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Can Canola Oil Be Substituted For Vegetable Oil In Brownies

Stick of butter with a few slices cut out on a white plate

Photo: Meredith

Butter and oil are basic ingredients that every baker and cook should always keep in their arsenal. They may serve similar purposes, but aren’t always interchangeable. Can butter be replaced with oil? Yup! Here’s what you need to know about when and how to swap one for the other:


How to replace butter with oil when cooking

Oil, butter and shortening
Meredith

Substituting butter for oil (and vice versa) isn’t always as simple as using one in place of the other. Follow these step-by-step instructions for a correct replacement every time:

Replace the oil with butter

It couldn’t be easier replace the butter with the oil using a 1:1 ratio. This should work for olive, canola, vegetable and coconut oils. Simply melt and cool the butter to room temperature, then continue with the recipe (if the recipe calls for ½ cup oil, use ½ cup melted, cooled butter).

Replace the butter with oil

How about replacing the oil with butter? Depending on the type of oil, it can add a complex flavor and pleasing moisture to your baked goods. A good rule of thumb is replace about 3/4 of the butter in a recipe with olive, canola, or vegetable oil (if the recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, use 3/4 cup of oil). You can use a 1:1 ratio when it comes to coconut oil.

However, there are a couple of things you should consider before substituting butter for oil in cooking:

  • In many recipes (particularly some cakes), butter is needed because it adds structure. When you cream butter and sugar for a cake, you’re whipping up lots of tiny air pockets that work with the baking powder or baking soda to create a fluffy yet sturdy texture. If you were to use oil exclusively, the cake would come out much thicker than you would like.
  • If you’re unsure, it’s safer to use a 50/50 combination of butter and oil instead of substituting the butter entirely. This way you’ll get the added moisture from the oil without sacrificing the structural integrity that the butter provides.

Related:

  • 25 ways to bake with olive oil instead of butter
  • 12 olive oil cake recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth


How to replace butter with oil when cooking

Sponges sautéed in a pan with butter
Kevin Miyazaki/Meredith

You can absolutely substitute butter for oil (and vice versa) when cooking. But because butter contains water and milk solids, it’s not always as simple as you might think. Keep these tips in mind when cooking with butter instead of oil:

  • Stir-fry or stir-fry? Let the butter boil, melt and settle over low heat before adding other ingredients. This allows the fat to heat up sufficiently while cooking some of the moisture.
  • Don’t try to stir-fry using regular butter instead of oil, as it won’t stand up to the high heat. Try ghee or clarified butter instead.
  • For roasting over high heat, opt for ghee or clarified butter.

Related:

  • Salted vs Unsalted Butter: What’s the Difference?
  • How to Soften Butter in 5 Easy Ways


Butter and oil are basic ingredients that every baker and cook should always keep in their arsenal. They may serve similar purposes, but aren’t always interchangeable. Can butter be replaced with oil? Yup! Here’s what you need to know about when and how to swap one for the other:


How to replace butter with oil when cooking

Oil, butter and shortening
Meredith

Substituting butter for oil (and vice versa) isn’t always as simple as using one in place of the other. Follow these step-by-step instructions for a correct replacement every time:

Replace the oil with butter

It couldn’t be easier replace the butter with the oil using a 1:1 ratio. This should work for olive, canola, vegetable and coconut oils. Simply melt and cool the butter to room temperature, then continue with the recipe (if the recipe calls for ½ cup oil, use ½ cup melted, cooled butter).

Replace the butter with oil

How about replacing the oil with butter? Depending on the type of oil, it can add a complex flavor and pleasing moisture to your baked goods. A good rule of thumb is replace about 3/4 of the butter in a recipe with olive, canola, or vegetable oil (if the recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, use 3/4 cup of oil). You can use a 1:1 ratio when it comes to coconut oil.

However, there are a couple of things you should consider before substituting butter for oil in cooking:

  • In many recipes (particularly some cakes), butter is needed because it adds structure. When you cream butter and sugar for a cake, you’re whipping up lots of tiny air pockets that work with the baking powder or baking soda to create a fluffy yet sturdy texture. If you were to use oil exclusively, the cake would come out much thicker than you would like.
  • If you’re unsure, it’s safer to use a 50/50 combination of butter and oil instead of substituting the butter entirely. This way you’ll get the added moisture from the oil without sacrificing the structural integrity that the butter provides.

Related:

  • 25 ways to bake with olive oil instead of butter
  • 12 olive oil cake recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth


How to replace butter with oil when cooking

Sponges sautéed in a pan with butter
Kevin Miyazaki/Meredith

You can absolutely substitute butter for oil (and vice versa) when cooking. But because butter contains water and milk solids, it’s not always as simple as you might think. Keep these tips in mind when cooking with butter instead of oil:

  • Stir-fry or stir-fry? Let the butter boil, melt and settle over low heat before adding other ingredients. This allows the fat to heat up sufficiently while cooking some of the moisture.
  • Don’t try to stir-fry using regular butter instead of oil, as it won’t stand up to the high heat. Try ghee or clarified butter instead.
  • For roasting over high heat, opt for ghee or clarified butter.

Related:

  • Salted vs Unsalted Butter: What’s the Difference?
  • How to Soften Butter in 5 Easy Ways


Video about Can Canola Oil Be Substituted For Vegetable Oil In Brownies

Best substitutes for vegetable oil in cake, muffins, brownies, bread, baking, frying & more

The type of oil you use can have an additional impact on flavor as well as the final outcome, and so should be selected with some thought.

Let’s look at your option real quick and then get into each of these in more detail of when to use them and when not to:

Vegetable oil substitute – Uses
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Works well for frying on medium heat, for dressings but not for baking
Coconut Oil – Perfect for baking and frying on high heat
Avocado Oil – Good for baking and frying but can be expensive
Peanut Oil – One of the healthiest oils
Flaxseed Oil – Great for marinade and drizzles but not baking
Sesame Oil – Best for seasoning or sauces but strong flavor
Hemp Seed Oil – Low smoke point but perfect for drizzling
Canola Oil – Great neutral flavor
Sunflower Oil – Mild taste and high smoke point for frying

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In this video:
00:00 Intro
00:33 Best vegetable oil alternatives summary
05:45 Best vegetable oil alternatives for baking
06:07 Best vegetable oil alternatives for brownies
06:25 Best vegetable oil alternatives for cake
06:45 Best vegetable oil alternatives for muffins
07:00 Best vegetable oil alternatives for waffles
07:43 Best vegetable oil alternatives for frying
08:19 Best vegetable oil alternatives for pancakes
08:45 Best vegetable oil alternatives for cookies
09:11 Best vegetable oil alternatives for cupcakes
09:33 Best vegetable oil alternatives for cornbread
10:00 Best vegetable oil alternatives for banana bread
10:40 Can you substitute Crisco for vegetable oil?
11:05 Is butter a good alternative to vegetable oil?
11:35 Applesauce as a vegetable oil substitute
11:57 Margarine as a vegetable oil substitute
12:13 Best vegetable oil alternatives for bread

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