What is a good substitute for the canola oil? Coconut oil?

  • Posted by: morgan
  • July 9, 2015
Blueberry Peach Crisp
Recipe question for: Blueberry Peach Crisp


Susan W. July 11, 2015
This is a crisp recipe. Not really conducive to olive oil to my taste. One of my favorite olive oil cakes is on this site, but a fresh fruit crisp is not it.
PieceOfLayerCake July 12, 2015
I disagree. I think it would give the topping some depth and brightness and would work with the orange well...although I would probably leave out the cinnamon. I don't understand pairing cinnamon with good summer fruit.
Susan W. July 13, 2015
Then we disagree. I simply prefer an acidic touch to a berry crisp.
Susan W. July 11, 2015
Because it's in the topping, I think coconut oil is a great choice. It may smell strong in the jar, but I find the taste very mild when all is said and done. You won't detect it. I try to avoid all seed oils.
PieceOfLayerCake July 11, 2015
On the other hand, olive oil is something I use purposefully to enhance flavor where it would be appropriate. I often make olive oil chiffon cake to pair with beautiful summer fruits and cream. It would absolutely work with the flavor of blueberries and peaches, however one must use it wisely.

Coconut oil is something I use as a butter substitute, but rarely as an oil substitute (in baking, anyway). Since its a saturated fat like butter, it affects texture as well as flavor. So that's not always a seamless substitution.
LarAl2015 July 11, 2015
I never heard of olive oil chiffon cake. Does it taste of the oil? My wife sometimes uses coconut oil for Tollhouse Cookies and it's good but I prefer butter.
PieceOfLayerCake July 11, 2015
It does taste like olive oil. Depending on which variety you use it could taste faintly of it (pure olive oil) or it could be quite vibrant (extra virgin olive oil). When used in conjunction with sweet summer fruit, its absolutely delicious. I just make a simple chiffon in a round cake pan (top it with sugar for a bit of a crust), and serve it with fruit (peaches/nectarines, strawberries, apricots and/or plums are favorites of mine) and some softly whipped cream (or even a dollop of whipped, lightly sweetened Greek yogurt/crème fraîche). Gild the lily with pistachios or sliced almonds! Its an endlessly versatile recipe.
LarAl2015 July 11, 2015
Sounds delightful.
Nancy July 11, 2015
Just to echo POLC, olive oil cakes with peaches, Sauternes, citrus, yogurt, walnut, lavendar are rich, interesting, complex. First learned from Chez Panisse Menu cookbook & others since:
LarAl2015 July 11, 2015
Any other cooking oil. Canola oil is rapeseed oil processed with harsh chemicals and tastes awful. For baking, use a neutral tasting oil like corn oil. Coconut oil has a taste that might not be welcome in your recipe. Ditto for olive oil.
PieceOfLayerCake July 9, 2015
I've begun using grapeseed oil for everything I used canola/vegetable oil in.
Susan W. July 13, 2015
Yuck. Take a look at how grape seed is processed. How much science does it take to turn a vegetable into an oil. Too much.
PieceOfLayerCake July 13, 2015
Cool lady. I wasn't asking your opinion on either the olive or the grapeseed oil so, answer the question at hand, from your own experience, and leave it at that. If and when I'd like others to weigh in, I'll make it very clear.
Susan W. July 13, 2015
Lol. Wow.
Susan W. July 13, 2015
ChefJune July 9, 2015
I never use Canola oil - you would want another neutral oil as a sub. I choose safflower or grapeseed oil. Coconut oil is a wonderful thing, but it does have a very pronounced flavor.
Susan W. July 12, 2015
That is incorrect. It only smells pronounced in the jar. I challenge you to taste it after cooking with it.
LarAl2015 July 12, 2015
No, good organic virgin coconut oil, like they sell at Costco, has a definite coconut taste. A mild taste but nevertheless it's there. As I mentioned, my wife sometimes makes chocolate chip cookies with it and they have a noticeable coconut flavor. It totally goes with the chocolate but I still prefer butter.
Susan W. July 12, 2015
I disagree. Yes, if you dip a spoon into it, it has a taste. Once cooked and mingled with other ingredients, it doesn't. My friends and I did a taste test with shrimp and potatoes. Nobody could pick the one cooked with Nutiva coconut oil which is the one Costco sells. Yes, for cookies, I definitely prefer butter.
LarAl2015 July 12, 2015
When it comes to taste, there is no agree or disagree. It is a personal preference. Maybe in your specific example where there would be a minimal quantity of oil and the oil is still hot, you may not taste it, but in baked goods, or toppings, where a lot of oil is present, and the oil will be cooled, there will be a definite taste. You are comparing apples to oranges. The question is about a topping, not a savory dish.
Susan W. July 12, 2015
True..I have not tried it in a setting where it's hot and then cooled to room temp. I am allowed to agree or disagree as far as taste goes.
Natalie July 9, 2015
Avocado oil is amazing, has a high smoke point so great for high heat cooking. Can get good brand for very cheap at Costco!
Natalie July 9, 2015
Oops sorry I just saw that this is for a crisp. Yes, if you're talking about the crisp topping, coconut oil works. Butter is always your best bet!
Nancy July 9, 2015
also, if canola oil is called for in baking, I frequently substitute olive oil, for beautiful taste results. Just not in pastry.
boulangere July 9, 2015
I'm not crazy about canola oil, either. I often sub safflower oil. It undergoes less processing than many oils, and its flavor is very neutral.
Recommended by Food52