Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Dec 22, 2007 09:33 AM

Would you use butter instead of canola oil here?

I'm about to make a lovely sounding recipe for chai gingerbread cupcakes w/coconut frosting. But the cupcake recipe calls for 1/3 c. of canola oil. Is there any reason I wouldn't use butter instead? Will it affect the texture dramatically? There is buttermilk in the recipe as the liquid.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've substituted butter w/out problems sometimes and I've done it and had dense cakes/quick breads. Could you post the recipe and we can see? Or, post it because it sounds great, too. Thanks!

    1. Be careful if it's salted butter... :-}

      1. as chowser said, it may result in denser cake, which, depending on your preference, isn't always a bad thing. and tay made a very important point too...make sure it's unsalted butter!

        1. oooooh! they sound yummy! I would go for the canola oil as the icing sounds rich but delish. As stated, the butter will be ok, but result in a denser, richer cake, which wouldnt be a bad thing ;o) But, I'm thinking of overall mouthfeel with icing/cupcake combined.

          There's buttermilk in the recipe, which will make a moist texture, so I don't think you would need the butter. Recipe Puuuuleeeease!!

          1. Thanks for the replies! So it seems like the butter will make a denser cupcake and the canola will make a lighter/moister cupcake. I think I'll try the recipe as stated and then if I like the flavor enough, I'll make again with butter. I'm making it tomorrow and will report back!

            The recipe is from the holiday edition of the LCBO (liquor control board of Ontario) magazine, Food and Drink. Here's the paraphrased recipe:

            For the cupcakes:
            2 c. + 2 T. pastry flour (500ml + 25ml)
            1 c. sugar (250ml)
            1/2 c. golden brown sugar, packed (125ml)
            1 T. baking powder (25ml)
            1 t. fine salt (5ml)
            1/2 t. ground cinnamon (2ml)
            1/2 t. ground cardamom (2ml)
            1/4 t. ground allspice (1ml)
            1/4 t. ground black pepper (1ml)
            1/3 c. canola oil (75ml)
            3/4 c. buttermilk (175ml)
            1 T. fancy molasses (15ml)
            1.5 t. vanilla extract (7ml)
            2 large eggs, separated

            For the frosting:
            1/4 c. unsalted butter, room temp (50ml)
            6 T. cream of coconut (e.g., Coco Lopez) (90ml)
            3.5 c. icing sugar, sifted (875ml)
            1 t vanilla extract (5ml)
            1.2 t. coconut extract (optional) (2ml)

            Preheat oven to 375F/190C

            Sift together flour, 1/2 c. sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and all spices. Make a well in the mixture and add liquids (oil, buttermilk, molasses, vanilla). Beat 1 minute. Add egg yolks. Beat another minute.

            Clean beaters. In another bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add the other 1/2 c. sugar gradually. Whip to stiff peak stage. Fold whites into batter. Spoon into muffin tins, lined with paper cups). Bake for 15 - 18 minutes. Cupcakes should spring back when pressed. Cool.

            For frosting:
            Whip butter until fluffy. Add cream of coconut and powdered sugar, beat on low until smooth. Mix in vanilla and coconut extract, if using. Thin or thicken frosting with more cream of coconut or more sugar, respectively.

            The magazine garnished the cupcakes with shaved slices of coconut, tossed in sugar and baked for 10 mins at 350F/180C. They look beautiful!