Coconut butter is an incredibly tasty ingredient to put on toast, waffles, apples, and more.
It is packed with nutrition and offers a smooth, creamy, and delicious paste that is spreadable and can also be added while cooking too. But for all its wonderful qualities, coconut butter can be a bit too rich in fat.
However, when it comes to fat, most diet-conscious people would agree that using substitutes would be a better idea if the goal is to incorporate different types of butter in your diet or to use an inexpensive variety of nut butter.
What are the best substitutes for coconut butter? You can replace coconut butter with any nut butter. We recommend that you try peanut, almond, or cashew butter to substitute the consistency of coconut butter. There are also other great substitutes that you can try to get the same health benefits too.
Read below to learn more about how to use these various butter substitutes and how you can make them at home as well!
Coconut butter is made from shaved or shredded coconut meat. It is processed until it becomes a smooth paste.
If you were to shop for this butter, you might find it to be a little expensive. However, coconut butter is incredibly easy and inexpensive to make at home.
Some people try to avoid coconut butter recipes because of a lack of availability or because of how expensive jarred coconut butter can be. The good news is that you can easily make coconut butter (or any nut butter, for that matter) at home.
To make nut butter at home all you need is a food processor. We will briefly go through how to make these substitutes at home or if you don’t have the time, you can also easily find these coconut butter substitutes in the market as well.
First, let’s discuss the process of converting the meat of fruit or nuts to butter. In simple terms, to make any type of butter you must grind the meat in a food processor until it becomes a paste. Yes, it is that simple!
For example, to make coconut butter all you need to do is add shredded coconut to a food processor and let it grind for about 10 minutes.
Scoop up the corners and mix in with the processed mixture so that it can continue getting chopped. Do this for another 10 minutes then scoop again.
Repeat until the mixture starts to get creamy and smooth. While homemade coconut butter won’t be completely smooth like the ones you may find in commercial jars, it will still be extremely spreadable and delicious.
So, what exactly is happening in the food processor? It turns out that when you grind any nut or seed for a while, it will start to release its natural oil.
This happens because as the nuts are getting grounded, they start to warm up due to friction.
This rise in temperature along with friction, grinding, and centrifugal forces causes the oil to separate from the meat of the nuts. Some nuts may require additional oil or additives too.
For example, in the case of peanut butter, you may need to add a neutral oil and a sweetener to improve the flavor and consistency of the butter.
In the case of coconut butter, you don’t need to add anything because of the naturally high-fat content in the meat of the coconut.
You may, however, add a sweetener to slightly alter the flavor of the butter. This same process can be extended to most nuts.
This means that you can potentially create butter from any nut. But, if you don’t have coconut butter handy, then, fortunately, you can easily replace it with the following substitutes!
The 7 Best Substitutes For Coconut Butter
These substitutes might not share the same flavor profile but they can come close in some cases.
Also, these substitutes may offer a better alternative to the fat-rich nutritional content of coconut butter. Here are the best 7 substitutes for replacing coconut butter in any recipe!
Peanut butter makes for an excellent replacement because it offers more or less the same nutritional value and a great flavor and is also extremely accessible.
Peanut butter is available in most supermarkets and can also be bought in various varieties.
You can also opt for making peanut butter at home. This butter is a great option to make at home because it reaches the same consistency as store-bought peanut butter, unlike coconut butter.
To make peanut butter simply process the roasted nuts in a food processor until they become a smooth paste.
The paste can be supplemented with salt and either a neutral-flavored oil or sweeteners like sugar and honey.
The extra oil will help the butter become even smoother and more spreadable as well. Peanut butter can be used in all the recipes that call for coconut butter.
It may not offer the same flavor but if your goal is to add a healthy nut butter to your diet then this will do just fine.
Almond butter gets the job done too and may share some flavor undertones of coconut butter. Almond butter is extremely versatile and makes for a very healthy spreadable paste.
Almonds are loaded with healthy nutrients and are the perfect way for you to enjoy a range of different recipes.
Whether it’s pancakes, cookies, or more. Almond butter can easily replace coconut butter in almost every recipe. You can also add coarsely shredded coconut meat or almond nuts to the mix for an even better flavor combo!
The sky is the limit when it comes to this butter and if you want to completely replace coconut butter, then this is an excellent place to start.
This creamy and thick paste is loaded with flavor and provides a great substitute for coconut butter. Both coconut butter and cashew butter have more or less the same consistency.
If you are looking for a close substitute in both flavor and texture then get cashew butter. There are a lot of ways to make this butter.
For example, deeply roasting the nuts before processing them will give the butter a much stronger flavor versus if you were to lightly roast the nuts.
