Baking Substitutions for Cookie Recipes

For healthier cookies, switch your cookie recipes up with these simple baking substitutions.

| March/April 2010

  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
    Five cookie recipe ingredient substitutions will help keep your cookie consumption up.
    Lori Dunn

  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Healthy Cookie Recipes for Any Occasion 

Creating healthier cookies tailored to your family’s taste or dietary needs is not rocket science. Experiment with some of these baking substitutions for cookie recipes to help you switch it up in the cookie department.

Whole-wheat flour

Whole-wheat flour is composed of the entire kernel (bran, germ and endosperm), while all-purpose flour contains the endosperm alone. Consequently, whole-wheat flour has more fiber than all-purpose flour. Whole-wheat flour can be substituted for all-purpose flour in most cookie recipes (this doesn’t hold true for bread). 


Flaxseed is an excellent source of fiber, lignans (an antioxidant) and alpha-linolenic acid (a plant version of omega-3). Give your flaxseed a quick grind in your coffee grinder or food processor to release its nutrients more easily. You can replace a 1/4 cup flour with the same amount of ground flaxseed. 

Wheat bran

Bran is the outer layer of the grain (seed coat). It is a good source of fiber and contains the following three B vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. Replace up to 1/2 cup flour with the same amount of wheat bran. 

Wheat germ

You can replace up to 1/2 cup flour with the same amount of wheat germ in your cookie recipes. The germ is the heart of the wheat berry and is where the plant embryo is located. A nutritional powerhouse, it provides lipid, fiber, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E and thiamin. 

Nonfat dry milk

Dry milk is a great way to boost your calcium and protein intake. You can add 1/4 cup dry milk to any of these recipes with good results.

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