Holiday Baking Swaps

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA  

It’s that time of year again, when the smell of sugar literally fills the air!

Going light on some of your recipes can go a long way to help reduce unwanted calories and weight gain. Many recipes can tolerate a healthy renovation without affecting the taste or texture of the food.


Let’s look at 5 Holiday Baking Swaps you can make at home.  

  1. Reduce the amount of fat, sugar and sodium: For baked goods, use half the butter, shortening or oil and replace the other half with unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana or prune puree.
  2. Make a healthy substitution: Use plain Fage Greek Yogurt in place of cream cheese, butter, heavy cream and oil. Plus, you’ll get a healthy dose of protein!
  3. Delete an ingredient: In some recipes, you can delete an ingredient altogether such as frosting, coconut or candied nuts. Instead use unsweetened varieties such as dry roasted nuts or combine Greek yogurt with cream cheese for a low sugar frosting. 
  4. Use Black beans for flour: Pureed black beans add protein and fiber, use them in place of white flour in brownie recipes. Use equal parts, 1 cup flour to 1 cup black beans. 
  5. Change the portion size: No matter how much you reduce, switch or omit ingredients, some recipes may still be high in sugar, fat or salt. Smaller portions have less fat, calories and sodium and allow you to eat a wider variety of foods.


Strawberry Shortcake with Lemony Yogurt

a strawberry shortcake with yogurt

Replace the heavy cream with yogurt for a lighter twist. A touch of lemon flavor is the perfect finishing touch to this delicious, sweet treat.   

Total time: 30 – 40 mins




  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup FAGE Total 2% or FAGE Total 5%
  • ½ cup milk

Strawberry Mixture

  • 6 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • ¼ cup sugar

Sweet Yogurt Topping

  • 2 cups FAGE Total 5%, FAGE Total 2% or FAGE Total 0%
  • 4 tablespoons honey or sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 zest of lemon



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a stand-alone blender, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add butter, yogurt, and milk. Mix on a low speed until it forms small clumps. Scrape dough out of bowl and knead on a floured surface to form a ball. Roll out dough with a rolling pin to ¾ inch thick and cut with 2 ½ inch circle cookie cutters.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown on the center rack. Let cool.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix strawberries and sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  6. In another medium bowl, mix yogurt, honey, vanilla, lemon juice and zest.
  7. Split shortcakes in half, spoon strawberry mixture and top with yogurt topping. Serve immediately.

Recipe by: Fage Yogurt