Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jul 20, 2013 03:54 PM

Ratio to sub coconut oil for butter?

I want to sub coconut oil for the butter in my brownie recipe. To date I've never used the oil for baking but I have eaten a lot of it mixed into my overnight oats among other things. My brownie recipe calls for 1 stick of butter - 1/2 a cup. Do I have to make any adjustment to the amount of coconut oil I use? Thank you!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. No adjustments necessary. Chocolate & coconut sounds really good. :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: letsindulge

      1:1. If you don't want any coconut flavor use refined oil though unrefined supposedly is more healthful.

    2. Some say it is an equal sub, one for one, others say to use a little less and add a bit of water.

      9 Replies
      1. re: wyogal

        I've been subbing coconut oil for butter 1:1 in baking for several years now.

        1. re: wyogal

          I am of the sub 80% coconut oil, 20% water. I am often subbing other ingredients, and this keeps the fat ratio close to what is intended.

          1. re: maxie

            I used a 1:1 ratio in a gluten-free brownie recipe (1/2 c coconut oil to replace 1/2 c butter). It was pretty disgusting and gooey. Took a lot longer to bake and I just decided to take it out of the oven because I had added more than 10 minutes to the baking time. Coconut oil has very different properties when it is a large percentage of the recipe. So I agree that because butter has water in it, and milk solids also, it's very different than using such a slick oil like coconut. Not sure what the ideal replacement is, especially in gluten-free recipes.

            1. re: JacksMommy

              I'm sorry for your results. I've been subbing coconut oil (virgin) for butter in my gluten free recipes recently and have been very happy. Did you use a refined oil or was it virgin? Have you made this brownie recipe before?

              1. re: sherrib

                It was virgin organic. I used Annalise Roberts' recipe for brownies (baking classics book). Have you used this recipe? I've made brownies from scratch before, but not this recipe and not gluten free.

                1. re: JacksMommy

                  The coconut oil isn't the reason they didn't come out well.....

                    1. re: JacksMommy

                      Gluten free brownies have that tendency to be gooey and to take longer than expected. It's definitely NOT because of the coconut oil. I don't know what went wrong as I am not familiar with that recipe.

              2. re: JacksMommy

                Gluten free flour alternatives (rice flours, potato, tapioca starches) don't absorb fat nearly as well as wheat flour does. Definitely need to cut the fat down and add water (if the GF recipe calls for butter, and butter is typically 82% fat 18% water (maybe 80% in US), use that) . Be sure to let the dough rest before cooking (30 minutes should help) to help hydrate the starches. ATK's GF cookbook is full of useful tips (and they have an amazing brownie recipe).

          2. I sub it one for one in brownies (a recommendation by greygarious on this board,) and it's very very good. Its a big hit!

            1. I assume the adding water camp is doing so in consideration of the fact that butter contains a small amount of water which will evaporate in baking. Oil contains no water, whether it's coconut oil or vegetable oil or any other oil. I haven't noticed recipes which give options for either butter or oil calling for different amounts. In some cases that water is important - such as in flaky pastry, where the puffing is created by steam pressure as it escapes. In brownies and basic cakes, that's not an important issue.

              1. THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE! I will do the 1:1 and will be using my usual unrefined. Definitely don't mind a touch of coconut flavor, the same as everything I use it in!