Here's What You Can Substitute For Coconut Oil

Oil is often a key component to getting baked goods just right, but sometimes it is necessary to make substitutions. Whether you're simply out of an ingredient, have an allergy, or need to shake things up, you can usually find something else in your pantry to swap in for whatever is missing. While coconut oil is a great alternative oil to use in cooking and baking, there are plenty of other options to choose from should you need to.

Coconut oil is often billed as a "superfood" thanks to the many benefits it's claimed to tout. Similar to other healthy fats and oils, coconut oil contains healthy fatty acids, and it also may have an antimicrobial effect. All of this means that it is good for your body and can even help raise your good cholesterol (via Healthline). 

Apart from the health benefits, one major trade-off that you'll face when substituting coconut oil out is its ability to withstand high temperatures because it is a saturated fat (via Healthy Eating). With a bit of research, however, and an evaluation of the recipe you are cooking, other oils and healthy fats make appropriate stand-ins.

Oil is essential to cooking and especially baking because it helps keep your food from drying out (via Bob's Red Mill). Oil can also help improve the light and fluffy texture of food and baked goods, thanks to the chemical reactions happening inside of the food. Finally, oil is a binder, so recipes that call for combining dry ingredients are often bound with oil.

Good substitutes for coconut oil

Thankfully, subbing something for coconut oil is simple, and usually takes advantage of what you already have on hand.

The best option for replacing coconut oil is often to use another type of oil such as sunflower, vegetable, avocado, or even olive oil — depending on the recipe. These oils typically offer similar health benefits to coconut oil too, though it varies depending on the type of oil (via Organic Facts). These, along with other fats like butter, can all be used in equal parts to the original amount of coconut oil (via The Kitchn).

Should you want to replace the coconut oil with something other than oil or fat, there are still quite a few options from which to choose. Fruit purees and applesauce are one way to go and are often significantly lower in calories than oil. All types of milk are another option too. From cashew and almond milk to buttermilk and skim milk, these are all good options for binding and adding moisture. Other dairy products like sour cream and greek yogurt can be used too. Like other oils and fats, all of these substitutes can also be used in one-to-one substitution for coconut oil.