Baking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a healthy alternative to other fats, shortenings and butter used in everyday baking.  Olive oil can be easily substituted in most main courses or baked dishes where margarine or butter is used for frying, sautéing, or baking. In olive oil producing countries, olive oil and butter/margarine are also used together to enhance each other’s flavor in some recipes.  Below is a comparative conversion chart to make substituting EVOO for butter simple in any recipe. When substituting for other oils, use a one-to-one ratio of EVOO to the oil called for in the recipe.

Butter to Olive Oil Conversion Chart

Butter/Margarine Olive Oil
1 teaspoon 3/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon 2 1/4 teaspoons
2 tablespoons 1 1/2 tablespoons
1/4 cup 3 tablespoons
1/3 cup 1/4 cup
1/2 cup 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
2/3 cup 1/2 cup
3/4 cup 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
1 cup 3/4 cup


The conversion chart above is appropriate for most cake and pastry recipes where quantities are critical. Keep in mind, however, that it is not always a good idea to use liquid shortening (olive oil/vegetable oil) instead of solid shortening (butter/margarine). For instance, since cake frosting must stay solid at room temperature, butter and powdered sugar work nicely, but olive oil and powdered sugar don’t.

You should also consider the taste factor. A mild tasting late harvest olive oil could be used in most cake and pastry recipes because cooking will get rid of the aromatic olive oil flavors. Uncooked confections such as cake frosting would taste more than a bit unusual if made with olive oil.

Infused or co-pressed oils (lemon, blood orange, lime, chocolate and vanilla) can be used to enhance the flavor of all your baked goods and dishes. Not only will the baked goods remain moister for longer the product will be much more nutritious.  In the case of chocolate cake or brownie recipes the end result will be super decadent and moist. I promise you will never go back to ordinary fats when baking or cooking!

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