10 Best Vegetable Oil Substitutes for Brownies

Brownies are the perfect dessert to have after a meal for any given age category. They’re little squares of delight made from chocolate.

Depending on the density of the brownie, they can be fudgy or cakey. Sometimes, you can also find nuts, frosting, or chocolate chips filling.

But here’s the thing, most people are afraid to indulge in brownies because of the use of vegetable oil. Most people are not so keen on using this oil because of the health issues it can cause in the long run.

So, what are the best vegetable oil substitutes for brownies?

Substitutes for vegetable oil include oil, butter, yogurt, olive oil, applesauce, sunflower oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, cornstarch, and mashed bananas.

Read on to know more about each one of them! 

Best Vegetable Oil Substitutes for Brownies

Brownies are easy to bake, and they are very adaptable when it comes to the ingredients used. If you’re not a fan of using vegetable oil or if you don’t have it at hand, here are some other things you can use instead and bake the perfect brownies.

1. Canola oil

Canola oil

Canola oil is one of the best substitutes for vegetable oil because of the many health benefits. It has very low saturated fats and a lot of nutrients that make it great for enhancing heart health.

This oil is neutral in taste. Meaning, there won’t be much of a difference in the taste of the brownie. In fact, most vegetable oils on the market have a bit of canola which makes their nutritional information almost similar.

Large amounts of canola can alter the taste, so use it in a 1:1 ratio. Simply mix the oil and cocoa powder to make the batter.

2. Butter

Unsalted Butter

Butter is the ingredient that comes to mind immediately when we try to think of substitutes for any oil. Although it might not be the healthiest option, it is widely available.

Substituting butter for vegetable oil will add a buttery flavor to the brownie. It will make the brownie tender, rich, and moist. Other than that, they will taste delicious.

Butter should be used to replace vegetable oil in a 1:1 ratio, i.e., replace 1 cup of oil with 1 cup of melted butter.

Make sure to melt the butter in the oven and let it cool at room temperature before mixing it in the batter. Also, bake your brownie 2 minutes longer than usual to retain its flavor and texture. 

3. Yogurt


While yogurt may not be the best alternative for someone who is lactose intolerant or vegan, it is the best alternative for one who wants to reduce their calorie intake.

Yogurt is also perfect for calcium and protein consumption. It is better to use plain yogurt instead of a flavored one. Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting yogurt for oil in brownies. You can also substitute part of the oil or all of it in equal portions.

Yogurt will lower the fat content of the brownie.

4. Olive oil

Olive oil

Olive oil too is used in vegetable oil. So it only makes sense to replace vegetable oil with olive oil, especially when the latter is the healthier option. It is extracted through natural methods and has a lot of good fatty acids.

It also has numerous antioxidants that help in fighting certain diseases. That being said, it should be noted that olive oil has fewer calories than vegetable oil.

Olive oil will make the brownies lighter. And it is not a hard ingredient to find since it is available in most households. Use light or extra light virgin oil. Otherwise, you will change the taste of the brownie.

Substitute one cup of olive oil for one cup of vegetable oil to maintain the ratio of 1:1.

5. Applesauce


Applesauce is a very adaptable ingredient that can replace different oils, including vegetable oil. But you must know that using applesauce might give your brownie a fruity flavor.

Many people out there might actually like this fruitiness, but you might not be one of them.

Use unsweetened instead of sweetened applesauce to reduce the sweet taste of the meal. Moreover, it is a perfect alternative to cut down your calorie intake since it does not have much fat content. It also has health benefits since it is made from apples.

To substitute applesauce with vegetable oil, replace 1 cup of vegetable oil with ¾ cup of applesauce. Also, make sure to slightly reduce the amount of sugar if you’re using sweetened applesauce to make the sweetness of the brownie proportionate.

6. Sunflower oil

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is also one of the ingredients used in vegetable oil. Hence, it is a great alternative. Like canola, sunflower oil has a neutral flavor too. It is made from pressing sunflower seeds and is high in Vitamin E.

