Butter is well-known as the pinnacle fat of baking. There’s no denying the sheer deliciousness of butter and everything it accompanies, but we believe that oil can create an equally delicious baked good (in most cases). Baking with an oil in place of butter makes for a cake that will have a more even crumb and last longer in the refrigerator by maintaining its moisture. Refined avocado oil is a great option for baking cakes because it has a neutral flavor that won’t interfere with the other flavors in the cake. In addition, refined avocado oil has a much lower content of saturated fat than butter which makes it a more heart and gut healthy alternative.
Since part of the appeal of baking with butter is its flavor, it tends to work better than oil in cakes with mild flavors such as vanilla, white, or yellow cakes. Refined avocado oil is best used in cakes that contain ingredients with stronger flavors such as:
- Chocolate Cake
- Coconut Cake
- Lemon Cake
- Carrot Cake
- Strawberry Cake
Tips and Tricks for Baking a Cake with Oil
- Using the whisking method
Cakes made with butter generally employ two types of mixing methods: creaming or reverse creaming. In short, these describe the order that the butter and other wet ingredients are mixed in with the dry ingredients. When using avocado oil in place of butter, it’s important to ensure that air is properly incorporated into the batter to create a crumb that isn’t too dense. The only way to do so without butter is to beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is thick enough to make an impression in (the whisking method). Gently folding the dry ingredients into this egg mixture will ensure that there is enough gluten activation to support your cake but not too much that it will become chewy and bread-like.
2. Reducing the amount of oil used
For some, a 1:1 substitution of avocado oil to butter should work just fine. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, you can simply substitute 1 cup of oil. If you find that your cakes are too oily or wet for your liking, you could instead use ¾ the amount of oil that you would butter.
3. Storing your cake in the refrigerator
Keeping your cake in the refrigerator is often advised against because butter-based cakes will harden and easily lose their moisture. When you keep these cakes at room temperature, however, they tend to expire much quicker. Since oil won’t be so quick to harden (especially in a cake), your oil-based cakes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week without compromising their texture or expiring.