Can You Use Olive Oil For Brownies As A Substitute For Vegetable Oil?

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Learn can you use olive oill for brownies as a substitute for vegetable oil and all the substitutes you can use instead of vegetable oil to bake fudgy brownies. 

Can You Use Olive Oil For Brownies As A Substitute For Vegetable Oil?
Can You Use Olive Oil For Brownies

Olive oil has a long history of being used in cooking – as early as the 5th to 4th-century BCE

But for baking purposes, it’s not the type of oil we usually use. 

But in a pinch, olive oil can be a great substitute for vegetable oil in brownies. 

Not only is olive oil lower in calories, but it also has a variety of health benefits

So if you want to make healthy and delicious brownies, olive oil is a great option.

But you might be thinking can I use olive oil instead of vegetable oil in brownies with satisfactory results? 

Let’s find out!

What Is Olive Oil?

Can You Use Olive Oil For Brownies As A Substitute For Vegetable Oil? 1
Nutritional Profile Of Olive Oil Per Tablespoon

Olive oil is produced from the fruit of olive trees, which typically grow in the Mediterranean region but are also found in California, Greece, France, Italy, and Spain. 

After harvest, the olives are crushed into a paste, which is then centrifuged to separate the oil. The finished product is then kept in stainless steel tanks that are shielded from oxygen and sunlight.

It is a good source of monounsaturated fats, which helps to keep your heart healthy.

These varieties of olive oil are available for purchase: extra virgin, virgin, fino, light, and pure. 

  • Extra Virgin:

It is the best and fruitiest olive oil because it is unrefined and extracted by cold pressing. 

It comes in three colors (crystalline champagne, greenish-golden, and bright green hues) and has a strong flavor because it is only 1% acid.

Extra virgin olive oil can be used in cooking as well as for cold or finishing dishes. 

  • Virgin:

Virgin olive oil is a first-press oil as well with a pleasant flavor but a somewhat higher acidity level of between 1% and 3%.

  • Fino:

Fino is a combination of extra virgin and virgin olive oils.

  • Light:

Light olive oil is refined oil that has far less flavor than virgin versions but is lighter in color (but not in fat or calories).

When you don’t want the distinctively peppery flavor of olive oil, you can choose light-tasting olive oil because it has a neutral flavor and can be used in baking and cooking.

Therefore, if you’re in doubt and want to know can you substitute olive oil for vegetable oil in brownies, you can.

  • Pure:

Pure is frequently a blend of refined and virgin olive oils, sometimes simply referred to as “olive oil” or regarded as “normal” olive oil. 

Its flavor is neutral and dull, and its acidity is about 3%.

What Is Vegetable Oil?

Can You Use Olive Oil For Brownies As A Substitute For Vegetable Oil? 2
Vegetable Oil

The type of oil that comes from plants, fruits, seeds, and grains is called vegetable oil or vegetable fats. 

This is different from oils that come from animals, which are called animal fats. 

You’ll usually find a mix of various oils on the shelves, like canola, sunflower, palm, and others.

It is generally a popular option for cooking because it is affordable and has a neutral flavor that has no impact on the final flavor of your food. 

Vegetable oil is perfect for stir-frying foods, grilling foods, or baking goods like brownies because it has a high-medium smoke point.

You can also use substitutes for vegetable oil in case there’s none at hand.

Why Do You Use Vegetable Oil in Your Brownies?

Vegetable oil is used in brownies because of a few reasons:

  • It keeps the batter from getting lumpy.
  • It makes the brownies soft and smooth.
  • It makes the brownies extra fudgy by preventing aeration in the batter.
  • Its neutral taste allows the real flavors and taste of chocolate to dominate.

So, can olive oil be substituted for vegetable oil in brownies is a valid point to ponder given that vegetable oil has so much impact on the final taste and texture of brownies. 

Can You Use Olive Oil Instead Of Vegetable Oil In Brownies?