For the best results, we suggest that you get cashew butter from the supermarket. If you want to get a more accurate substitute then we suggest making it at home by first lightly roasting the cashews until they turn whitish-brown.
Blend the cashews until they become thick and creamy and add in salt as needed. Trust us, if you are looking for a close replacement then this is going to give you the right flavor points.
Vegan Butter/Regular Butter
Sometimes the best substitute is whatever you have at hand. Regular butter or vegan butter can also be used to replace coconut butter in almost every recipe.
For people who have diet restrictions, vegan butter will offer more or less the same consistency and a lighter flavor compared to coconut butter.
You can add regular butter wherever needed because of its similar fat content and nutritional profile. The flavor might not be the same but you will get the same effect by adding regular butter in any recipe too.
For example, while making pancakes, you won’t be able to notice much of a difference when using coconut butter vs regular or vegan butter. This is especially true if you just garnish the pancakes or infuse them with shredded coconut meat.
Tahini is our favorite in a lot of recipes. It is a highly versatile and delicious spread that can be used to make a range of delicious dishes.
While tahini does share the same thick and creamy texture, it might also be able to offer more of a punch when it comes to flavor.
Tahini is an excellent source for a range of nutrients and is completely vegan as well. It is the perfect option for people who are looking for a close substitute for coconut butter.
This ingredient can be added to a range of recipes and can also be used as a salad dressing too.
Add it to wraps, salads, savory dishes, and more. Tahini, like cashew butter, can be made by first roasting the sesame seeds until they are cooked or have a deeper color. The more roasted the seeds are, the stronger the flavor will be.
If you are trying to make this butter at home to replace coconut butter then just cook the sesame seeds until they are lightly whitish-golden. Blend and add additional oils or flavors for a more holistic tahini mixture!
This might not seem practical but yogurt makes for a great substitute when it comes to replacing coconut butter.
How? Well, you can flavor the yogurt by adding cream, salt, sugar, honey, and more. Yogurt acts as a blank canvas that you can paint on using multiple ingredients.
For example, adding a bit of sugar and shredded coconut meat to Greek yogurt can bring it incredibly close to coconut butter.
If you plan on making this substitute at home, then make sure that you use yogurt made using a good starter culture.
Using a great culture will cause the yogurt to be more flavorful and not sour. You can also follow a range of easy yogurt recipes to make the base yogurt at home as well.
Mix in the required ingredients and you will have yourself a great and healthy substitute for coconut butter.
Melon seeds, like the other nut butters listed above, make for a great substitute for coconut butter. Melon seeds can be used as it is or they can also be turned into a butter mixture too.
To make melon seeds you can either buy them pre-packaged from a supermarket or you can sun-dry the seeds at home.
Drying the seeds in the sun for a few days or in a dehydrator will cause them to become a bit hard and crunchy. These seeds can be added on top of foods as it is or they can be turned into butter using the same process listed above.
You may have to use a neutral oil to further smoothen the mixture. Melon seeds can also be slightly toasted for a better and rounded flavor just like nut butter.
Using Coconut Oil As A Substitute
Many people wonder if they can substitute coconut butter with just coconut oil.
Unfortunately, while coconut oil may have the aroma and flavor of coconut it will not be able to work when it comes to the consistency and texture of coconut butter.
Coconut oil is a liquid at room temperature and won’t hold up in recipes that call for coconut butter.
As previously mentioned, the above substitutes are great when it comes to matching the consistency and texture of coconut butter but will surely fall short when it comes to matching the flavor.
Yes, you may come a bit close to the flavor in some cases (like with using tahini or cashew butter with shredded coconut meat) but you will not be able to match the exact flavor profile of coconut butter, hence the substitutes.
Also, if you do want that distinct coconut flavor then we highly suggest that you add a bit of coconut oil to the butter options above. It might not give you the best results but it may provide that hint of coconut that you are after.
Now that we’ve gone over the best substitutes for coconut butter, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!
Can coconut butter be made at home?
Yes, coconut butter can easily be made at home using just one ingredient: coconut.
Simply grind the coconut meat in a food processor until it turns into a thick and creamy paste.
This process can take up to 30 minutes but is way inexpensive and healthier than using commercial-grade coconut butter that may be loaded with additives, preservatives, and even artificial sweeteners.
Can any nut butter replace coconut butter?
Yes, if you are looking for something that shares the same consistency as coconut butter then a range of nut butters can substitute coconut butter in almost any recipe.
You might not get the coconut flavor that you are after but you will certainly be able to cook food using these substitutes.
The closest you can get to having that distinct coconut flavor along with using the substitutes for coconut butter would be to garnish the food with shredded coconut meat.