The Baking Power of Coconut Oil

By: Jessica Riggs

Baking can be a little tricky, depending on what you are making, but it can also be a great creative outlet. You never know, trying new and different ingredients can lead to something deliciously wonderful! Tired of using butter? Try coconut oil instead! Keep in mind, though, that both butter and coconut do contain saturated fat and are considered “solid” fats. For baked goods that require solid fats, either choice will work, it really just depends on the flavor you desire. Coconut oil will lend a light, slightly sweet flavor versus butter’s, well…, buttery flavor!

Here are some tips to keep in mind while experimenting with coconut oil in baking:

1. Coconut oil contains less water than butter, so to replace butter with coconut oil in a recipe, do one of the following:

  • Add ½-1 teaspoon of water per ½ cup coconut oil.
  • Reduce the amount of coconut oil by 25%. So, if a recipe calls for ¼ cup of butter, use 3 tablespoons of coconut oil. Quick Tip: ¼ cup = 4 Tablespoons

2. Coconut oil is solid below 76˚F, and liquid above that temperature. Whether the oil is solid or liquid will affect your baking.

  • Melting coconut oil will make it easier to use in cakes, brownies and cookies. Just measure out the amount you need first, and then put it in your oven (in an oven-safe dish) while it’s warming up.
  • It’s best to use coconut oil in its solid state in crumbles, breads, and pastries.

3. Since coconut oil is a little sweeter, you may also be able to reduce the amount of sugar you put in your baked good! Try using ¾ of the called-for amount.

Happy Baking!