Can You Put Olive Oil in Brownies Instead of Vegetable Oil?

by Charlie
Can You Put Olive Oil in Brownies Instead of Vegetable Oil

Anyone making brownies who has suddenly discovered that they don’t have any standard vegetable oil in stock will have eyed up the bottle of olive oil and wondered whether they can use that instead, or whether it will totally ruin the recipe.

Can you put olive oil in brownies instead of vegetable oil? You can use olive oil in brownies, but you should be aware that doing so will probably change the flavor of your brownies. You are likely to be able to taste the earthy undertones of the olive oil, whereas vegetable oil does not have a distinctive taste. However, the brownies will cook as normal and should still work just fine.

Is Olive Oil Okay to Use in Brownies?

A brownie recipe that calls for vegetable oil should still work if you switch the vegetable oil for olive oil. You should keep the ratios the same to ensure that the texture of the brownies is maintained, and the olive oil should then work as a reasonable replacement for vegetable oil.

You might be wondering what the differences between these two oils are. Vegetable oil is a blend of oils from many different vegetables, rather than from just one (as olive oil is). It may not even just be vegetables, as the term can refer to oil that comes from fruits, nuts, grains, and seeds as well.

There are a few common ingredients, which include:

  • Corn oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Palm oil
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Soybean oil

All of these or a mixture of some of them may be used to create vegetable oil, and sometimes other ingredients are added too. The result is an oil that has a very neutral taste, and therefore works well in recipes like brownies, because it does not interfere with the flavor of the other ingredients.

The oil in brownies has the purpose of creating texture, rather than flavor. It makes them gooey, sticky, and satisfying, but it does not change the brownie flavor.

Of course, if you go for a strong-tasting oil like olive oil, it will start to affect the taste of the brownies, making them noticeably different from the original recipe.

Does Olive Oil Taste Good in Brownies?

Some people actually enjoy the flavor of olive oil in their brownies. It has a somewhat earthy and vaguely bitter taste, and this can go particularly well with chocolate in some instances. Olive oil is a good way to reduce the sweetness of brownies, making them a little more of a chocolatey treat, instead of a sugary one.

Many people will not enjoy the taste of olive oil in their brownies, however. It is quite different, depending on how strong your other ingredients are, and it can take a bit of getting used to – or you might simply find that you don’t like it and you don’t want to get used to it.

It is a good idea to make a small batch of brownies if you want to try including olive oil instead of vegetable oil. This will allow you to test the substitution without wasting huge amounts of ingredients if you don’t like the finished product.

Another option is to add half vegetable oil and half olive oil to the mix, so that you can get used to the flavor a bit at a time. However, you can only do this if you have the vegetable oil in the first place.

Whether olive oil tastes good in brownies or not comes down to personal preference more than anything else. The best way to find out is to give it a try and see if you enjoy it. If not, swap back to your old recipe. If you like the olive oil, start using this instead.

Do You Need to Do Anything Different to Substitute Vegetable Oil for Olive Oil in Brownies?

You should be able to cook brownies in the same way if you directly substitute the vegetable oil with olive oil. Keep the quantities and the cooking time the same, and it should all work okay.

It is possible that you will find a recipe that doesn’t work with olive oil for some reason, but in general, a basic brownie recipe should work just fine if you swap the vegetable oil out and add olive oil in.

Remember, the oil plays an important role in terms of the texture, so don’t be tempted to leave it out or reduce the quantities. The taste may change, but you don’t want to risk ruining the brownies by altering the ingredient ratios.

Why Might You Use Olive Oil in Brownies?

The most obvious reason to make this swap is if you have run out of vegetable oil, but this isn’t the only reason to try it. Another big factor is that olive oil is better for you than most vegetable oils. It won’t make brownies healthy, but it will improve them.

This is because olive oil tends to be considerably more nutritious than vegetable oil, and it is often processed without chemicals. It contains monosaturated fatty acids, which are thought to be good for you.

What Kind of Olive Oil Should You Use?

To mitigate the taste issue, try using a light olive oil. Do not choose a strong-flavored extra virgin olive oil, because this is very likely to make your brownies taste surprisingly bitter. The more refined olive oils may prove better for baking.

Don’t try to add more sugar to counteract the bitterness of olive oil; this could totally ruin your brownies. Instead, try to embrace it by enjoying the way the earthy undertones complement the chocolate flavor, and enjoy the hints of olive oil.

Final Thoughts

Olive oil is fine to use in brownies if you have run out of vegetable oil, or if you just want to access the benefits offered by its rich flavor and healthy processing. If you want to try this, it is best to reduce your batch size so that you don’t waste lots of ingredients if you find you don’t like the taste.

Don’t expect olive oil brownies to taste exactly the same as brownies made using vegetable oil – they won’t!

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