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Can I Substitute Coconut Oil For Vegetable Oil?

Can I Substitute Coconut Oil For Vegetable Oil?

Coconut oils and vegetable oils are two different condiments. Coconut oil contains a very unique composition of fatty acids; a high content of saturated fat lauric acid which is good for the human body and helps in weight reduction, decreasing cholesterol levels. and metabolism. On the other note, vegetable oil contains unsaturated fats which are known to produce free radicals in the body. These free radicals are the total opposite of antioxidants, so technically, vegetable oil is not a healthier option.

However, on rare occasions, you can substitute cooking oils.

So, which is which, coconut oil or vegetable oil?

Coconut Oil vs. Vegetable Oil

You can substitute coconut oil for vegetable oil. You don’t need to change the amounts when swapping coconut oil for vegetable oil. For every cup of coconut oil, use one cup of vegetable oil.

Coconut oil is an amazing replacement for butter and other oils like olive oil, canola oil, and vegetable oils when it comes to making baked goods. If you have a recipe that calls for cooking at a low temperature or without heating it up (such as salad dressings or pesto), you may want to replace the olive oil with coconut oil. You can use a ratio of 1:1 if you are replacing olive oil with vegetable oil (or another cooking oil) in your baking recipes. If the recipe calls for one cup of vegetable oil (240ml), you could substitute one cup of coconut oil, and it would still work.

When using coconut oil as a replacement for vegetable oil, keep in mind that coconut flavors may or may not go well with the other flavors. Coconut oil is best used as an alternative to vegetable oil in recipes that lend themselves well to the slight coconut taste, such as cupcakes, cakes, cookies, and brownies. The nutrient-dense oil has a smooth, rich texture and subtle flavor, making it an irresistible substitute for butter or vegetable oil in your baked goods.

Learn how to use coconut oil

While technically, you could replace butter with coconut oil in your baking since butter has a similar texture when you melt coconut oil, and both are plant-based, I would recommend against it because of the olive oil flavor profile. While avocado oil has a bit more of a distinctive taste compared to the other oils, when used in baking, that flavor does not come through as much. Almond oil has a nuttiness, so it is important only to use it as a substitute when it complements other flavors in a dish.

Ratio of Substitution

If you are stuck with substituting coconut oil, almond oil is a similar substitute that you can do, and you will still get to enjoy some of the unique, subtle flavors this oil brings. All these substitutions can be added in a 1:1 ratio to the amount of oil that is called for in the recipe, with the exception of the buttermilk.

These substitutes are preferred for spreading on bread or spreading on crackers and are frequently used interchangeably with butter, which is also a vegetable oil substitute. As an alternative to vegetable oil, butter can be melted down and then used at the same ratio — just be aware this substitute does not work well with stir-fries, because of the lower smoking temperature of the butter. Butter might not be the healthiest replacement on this list because of its high saturated fat content, but it is a staple of kitchens and easily replaces vegetable oil in savory and sweet recipes alike.

The Difference: Coconut Oil vs. Vegetable Oil

Coconut oilCoconut oil is derived from coconuts. Coconut oil is the workhorse in the kitchen, capable of doing just about everything vegetable oil can, as it has a similar neutral taste and a high smoke point
Vegetable oilVegetable oil is derived from different vegies. Vegetable oil boasts a neutral taste and a high smoke point, making it an excellent choice for various recipes
Difference b/w coconut oil and vegetable oil.

Vegetable oil boasts a neutral taste and a high smoke point (about 400-450 degrees F, according to food scientist Jessica Gavin), making it an excellent choice for various recipes. Coconut oil is the workhorse in the kitchen, capable of doing just about everything vegetable oil can, as it has a similar neutral taste and a high smoke point. Regardless of neutral taste, vegetable oils are most like coconut because all neutral flavors are plant-based and do not usually alter how the recipe tastes.

Virgin coconut oil has a pronounced coconut taste, whereas refined coconut oil, by comparison, typically has a lower taste. Aside from having a slightly lower smoke point compared to the other oils, all three alternatives have their distinctive flavors. In addition to these four oils, there are some other options that work well under specific circumstances. Your best options for a neutral flavor, which will give you the closest end flavor as your original recipe, are going to be canola, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, and avocado oils.

