Can You Substitute Olive Oil for Vegetable Oil in Brownies

Can You Substitute Olive Oil for Vegetable Oil in Brownies?

Both olive and vegetable oil are viable options for use in brownie baking. However, the latter is a more traditional option among the two. Other than some differences in flavor and function, the two oils are more or less the same. So can you substitute olive oil for vegetables in brownies? Straight up, yes, you can!

But there are some things you need to understand before using the two oils interchangeably. Today we’ll be discussing all those things along with some other important info on how you can make the best out of your brownies.

Vegetable Oil

The oils that we derive from plant-based sources (such as seeds) are vegetable oils. Today vegetable oils are widely used in both homes and commercial restaurants. Not to mention their wide range of variety that you can almost fine-tune for several purposes.


Chemically speaking, vegetable oils are 98% triacylglycerols (TAG). Manufacturers, employing chemical and physical extraction, extract the oil from vegetables.

Olive Oil for Vegetable Oil in Brownies

But the thing about vegetable oil is that one bottle of it isn’t extracted from the same selection of vegetables every time. In other words, proportion-wise, the composition may often vary since these oils are a product of a wide variety of vegetables and seeds.

Uses and Effect in Baking Brownies

Just like any other fats, vegetable oils play a significant role as the binding material for the ingredients.

Apart from that, they also provide the brownie with the necessary moisture for baking. Remember that too much vegetable oil will cause the brownie to turn soggy and wet, while a deficit will cause the brownie to dry up. So it’s imperative to maintain precise amounts when infusing this oil with the batter.

Olive Oil

Technically speaking, olive oil is also a sort of vegetable oil. But in the culinary market out there, olive oil is the oil that is freshly pressed from olives. This oil is most often used in restaurants frequently. Today many modern homes have big become big fans of this oil as well because of their health benefits.


More than 80% of olive is composed of oleic acid. This acid is the main taste factor due to which olive oil tastes pungent and flavorful upon cooking.

Olive Oil for Vegetable Oil in Brownies

Unlike vegetable oils, olive oil brands directly (physically) extract the oil from olives through mechanical means. Some brands will go a little further and spin them in a centrifugal spinner to separate and discard any leftover moisture.

Uses and Effect in Baking Brownies

Olive and vegetable oil tastes and performs very differently when you are using them for baking those delicious brownies. Even though that’s a no-brainer, many people mistakenly expect olive and vegetable oil to react similarly in recipes.

When you bake using olive oils, it leaves behind a more robust taste and a punchier flavor. While this is a good thing, not using it in moderation can cause the taste to deplete. But don’t let that intimidate you because, in all honesty, substituting olive oil for vegetable oil is worth it if you’re looking for something a little different.

Why You Should Consider Subbing Olive Oil for Vegetable Oil?

If you don’t have enough vegetable oil near you to cater to the needs of the recipe, you may confidently seek resort to olive oils. But that doesn’t mean that olive oils are nothing more than a back-up plan for when you run out of veggie oils.

In other words, you can switch to olive oil whenever you wish to bring a variation in your brownies. This oil is rich in flavors and packs quite a punch than other competitors out there in the market.

Olive Oil for Vegetable Oil in Brownies

It’s easily accessible and has a wide range of variations for you to choose from. Lastly, the taste and fragrance paired with that of chocolate can surely make your brownie stand out from all the generic versions.

Not to mention that olive oil is also a significantly healthier option than both butter and vegetable oil mainly because 1 tbsp of olive oil contains only 1.8 grams of saturated fat, whereas the others contain well over 7-8 grams.

How to Substitute Olive Oil for Vegetable Oil?

Vegetable and Olive oils are more or less the same in fat components; therefore, you can directly use each other interchangeably. So, for instance, if your brownie recipe requires 4 tbsp of vegetable oil, feel free to use 4 tbsp of ordinary olive oil instead.

Olive Oil for Vegetable Oil in Brownies

However, you must remember that olive oil is more potent and bolder than vegetable oil! So, check the brand and type of oil before adding it into the brownie mix. If you think your oil is too brawny for the recipe, then add exactly half the amount your recipe asks for. Suffice for the rest with vegetable oil for balance.

Things You Should Know before Bringing in the Olive Oil?

Olive oils are sourced from a single fruit. Therefore the chances of contamination (impurities) are less than most other competitors out there in the market. But there are some things that you need to bear in mind before you actually use it for baking brownies. The following section will help you to make the best out of your baking!

And olive oil has a more robust flavor than vegetable oils. So unless you want that punch in the taste bud, do not go for Extra Virgin olive oils. For baking brownies, we highly recommend using the refined version over the others because that way, you have more control over the taste.

However, just buying the refined version won’t save you from unwanted tastes. To properly be able to infuse olive oil into your brownies, you will need a good brand. Cheap brands do not refine their oil correctly. As a result, it’s not recommended to use those in baking brownies.

Be careful not to apply too much preheat onto the container where you’ll be brushing the oil. By making this mistake, you’ll leave behind a bitter aftertaste of the olive oil, which will later infuse with the brownies. This will result in your brownies to have a bitter layer on the bottom.

Use the Two Oils Interchangeably with Confidence!

So can you substitute olive oil for vegetable oil in brownies? Yes, you can as long as you remember the necessary precautions. Using the two oils interchangeably can be a little tricky, but don’t let that intimidate you into backing off. Not only will this method save you time, but it’ll also unlock quite a lot of your baking potential!

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