Substitute for Vegetable Oil in Brownies: 15 Healthy Options

Published Categorized as Baking, Journal Tagged ,

Brownies are the ultimate comfort dessert, and their moist interior is what makes them so incredibly addicting. Generally, brownie recipes include vegetable oil as the primary fat in brownie batter, to produce that fudgy texture we all know and adore.

Hey there! This site is reader-supported and I earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from this site.

When luck isn’t on your side, and the vegetable oil has vanished from your pantry, don’t panic, and take a peek at some of these healthier substitutes for vegetable oil, promising the same scrumptious results in any brownie recipe.

Table of Contents

Vegetable Oil And Baked Goods

Apart from brownies, there are a wide variety of baked goods (such as bread or muffins) that have vegetable oil as an essential ingredient.

Chocolate Brownie

What is Vegetable Oil?

Vegetable oil is a popular option for cooking. It doesn’t leave a dent in your pocket and provides a neutral flavor. The latter makes it so great for use in almost any recipe.

different brownie designs

Vegetable Oil Substitute Table

Take a look at the table below, outlining the different substitutes, followed by the appropriate requirements to successfully replace vegetable oil.

SubstitutesRequirement for Brownies
Margarine1 tbsp vegetable oil = 1 tbsp of margarine
Olive oil1 tbsp vegetable oil = 1 tbsp of olive oil
Canola oil1 tbsp vegetable oil = 1 tbsp of canola oil
Avocado oil1 tbsp vegetable oil = 1 tbsp of avocado oil
Sunflower oil1 tbsp vegetable oil = 1 tbsp of sunflower oil
Coconut oil1 tbsp vegetable oil = 1 tbsp of coconut oil
Mashed bananas1 tbsp vegetable oil = 3/4 mashed bananas
Butter1 tbsp vegetable oil = 1 tbsp of butter
Applesauce1 tbsp vegetable oil = 1/4 tbsp of applesauce
Fruit puree1 tbsp vegetable oil = 1 tbsp of fruit puree (reduce liquid ingredients by 1/2)
Vanilla extract1 tbsp vegetable oil = start with 1/2 tsp of vanilla, then gradually increase
Greek yogurt1 tbsp vegetable oil = 1 tbsp of yogurt
Buttermilk1 tbsp vegetable oil = 1/2 tbsp buttermilk (reduce baking time by 10 minutes, and add some water)
Cornstarch1 tbsp vegetable oil = 1 tbsp of cornstarch
Mayonnaise 1 tbsp vegetable oil = 3/4 tbsp mayonnaise
chocolate brownie

15 Healthy Vegetable Oil Substitutes for Brownies

If you’ve run out of this magical ingredient, or simply aren’t a fan, you can opt for a variety of healthy alternatives listed below.

  1. Margarine
  2. Olive oil
  3. Canola oil
  4. Avocado oil
  5. Sunflower oil
  6. Coconut oil
  7. Mashed Bananas
  8. Butter
  9. Applesauce
  10. Fruit puree
  11. Vanilla extract
  12. Greek yogurt
  13. Buttermilk
  14. Cornstarch
  15. Mayonnaise


Margarine has a mild buttery taste, that assures a sweetened, rich chocolatey flavor in your brownie recipe. This is why it is a perfect, healthy substitute for vegetable oil.

While it’s mostly enjoyed when spread on toast or crackers, it is often used in place of butter. When using margarine for baked treats such as brownies, substitute 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for 1 tablespoon of margarine, to achieve that silky chocolatey interior.

Original Blue Band Margarine, Big Size of 500 gram, From Kenya

Olive Oil

Try substituting 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in your brownie recipe instead.

Olive oil, and its types, is one of the ingredients used in vegetable oil, which is why it makes such a fantastic replacement.

Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil, First Cold Pressed, Mild and Delicate Flavor, Perfect for Sauteing and Stir-Frying, Naturally Gluten Free, Non-Allergenic, Non-GMO, 68 Fl Oz., Single Bottle

Canola Oil

Canola oil contains many health benefits. This is why canola is such a great vegetable oil substitute. With very low saturated fats and lots of nutrients, this super oil is especially amazing when added to baked goods, as it promises the enhancement of heart health.

Simply substitute 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for 1 tablespoon of canola oil in your brownie batter.

Wesson Pure Canola Oil , 1.25 Gallon

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is a welcome ingredient for a variety of meals, including pan-fried dishes and baked goods. Since it’s known for providing many health benefits, it also makes a great substitute for vegetable oil.

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

Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil, Whole30 Approved, Certified Paleo, and Keto Certified, 16.9 Fluid Ounces

Sunflower Oil

Made from sunflower seeds, sunflower oil is another ingredient used in vegetable oil. This makes it such an incredible substitute for brownies and other baked goods.

Simply add 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil in place of 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.

