What’s The Best Coconut Oil Substitute? The Ultimate Guide!

When we think coconut oil, we believe, ‘oooooh, healthy!’

Yes, coconut oil is healthy and has many uses, whether in beauty products or healthwise.

It’s also an excellent ingredient to incorporate in our dishes, and we consider it a suitable replacement for butter with its similar properties.

But what if you’re planning to bake something that requires coconut oil but has none of it? What can you do? We’ll talk about the best coconut oil substitutes here, so read on!


What Can I Substitute For Coconut Oil in a Recipe?

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Coconut oil usually comes from the flesh of mature coconuts and is a healthier alternative to high-fat spreads or oils.

You can use this in various recipes, especially baked goods, as it has a slightly sweet flavor.

Coconut oil is also great for roasting, grilling, and frying, thanks to the soft flavors.

We love to use coconut oil in baking cakes or making savory dishes like grilled meat, as it’s relatively healthy compared to other oils.

But if you run out of coconut oil or can’t find any in the supermarket, you can try any of these best substitutes for coconut oil:

1. Olive Oil

Olive oil is a common and healthy substitute for coconut oil, with many people most likely owning a bottle in their cupboard. Plus, it’s suitable for those in plant-based diets, though, unlike butter, olive oil isn’t ideal for baking.

Olive oil is best for cooking, whether you’re frying, sauteing, or making soup and salad dressings. Plus, it’s healthier than coconut oil, as it contains monounsaturated fats, which link to better health.

2. Almond Oil

Almond oil is used as a complementary addition to dishes.

We like using almond oil as a substitute for coconut oil when baking, as it brings out a nutty flavor that goes well with sweet baked goods.

Almond oil has lower levels of saturated fat and can help improve heart health. For its flavor and health benefits, we recommend using almond oil for your next baked good when you need a replacement for coconut oil.

3. Butter

This is one of the simplest substitutes for coconut oil, but it isn’t the best for vegan or dairy intolerances. Furthermore, it isn’t as healthy as coconut oil, but it works great when making baked goods.

Butter adds rich flavor and chewy texture to cookies, also complementing sweet ingredients. Plus, you probably already have it in your fridge or can buy it in the grocery store.

4. Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is an excellent choice when you’re preparing salad dressing. You can also use this for frying and roasting, being an all-rounder with a higher smoking point.

This oil also has a lot of health benefits, which are linked to lowered cholesterol levels and better heart health!

5. Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil isn’t the healthiest substitute for olive oil, but it still works well when you’re in a pinch.

But similar to olive oil, sunflower oil is best for cooking, more so than baking. We love sunflower oil when we need to fry food, thanks to its high smoke point.

Sunflower oil is filled with vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps neutralize viruses and bacteria, thus keeping our blood vessels functioning well.

6. Avocado Oil

Yes, avocado oil exists, and you can use it as a coconut oil substitute, recommended for soups, salads, and curries. We love how tasty avocado oil is because of its texture, which helps make creamy dressings and smooth curries.

As for its taste, avocado oil brings in a fresh and light flavor to dishes. Besides curries, you can also use the oil for sauteing, grilling, or baking.

As for its health benefits, it contains monounsaturated fats, which help in reducing inflammation.

7. Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is growing in popularity thanks to the health benefits experts have discovered on hemp seed. It’s also a surprising source of protein, containing 10g for every serving, which has you feel fuller for much longer.

Hemp seed oil is great for pesto, dips, or marinades that ask for coconut oil. We like the earthy flavor that tastes great with salad or pasta.

Please take note that hemp seed oil loses its nutritional value as it warms up, so be sure to use hemp seed oil while chilled or at room temperature.

8. Hazelnut Oil

Hazelnut oil is a great coconut oil alternative for plant-based dieters, especially those who love hazelnuts! This oil has a sweet and fragrant flavor working amazingly when you incorporate it in cakes and cookies, or any other baked goods for the matter!

Hazelnut oil is also great for frying, roasting, or grilling, as it has a high smoke point.

You’ll be surprised by how this toasted nut works amazingly with other food!

As for the nutritional value of hazelnut oil, it has a lot of monounsaturated fats that aid in weight loss and maintaining proper blood cholesterol.

9. Walnut Oil

Walnut oil comes from ground walnuts that were dried and cold-pressed.

It’s a golden-brown oil with a lot of antioxidants, omega 3 essential fatty acids, along with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

The oil has a thick, buttery texture and slightly nutty taste, though it tasted bitter once exposed to heat. Because of this, we recommend using this for cold dishes like dips and salad dressings.

10. Applesauce

Unsweetened applesauce is a vegan baking alternative for coconut oil.

It has a ton of moisture that can replace moisture from oil, though it may have too much moisture. This can result in your baked goods coming out a bit spongy.

Offset the texture by using half parts applesauce and half parts alternative oil for every one serving of coconut oil.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What makes virgin coconut oil special?

There are two kinds of coconut oil, which are:

  • Refined coconut oil is processed through dry milling, which means that the coconuts were baked before extracting the oil. It’s then bleached to kill dust, microbes, or insects. That means the oil has a mild flavor with some tropical aroma.
  • Unrefined coconut oil (virgin coconut oil) is less processed and comes from fresh, young coconuts through wet milling. It does not go through bleaching, making it have a bold flavor and more nutrients. However, it is more expensive and has a shorter lifespan.

2. Can I use vegetable oil instead of coconut oil?

Yes, it’s possible. However, vegetable cooking oil won’t give out the rich vanilla flavor coconut oil has, and it has a more neutral flavor, so it can alter your dish’s taste.

Furthermore, vegetable cooking oil isn’t as healthy as coconut oil, so it’s best to use it to replace coconut oil. Only use this when you run out of options!

3. Is coconut oil healthy? 

Yes, coconut oil is a healthy fat compared to vegetable oil as it has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components. It’s a medium-chain saturated fat that metabolizes quicker than other kinds of saturated fat so that it can give you energy!

Besides this, coconut oil raises good cholesterol in our blood, reducing our risk of heart diseases. It also has lauric acid, a triglyceride that fights pathogens to reduce inflammation while improving our immune system and cognitive function. (*,*)

That said, coconut oil is just like other oils, containing saturated fats that will affect your cholesterol levels. Use coconut oil sparingly and in the right amounts.

Wrapping It Up

Did you find the best substitutes for coconut oil? Whether you’re making roasted vegetables or banana bread, try the alternatives above and let us know what you think!

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