Best Substitute For Vegetable Oil In Cake Mix

cake batter being mixed in bowl

If you are making a cake mix that calls for vegetable oil, but you’re all out no need to run to the store. There are plenty of substitutes you can use when making a cake mix and you probably have a few of them in your pantry already.

In this article you will find what can be used in place of vegetable oil as well as how to best use them to get a moist, delicious cake.

So what are the best substitutes for vegetable oil when making a cake?

The top vegetable oil substitutes are coconut oil, butter, ghee, applesauce, banana, avocado, mayonnaise, pumpkin, sour cream, and yogurt.

Vegetable oil provides moisture to a cake as well as aiding in binding the dry ingredients together. It also helps slow down the formation of gluten which results in a light and delicious cake.

The key to selecting an alternative to vegetable oil is using an ingredient that offers the same benefits.

All the following vegetable oil replacements also work when making muffins, cupcakes, or brownies. So Pin this article Pinterest for the next time you need a great vegetable oil substitute.

Vegetable Oil Alternatives

Read on for the full list of cake mix vegetable oil substitutes. Each of these will help you bake a moist and fluffy cake no matter what cake mix you are using.

Coconut Oil

coconut oil in glass bowl

If you are looking for a great substitute for vegetable oil when making cake that just so happens to be vegan, coconut oil is your secret weapon!

Coconut oil is great for cake mix recipes, it produces a moist and fluffy cake that will leave you wondering why you ever used vegetable oil in the first place.

Coconut oil is a bit more expensive than vegetable oil, but the results are well worth it in my opinion. It is also readily available at most grocery stores.

Equivalent

1 tablespoon of coconut oil equals 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Butter

butter in mixing bowl

Butter is a classic substitute for vegetable oil in all types of recipes and it works perfectly in when making a cake. I prefer unsalted butter but if all you have is salted, that will work.

Butter produces a moist cake that is denser than when using vegetable oil. No matter what flavor cake you are making, butter is an excellent replacement.

Butter adds a deeper flavor to cake than vegetable oil. It is delicious, but not suitable for those who need a dairy free alternative.

Equivalent

1 tablespoon of butter equals 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Ghee

ghee in pastry bowl

Ghee is clarified butter, and it is another excellent vegetable oil replacement. It adds a robust flavor, and moist texture to all cake mixes. Ghee produces a particularly decedent cake and is my favorite when making chocolate cakes.

Ghee is more expensive than regular butter or vegetable oil but it is a great alternative if you need a moist and flavorful cake.

Equivalent

1 tablespoon of ghee equals 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Applesauce

applesauce in glass jar

Unsweetened applesauce is a classic oil replacement that works beautifully when baking a cake. It provides less fat than oil so your cake will not be as airy but the flavor is amazing.

I do not recommend using a sweetened applesauce as that can produce a cake that is too sweet. If your applesauce is chunky, mash it up before adding it to your cake batter.

Equivalent

1 tablespoon of applesauce equals 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Avocado

three avocados on table

Do you have a ripe avocado laying around? Well mash it up and use it in your cake recipe! Avocado add moisture and a fairly fluffy consistency to a cake making it a great substitute for vegetable oil.

It also is a great way to add some more nutrients to your cake. Use avocado in any flavor cake mix. Just mash up your avocado (sans the skin) and add it to your batter.

Equivalent

1 tablespoon of avocado equals 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Mayonnaise

bowl of mayonnaise and eggs

Some may be familiar with substituting mayonnaise for eggs, but few know that it can take the place of vegetable oil when making a cake.

Mayonnaise offers moisture and fat to a cake. Your recipe will taste great and be mouthwatering and moist.

Equivalent

1 tablespoon of mayonnaise equals 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Pumpkin

pureed pumpkin in white bowl

This is one of my favorite alternate ingredients when baking a cake. It adds a great flavor to all types of cake mix, but is my personal favorite when making a spice cake.

Pumpkin from a can or fresh works wonderfully. Just be sure your pumpkin is pureed before adding it to your recipes.

Equivalent

1 tablespoon pureed pumpkin equals 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Sour Cream

sour cream in white bowl with wooden spoon

So who doesn’t have a container of sour cream in their fridge? This kitchen staple is an exceptional vegetable oil alternative.

It provides moisture and enough fat to create a soft and delicious cake. It does have a tangy flavor that may be noticeable to some, but the sweetness of most cakes will balance it out fine.

Equivalent

1 tablespoon of sour cream equals 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Greek Yogurt

two jars of Greek yogurt on table

Similar to sour cream, Greek yogurt works well in a cake mix batter. It produces a light and moist cake and works with any flavor cake mix.

Greek yogurt has a tangy flavor similar to sour cream. So some may notice the flavor in their cake. But this is rarely an issue.

Equivalent

1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt equals 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Vegetables

bowl of mashed sweet potato

And what if you don’t have any of the above substitutes? No worries, you still have options.

You can mash up just about any vegetable and use it to replace vegetable oil. Some vegetable will need to be steamed before mashing them but if in pinch they will produce a great tasting cake.

Try cauliflower, sweet potato, or even broccoli. Go with a 1:1 ratio and make sure your mashed veggies are cool before adding them to your cake batter.

What type of cake mix can I substitute vegetable oil in?

All brands and flavors of cake mix can use the above vegetable oil substitutes. I’ve used them in the following brands, but you can use them in any type of boxed cake mix.

  • Betty Crocker
  • Gold Meal
  • Pillsbury
  • Ghirardelli
  • Duncan Hines
  • Kodiak Cakes
  • Great Value
  • Meijer
  • Krusteaz
  • Jello

Can you use olive oil instead of vegetable oil when baking a cake?

Yes, you can use olive oil when baking a cake. It provides a rich flavor and the right amount of moisture to any cake mix.

Written by Liv

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