Vegetable Oil in cakes and / or food? What type?

I am planning to make the chocolate bundt cake by the Naptime chef. What type of vegetable oil is appropriate? Generally, I substitute apple sauce for veg oil in desserts and found the same results. With savory foods over stovetop, I use olive oil, but some recipes call for veg oil. Which one would be good? I'm def the organic and natural gal. Olive oil and coconut oil are my favorites, but they can be overpowering in some recipes. Thanks so much!

  • Posted by: ubs2007
  • March 9, 2012


Anitalectric March 10, 2012
I agree with SCP. Safflower is the mildest/most neutral flavored oil in my experience. This is my first choice in baking. In anything chocolate, I always sub a portion of the oil for coconut oil. It enhances the flavor of chocolate and makes baked goods richer in much the same way as butter.
ubs2007 March 10, 2012
Thanks! I LOVED the babycakes cafe downtown. I tried the coconut oil in my baking but found it to be way too overpowering in flavor.
Slow C. March 10, 2012
I personally use a super mild olive oil in all my baking. If I don't have that, my second choice is safflower which is an excellent substitute and is the lightest and mildest of all. Coconut oil is great, the more refined the oil the less coconut flavor it has (in other words, don't use extra virgin cold pressed if you don't want coconut flavor). As for grapeseed, I have a sensitivity to it so I can't stand the flavor and it makes my tongue burn (in a similar way to other strong oils such as walnut or pecan). But maybe that is just me. If you are looking to go "organic/natural" stay away from canola, canola is a GMO product.
susan G. March 10, 2012
According to USDA standards, GMO's are not allowed organic certification. If you question this, contact the brand manufacturer.
SallyBroff March 10, 2012
I substitute applesauce for half the oil. Works great. Any good quality tasteless oil can be used.
angiegeyser March 9, 2012
I'm a big fan of Spectrum's organic oils and use their canola oil and coconut oil for baking, and their extra virgin olive oil for cooking.
MauraKaras March 9, 2012
You also asked about what to use for savory foods. Without a doubt extra virgin olive oil. Brand and quality make a huge difference I'm taste. I prefer colavita
ubs2007 March 10, 2012
YES...I use olive oil for all of my savory cooking, but some recipes specifically ask for veg oil since olive oil can be overpowering.
klfnwf March 9, 2012
Coconut oil adds amazing flavor
ubs2007 March 10, 2012
Yes, but as with olive oil, some times it overpowers the flavor. I've tried it in choc chip cookies and it was too much. I think a veg oil has a place and need to figure it out.
susan G. March 9, 2012
There is cheap oil, usually soy oil, labeled "Vegetable Oil,' but grapeseed and organic (which must be non-GMO) canola oil is usually a better quality.
When you are using substantial amounts of oil, as in some cakes, I believe you can substitute applesauce (or plum/prune butter) for part of it, but not oil, as it has structural roles to play.
ubs2007 March 9, 2012
Great! Thanks again! Brilliant response!
Mr_Vittles March 9, 2012
For brands, I use Wesson's Canola Oil or sometimes Crisco's Canola Oil. If you shop at Whole Foods, try and get "Expeller Pressed" Canola oil. This type is considered better by many because the oil is extracted though heat and mechanical pressing, rather than chemically extracted. Also, non-expeller pressed Canola Oil can leach trans fats when heated for frying or in baking.
Mr_Vittles March 9, 2012
Vegetable Oil, just Vegetable Oil, will work fine for mo(i)st cakes. Canola oil is slightly healthier. And Grapeseed Oil will work fine. Basically any oil that does not have a distinct taste will work in cakes.
ubs2007 March 9, 2012
Thank you so much!!! Apologies for my ignorance, but I can't find anything that says "vegetable oil" in the markets I frequent (e.g., whole foods, fairway, trader joes). Would you mind telling me what brand you use or where you find it? Crazy, but all I've seen is canola, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower...
sdebrango March 9, 2012
Maybe Kelsey will weigh in but if you don't want to use canola oil you can use grapeseed oil. I use oil all the time in cakes and find that a neutral flavored oil works best. I usually use canola.
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