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Remember, this is also up to your tastes, so as with any of the other substitutes, feel free to research which oils you like the best, and which will work best with the dishes you are making. If you need a replacement oil to use when frying or sauteing, grapeseed oil will also work well for these purposes. This stuff can get quite expensive, so although it works great as a medium-fat substitute for vegetable oil for almost anything, you probably would not want to use it to deep-fry, unless you are willing to shell out the big bucks. The one drawback of using avocado oil is that avocado oil can be pretty pricey compared to coconut oil or other options, so you will not want to use it for recipes that call for large amounts of oil (like deep-frying).

A Great Alternative

The good thing about butter alternatives for baked goods is you have a little bit of flexibility, as you do not need to match a high smoke point for your oil choice (as you would when baking).

Besides brownies, other yummy baked goods such as slices of bread or muffins also sometimes call for these types of oils. Yes, vanilla extract can substitute for vegetable oil, so long as you regulate how much sugar you use, otherwise, your brownies will end up being way too sweet. You could even go in the opposite direction and replace the butter with butter if you would like a different flavor, texture, or healthier brownies. You could even swap out regular, unsweetened apple sauce for half of your vegetable oil in baked goods if you are cutting calories or fat out of your diet.

If you need vegetable oil in a baking recipe as a moisture-binding agent, apple sauce can be used instead. It may seem weird, but applesauce makes an excellent replacement for canola oil or vegetable oil when used in baking. Applesauce has lots of moisture, so it will replace coconut oil, however, there may sometimes be a bit too much moisture, and baked goods may end up being a bit spongy. It may also help to ensure that other ingredients in a recipe are at room temperature to avoid solidifying the nutrient-rich coconut oil as you combine them.

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When it comes to cooking and baking, one common ingredient that you will find in a lot of recipes is vegetable oil, which is a neutral oil made by extracting oil from seeds or parts of fruits. The vegetable oils that you will find on store shelves are typically made from high proportions of canola oil, so using canola oil instead makes complete sense.

Most butter alternatives do not mess with the aesthetics of your brownies, but fruit purees, including apple sauce, will add some color to the end product depending on what kind of fruit you are using. Some people like using olive oil for dressing, others like it for drizzles over pasta, and others find it is best used in brownies. While the all-fat-free alternative is incredible, keep in mind the absence of butterfat from oil will give you denser baked goods.

Can I use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil for pan-frying?

pan fry
Is coconut oil better for pan-frying?

Yes, you can use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil for pan-frying, especially because coconut oil has a high smoke point and can easily fry meat and sauces at high temperatures. Its sweet coconut flavor can also complement tropical dishes like stir-fry and jerk-seasoned chicken.

Can I use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil in a cake mix?

Yes, you can use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil in a cake mix, as it makes a beautiful substitute. Ensure that you substitute coconut using the 1:1 ratio. In other words, regardless of the type of fat you use in a recipe, you can replace an equal amount of coconut oil instead of vegetable oil.


Below is a table summarizing the comparison between vegetable oil and coconut oil:

Coconut OilVegetable Oil
Almost colorless.
Has a very light coconut flavor.
Produced from coconut meat.
Can be used for coating, confectionery, shortening, and more.
Rich in vitamin E, iron, and vitamin K.
Contains Saturated Fats
Has yellow in color.
Has a neutral taste with a slight hint of nuttiness.
Extracted from the Rapeseed plant.
Can be used in salad dressings, for frying, to add flavor, improve food texture.
Rich in vitamin E.Contains Omega-6 fats or polyunsaturated fats
Coconut oil vs. vegetable oil


To wrap it all up, yes, you can substitute coconut oil for vegetable oil but not on a daily basis as studies found that coconut oil is still far healthier to use than vegetable oil.

Of course, there are different varieties of coconut oil, so you better choose something that is plant-based. Coconut oil will not cause any health problems and is therefore a healthier choice.

The claims against coconut oil that it is high in saturated fats and will harm one’s health have been debunked years ago as it has not been proven.

Saturated fats are benign with regard to inflammatory effects… The influence of dietary fats on serum cholesterol has been overstated, and a physiological mechanism for saturated fats causing heart disease is still missing. – Lawrence G. Adv. Nutr. 2013.