Between simple cookie recipes and creamy milkshakes, there are plenty of desserts without butter to help curb your sweet cravings.
Maybe you’re looking for something entirely dairy-free or simply want something with fewer calories.
Or maybe you just ran out of butter and are dying for something sweet. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
Butter is used for its moisture-infusing fat content, along with its super-rich taste.
But with a few little baking tips and tricks, you can make some truly delicious desserts, including cakes, brownies, and delicate macaroons.
Each of these 20 delectable desserts without butter will easily satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising on flavor.
Depression Cake, No Butter Cookies, and More!
1. Depression Cake
Also known as “wacky cake,” which is a much more appealing title, this frugal recipe is not only butter-free, but it’s also milk and egg-free.
Still, it’s incredibly moist and tender, not to mention intensely chocolatey.
The recipe calls for water to be added, but try using strong coffee instead if you want something with extra flavor.
Want butter-free frosting? Try this silky smooth whipped chocolate ganache, which can even be made vegan if you use coconut milk!
2. Egg White Brownies
Since butter can almost always be replaced by oil, it won’t come as a surprise to hear you can make the most amazing fudgy brownies without butter.
This recipe takes it one step further and also removes the egg yolk, making them extra healthy!
Provided you use decent chocolate and good quality cocoa, you won’t need to worry about missing the richness you usually get from butter.
3. Chocolate Brownie Cookies
One bite of these, and you’ll call me a lier! There’s no way can they be vegan!
They taste like a cross between a fudge brownie and a thick, chocolate chip cookie.
The edges are perfectly firm, but the center is chewy and tender.
The trick is to pull them from the oven when they still look undercooked. They’ll set up as they cool on the tray.
4. Old-Fashioned Whoopie Pies
Whoopie pies are the cookie sandwich of your dreams.
Soft, tender, moist, and perfectly sweet, they can be made in any number of fun flavors and colors.
The batter for these babies will look a lot more like a cake batter, and you’ll need to spoon it onto the tray and be sure to leave enough room for them to grow.
But, if you want them to look absolutely perfect, head over the Amazon and grab yourself a Whoopie Pie baking tray.
5. 3-Ingredient No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies (No Oil, No Butter!)
This is the perfect recipe to make when you need something chewy and sweet, but the pantry is looking a little bleak.
I know you have oats in there, and I can’t imagine you’ve run out of peanut butter, right?
Lastly, you need something sticky and sweet, like honey or maple syrup.
Oh, and maybe some fun extras, like chocolate chips or chopped nuts.
6. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
One of my all-time favorite go-to chocolate chip cookie recipes is vegan.
I make them so often, and nobody can ever tell they don’t contain butter or eggs.
The truth is, the recipe is so much like a regular recipe, using both white and brown sugar and a generous amount of chocolate chips.
If you want to make sure these are as good as possible, sprinkle over some sea salt just before you pop them in the oven.
7. Peanut Butter Blossoms Cookie Recipe
Peanut butter cookies are always rich and flavorful, even without added butter.
The peanut butter does all the heavy lifting here and keeps these beautifully tender.
Did I mention that these are gluten-free? All you’ll need to make them is brown sugar, confectioner’s sugar, white sugar, peanut butter, and an egg.
As soon as they’re out of the oven, add a Hershey’s Kiss right in the middle and be prepared to eat more than just a few.
8. Snickerdoodle Cookies
Worried about using too much oil in your butter-free desserts?
Don’t worry; coconut oil is loaded with healthy fats and makes your treats rich and moist.
Plus, it can be used while melted or solid.
If you use it solid, you can scoop it, weigh it, and beat it up with sugar – just like regular butter – to add lots of air into the mix.
That’s exactly how this recipe works, and you’ll notice that it looks exactly like any other cookie-making method.
There are no fancy techniques, just a simple swapping of ingredients.
9. Gumdrop Cookies
Shortening adds more air to your recipes, allowing your cakes and cookies to rise higher and keep a super soft crumb.
In addition, it has a higher smoke point, which means your baked goods won’t lose their shape as easily.
Just like with coconut oil, you can pretty easily substitute shortening into your desserts without losing any flavor or texture.
These cookies are the proof!
