Can I Use Olive Oil for Baking? Our Test Kitchen Has the Answers

Learn our must-have tips for substituting olive oil in baking recipes to score the same texture and flavor you love.

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-fries. 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 still make those brownies by baking 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.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Karla Conrad

Baking with Olive Oil

If substituting olive oil for vegetable oil (or another cooking oil) in your baking recipe, you can use a 1:1 ratio. Because of olive oil's distinct flavor, it might affect the flavor of the baked product.

Best Olive Oils for Baking

Any olive oil is fine, we find the best olive oil to use in baking is made with Aberquina olives ($16, Target). This type of olive oil will come labeled as "mild" olive oil, which allows for a light, mild flavor rather than the stronger extra virgin olive oil on the shelves. If you're not ready to dive right into baking with just olive oil, you can also try using a combination of olive oil and vegetable oil or canola oil. Knowing this works as an equal substitute will help if you're running low on one of the oils. It's also beneficial if you're trying to keep in the healthier line of fats (aka monosaturated fat) for cooking. avocado oil can also meet your baking needs.

Not convinced baking with olive oil is actually good? Our Test Kitchen has some delicious cake recipes that have olive oil in the mix. The strong flavor of olive oil actually pairs great with citrus, which is why so many baking recipes with olive oil have it. 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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