The cake recipe is calling for a vegetable oil. I have refined sunflower oil, and refined soyabean oil.

Do they qualify for flavourless oils? I haven't noticed any taste in any oil by now! Taste buds problem, perhaps.

2 Answers 2


Both refined sunflower oil and refined soybean oil are generally considered flavorless.

Also included among these are:

  • Canola (rapeseed) oil
  • Corn oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Vegetable oil

The most reliable method of course is to taste the oil :). I'm sure you can actually taste the flavor of extra virgin olive oil.

  • Generic vegetable oil is most often soybean oil.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 14:54
  • Around here it's usually a blend of corn, soybean and sometimes others.
    – hobodave
    Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 14:55
  • 1
    My wife hates the flavour of the refined canola oil (most popular oil here in Poland) and I can taste it too, so I would not call that flavuorless. Though, that may be the Polish oil… Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 18:12
  • 1
    Asian sourced peanut oil has a reasonable strong flavour. Canola oil varies a lot too, some sources of it are quite obvious
    – TFD
    Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 19:47
  • 1
    @TFD Peanut oil is made both refined and non-refined. Refined is fairly flavorless (and is good for deep frying). Unrefined has a strong peanut flavor (and isn't so good for frying). Similar to the difference between virgin and refined ("light" or "pure") olive oil.
    – derobert
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 22:56

Most refined oils have little to no discernible flavour. It's the unrefined oils (think EVOO or dark sesame oil) that do.

I wouldn't hesitate to use refined sunflower oil or soybean oil in a cake; nor canola, peanut, grapeseed, or safflower. They're all pretty bland.

Really, the best way to know for sure is to taste it.


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