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Health Benefits Of Olive Oil

Can you use olive oil instead of vegetable oil for brownies is a common question, especially for those who prefer not to use butter or vegetable oil for any reason. 

The short answer is yes, but there are a few things to keep in mind. 

For starters, you won’t get the same taste if you use olive oil as a sub for vegetable oil in brownies.

Whereas vegetable oil has a neutral flavor and taste, olive oil has a distinct taste with a stronger flavor. 

In fact, olive oil can lend some bitterness to brownies and that’s alright for those who like the flavor and taste of rich, dark chocolate. 

But you can choose either a light version of olive oil instead of extra virgin olive oil to dial down the flavor.

Or, if you only have extra virgin olive oil in the pantry, try adding more cocoa powder to the brownie batter to cover the strong smell of extra virgin olive oil. 

Moreover, the health benefits are not the same.

Although brownies by definition are not the healthiest baked goods, you can make them healthy by using olive oil as vegetable oil substitutes. 

Olive oil has more monounsaturated fats than the ones found in avocados and nuts. 

These monounsaturated fats help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, thereby keeping our hearts healthy. 

As olive oil undergoes less processing and refinement, it retains its natural vitamins and minerals, which much-processed vegetable oils don’t. 

However, you can find the maximum health benefits in extra virgin olive oil as it’s the least refined and processed. 

But then you have to trade the taste and flavor with the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil as its pungent flavor will dominate your brownies. 

Since some like their brownies gooey and fudgy while others like a more cakey texture, the amount of olive oil as a replacement for vegetable oil in brownies will vary. 

To answer can you use olive oil for brownies, you can for sure and the substitution ratio is the same since both olive oil and vegetable oil have the same viscosity and consistency. 

Therefore, use a simple 1:1 ratio. 

But if you want a drier and crumbly brownie, you need to reduce the amount of olive oil and if you like your brownies really soft and fudgy, add more. 

Before adding more olive oil to the brownie batter, don’t forget that the taste will change quite a lot as you add more of it. 

Btw, if you have been splurging on olive oil, it’s time to learn if you can freeze olive oil

Oil Substitutes For Brownies

Substitute For Vegetable Oil In BrowniesSubstitution Ratio
Olive oil1:1
Canola oil1:1
Sunflower oil1:1
Avocado oil1:1
Coconut oil1:1
Mashed bananas3/4th part of mashed banana to
one part of vegetable oil

Besides olive oil, there are other vegetable oil substitutes for brownies, some of them with many health benefits and some that suit vegans better while others may not be great for your cardiovascular health. 

Before reaching for a substitute, check if your oil has gone bad.

  1. Butter

Before butter got the bad buzz due to its impact on our health, it was the preferred oil source used in baking brownies and other sweet treats. 

Butter undoubtedly gives baked brownies a decadent flavor and can turn any humble cake or cookie into a rich and indulgent experience. 

In the case of brownies, butter can aerate the flour and result in a cakey texture rather than a fudgy one, thanks to its water content.

You won’t get this effect from vegetable oil as it’s pure fat without any water content. 

So, it’s up to you if you want to use melted butter in brownies. 

You can use one part of butter to substitute for one part of vegetable oil.

  1. Margarine

Those who don’t choose butter often reach out for the closest substitute to butter – margarine. 

Margarine has a lighter flavor and won’t give you the same extent of rich taste that you can get from butter.

It will let the full blast of cocoa and chocolate flavors of brownies shine through. 

Use equal parts of margarine to replace vegetable oil in your brownie recipe. 

  1. Canola Oil In Brownies

Can you use canola oil instead of vegetable oil for brownies?

Sure you can!

Canola oil has low amounts of saturated fat, is rich in certain vitamins and essential fatty acids, and to top it all, has a neutral taste. 

That’s why if you’re thinking can you use canola oil in brownies, you should.

With a high smoking point, canola oil is great for frying, grilling, baking, and stir-frying. 

