Can You Use Olive Oil in Brownies?

You are mixing together brownies and realize that you are completely out of vegetable oil. Not only that, but the only other oil you have in your pantry is olive oil. So, can you substitute olive oil in brownies? Find out in our quick guide.

Can You Use Olive Oil in Brownies?

Most brownie recipes call for some kind of oil — usually vegetable oil or canola oil. This oil acts as the primary fat in brownie batter, giving it that delicious, fudgy texture we all know and love. When you are out of the specific oil the recipe calls for, you can use another oil to substitute for it — and that includes olive oil.

Note that while some brownie recipes do call for melted butter instead of oil, the butter can aerate the batter, altering the texture of the brownies and making them cakey rather than fudgy. So, while you can substitute butter for oil and vice versa, remember that it might alter the texture.

Learn more about butter vs olive oil here.

Pictured: the duo

Olive oil is an easy substitute for brownies because it is the same density as other oils, so you do not have to change the measurements or do any conversions, as you would if you were to substitute in oil. However, adding olive oil can change the taste of the brownies. Most baking oils such as vegetable oil and canola oil have a neutral or nonexistent taste, whereas olive oil has a peppery, grassy taste that can affect the flavor of the brownies. Use olive oils that are lighter and smoother in flavor, or opt for infused olive oils with flavors that pair well with chocolate, like chili or basil for a more complex twist.

Browse Our Healthy Olive Oils

Another factor to consider is the smoke point of oils. While extra virgin olive oil has a similar smoke point to vegetable oil and canola oil, lower quality olive oil often has a lower smoke point. This means that the edges of the brownie might get crispy faster than the recipe’s cooking time. Either choose an extra virgin olive oil or keep a close eye on the oven so the top of the brownies do not overbake; you may need to put some foil over it part way through cooking. Get more tips for baking with olive oil on our blog.

Health Benefits of Olive Oil in Brownies

Taste and texture are not the only things you need to consider: The health benefits of your food are also important. On that front, olive oil is one of the most beneficial cooking oils that you can put into brownie batter or, really, any recipe. Olive oil is packed with antioxidants that can help fight free radical damage and protect your cells from stress.

Healthy olive oil is also chock-full of polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, which are the two healthy kinds of fats. These healthy fats help boost your good cholesterol levels and lower your bad cholesterol levels. Most other baking oils are low in these types of healthy fats and higher in saturated fats, which are not good for you, making olive oil a better choice. If you are trying to make your brownies a little bit healthier, substituting olive oil for butter or another cooking oil is a solid choice.

Pictured: Lucid, Ardor and Arise

Other Tips for Baking Brownies

Trying to bake the best olive oil brownies? Here are some tips for getting a perfect pan every time:

  • Measure the ingredients accurately. This is true for pretty much any baking recipe, including brownies. Baking recipes are very precise and even small deviations in amounts can have big consequences.
  • Sift the cocoa powder. This prevents lumps and means that the chocolate flavor will get distributed evenly through the batter.
  • Spread the batter evenly. This ensures that the batter cooks evenly and that you have a reduced chance of “hot spots” that get too crispy too fast.
  • Choose the size pan that your recipe calls for. Selecting a different size pan means the batter will be either thinner or thicker, changing the cook time and potentially altering the texture of the brownies.
  • Use a light-colored pan. Dark-colored pans make it hard to see how the brownies are cooking, so choose a lighter-colored pan so you can check on the brownies without opening the oven all the way.

Brightland will ship high-quality olive oil straight to your door. Choose from several varieties of extra virgin olive oil, as well as flavored olive oils, or opt for a sampler set if you cannot make up your mind. Start shopping today!