Safya - 100% Pure Sunflower Oil, (1 L) 33.8 Fl Oz

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is by far one of the best vegetable oil substitutes. While coconut isn’t exactly a subtle ingredient, it does provide your recipes with a comforting coconutty flavor.

Substitute 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your brownies recipe.

100% Organic Extra Virgin,Coconut Oil,84 Fl .oz,beauty aid and cooking oil

Mashed Bananas

For a unique and creamy twist to your chocolate fudgy brownies, try substituting mashed bananas for vegetable oil in your recipes.

Use ¾ of pureed bananas for every 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil used in the brownie recipe.


Butter is almost an automatic substitute for vegetable oil, especially in baked goods. When you’re craving a rich, tender, and moist brownie, you’ll need butter and lots of it.

Add a tablespoon of melted butter in place of vegetable oil when making brownies.


Applesauce is both delicious and a healthy substitute for vegetable oil in your brownies. You can whip up a fresh batch of this delicious sauce at home, or buy a jar from the supermarket.

If you’re planning to use applesauce in your brownie recipe, decrease the sugar, and substitute 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for ¾ tablespoon of applesauce.

Sanaia | Unsweetened Applesauce | USDA Certified Organic | As Seen On Shark Tank | Island-Inspired, Elevated Snack with Simple Ingredients - 4oz Cups (Pack of 18)

Fruit Puree

Use mild-flavored fruits like avocado or banana, to produce a pleasant neutral brownie, though you can experiment with anything you fancy.

To do this you’ll need to replace 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of fruit puree and decrease other liquid ingredients by half.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract is a key element in many dessert recipes. Without it, desserts would lose their glorious fragrance. Though it doesn’t contribute to the texture, it happens to make your treats taste a thousand times better.

McCormick All Natural Pure Vanilla Extract, 16 fl oz

Greek Yogurt

With a distinct tartness that seems to dance on your tongue, yogurt is assumed to clash with chocolate flavors in brownie recipes.

Replace 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of yogurt. For a healthier approach to this brownie recipe, opt for nonfat or plain yogurt.


Another creamy element to include as a potential substitution for vegetable oil is buttermilk.

When using buttermilk in your brownies, substitute 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for ½ a tablespoon of buttermilk, and reduce the baking time by 10 minutes.


Many people eat cornstarch. Surprisingly, cornstarch also happens to be an ideal substitute for vegetable oil.

You won’t be able to add cornstarch straight to the brownie mix like the other substitutes. Instead, mix some water with the cornstarch and heat it until it achieves the appropriate consistency.

Once this has cooled, pour this over the brownie mixture. Substitute 1 cup of vegetable oil for one cup of this cooked cornstarch.

Anthony's Organic Corn Starch, 2 lb, Gluten Free, Vegan & Non GMO


Mayonnaise has an incredibly creamy texture that is loaded with omega-3 fats. With the addition of mayo, your brownies will emerge creamier, and more delicious. This makes it an excellent replacement for vegetable oil.

Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise For a Creamy Condiment for Sandwiches and Simple Meals Real Mayo Gluten Free, Made With 100 percent Cage-Free Eggs 8 oz

How to Substitute Vegetable Oil in Brownies

Here’s a delicious brownie recipe, that replaces vegetable oil with butter. You can use this recipe and replace butter with any of the alternatives listed above.


  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter (to replace vegetable oil)
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Prepare an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Add water 1 cup of water to a saucepan, and heat till it’s almost simmering.
  4. Add butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium heat-safe bowl. Allow the bowl to rest over simmering water, stirring the mixture occasionally, until the butter has melted and the mixture is warm.
  5. Remove the bowl and set it aside for 3 to 5 minutes. The mixture should be warm, and not hot. Then stir in vanilla extract, and add the eggs one by one, stirring constantly.
  6. Next, add the flour and stir, then beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until you achieve the desired consistency.
  7. Bake the brownies for 20 to 25 minutes.

Healthy Oils for Salad Dressings

Oil is a huge part of our daily meals. From frying to baking and salad dressings (or salad oil), it’s almost impossible to avoid.

Here are a few oils that are best for salad dressings:

  1. Flaxseed oil
  2. Peanut oil
  3. Grapeseed oil

Vegetable Oil Substitutes – A Lot!

The numerous substitutes for vegetable oil promise a delicious bake so that you can enjoy your brownies without feeling the heavy absence of your favorite cooking oil.

Substitute For Vegetable Oil In Brownies – FAQs

What Can I Substitute for Vegetable Oil in Brownie Mix?

Some oil-based alternatives for vegetable oil in baking brownies include Margarine, olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, butter, applesauce, and more.

What Can I Substitute For 1/2 Cup of Oil in Brownies?

Replace 1/2 cup of oil with 1/2 cup applesauce or mashed bananas.

Can You Replace Vegetable Oil With Olive Oil in Brownies?

Using olive oil instead of vegetable oil will give your brownies a wonderfully fruity, and mildly bitter taste, that is best complimented with chocolate.

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating! Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *