. Oh my gosh I’m so flattered!! ? thank you. And I’m so happy you like these swaps ?

  17. Great suggestions! I like to swap out sugar for dates often!

    1. So yummy!! I think it tastes better!

  18. I love using apple sauce when baking – it makes everything so moist!

    1. I especially love it in healthy zucchini bread! Nom nom 🙂

  19. These are some handy swaps. I love to substitute for healthy ingredients in a recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Great tips! One of my secrets is grating squash or zucchini into my homemade granola. It acts as a binder instead of oil or refined sugars like honey/syrup!

    1. Oh my gosh yes!!! Thank you for this tip. I’m excited to try it. Love using squash in my oats and pancakes to fluff them up as well ?

  21. I frequently swap out for coconut oil, applesauce and yogurt. Love this little cheat sheet!

    1. Some of my favorites!! Thank you Melanie 🙂

  22. This so useful! Thanks Emily 🙂

    1. You’re so welcome Fabi! Glad you liked it

  23. […]          8. Running Gear You’ll Want to Wear Everywhere9. My Favorite Healthy Baking Swaps10. Stomach Soothing Smoothie […]

  24. Didn’t know you could use bananas for butter! How much though?

    1. Yes!! I don’t know exact measurements for it. I usually go off taste and consistency, it should be creamy but not runny.

  25. These looks so delicious and healthy! I am definitely making these adapt! Thanks for sharing! Follow us on bloglovin!!!

    1. Yay so glad you like them, Karen!! ?

  26. I’d love to!! Lets chat via email: gigieatscelebrities @ gmail 🙂

  27. Stevia, Coconut Milk & Coconut Oil = The loves of my life!!

    1. You speak my language, lady! PS Would love to collaborate on something if you’re interested 😀

  28. Thanks for sharing the swaps! We love to bake, and I’m always wondering how to make it healthier. These are fab! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Erin! So glad I could inspires some healthy ideas 🙂

  29. I almost always sub coconut oil for butter and oil

    1. Coconut oil is so good for you and it gives baked goods an extra little boost of flavor mmm mmm mmm

  30. Love it! Love using coconut sugar in place of brown sugar.x

    1. Coconut sugar is another awesome all natural sweetener option!

  31. Wow these look awesome! I try to use maple syrup instead of sugar very often, haven’t tried other types of four yet but it’s exciting!

    1. Let me know how it goes when you try them, Shadi!

  32. Oh my gosh super cool!! I love using applesauce (it’s great to make some apple cider healthy donuts)

    1. Apple cider healthy donuts sound amazing!!!

  33. I have the worst sweet tooth, especially when you tell me I can’t have it! But I love protein pancakes with protein powder blended with banana and some water.

    1. Feel ya girl! Mmmm I love frozen banana blended with unsweetened almond milk and some unsweetened cocoa powder. Tastes like froyo!

  34. Definitely going to be referencing this!!! I’ve been dieting and eating better lately and have been looking to substitutions that are subtle but good for you so this is great! Thanks so much!!
    xo Adriana – Daily Dose of Design

    1. You are so welcome! Hopefully your diet will become a healthy lifestyle!

  35. Great swap options!! I actually have heard of all of these swaps and use them on a daily basis!

    1. That’s great, Shamira! Love meeting other healthy baker enthusiasts ?

  36. Such a great substitution list–I never would have thought of pumpkin puree!

    1. It’s so yummy! And perfect for fall 🙂

  37. Blog looks great Emily!! The cookies also look drool-worthy!

    1. Thank you mama! The recipe is linked in the blog post under healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies ☺️

  38. Love the site! Nice work! I had an idea for you…you could start a workout series called Em/Power!

    1. Thanks mama! 🙂 I’d love to hear more about your idea… sounds intriguing!!

Leave a reply!