Substitute for oil in baking

Substitute for oil in baking. The first one will surprise you!

Oil has unique roles in baking and cooking without it can be a challenge. However, the question “what can I use to substitute oil in baking?” is often asked if you ran out of oil or is looking to healthier substitutes. So, we gathered in this article the best replacements for it.

A tablespoon of oil has around 130 calories, so if you are trying to lose weight and trying to cut your calories intake, substituting oil will be a good choice. Also, oil has almost zero vitamins or nutrients needed for your body. Another reason to replace it for better options.

Substitute For Oil In Baking

Analyze well what is the role of the oil in your recipe, mostly oil is in there to keep the moisture of the other ingredients, and choose the best option from the list below to guarantee that everything you are cooking will work out well.

1. Apple sauce

As the name suggests, this sauce made of apples can be the perfect substitution for oil when baking.

There is a wide range of ways to make this sauce and a large variety of apple types for you to choose. The apples can be peeled or unpeeled and the taste depends on your preference, since they can be sweet or more spiced. Take this in consideration of what recipe you are doing.

The great advantage of this sauce is that apples are very easy to be bought and are extremely affordable. A great option for those on a tight budget.

If oil was being used to keep the moist in the recipe, you can make the apple sauce and add some milk in it and use it in the same proportions.

Another good point to use applesauce as a replacement: it has fewer calories than oil, around 100 calories per cup.

So, if you are looking for an easy, healthy, and non-expensive option, the apple sauce will be the best one.

2. Melted Butter

Melted butter can be used as a good substitute for oil in baking when the role of the ingredient in the recipe was to keep the fluffiness of the other ingredients.  

Margarine is also an option here and they are usually melted before being added to the recipe. The proportion to the oil will be the same. You can keep the 1:1 proportion.

The disadvantage of the melted butter is that it is as caloric or even more unhealthy than the oil would be and has almost zero nutrients. So, if you are looking for a healthier eating habit this will not be a good choice, but if you ran out of oil and it is just looking for a quick replacement, the melted butter will do it.

3. Greek Yogurt

If you are looking for a healthy option to decrease your calories and fat intake and add more nutrients to the recipes, then the Greek yogurt is your best option.

This type of yogurt is lower in sugar than the other types since they remove the whey of it, leaving just the creamy and thicker yogurt with a tart taste. It contains calcium, protein, and vitamin B-12.

Just be careful when swapping the oil for it. One cup of oil equals around ¾ cup of the fat-free Greek yogurt and the texture of both are not the same, so pay attention to the other liquid ingredients in your recipe.

A watch out is that it is not as cheap as the oil and sometimes can be harder to find at any grocery stores.

4. Fruit or vegetable puree

Although applesauce is a great replacement for oil in baking, few people know that other fruits and vegetables can be turned into purees and be used in recipes too.

The flavor of the fruit or veggie you choose will be in your recipe, so choose well here. When baking something sweet go for the fruits, especially the sweeter and less bitter ones, and when baking the rest, the veggies will do it better.

Also be careful with the appearance, beets and carrots will most likely change the color of the other ingredients. Raspberry or plump puree are a go-to for your chocolate cakes, while potatoes and pumpkin will do a great job for breads.

The texture is also something to be careful about. Some of the purees will change the texture of the recipe, so the liquid ingredients need to be adjusted.

But this is a great replacement if you are trying to eat healthier and ingest more vitamins and nutrients.

5. Cornstarch

Maize starch or popularly known as cornstarch is not the first ingredient you may think when talking about oil substitutes, but it may work well for you.

The advantage of the cornstarch is its versatility, it can be easily modified and has lots of uses.

It will not add any nutritional value to your recipe, but by mixing it with water under heat it will be ready to use.

Do not recommend using the cornstarch when the recipe requires a lot of oil to function. Do this exchange when oil is used in a smaller quantity and just to add to the liquid ingredients.


Oil is largely used in cooking everywhere and it is considered by most an essential ingredient in the kitchen because it has, sometimes, a main role in a lot of recipes.

It is important to some recipes since it comes in contact with the dry ingredients and slows down the production of gluten by encapsulating the gas released by the powder and soda. So, not every ingredient can be used as a replacement and some will not work for all recipes.

Above is listed the best substitutions for oil in baking, considering the types of recipes, textures, and flavors. Most of those replacements can be used if the oil role is just to moist the other ingredients in the recipe.

You must take a detailed look into your recipe and decide the best solution when replacing the oil, taking care to see what was his role in it.

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