It is better to use sunflower oil with caution as it has a more robust flavor than vegetable oil. Sunflower oil can be used as an alternative to vegetable oil in a 1:1 ratio, i.e., one cup of sunflower oil can replace one cup of vegetable oil.

7. Avocado oil

Avocado oil

Avocado oil is made from pressing avocado pulp. It has a subtle flavor and won’t interfere with the taste of the brownies. But there are chances of your brownie becoming creamy and buttery in texture.

Note that avocado oil is considerably expensive. However, it is one of the best substitutes to enrich the taste and flavor of your brownie.

When substituting avocado oil for vegetable oil, use a 1:1 ratio, i.e., 1 cup of avocado oil for 1 cup of vegetable oil.

8. Coconut oil

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is extracted by boiling coconut milk, where the coconut milk evaporates and leaves behind the oil.

The flavor of coconut oil is not quite subtle. However, it does give brownies a unique coconut flavor. It is also vegan-friendly and comes in solid form, so ensure to melt it before measuring.

Substitute coconut oil for vegetable oil in a 1:1 ratio, i.e., 1 cup of coconut oil for 1 cup of vegetable oil. If the flavor is too strong, add some vanilla extract to balance it out.

9. Cornstarch


Cornstarch is not something people would think of when it comes to alternatives to vegetable oils, but surprisingly it works well as any other substitute for vegetable oil.

You can’t add cornstarch right into the mix like the other alternatives. Instead, you should mix it in water and heat it until it reaches the necessary consistency. After cooling it down, pour it into the brownie mixture. Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting cornstarch for oil.

Using cornstarch is not going to bring any changes to the flavor of your brownies.

10. Mashed bananas

Mashed Bananas

If you want to go over the wild side and not mind your brownie tasting a little different, mashed bananas are one of the best alternatives.

You should be careful not to use this alternative if your recipe is already including banana as this would make your brownie soggy. Use ¾ of the banana for the required amount of vegetable oil.

If you want the brownie to be lighter, only substitute half of the banana for vegetable oil. 

Related Questions 

What can I use instead of vegetable oil for brownies?

There are many alternatives you can use instead of vegetable oil when making brownies. Some of them are canola oil, coconut oil, butter, applesauce, yogurt, and more. These alternatives are also relatively healthier compared to vegetable oil.

What can I substitute for 1/2 cup of oil in brownies?

You can substitute ½ cup of oil with ¼ cup of yogurt or ¼ cup of buttermilk. Most alternatives mentioned in this article require a 1:1 ratio when substituting for vegetable oil, especially while using the oil alternatives.

Can I use olive oil instead of vegetable oil for brownies?

Yes, you can most definitely replace olive oil with vegetable oil. Olive is one of the ingredients in vegetable oil, so you can replace it in a 1:1 ratio, and there wouldn’t be any change in the flavor of your brownie. 

How much is 1/2 cup vegetable oil to butter?

When making brownies, the ratio for replacing vegetable oil is 1:1. Therefore, it would be ½ cup of melted butter.

Vegetable Oil to Butter Conversion

Vegetable Oil Butter 
¾ Teaspoon 1 Teaspoon
2-¼ Teaspoons 1 Tablespoon
1-½ Tablespoons 2 Tablespoons
3 Tablespoons ¼ Cup – ½ Stick
¼ Cup + 2 Tablespoons ½ Cup – 1 Stick
½ Cup ⅔ Cup
½ Cup + 1 Tablespoons ¾ Cup
¾ Cup 1 Cup – 2 Sticks
1-½ Cups 2 Cups – 4 Sticks
Is there a substitute for oil in brownies?

If you don’t want to use oil in your brownies, you can opt for the following;

  • Apple Sauce
  • Cornstarch
  • Butter
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed bananas.

These ingredients might sweeten your brownies, but they are still good alternatives for oil. 

1 comment
  1. I have the Pillsbury fudge brownie box which calls for 2/3 cup oil 1/4 cup water & 2 eggs
    can I sub out the oil and the eggs? I read that you can sub 1/4 cup kefir for 1eggs which I would like to use but can I sub out the oil for a banana? if so how much.
    thank you very much

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