10. One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
All you need to make this lovely light chocolate cake is one bowl and 5 minutes of your time.
Start by whisking together the wet ingredients before gently folding through all the dry. Be careful not to over-mix the batter.
Just work it until you don’t see any streaks of flour.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are firm and the middle springs back when you press it lightly.
11. 5-Ingredient Chewy Coconut Macaroons
These are such fantastic butter-free cookies that you can whip up in minutes for a crowd-pleasing treat that everyone will love.
Make them using egg whites, which need to be whipped to stiff peaks before folding through some honey, vanilla, and coconut.
These can be a touch sticky, so I like to use these baking wafers.
When they’re cooked and cooled, try drizzling over a bit of dark chocolate.
12. Peanut Butter Cookies
Unlike peanut butter blossoms, these are a little more like your standard cookie.
They’re made using brown and white sugar, flour, and eggs.
These are best when left nice and soft, and they’re even better if you add some chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to the mix!
13. Root Beer Float
Did you grow up on these, too? Soda + ice cream = nostalgic heaven.
And it couldn’t be easier to make!
Since root beer is the key to this, you’ll need to get something top quality. No generic brands here, please.
Next, get a vanilla ice cream that’s creamy and naturally flavored, and don’t be shy with the whipped cream!
14. Italian Water Cake
How can a cake with no eggs or dairy and whose main ingredient is water be anything but bland?
It uses lemon zest to ensure it’s super tasty, and it relies on top-quality vanilla to be sure you get a lovely, sweet, and subtle cake.
One thing to note is that the crumb is quite tight, which actually makes this perfect for building taller, more elaborate cakes.
15. Puppy Chow
Puppy chow, muddy buddies, or monkey munch – no matter what you call it, this sweet and crunchy snack is impossible to resist.
Rice Chex is the best option for this because it’s big enough to hold many toppings but is still the perfect size for snacking.
This particular recipe uses peanut butter and chocolate for a deep and intense flavor.
You could use white chocolate if you want it creamy and sweet.
Either way, it needs to be tossed in powdered sugar before serving!
Want to make it extra extra? Throw in some M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, mini-chocolate chips, toffee bits, or freeze-dried raspberries.
16. Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Wafers
These cookies are like gluten and dairy-free shortbread cookie. They’re rich, tender, and delightfully crumbly.
The recipe calls for coconut oil, but you could always use butter-flavored shortening if you want that added richness.
Almond flour is perfect for these, though if you don’t need them to be gluten-free, go ahead and use regular cake flour.
If you’ve never used cornstarch in a cookie before, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how crumbly it can make the final product.
17. Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Imagine my surprise when I was outside of the US and found that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are either super expensive or just not available anywhere?
Nightmare, I know!
So, what else could I do but try to make my own?
These mini-foil cupcake liners are the perfect option because they hold their shape better and will let you keep the chocolate nice and thin.
Oh, and when you make them yourself, you can so easily make these even better. I like to add caramel to the middle of mine!
18. French Grandmother’s Lemon Yogurt Cake
Butter is usually added for its rich flavor and moisture-infusing fat content.
If you don’t have butter, how can you ensure your cake stays nice and moist?
Well, a lot of recipes use sour cream, and this one uses yogurt!
It adds a delicious tang to the mix, which also pairs perfectly with lemon zest.
19. Eagle Brand Fudge
Chocolate, condensed milk, and a dash of vanilla come together in this recipe for a creamy, silky smooth fudge that will fly off the plate.
A lot of fudge recipes can be pretty involved.
With this one, you’ll simply gently boil the mix until the chocolate is melted and the ingredients are well blended.
Pour it in a lined baking tray and sprinkle with colorful sprinkles, mini-chocolate chips, or even swirl over some melted peanut butter.
20. Strawberry Milkshake Without Ice Cream
Milkshakes need plenty of thick and creamy ice cream, right?
Wrong! This strawberry delight is thick and sweet, and wonderfully fruity.
The trick to getting that terrific texture is to use frozen berries.
You’ll need a good blender, and to control how thick or thin this is, stream in the milk slowly until it’s just right for you.
Another great option is to add in frozen bananas, which will make it extra sweet and insanely creamy.
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