Are you making brownies but you’re all out of oil? No need to worry! Whether you are using a brownie mix or baking them from scratch, there are a number of substitutes you can use to bake brownies.
Oil is called for in brownies because it adds moisture as well as aiding in binding together your other ingredients.
The texture of your brownies depends on oil, so when you are all out, it’s important to use a replacement ingredient that produces a similar texture and flavor.
So what are the best substitutes for oil when making brownies?
The top oil alternatives are butter, ghee, margarine, shortening, lard, pumpkin puree, and mashed banana.
Each of these ingredients will produce tasty brownies with a great texture. Make sure to read on to learn how to use each of them in your particular recipe.
Related: Egg alternatives for brownies
Oil Alternatives for Baking Brownies
Most boxed brownie mixes, as well homemade recipes, call for vegetable oil. It’s use to bind your other ingredients together while creating a moist texture.
Luckily there are a number of suitable substitutes that provide a similar level of moisture that you can use in place of oil.
Many of these ingredients are kitchen staples, so you likely have at least one of them on hand. You will also find a couple vegan friendly and dairy free oil substitutes that can be used to make any type of brownie.
Related: How to freeze brownies
This kitchen staple is a great all around substitute for vegetable oil, and can be used when making all types of brownies.
Melt your butter before adding it to the rest of your ingredients, then continue your recipe without any other changes.
Butter will bind our other ingredients together while providing the moisture you need.
Related: How to soften hard brownies
Equivalent1 tablespoon of butter equals 1 tablespoon of oil
Ghee is a clarified butter that is another excellent oil replacement. Use it like you would regular butter, by melting it before adding it to your other ingredients.
Ghee has a stronger flavor than oil or regular butter, but it works well in most brownie recipes.
Related: Ghee alternatives
Equivalent1 tablespoon of ghee equals 1 tablespoon of butter
While I don’t use margarine often in my kitchen, it’s stocked in many kitchens and can be used instead of oil if you have it on hand.
Margarine will produce a moist texture while allowing you to bind your other ingredients together. Melt you margarine before adding it to your other ingredients. No other recipe changes are needed.
Equivalent1 tablespoon of margarine equals 1 tablespoon of oil
Vegetable shortening will produce results that are quite similar to brownies made with oil. Any type of shortening can be used, but Crisco is probably the most popular.
You can use butter flavored shortening, but I prefer unflavored. Just melt your shortening before mixing it with the rest of your brownie ingredients.
Related: Baking with shortening
Equivalent1 tablespoon of shortening equals 1 tablespoon of oil
Believe it or not, lard is a great oil substitute for baking. And it works in any type of brownie recipe.
Lard provides the moisture needed for great tasting brownies while being a great binder. Use room temperature lard so that it is easier to mix in.
Related: Replacements for lard
Equivalent1 tablespoon of lard equals 1 tablespoon of oil
If you are looking for a vegan friendly oil substitute, then pumpkin puree is a great choice. Pumpkin puree produces brownies with a moist, dense texture.
And as long as pumpkin pairs well with the other flavors in your recipe, no other changes are needed.
Related: Pumpkin puree alternatives
Equivalent1/4 cup of pumpkin puree equals 1 tablespoon of oil
Another great option for those looking for a vegan friendly oil substitute is mashed banana. This will produce a moist, chewy texture, and banana pairs well with so many types of brownies.
Make sure to use ripe banana and to thoroughly mash them before adding to the rest of your ingredients.
Related: Flavors that pair well with banana
Equivalent1/4 cup of mashed banana equals 1 tablespoon of oil
Oil Replacements in Brownies FAQ
What can you substitute for 1/2 cup of oil in brownies?
When making brownies that call for a half cup of oil, use a half cup of melted butter, ghee, or shortening. Make sure you melt it before adding it to the rest of your ingredients. Then make your recipe without any other changes.
Can yogurt be used instead of oil when making brownies?
Yes, yogurt can be used instead of oil when baking brownies. Use three quarters of a cup of yogurt for each cup of oil your recipe calls for.
Use unflavored yogurt, and either regular or Greek yogurt will work.
Can you use applesauce instead of oil?
Yes, unflavored applesauce can be used in place of oil. It will provide enough moisture, but your brownies will be flatter and denser when using applesauce.
Use 3/4 cup of unflavored applesauce for each cup of oil your recipe calls for.
Can coconut oil be substituted for vegetable oil?
Yes, coconut oil can be used instead of vegetable oil at a 1:1 ratio. Coconut oil will add coconut flavor to your brownies, and this works particularly well when making chocolate brownies.