When you talk about sweet treats, a lot of that can come to your mind. There are a lot of types of cookies, cakes, various sweet dishes, and desserts. And one of the most popular is certainly the brownie.
Brownies are mysterious cookies because nobody knows for sure where they originally come from. There are a lot of theories but the most popular one is that one housewife didn’t have any baking powder and she improvised without it.
She served these improvised cookies to her guests and they were delighted. But what did she use to make those delicious cookies? Only 5 ingredients really. Those are butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and chocolate.
Nowadays, home cooks and chefs mainly use vegetable oil to make this sweet treat. With vegetable oil, you will achieve a slightly better texture. But what if you don’t have any on hand at the moment or you just want to experiment with some other ingredient like butter?
Aside from butter, there are some excellent alternatives for vegetable oil in brownies that you should certainly try. Stay tuned to find out what is the best vegetable oil substitute in brownies.
What Are The Best Vegetable Oil Substitutes In Brownies?
If your brownie recipe calls for vegetable oil but you don’t have any or you just want to make a change and try something new, here are the 8 best substitutes for vegetable oil in brownies.
As I already said in the introduction, butter was the main ingredient in brownies before vegetable oil. That is enough to say that it can serve as a great alternative to vegetable oil in your delicious brownies.
Also, butter tends to be one of the main ingredients in so many baked treats, from cakes to cookies.
But what happens when you add butter to your brownie recipe? Well, your brownies will be somewhat tougher, i.e. the butter will make their texture less airy and tender.
You will get a cookie that is a little different than what you are used to. However, by using butter instead of vegetable oil, your brownies will benefit in terms of the flavor profile. You will have brownies with a deep and rich flavor that you just won’t be able to resist.
Use butter in the same amount as the amount of vegetable oil prescribed by the recipe.
You can use both sweet cream butter and regular butter, but it has to be unsalted.
Applesauce is another ingredient with which you can successfully substitute vegetable oil. Although it is not something similar to vegetable oil or butter, it can be a great alternative.
Many people are skeptical because they fear that their brownies will have that recognizable fruity flavor of apples.
Actually, that is a false trace. By using applesauce in your brownies, you will get a nice consistency. The flavor profile will stay untouched, of course, if you don’t overdo it with the sauce.
If you use an equal amount of applesauce, there probably won’t be any problems. But if you really don’t like that fruity taste in your favorite cookie, you can always use less.
For example, you can add 3/4 cup of applesauce for 1 cup of vegetable oil. That way you will achieve a healthier option, nice consistency, and an untouched flavor profile, i.e. almost perfect finished product.
I will also add that you should always use an unsweetened version of applesauce to avoid an overly sweet taste.
I also have to emphasize that applesauce is a great egg substitute in brownies.
3. Olive Oil
And finally, there is another type of oil that can be a great vegetable oil substitute in brownies. It is the famous olive oil. I am sure that most of you didn’t think that olive oil can be a good substitute for vegetable oil in some kind of sweet treat like brownies, but it really can.
It will give a similar texture and consistency as would vegetable oil. Aside from that, this is the healthier version of oil.
Olive oil is full of healthy fats, i.e. monounsaturated fats, compared to saturated fats from vegetable oil which are not so healthy.
Olive oil is considered to be one of the healthiest oils that exist since it is full of antioxidants and healthy fats that can lower your bad cholesterol and benefit your heart health. So, you have a nice consistency and texture of your brownies and health benefits as well.
The only thing that remains undefined is the flavor profile. If you don’t want those strong fruity nuances with a bitter aftertaste, you will have to incorporate a light or extra light version of olive oil into your brownie mix.
Use the same amount of olive oil as you would use vegetable oil in the recipe when baking brownies.
4. Coconut Oil
Another very healthy oil is definitely coconut oil. Actually, it is one of the healthiest oils out there, alongside olive oil. I like it much more than olive oil because of its flavor profile, i.e. that recognizable coconut flavor as well as that sweet, nutty aroma.
Unfortunately, when baked, coconut oil will lose that nice aroma, but it will maintain a yummy coconut flavor to some extent and the brownies will benefit from the wonderful texture as well.
So, when using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil in your brownie recipe, you will achieve a nice coconut flavor, wonderful texture, and some health benefits as well. What more could you ask for?
