Substitute the ingredients in your favorite recipes for cakes, pies, muffins, cookies, and more to lower the amounts of fat, added sugar and calories.

Instead of: 1 cup cream
Substitute: 1 cup evaporated fat-free milk


Instead of: 1 cup butter, margarine, or oil
Substitute: 1/2 cup apple butter or applesauce

Pie Crust

Instead of: Pastry dough
Substitute: Graham cracker crumb crust

Sour Cream

Instead of: Sour cream
Substitute: Fat-free sour cream


Instead of: 1 cup chocolate chips
Substitute: 1/4 to 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Instead of: Unsweetened baking chocolate (1 ounce)
Substitute: 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder & 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or margarine


Instead of: 1 cup sugar
Substitute: 3/4 cup sugar (this works with nearly everything except yeast breads)


Instead of: 1 cup whole milk
Substitute: 1 cup fat-free milk

Cream Cheese

Instead of: 1 cup cream cheese
Substitute: 1/2 cup ricotta cheese pureed with 1/2 cup fat-free cream cheese


Instead of: 1/4 cup oil
Substitute: 1/4 cup pureed fruits (Use applesauce in spice muffins or oatmeal cookies. Add bananas to breads and muffins. Try zucchini in brownies.)


American Heart Association

We Can!, a program of the National Institutes of Health

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 30 Nov 2012

Last Modified: 19 Nov 2014