Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature, like vegetable oils used in cooking. But can we substitute them in the baking?
They come from many different plants and from fish. Oils are not a food group, but they provide you with important nutrients such as unsaturated fats and vitamin E.
Nowadays there is a wide variety of cooking oils from plant sources such as olive oil, palm oil, soybean oil, canola oil (rapeseed oil), sunflower oil, sesame oil, corn oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil, and other vegetable oils, as well as animal-based oils like butter and lard.
The major use of cooking oil is in frying, where it functions as a heat transfer medium and contributes flavour and texture to foods. One requirement of cooking oil is that it be stable under the very abusive conditions of deep-fat frying, namely, high temperatures and moisture.
But it is also used in food preparation and flavouring not involving heat, such as salad dressings and bread dips, and may be called edible oil.
Why is the oil used in baking?
Using oil can definitely make cooking easier. It defiantly helps prevent food from sticking to the pan and burning, it can help foods cook a bit quicker, and it can help certain foods crisp up nicely. Now can we substitute in the baking process?
The texture of cakes made with oil is, in general, superior to the texture of cakes made with butter. Oil cakes tend to bake up loftier with a more even crumb and stay moist and tender for longer than cakes made with butter.
But why do most cake recipes start with butter? The answer is simple – the flavour. Cakes made with butter often taste better than oil cakes.
If a cake is perfumed with fragrant spices or loaded with carrots and nuts, the flavour difference that comes from oil or butter is negligible. And in the case of some cakes, oil can even improve the flavour.
9 Substitute for oil in baking
When choosing a substitute best is to select a mild-flavoured alternative to oil that will add moisture to whatever you’re baking. Here are some that we recommend:
- Homemade apple sauce
Applesauce is known to be the best substitute for oil as it will retain the same taste. Unsweetened applesauce can make a great substitute for vegetable oil in your baked goods, particularly in any loaves of bread, cakes, and muffins, as it is will add moisture and actually has fewer calories than oil.
This would not change the taste and act as a perfect substitute. Using margarine in equal amounts to that of vegetable oil is also a good idea. If you’re looking for a simple ingredient you probably already have in your kitchen, melted butter is an effective substitute for vegetable oil — especially for any baking recipe such as cakes, muffins, or cookies.
- Fruit puree
Use 1 cup fruit puree instead of using a cup of vegetable oil. But make sure you don’t use strongly flavoured fruits. Using mashed bananas or prunes can be a good substitute as well. Bananas work best in bread and muffins. Or you can even try using zucchini in brownies.
- Olive oil
One of the healthiest oils you can buy. Olive oil is made from the fruit of an olive tree and contains monounsaturated fatty acids that can reduce your risk of heart disease. However, it is better to opt for canola oil instead of vegetable oil, as this will lower the amount of saturated fat in your diet.
Cornstarch also works as an oil substitute when you are baking. The cornstarch will not add any real nutritional value, but you will get a similar product. You can mix it with water and then heat it to get the desired amount of thickness. However, let it cool down before you use it.
Yoghurt is not only a portion of awesome dairy food but also serves as a perfect substitute for high-fat ingredients in baking. Plain low-fat yoghurt may work best, but also vanilla flavoured can add a kick and change the taste if desired. Instead of 1 cup oil, you can opt for ½ cup oil or ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of plain yoghurt in the recipe.
You can use mayonnaise in equal amounts to that of the oil you were going to use. Mayonnaise may sound like a stretch, but it is actually the closest to oil compared to the rest of the alternatives. Why? Because oil is one of the ingredients in mayonnaise. Using mayonnaise while making a chocolate cake gives a great taste and texture.
- Coconut oil
Coconut oil is also great for baking, but it imparts a sweet taste to foods. Coconut oil, an edible oil extracted from the meat of coconuts, is another suitable alternative to vegetable oil, especially a great vegan option. And as you already know, this oil will defiantly change the taste of your recipe, as coconut oil is an oil with a strong taste.
Ghee is a form of clarified butter which means that all the milk solids and water have been removed. Ghee has a high smoke point and possesses a rich, nutty flavour that’s well-suited for cooking as well as for baking. Click on the photo to see how to make homemade ghee.
Have you ever substituted the oil? Let us know-how and with what!?
For dressings, apart from the classic olive oil, many people use the types of oil such as edible oils. If you also prefer heavier and more flavorful kinds like olive, avocado, peanut, walnut, flaxseed, and sesame, we do recommend them for salads in the dressing or other savoury meals. Nowadays, there are varieties of recipes and oils that make delicious meals. Go ahead, try it and find out!