A method of controller restructuring is introduced for improved closed-loop control of nonlinear plants. In this method, an initial controller, potentially the linear controller designed according to the linearized model of the plant, is expanded into several candidate nonlinear control structures that are subsequently shaped to achieve a desired closed-loop response. The salient feature of the proposed method is a metric for quantifying structural perturbations to the controllers, which it uses to scale the structural Jacobian for improving its condition number. This improved Jacobian underlies shaping of candidate controllers through gradient-based search. Results obtained from three case studies indicate the success of the proposed restructuring method in finding nonlinear controllers that not only improve the closed-loop response of the nonlinear plant but also its robustness to modeling uncertainty.