Just take into consideration that, when substituting, you can use a 1-to-1 ratio.
If you are, like me, a really big fan of that coconut flavor, you can freely add a little more to your brownie recipe.
Finally, in some cases, you will also have to melt coconut oil in order to use it in your recipe.
5. Canola Oil
Another unexpected vegetable oil substitute in brownies is canola oil. Also known as rapeseed oil due to the fact that it is derived from rapeseed, canola oil is also a very healthy version of oil that can be used in your brownie recipe.
Although rapeseed is not recommended for eating, once refined and processed, canola oil is safe to consume and add to any recipe that requires it. It is lower in saturated fats than vegetable oil and it is higher in healthier unsaturated fats.
It is also very high in some important vitamins, as well as in one form of omega-3 fatty acid called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). ALA is extremely beneficial for heart health, cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation.
When it comes to the flavor profile, it is a perfect alternative to vegetable oil since it has a neutral flavor as well. That way, you won’t change the flavor profile of your brownies a bit.
When substituting, you can add one cup of canola oil for one cup of vegetable oil.
6. Avocado Oil
What’s up with these healthy alternatives? Avocado oil is, indeed, one very healthy option with countless health benefits due to its richness in antioxidants and healthy fats. One of the healthiest fats out there, called oleic acid, makes up almost 70% of this oil.
It is a monosaturated omega-9 acid that is extremely beneficial for your heart. Some other health benefits that this healthy oil can provide include a replacement in symptoms of arthritis, improvement of skin, enhancement of the absorption of important nutrients, etc.
As you can see, health benefits are not missing. But what about the engagement of this type of oil in the brownie mix? It does nothing but good things. It complements that sweet, earthy flavor with some buttery richness and it keeps brownies moist and tender, just like vegetable oil.
Also, it possesses a mild flavor that won’t influence the overall flavor profile of your brownies. Avocado oil has an almost neutral taste.
In order for it to work in the brownie mix, use an equal amount as the recipe suggests for vegetable oil.
7. Sunflower Oil
Here is another oil that can be a decent alternative to vegetable oil in brownies. Although it is not as healthy as some previously mentioned types of oil, it has some nutritional value and its main benefit is that it contains a high amount of vitamin E.
However, you shouldn’t overdo vitamin E, so you shouldn’t overdo it with sunflower oil as well. Another reason why you should be careful when substituting vegetable oil with this one is that it has a stronger flavor. So, if you add too much, it will be overpowering.
However, if you use it properly in your brownie recipe, sunflower oil can do wonders for your sweet treat. It will make it extra fudgy and it will give it those nutty undertones which is also a great thing.
If you have any sunflower oil on your kitchen shelf, and I am sure that you have because this oil is one of the kitchen staples, you just need to add the same amount of it into your brownie recipe as you would do with vegetable oil.
And the last option among the best vegetable oil substitutes in brownies is shortening. Shortening can be any fat that is solid at room temperature. It is mostly made out of animal fats, but in recent times, most types of shortenings are a product of vegetable oil.
From that point of view, it is not a surprise that it found its place on this list. But, you have to be aware that it is not an ideal vegetable oil substitute in brownies.
When you mix it with flour, you will have a dough that is called short because shortening mixed with flour prevents long strands of gluten. The consequence of that is a crumbly and melty texture that is not ideal when it comes to brownies.
So, if you are really out of resources, use shortening in your brownies. Melt your shortening and add an equal amount to brownies.
What Are Some Other Decent Alternatives For Vegetable Oil In Brownies?
There are some other alternatives for vegetable oil in brownies that I wouldn’t use in the first place. However, in some cases, they can serve as decent substitutes.
I will start with margarine because it is a really good choice when it comes to vegetable oil alternatives for brownies, similar to butter. But, if you ask me, I would always choose butter over margarine. The main reason is health, as it bears many health risks.
Margarine is full of additives that can be really bad for your health and body if you consume it frequently. Everything else is fine. You will have that nice mild taste similar to butter and a recognizable smooth texture that you won’t be able to resist.
If you have some margarine and you don’t mind that mentioned health factor, you can add an equal amount of margarine for a single serving of vegetable oil.
2. Mashed Bananas
If you don’t have applesauce on your sleeves, some other types of fruit purees can be a great alternative for vegetable oil in your brownies. One of the fruits perfect for that role is bananas.
