Baking with Coconut Oil!

Tyme asks: What, if any, adjustments are needed to sub coconut oil (either as a solid or liquid, as the recipe dictates) in recipes?

Excellent question, and thank you girl, for being the first to submit! My baking experience with coconut oil is limited, but I haven’t run into any problems with it. I always melt it down, using it as a substitute for Earth Balance (or butter) and vegetable/canola oil. I haven’t used it as a substitute for shortening yet, in something like biscuits or pie crust, though I’ve been meaning to for awhile.

I use it cup for cup — I don’t alter the measurements that the recipe calls for. Also, check the back of your jar of coconut oil, to see what temperature the oil can withstand before breaking down. The label on mine says it can withstand temperatures up to 360 degrees so I wouldn’t use it for a recipe that needs a higher bake temperature than that.

Now the reverse of this question, but I think proves my cup-for-cup theory is that at work, I use the Baby Cakes recipes for my gluten-free vanilla and chocolate cake. Her recipes call for coconut oil, but since my space at work is very limited and I have time constraints (so I don’t want to take the time to melt down coconut oil), it is easier for me to use the safflower oil we have available there. I don’t alter the amount of oil, at all. The cakes turn out great!

I always melt down my coconut oil. You can do this by submersing the jar in hot water or making a homemade bain-marie or double boiler*. Again, I’ve only used it in pie fillings, cakes and zucchini bread, not something like cookies, that call for butter at softened but solid state.

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Photo courtesy of Tyme.

*I make my homemade double boiler with a saucepan and metal bowl. I bring water to a boil in the saucepan, then place my metal bowl containing whatever it is I want to melt down (ganache, coconut oil, Follow Your Heart soy mozzarella) on top of it, so it rests on the sauce pan, but not the water. I then turn done the flame to low, or  just off altogether, and let the steam gently melt down my food item.

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2 thoughts on “Baking with Coconut Oil!

  1. Very helpful. Thank you, Jenny! No excuse not to keep on with my baking adventures now.

  2. Tonight I made (vegan, natch) “Key Lime Shortbread Rounds” cookies. Recipe called for 1/2 cup vegetable shortening and 1/3 cup margarine. I used coconut oil (not melted) for the veg shortening. Seemed to work well*. Dough is suppose to chill for 1 hour. But, I couldn’t wait, so I made 4 cookies straight away. So, we’ll see if refrigeration had any affect with use of coconut oil.

    * My (room temp) coconut oil straight out of the jar was rather lumpy. So, maybe in the future, I would try to blend it a bit smoother first before adding other ingredients to it. Might not have mattered in the end. But, during creaming with margarine and sugar, I was a bit worried.

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