To replace vegetable oil with canola oil in baking brownies, use it in equal parts

  1. Sunflower Oil

With a nutty undertone, sunflower oil is a great substitute for vegetable oil in brownies, especially if you’re using chopped walnuts in your brownie recipe. 

The overall nutty flavor will be enhanced by using sunflower oil. 

With a high Vitamin E content, you have one more reason to use sunflower oil in brownies as an olive oil replacement. 

Use in a 1:1 ratio.

For example, if the brownie recipe calls for a quarter cup of vegetable oil, use the same amount of sunflower oil. 

  1. Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is rare and expensive and not likely to be in your pantry unless you have a particular reason to store it. 

Avocado is rich in nutrients including various vitamins and minerals that are essential for the proper functioning of our body. 

The smooth and oily texture of avocado oil transfers to brownies, making them gooey and soft in the center. 

Another plus point of avocado oil is that it has a delicate flavor and won’t spoil the natural chocolatey taste of brownies. 

To use avocado oil in brownies as a vegetable oil substitute, use it in equal parts. 

  1. Coconut Oil

Who doesn’t like the warm, nutty, natural flavor of coconut oil?

The sweet and wafting aroma of coconut oil makes it a favorite beauty product for your hair and skin, not to mention a host of health benefits you can get from eating coconut oil. 

If you use coconut oil as an alternative to vegetable oil in brownies, the brownies come with a hint of fruity coconut flavor. 

Use refined coconut oil in equal parts when baking brownies with it to get the perfect texture – not cakey but fudgy and soft.  

  1. Shortening

Shortening is a solid fat that can be made from either animal fat or vegetable fat. 

It’s the least preferred alternative to vegetable oil for baking brownies because it gives them a cakey texture as the solid fat content allows the brownies to get aerated and rise.

Before using it in your brownie batter, melt the shortening to make sure it is in equal parts to vegetable oil. 

  1. Mashed Bananas

Believe it or not, mashed bananas can replace vegetable oil in brownies. 

The rich, creamy texture will make the brownies delicious and moist.

The light fruity and sweet aroma of bananas will make your brownies ever so slightly flavorful. 

Replace one part of vegetable oil with ¾ part of mashed bananas. 

If you want brownies to be lighter, then replace one part of vegetable oil with ½ part of mashed bananas.

  1. Yogurt

Choose plain, nonfat yogurt if you want luscious, dense brownies. 

With this substitution, the brownies’ fat content will be decreased. 

Yogurt and oil can be substituted in an equal ratio, or you can mix the two in equal parts. 

Note that every two eggs and a half cup of oil in a box recipe should be swapped out with half a cup of yogurt.

Don’t use any flavored yogurt as that will change the flavor of your brownies. 

What Is The Best Oil For Brownies?

The best oil for baking brownies is vegetable oil. 

You can also use lighter versions of olive oil as it doesn’t have a strong taste and won’t overpower the chocolate flavor in your brownies. 

For the same reason, other oil substitutes for vegetable oil in brownies include avocado oil and canola oil. 

However, if brownies with a nutty flavor are what you want to achieve, go ahead and use oils with a slightly nutty flavor like coconut oil and sunflower oil. 


Can I Use Olive Oil Instead Of Vegetable Oil For Brownies?

Yes, you can use extra light olive oil instead of vegetable oil in brownies so as not to subdue the chocolate flavor of brownies.

Can I Use Canola Oil Instead Of Vegetable Oil For Brownies?

If you want to know can you use canola oil instead of vegetable oil in brownies, the answer is yes.

Which Oil Is Better For Brownies?

Any oil that has a neutral taste is good for brownies.
Options include vegetable oil, light olive oil, canola oil, and avocado oil.

What Can I Use Instead Of Oils In Brownies?

Instead of oil in brownies, you can use applesauce, yogurt, fruit puree, cornstarch mixed with water, and mashed bananas.

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