So you're about to make some brownies but realize you have no vegetable oil or canola oil. Yes, you can use olive oil in baking. Find out our Test Kitchen's must-have tips and know-how for substituting olive oil in baking recipes. Plus, get our favorite olive oil cake recipes.
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If you have a bottle of olive oil in the pantry right now, it's probably reserved for salad dressing or coating your pan for stir-frys. Since it has a stronger flavor (almost grassy or fruity) than other cooking oils, it's true olive oil is usually reserved for savory dishes. But what if you run out of vegetable oil and are craving brownies? Instead of running to the store, the good news is you can bake with olive oil just like you would other cooking oils. Fats and oils in quick breads, cakes, and cookies are necessary to achieve the delicious texture of your baked goods so it's important to substitute them properly. Here are some things to note before you start baking with olive oil.

Credit: Karla Conrad
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Baking with Olive Oil

If substituting olive oil for vegetable oil (or another cooking oil) in your baking recipe, you can use a 1 to 1 ratio. Because of olive oil's distinct flavor, it might affect the flavor of the baked product. Any olive oil is fine, but try using one made with Aberquina olives ($8, Target) or a bottle labeled as "mild" olive oil for a lighter flavor. You can also try using half olive oil and half vegetable/canola oil if you're just running low on one of the oils. Or, if you're trying to keep in the healthier line of fats for cooking, avocado oil can also meet your baking needs.

Not convinced baking with olive oil is for you? We've got some delicious cake recipes that actually call for olive oil. The strong flavor of olive oil actually pairs great with citrus. Try our lemon olive oil cake or grapefruit olive oil cake. Or if you've got some zucchini left from your summer harvest, give this fancy layered olive oil cake a go.

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Comments (1)

Better Homes & Gardens Member
February 23, 2021
I did this because I was baking something and ran out of Canola. I've never gone back. Olive oil doesn't seem to add any additional flavor but it makes baked items noticeably more moist.