Low-Fat Baking Tips

August 25, 2004

I found some information at an extension site about using prune puree in place of butter in baking. You use it along with margarine to replace butter in some baked goods.


Prune Puree



Combine pitted prunes and water in food processor. Pulse on and off until prunes are finely chopped. Makes 1 cup. Another option is to make prune butter by blending 1 pound of prunes with 1 cup of hot water.

Using the Puree:

Use prune puree in baked products to replace up to 1/2 the fat without flavor or texture being compromised according to researchers at Pennsylvania State University. Other fat substitutes that you may want to try are apple butter, applesauce, bananas and yogurt.

Carrot-Raisin Bars



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray an 8-inch by 8-inch pan with cooking spray.
  3. Beat sugar, margarine and prune puree with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well. Mix in water.
  4. Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add to egg mixture. Mix until blended.
  5. Mix in oats, raisins and carrot.
  6. Spread dough in pan.
  7. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Makes 24 bars. Approx. 60 calories per bar.

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2 Questions

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Does anyone have any baking recipes using healthy oil instead of hard margarine, lard, butter, etc.? I am on a low fat medical diet but still like cakes, pastry, and other baked goods. Please help.


Mary from UK


By molly (Guest Post)
March 10, 20070 found this helpful

you can generally replace the fat in many recipes with applesauce and still have good results! It definitely works for oil (like cake in a box mixes) but you can try it out to replace butter or margarine too.

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By jean (Guest Post)
March 11, 20070 found this helpful

You can replace butter/margerine in bread, pie crust, cookie and cake recipes with canola or olive oil. This works best when the amount in the recipe is 1/3 cup or less. The cookies will spread out more, so leave room when you bake.

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By GRANDMA (Guest Post)
March 12, 20070 found this helpful


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By (Guest Post)
March 12, 20070 found this helpful

hi mary,
just to let you know -
i use olive oil for all my baked goods -
no matter what the recipe calls for.


good luck on your diet -
jan from NJ

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By Jeanne (Guest Post)
March 12, 20070 found this helpful

There is a lady named Betty Rohde who has published a series of cookbooks featuring low-fat recipes of various kinds under the name So Fat, Low Fat, No Fat.... I really like the So Fat, Low, Fat, No Fat Desserts book. I found this copy ( used) listed on the net for less than $3.50 American dollars, shipping and handling included and am including the URL so that you can look at it. With a little searching you can probably find an unused copy, somewhere.

One of my favorite recipesis is not only zero fat, but also super quick. My son and all his friends love it as well. You simply mix together a 16 ounce angel food cake mix with a 16 ounce can of lemon pie filling. When it is well blended, transfer the mix to a 13x9x2 inch baking pan that has been sprayed lightly with a vegetable oil cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 375º oven for 26 minutes. Cool for about an hour and drizzle with a glaze made up of 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar (powdered sugar) mixed with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. This serves 15.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 12, 20070 found this helpful

I just sent you information about the Betty Rohde book and included a recipe. I forgot that you might need the metric equivalents.


16 ounces = 454 grams
1/2 cup = 120 ml
1 Tablespoon = 15 ml

I had no difficulty looking these equivalents up since the first page of the book includes equivalency tables. And, oh yes, 375º F is equivalent to 190º C.

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By (Guest Post)
March 12, 20070 found this helpful

We substitute extra virgin olive oil for the fat in cakes and soft cookies. There is no damage to the flavor. Fruit pulp such as unsweetened applesauce also accomplishes the purpose. Oil makes wretched biscuits. Are you familiar with the Weston Price Institute? Author Sally Fallon writes for them, and she says lard is a safe fat because it is not hydrogenated. Of course, keep fats to a minimum. Hope this helps!

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By Kerry (Guest Post)
March 14, 20070 found this helpful

I use single serve applesauce in place of oil in most recipes and for mixes. It works great and comes in flavors so you can experiment.


I LOVE dark chocolate brownies made with strawberry or blueberry applesauce.YUM!

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