They are full of creamy rich flavor and they will make your brownies perfectly moist. Bananas are also very healthy, so that’s a plus as well. If you opt for mashed bananas, use about 3/4 of the amount of vegetable oil called in the recipe.
If you want a little lighter version of your favorite sweet treat, you can use half the amount.
3. Mashed Avocado
Mashed avocado is something very similar to mashed bananas and applesauce. It will give your brownies a creamy texture with a little less moisture, but enough for a good result.
Avocados are, as I already emphasized earlier in the text, extremely healthy and from that point of view, they are the perfect solution.
The only real difference from the previous ones is that it has a very mild flavor, so mild that you won’t even notice it really.
You can freely add the same amount of mashed avocado as the amount of vegetable oil required in the recipe.
4. Greek Yogurt
Unexpectedly, yogurt tends to be a very good solution for your brownie mix if you don’t have any vegetable oil in your pantry. Although yogurt possesses a strong tartness within its flavor profile, it won’t mess up the flavor profile of your brownies.
It will make them moist and tender, just as they should be. When you choose yogurt as the solution for your brownie mix, always opt for plain yogurt.
Greek yogurt is a great solution, just make sure that you don’t use flavored versions because the taste can be overwhelming in brownies.
Use one cup of yogurt for one cup of vegetable oil, i.e. 1:1 ratio.
5. Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract goes well in almost every dessert and sweet dish. Also, it can be added to savory meals and hot beverages. It is a very versatile ingredient indeed.
I must say that it is best to add it to types of desserts that tend to be very sweet. So, when you add it to your brownies, make sure that you regulate the amount of sugar because if you add a lot of sugar together with vanilla extract, you will end up with an overly sweet treat.
But, if you add a normal amount of this amazing extract, you will end up with brownies that taste much, much better.
Buttermilk, alongside yogurt, is another dairy product that can be used as a vegetable oil substitute in brownies. Buttermilk is actually a very versatile ingredient that can be used in soups, pies, biscuits, cakes, etc. You can also marinate chicken in buttermilk.
This ingredient made from butter, milk, and some kind of acid has a little tangy flavor but it is not so overwhelming that it can spoil the flavor profile of your brownies. However, it will make your favorite sweet treat rich and fudgy.
When substituting, use half the amount of buttermilk to the amount of vegetable oil.
Cornstarch can also be a very good vegetable oil substitute in brownies, and that is one of the reasons why people use it. Also known as cornflour, cornstarch is a dry ingredient obtained from the endosperm of the kernel. It is mostly used in soups and sauces, as well as for making corn syrup.
When combined with water, cornstarch can be a great alternative to vegetable oil in brownies. It will improve the texture of your cookies and make them nice and chewy as they should be.
When substituting, use a 1:1 ratio.
Believe it or not, mayonnaise is also an option for your brownie mix when you don’t have any vegetable oil on hand. It has a creamy texture and it is full of fat, i.e. everything that your brownies need.
It won’t mess up the flavor profile of brownies as well. You only have to be careful if you plan to freeze brownies with mayonnaise because freezing mayonnaise is not a very good idea.
If you choose mayonnaise, freely use the same amount of it as the amount of vegetable oil, i.e. one cup of mayonnaise for one cup of vegetable oil.
I saved one very interesting vegetable substitute in brownies for the last. It is cauliflower. It is one very healthy vegetable that can go well in many recipes.
Of course, when I say that you can use it in your brownies instead of vegetable oil, I don’t mean that you will just cut it in pieces and put those pieces in a brownie mix.
Instead, you will have to cook it and process it until it’s smooth. Then you can add it to your brownie batter. Maybe you won’t have that recognizable flavor and texture, but you will achieve something very similar, as well as very healthy.
Make Your Brownies With The Finest Ingredients
Using the right ingredients in any recipe, whether it is for sweet or savory dishes, is one of the most important parts of the process. The same goes for our delicious brownies. Most of the time, vegetable oil is the main part of these sweet cookies.
But, if you don’t have any on your kitchen shelf, you can always opt for some alternatives that can sometimes be even better. That is why I made a list of 17 alternatives for vegetable oil.I am sure that you will find your best vegetable oil substitute in brownies that will make your favorite sweet treat even more delicious, so delicious that your taste buds won’t be able to resist it.