HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Replace Oil in Baking

  • i


I would like to know if I can replace 1/2 of called oil amount with milk instead of applesauce in order to still keep the moist and muffin texture of original recipe. Thanks a lot!!

Here is the original recipe:

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
2/3 cup sunflower seed oil
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If I understand you correctly, you know you can replace half the oil with applesauce, and you want to know if you can use milk instead. I think the answer would be "no." Oil makes baked goods moist because it doesn't evaporate during baking. When you use applesauce (or prunes) the moisture also doesn't evaporate (as much) because it's bound to the fruit fiber. Milk will just evaporate, although if you use whole milk, it will leave behind some fat.

    1. if you don't want to use applesauce, and are looking to dairy instead, try (non-fat) plain yogurt. milk will thin the batter, and it won't set up properly. yogurt will allow you to reduce the fat and retain the moisture without watering it down.

      1. Flax seed can be used as a substitute for fat. I usually replace half the fat with flax (the ratio is 3-to-1 which seems like a horrifying amount of flax but it works). Be aware that it will add a nutty flavor and will produce a darker product, so think about your flavor profile and desired looks before using flax. I love it in muffins and quickbreads.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rouxmaker

          Doesn't flax seed have a lot of fat?

        2. How about upping the mashed banana in place of the oil? Altho any fruit sauce will work. A pear & banana muffin sounds wonderful. Pear sauce can be made on your stovetop very easily from fresh pears and a drop of water or honey. Good luck!

          1. Buttermilk is actually another great oil substitute, I've found. I've heard of ground flax seed mixed with water for an egg substitute...haven't tried it yet but am curious about it!

            1. I usually use unsweetened applesauce- store brands are fine

              10 Replies
              1. re: cheesecake17

                Thank you very much for everybody's response!!

                Is Buttermilk different from regular milk? If not, does the package say it is buttermilk??

                I like muffins cake-y and moist, does flax change that texture?

                If upping mashed banana, does ration 1:1 work?

                1. re: ijeny

                  I think you will loose the cake-y moist texture if you try to replace the oil.

                  I make a pumpkin bread that does not need much, if any, oil, but I'm aiming for a hearty and moist texture, more like a good bran muffin than cake. The proportions I use (derived from a Joy of Cooking recipe) are
                  1 1/2c of flour (mixed grains in my case, including oat bran and ground nuts)
                  2 eggs
                  1c puree

                  1. re: paulj

                    Hi Paulj,

                    Your pumpkin bread recipe sounds what I have been looking for, much less oil, do you mind sharing? Thank you!! :))

                  2. re: ijeny

                    ijeny, in the recipe you site above I would sub the equiv. measure of ripe bananas, mashed, for the amount of banana & oil component.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      Hi Hill J,

                      Thank you for your suggestion. I might try to use 1 1/2 cups + 2/3 cup of mashed bananas to see how it goes. :))

                      1. re: ijeny

                        ijeny, if you do give the x-tra mash a try and find the batter still a bit jiggly at bakes-end, leave it in the oven, turned off, up to 15 mins longer, checking along the way. How ripe a banana is that day can alter the overall liquid content.

                    2. re: ijeny

                      You'll find buttermilk in the dairy section, near the regular milk. It's different than regular milk- it's cultured- like yogurt. It's got a tangy sort of flavor to it and it's avail lowfat and fatfree.

                      If you don't have buttermilk, a quick sub is 1 cup of milk (or soymilk, ricemilk, almondmilk, whatever) mixed with a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 5 or 10 min (while you prepare other ingredients) and it'll get clumpy. The clumps are what you want. Then just add it into the batter!

                      1. re: cheesecake17

                        Also, buttermilk can be frozen and thawed for future baking. It separates but just shake it well before measuring. Powdered buttermilk is sold in canisters and boxes of packets in the baking supplies aisle (Sago is one brand). You mix a packet into your dry ingredients and add a cup of water to the liquid ingredients.

                        1. re: greygarious

                          I've frozen buttermilk before and it's worked well. Sometimes though, I want a parve (nondairy) dessert, so I use soymilk with a bit of lemon juice.

                          1. re: cheesecake17

                            Keep in mind that the OPs recipe does not have any baking soda - other than that in baking powder. Normally recipes that use buttermilk also use the soda.

                            My pumpkin bread recipe has both the powder and soda, but no buttermilk. However it does have a generous amount of molasses. And the pumpkin puree might also be mildly acidic. While I have varied the amount of oil, and the amount of molasses, I have not played with the baking powder and soda quantities.

                  3. In another thread you said you were a vegan -- so you're using eggs and want to use milk?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      I want to make this for this coming Friday Boss's day pot lot party. :)

                    2. That recipe has so much mashed banana in it already that the oil is largely overkill... IMO you could probably cut the oil back to 1/4 cup and not notice a difference in the finished product. There are only two cups of flour in the recipe so it's not going to make a huge quantity. Add an extra egg if they seem a little dry.

                      I made delicious chocolate banana muffins using 1 stick of butter, a couple of bananas, 3 eggs and 4 cups of flour and they came out perfectly moist.