We’ve all been there – you’ve gotten home, checked the cupboards, and discovered that you don’t have any vegetable oil left. You have a million things to do and a birthday cake to bake for tomorrow – but you haven’t got time to go to the store!
Now you’re wondering if there are any substitutes to vegetable oil that you can use, that you already own. Well, you’re in luck, because that’s why we’ve put together our guide to 10 great alternatives to vegetable oil in cake baking. Enjoy!
Ten Great Substitutes To Use For Vegetable Oil When Baking Cakes
Olive oil is one of the best substitutes for any vegetable oil when baking. All you have to do to make sure that it fits your recipe is choose an oil that has a mild flavor.
This is because you may be able to detect olive oil with stronger flavors in your finished product – and nobody wants the taste of olive oil in their cakes unexpectedly!
Another reason that olive oil is a great substitute is the fact that it has a high smoke point. The term ‘smoke point’ is used to describe the point at which fats, such as butter or oil, stop melting and frying and instead begin to burn – or smoke.
This means that olive oil is brilliant for baking, as it takes a little longer for olive oil to burn than other fats.
You should still make sure that you’re extra careful not to burn it, however, as burnt olive oil isn’t as healthy, meaning that you lose both flavors, and appeal.
For the most part, olive oil can be used in exactly the same way that you might use vegetable oil.
As long as you make sure that you get your measurements right, and you also choose an olive oil without a strong or distinct flavor, you’re good to go! Olive oil is great in muffins, cakes, and cookies!
We’ve all heard about how good coconut oil is for our skin, hair, and general health. With its wide range of uses, including skin products and hair masks, it might come as a surprise to you that coconut oil is actually a really good substitute for vegetable oil as well!
Coconut oil is a much friendlier, healthier option than vegetable oil, as coconut oil is super rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as also containing a lot of antioxidants!
As an added bonus, coconut oil can also give your cake a slight flavor of coconut. If you’re not a fan of coconut, don’t worry, as it shouldn’t be too strong.
When using coconut oil as a substitute for vegetable oil, you should use the same amount that you would have used if you were using vegetable oil.
Whilst this is really convenient, one major downside to using coconut oil is that you have to melt it in order to measure it.
This is because coconut oil comes in a solid form, and it only reaches its liquid state if it is melted. Luckily, coconut oil is really easy to melt, as it can be melted either by using a low heat, or just by leaving it out at room temperature.
You can even melt it with the heat of your skin – although this might not be the most sanitary for cooking purposes.
After the coconut oil is melted and is in its liquid form, you can use it in exactly the same way you would have used your regular vegetable oil – except coconut oil tastes nicer, and it’s healthier!
Many people are surprised when they find out that apple sauce can be used as a substitute to vegetable oil when you are baking, but it can! This is actually a really great idea when you’re completely out of all of the most obvious alternatives to vegetable oil.
You can use applesauce that you might have made at home, but we won’t blame you if you use an applesauce that you bought at the store.
One of the great parts about using store-bought applesauce is that you can choose whether or not you want to use sweetened applesauce or applesauce that isn’t sweetened.
This means that you can adjust the sweetness of your applesauce to your recipe, or your recipe to your applesauce, depending on what you have.
It’s also important to remember that apples do already have a pretty sweet taste to them, so choosing the sweetened option may mean that you need to adjust the sugar you add to your recipe.
Substituting applesauce for vegetable oil is a little trickier, as you need to use ¾ of a cup of applesauce for every cup of vegetable oil that you may have used.
Unlike some of the other alternatives, applesauce can give your cake a slightly different texture, even if you use it the way that you should. This isn’t the end of the world, though, because muffins are thinner, but they are also a lot tastier!
Something else to think about is the fact that your cake might take on some of the apple flavors from your applesauce.
You might want to consider this when deciding what buttercream to use on your cake, as the combination of these flavors can make or break a dessert. Applesauce goes great in both chocolate and vanilla cakes, especially if you like fruitier flavors with your desserts!
Butter probably makes the most sense as an alternative or replacement for vegetable oil, so it should come as no surprise that it is probably the most common alternative, no matter what is being baked.
This is because butter works delightfully as a replacement to pretty much any type of oil when it comes to baking. It can also be used effectively to fry different types of food, although you should be careful not to burn it.
