Q: Is there a way to cut down the fat in baked goods?

A: Fat ensures that your baked goods are moist and tender, but you can dial it down and still make them delectable with a few basic swaps.

The easiest way to reduce fat is to use less oil or butter. Since baked goods require specific measurements, that can be tricky. Sometimes cutting down added fat will work; other times you'll need to replace some of that fat with other ingredients.

When trying to reinvent your favorite recipes, it may take some trial and error. Instead of wasting batches upon batches of ingredients, split a recipe into thirds and make adjustments to each mini-batch. Once you discover what works best, make sure to write it down for next time.

For cookies, replace half the butter with applesauce, egg whites or plain yogurt.

Replace regular butter with equal amounts of healthier buttery spreads.

Trade half the butter with pureed fruit such as mashed bananas, apple butter or prunes (prunes work best with chocolate recipes).

Replace half the oil with applesauce.

Replace each whole egg with two egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute.

Replace cream with equal parts of evaporated skim milk.

Replace half the cream cheese with equal parts of reduced-fat cottage cheese or part-skim ricotta cheese.

Replace each 1/2 cup shortening with 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil.

Replace equal parts sour cream with plain or Greek-style yogurt.

Replace whole milk with 1 percent or 2 percent.