How to... use Avocado and Coconut Oil in Baking

Avocado and coconut oil are both popular products in the food market this year but how well do they work in baking? And are they really good for you?

Image credit: measuring tablespoon and glass jar coconut cooking oil on a slate rock background

Avocados and coconut oil have been popular products in the food market this year but how well do they work in baking? 

Coconut Oil
Everyone is loving coconut oil these days and it's not just a beauty product but highly useful in the kitchen as well. So why would you want to use coconut oil for baking? Well, first off, it's vegan, secondly, it's much healthier for you than butter. Coconut oil has a lot of flavour, which just does something different than butter, bring on that melt-in-your mouth magic you were aiming for. How should you substitute coconut oil? When you are substituting it for butter, use it as a solid at room temperature. If it's oil you are substituting it for, just melt it in the microwave or on the hob but watch out it melts very quickly. What works well when using coconut oil? Coconut oil works really well in cakes, brownies and bread, particularly if you a going for a fruity or citrusy flavour. Is it really healthier than butter? It's thought of as a 'good fat' even though it is indeed, a saturated fat. As it's a plant-based saturated fat, rather than fat found in animal products, it is made readily burned as energy rather than stored as fat. It's also very high in lauric acid, which is both antiviral and great for your immune system, good news aye! What brands of coconut oil are best for baking? Coconut Merchant is a popular product as it doesn't overpower your baking flavours and the texture is beautifully smooth. Another favourite is Lucy Bee which is a Fair Trade company.
Another brilliant replacement in baking is avocado. Two fresh avocado on a napkin, vegetable Avocado is packed with Omega 3 and vitamin E, this vitamin is believed to protect you from air pollution, PMS and diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes. Avocados are delicious especially when thinly sliced on a salad or thrown in a smoothie but one more way you can use it in your diet is as a substitute for butter. How should you substitute avocados? For baking purposes you need to substitute half the amount of butter in your recipe for mashed avocado. Don't substitute the whole amount otherwise you'll be sad when you're left with flat results. If you need help calculating amounts, it's useful to remember one avocado produces about three-quarters of a cup. What works well when using avocados? Buttercream icing, cheesecakes and muffins work well when using avocados, try these Banana Muffins with Avocado. Is it really healthier than butter? Not only do avocados reduce the calories in your baking — 1/2 a cup of butter is 813 calories and the equal amount of mashed avocado is 184 — but they also produce a softer, more moist bake. This fruit is high in fat however avocados have heart-healthy monounsaturated fat in them, which can leave you with a lower LDL (bad) cholesterol level and maintain HDL (good) cholesterol, it also assists in getting rid of belly fat. This article was adapted from Pop Sugar's two features Once You Start Baking With Avocado, You May Never Go Back to Butter and Everything You Need to Know About Baking With Coconut Oil
Content continues after advertisements

More in Baking Tips & Techniques

More in Advice Hub

Click here to view our range of subscription offers!

Click here to view our range of subscription offers!