In order to use butter as a replacement for your vegetable oil, all you need to do is swap out your vegetable oil for the exact same amount of butter. You can then use this when baking your desserts!
Butter is probably the best fat for baking cakes, and you will probably notice that your cake turns out much fluffier than if you were using a different type of oil, such as vegetable oil. You might also find that your cake tastes much better!
If you really enjoy this, you can experiment with the taste by using a butter with a high fat, such as a butter with an 82% fat content. Whilst this type of butter will add extra calories to your cake, it will also make it taste much, much better (or, butter).
Okay, so this one is really strange, we know. Whilst mayonnaise is great with a salad or a burger, it is actually one of the best substitutes to oil there is, especially when baking. No, really!
Think about it for a second – mayonnaise is made up of both eggs and oil, which are two of the main ingredients used when baking cakes. As long as you try to find a plain, unflavoured mayonnaise with as little taste as possible, you should be good to go!
Just make sure that your mayonnaise has absolutely no seasoning, as any seasonings may come through and ruin the taste of the cake you’ve spent ages making.
In order to use mayonnaise as an alternative to vegetable oil, it is important to note that mayonnaise can’t be diluted.
This means that you need to use ¾ of a cup of mayonnaise as a substitute for vegetable oil, similarly to the way that we would use applesauce as a substitute.
Fruit puree works similarly to applesauce and is another amazing substitute that can work as a replacement for vegetable oil in a pinch.
You can use absolutely any type of fruit puree for this – whether it’s a fruit puree made from citrus fruit, like an orange, or even a puree made from a berry , such as cherries! Fruit purees are super easy to prepare.
All you need to do is boil the fruit down on the stove, and when they’ve cooled, blend them until they take on the consistency of a puree.
Fruit purees are amazing in fruit cakes, and matching your buttercream to the fruit you use can work wonders for your taste buds!
To ration your fruit puree appropriately, you once again need to use the same quantities as you would if you were using applesauce.
This means that once again, using ¾ of a cup of fruit puree for every cup of vegetable oil that the recipe calls for will give you a super tasty cake! Just make sure that you decrease the amount of sugar that you use in your recipe by at least 25% again, as the fruit puree will definitely make your cake a lot sweeter.
Banana puree deserves a spot of its own as a substitute for vegetable oil! This is because all you need to do is give them a mash, and then add your smushed bananas to your cake mix!
Bananas are an absolutely amazing substitute in all cakes, especially pancakes. They can add an incredibly tasty banana flavor, too!
In order to use the banana puree as a substitute within your cake, you should use a ration of 2/4 of a cup of bananas for every cup of vegetable oil that your recipe calls for.
The great thing about bananas is that they aren’t as sweet as other fruits, so you don’t need to adjust the amount of sugar used in your recipe.
You do need to use less banana puree than other purees, however, as banana puree tends to be denser, so this should be considered when you are measuring out your ingredients.
Believe it or not, another surprising substitute for vegetable oil is actually dried plums!
If you are baking a batch of chocolate brownies, a chocolate cake, muffins, or cookies, you can absolutely use dried plums as a substitute for vegetable oil, and it’ll probably even taste better!
This is because plums bring a unique taste that will come through in your cake.
In order to use dried plums as a substitute successfully, you will need to keep in mind that, similarly to applesauce, plums are sweet.
If you don’t want an unexpectedly extra sweet cake, you should take this under consideration when using sugar within your recipe. We would recommend reducing your sugar by 25% to get the best results.
To use the right quantity of dried plums, you need to replace a cup of vegetable oil with 2/4 of a cup of dried plums.
If you need to, you can increase this to ¾ of a cup, however, it depends on your taste, as well as the recipe you are using, so it might be worth experimenting with this, If you choose to increase the number of dried plums that you use to ¾ of a cup, you should reduce your sugar some more to make sure that your cake isn’t ruined.
Black beans might seem like an even stranger substitute for vegetable oil than mayonnaise was! Surprisingly to some, though, many Asian desserts actually use black beans instead of vegetable oil, and these desserts are always amazing.
In complete honesty though, black beans can actually be used as a substitute for vegetable oil no matter what cake you \re baking.
In order to use black beans as a substitute, you will have to blend them to make sure that they aren’t super lumpy and ruin the texture of your cake.
After this, you might want to mix your black beans with yogurt in order to obtain a butter-like texture – to do this, you should mix them one part beans to one part yogurt. It’s a good idea to choose a yogurt with a high fat content for this.
Now that you’ve decided whether or not you want to use a black bean and yogurt mix or just blended black beans as your substitute, you should use 2/4 of a cup of either of them for every cup of vegetable oil in order to get your desired result.
If your cake comes out of the oven and it looks darker than usual, don’t worry, it’s not burnt!
The black beans will actually add coloring to your cake, so it will come out looking darker than usual, and might not look as nice. Despite that, black beans are an amazing substitute for all types of vegetable oil, and you should definitely give them a try!
Dairy products can be a great replacement for vegetable oil, as well.
Using dairy products is also a great option if you’d like to be able to control the calorie content in your cake, as you can reduce the calories by choosing a low-fat dairy product. You can also choose to improve the taste by using a high-fat dairy product – it’s up to you!
Whatever you do, make sure that you use about ¾ of a cup of dairy for every one cup of vegetable oil called for in your recipe. If you want to ensure that you have a super fluffy, moist cake, maybe add a couple more tablespoons.
If you’re wondering if ‘dairy products’ as substitutes for vegetable oil can include cheese, it turns out that it can! Whatever you choose to use, just remember to stay away from dairy products that are super low in fat, or water dairy products.
This is because dairy products like these won’t combine well with your dough, and you might not have as good of a result.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Butter A Good Substitute For Vegetable Oil For Cake?
So, as we’ve previously discussed, butter is actually an amazing substitute for vegetable oil, which is why it is listed within our guide!
The only issue with using butter is that it isn’t suitable for vegans, so you might want to check that none of your dinner guests are vegan, even if you aren’t.
Apart from that, it’s an amazing substitute and always results in a delightfully fluffy dough, with a tasty flavor. Butter can be used as a substitute for oil in pretty much every dessert – whether that’s doughnuts, cakes or cookies, it’ll be great.
Is Olive Oil A Good Substitute For Vegetable Oil In A Cake?
Whilst olive oil can work as a substitute, which is why we listed it in our guide, it’s probably not the best substitute you could choose when it comes to baking cakes and cookies.
This is because the oil you are using can alter the flavor of your cake, and olive oil can sometimes have a strong taste – especially if it’s concentrated.
Despite this, foods that aren’t sweet like cakes are, such as bread, can be absolutely delicious if you choose to use olive oil! Because of oils’ high smoking point, it’s a great substitute for certain recipes that other fats might be prone to burning in.
The other great thing about olive oil is that you don’t need to make any changes to your recipe to swap it in – you just need to add the exact same amount of olive oil that the recipe asks for in vegetable oil. You don’t have to change a single thing!
Can I Make A Cake Without Having To Use Vegetable Oil?
Yes, you can! That’s why we’ve put this guide together for you. Absolutely any of the options that we have listed above will work wonderfully, but you have to make sure to choose one.
Attempting to bake a cake without using one of these substitutes will probably end badly, as you won’t have a very nice dough.
Which Is Better For Cake Making: Oil Or Butter?
In all honesty, your cake will turn out really great, no matter if you use oil or butter! There will be differences within the texture of your dough, however – so if you’re particular about that, carry on reading.
Using butter instead of oil in the cake will result in a deliciously fluffy texture, and your cake will resemble a sponge. The butter will also add a really nice buttery flavor, which can be desirable in certain cakes.
If you choose to use oil, however, you will have a slightly more plain dough, without any of the added fluff that the butter might have added.
Are There Any Vegan Substitutes For Vegetable Oil?
Yes! Amazingly, fruit purees such as banana puree or a puree made from any other fruit can serve as brilliant, vegan substitutes for baking cakes and sweet treats. We’ve included the quantities that you need to use of these within our guide above!
In conclusion, there are a lot of really great substitutes for vegetable oil out there!
Whether you’ve run out of oil and you’re wondering if you can use something in your cupboards, or you’re genuinely just trying to improve the flavor of your cakes, there’s a substitute in this list to suit the cake-lover in everyone.