17 Baking Substitutes For Vegetable Oil (2024)

substitutes for vegetable oil when baking

One of the most popular moistening agents is vegetable oil which is considered an active ingredient in most baking recipes.

Are there substitutes for vegetable oil in baking recipes? Are there healthier options for vegetable oil in baking recipes? Perhaps these questions have delayed you from baking your favorite muffin, cookies, or cake. Maybe you want to create your special baking recipe.

This article contains everything you need to know about alternatives to vegetable oil in your baking recipes. It would please you to know that there are varieties of substitutes for vegetable oil. Most are healthier options. In addition, some of these substitutes are suitable for vegans.

These are the baking substitutes for vegetable oil to consider are Olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, butter, sunflower oil, avocado oil, ghee, applesauce, yogurt, sesame oil, fruit puree, grapeseed oil, margarine, buttermilk, dried plums, black beans, and sour cream.

These substitutes have their flavors, but they are suitable replacements for vegetable oil in your baking recipe.

We have not only provided these substitutes, but we have also provided the nutritional content of vegetable oil. In addition, we have included some tips to note when using some substitutes.

Vegetable Oil Basic Information

These are the nutritional elements in every 100 grams of vegetable oil you consume. Every 100 grams of vegetable oil contains 884 calories.

Nutritional elementGrams Daily value
Total Fat100 g153%
Saturated fat14 g70%
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Sodium 0 mg0%
Total carbohydrate0 g0%
Dietary fiber0 g0%
Sugar0 g
Protein 0 g
Vitamin C0%
Vitamin D0%
Vitamin B60%
Cobalamin 0%
Source: USDA.

When replacing vegetable oil with other options for baking, bear in mind that you may not get the original texture and flavor if you had used vegetable oil. These substitutes tend to alter the texture, moistening level, and flavor of your baked good.

In addition, some of these substitutes can make your baked treat appear more or less dense in texture.

17 Ideal Replacements For Vegetable Oil

These options provided for you are perfect and healthy vegetable oil alternatives for your baking recipes.  

1. Olive Oil

Baking with olive oil
Source: Clean Plates

Olive oil is a perfect replacement for the vegetable oil in your baking recipe. This is because olive produces the exact baking result if you had used vegetable oil. The only issue that comes with using olive oil is the strong flavor it can bring to your baking mix.

If you do not mind its strong flavor, then olive oil can be the substitute you have been looking for.

Bear in mind that you be careful when using olive oil so its flavor/aroma does not overshadow your baking mix. Unlike some other vegetable oil substitutes, olive oil is a healthier option because it contains low cholesterol and saturated fat.

You should consider using olive oil if you are on a diet, or you have heart and weight-related conditions. 

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a popular option for vegans and those on a plant-based diet. Coconut oil is a perfect replacement for vegetable oil in your baking recipe. You can swap your vegetable oil for coconut oil in an equal amount in your baking mix.

Like other vegetable oil substitutes, coconut oil has a strong flavor and aroma that may be a total detour from the original flavor and taste you desired for your baked good. If you do not mind its flavor, coconut oil can serve as your perfect substitute.

Although coconut oil can easily be purchased from stores, it can also be homemade. Note that, you must bring all ingredients to room temperature before adding coconut oil to the baking mix. This is because coconut oil tends to coagulate when mixed with cold ingredients. 

3. Canola Oil

Another healthy replacement for vegetable oil in your baking recipe is canola oil. Unlike some vegetable oil substitutes that alter the taste, flavor, and texture of your baking mix, canola oil would give you the exact result if you had used your vegetable oil.

Next time you decide to try a new recipe without using vegetable oil, try using canola oil.

We are sure you would not be disappointed with the result. In addition to being a great substitute, it has low cholesterol, which is the reason it is considered one of the healthiest substitutes for vegetable oil. Compared to other vegetable oil replacements, canola oil is inexpensive. 

4. Butter

Butter for baking
Source: Chatelaine

As a vegetable oil replacement, butter not only acts as a moistening and leavening agent but is a flavor enhancer and lends flakiness to your baking good. You can decide to melt the butter before adding it to your baking mix or just add it to the mix in its raw form then whisk it till you attain the desired consistency.

Unlike other vegetable oil substitutes, butter would not make your baked good appear denser and flatter but would improve the fluffiness of whatever you are baking.

This is because butter can hold whipped-in air. You can even make use of vegan butter which is a dairy-free substitute for vegetable oil. Butter can be salted or unsalted, choose the option that would complement your recipe. 

5. Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is a popular replacement for vegetable oil in baking recipes because it is not only an all-purpose oil but is also a healthy option. Sunflower oil is a perfect replacement because it has a mild taste similar to vegetable oil, and it is suitable for high cooking temperatures.

If you run out of vegetable oil, and you have a bottle of sunflower oil lying around, do not be skeptical about using it. It is a good choice for any baking recipe.

Unlike vegetable oil which is common and quite affordable, sunflower oil is more expensive to purchase. Sunflower oil is mostly used for its ability to easily disperse flavor compounds and increase the browning rate of your baked goods.

avocado oil
Image: Envato Elements

6. Avocado Oil

This vegetable oil substitute is mostly prescribed for people with heart-related conditions because it contains unsaturated fat. When using avocado oil as a replacement for vegetables, the ratio is 1:1. You do not have to worry if you would get the desired texture and moisture level.

Avocado oil does not alter the texture of your baked goods. Not only is avocado oil a good alternative to vegetable oil, but you can also use the avocado puree as a substitute for vegetable oil in your baking recipe.

Avocado puree would alter the original taste of your baking mix but if you do not mind a fruity flavor, then you are good to go with this option. 

7. Ghee

This Indian-based butter can be a replacement for vegetable oil in your baking mix. If you have dairy allergies or are lactose-intolerant, Ghee is a healthy replacement for vegetable oil. Ghee tends to become coagulated, so it should be kept at room temperature. Do not mix your Ghee with cold ingredients.

Ghee is considered a healthy option for individuals on strict diets because it contains vitamins and is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Although Ghee can be homemade, the preparation can be tricky, and you may not have the luxury of time.

You can order your Ghee from the closest grocery store in your area. 

8. Applesauce

Source: Substitute food

This is considered one of the healthiest replacements for vegetable oil because it is purely plant-based. Apple sauce is mostly used by those on a weight-loss diet, although you do not have to be on a diet before using it as an alternative to vegetable oil.

Note that when using applesauce, especially when on a diet, the best kind to use is unsweetened applesauce, so it does not outrightly alter the taste of your baked.

Asides from this, unsweetened applesauce contains natural sugar that may just be sufficient for your baking mix if you do not have a sweet mouth. However, you can use sweetened applesauce if the taste is something you fancy for your baking recipe. 

9. Yogurt

The fluffy and moistening texture yogurt brings when incorporated into a baking mix makes it a common vegetable oil substitute. If you require your baked good to be very moist then yogurt is your best option. Any kind of yogurt is a perfect replacement for vegetable oil in your baking recipe.

Source: Cuisine Gizmo

You can make use of either soy yogurt, non-dairy yogurt, Greek yogurt, kefir, skyr, as a vegetable oil substitute only that these options would alter the taste of your baking mix.

When using yogurt as a replacement, ensure you drain the liquid that floats at the top. In addition, you are advised to reduce the liquid content in your baking mix if you would be using yogurt since it is liquid-based.

Replace vegetable oil with yogurt in an equal amount to get desired texture and moisture level. 

10. Sesame Oil 

Unlike other vegetable oil substitutes that have mild flavors, sesame oil comes with a strong flavor that may appear unsuitable for a baking recipe. If you are not big on flavors in your baking mix, then you can consider using sesame oil as an alternative option.

Another reason sesame oil is not as popular as other vegetable oil substitutes are that it is more expensive than other vegetable oil replacements.  

Sesame oil can come as natural oil or roasted sesame oil. The roasted sesame oil has a stronger flavor than the non-roasted natural oil. For a milder flavor in your baking recipe, you are advised to use non-toasted sesame oil. 

11. Fruit Puree

Peanut butter in a bowl, fruit puree and honey
Fruit Puree. Image: Envato Elements

Any kind of fruit puree is a great replacement for vegetable oil in your baking mix, especially in cake recipes. They are considered the healthiest vegetable oil substitutes.

Most people use bananas due to the fluffy texture they bring to your baked good.

You can however use any kind of fruit for your fruit puree. All you need is your desired fruit and water and blend to a smooth paste. You can decide to boil your fruit but be cautious when boiling, so your fruit does not lose its nutrients. 

12. Grapeseed Oil

The mild flavor of grapeseed oil makes it another healthy alternative to vegetable oil. In addition, the grapeseed oil does not alter the original color of your baked goods. Organic oil can replace your vegetable oil without ruining the authenticity of your baking recipe.

Most vegans include grapeseed in their baking recipes. Since grapeseed won’t overpower the flavor of your recipe, you can consider using it when next you are baking. This healthy oil is rich in polyunsaturated fats and vitamin E. 

13. Margarine

Margarine is one of the most common substitutes for vegetable oil in baking recipes. When melted, they produce the same result as a vegetable oil in your baking mix only that they have a mild flavor that you might not mind.

Although butter and margarine are similar, the difference between margarine and butter is a concentrated dairy products while margarine is made from vegetable oil but has a semblance in taste and texture to butter.

If you are allergic to dairy products, margarine is a better option and a good alternative to vegetable oil in your baking recipe. 

14. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is another dairy product that can serve as a good substitute for vegetable oil in your baking recipe. They are good moistening agents and increase the fluffiness of your baked goods. Buttermilk can even be homemade as it does not consume time.

All you need for homemade buttermilk is any milk of your choice and lemon juice or vinegar. Stir the mix together and what you have is buttermilk. This is one of the easiest vegetable oil substitutes to make at home. when added in the right quantity to your baking mix, they can make your baked goods taste even better. 

15. Sour Cream or Mayonnaise

Since sour cream or mayonnaise is a major ingredient for most baking recipes, you would most likely have it in your kitchen.

You can use sour cream or mayonnaise as a substitute for vegetable oil, and it would give you the texture and moistening level your baked good needs. Both sour cream and mayonnaise contain high fat, so they would add moisture and tanginess to your cake. 

16. Dried Plums 

Dried Plums
Source: Not Quite Nigella

Dried plum is another healthy alternative to vegetables due to its rich nutrient profile. When baking with dried plums, add water or milk to increase the moisture level of the cake.

Dried plums are mostly used for recipes that include nuts. The dried plum flavor complements the flavor of a nutty recipe. If you desire a fruity recipe, dried plum should be considered. 

17. Black Beans

Sounds weird right? Are black beans even an ideal replacement for vegetable oil when baking?

Although this is not a popular substitute for vegetable oil. When mixed with yogurt, black beans are a healthy replacement for vegetable oil in your baking recipe. Blend the black beans with any kind of yogurt before using it in your baking mix. For every cup of vegetable oil, use 2/4 of a cup of your black beans mix. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I substitute for vegetable oil in a cake mix recipe?

In a cake mix recipe, you can substitute vegetable oil with sour cream, buttermilk, margarine, butter, grapeseed oil, fruit puree, apple sauce, sesame oil, yogurt, sunflower oil, avocado oil or puree, fruit puree, Ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, and canola oil. Note that these substitutes may alter the taste and texture of your baked goods. 

What is a good substitute for vegetable oil when baking brownies? 

Good substitutes for vegetable oil when baking brownies are butter, margarine, canola oil, olive oil, avocado oil, apple sauce, and yogurt.

Can I replace vegetable oil with butter?

Yes, you can replace vegetable oil with butter in your baking or cooking recipe. Butter is one of the best alternatives to vegetable oil because of its creamy texture and flavor. It is one of the most popular moistening agents which also makes your baked goods come out fluffy. 

Do you have to use vegetable oil for baking?

No, you do not have to use vegetable oil for baking. There are other suitable alternatives to vegetable oil and some are even healthier. Although some of these substitutes have a different flavor to vegetable oil, they are still suitable replacements for vegetable oil in your baking mix.

Some of these substitutes are yogurt, apple sauce, sesame oil, canola oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, fruit puree, butter, buttermilk, margarine, and sunflower oil

Final Note

The use of vegetable oil isn’t the only way to keep your baked goods moist. With the above vegetable oil substitutes, you now have a variety of options to select from if you’re trying out a new recipe or following a strict diet.

As previously indicated, several of these replacements can impart a distinct flavor while also changing the texture of your baked goods. Before you try any of these alternatives, ensure you can handle the changes they might bring to your baked treat.

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