I'm cooking brownies; I have put everything together, and then find out I have no vegetable oil. What can I use to substitute for it?


4 Answers 4


Any fat can always replace any other fat, so if you have any of the following around, they can be used as a substitute:

  • Butter
  • Duck fat
  • Olive oil (yes, it's a vegetable oil, which you say you don't have, but you might not have thought of this one)
  • ...

Note however, that using different fats will change the texture and taste of the final product. (if you're used to very soft brownies, butter will give you a less soft experience and duck fat will change the taste)

  • Olives are fruits. Also, don't use olive oil or any strong flavor oil. Neutral oils only. I tried to use olive oil once. It didn't taste good.
    – Chloe
    Apr 21, 2016 at 23:08
  • 1
    @Chloe: Depends on the olive oil: "Extra Virgine Gentile" oil from big olives has nearly no taste (and used mostly for salads) whereas "Robusto" wouldn't be a good match... Anyway, wel'll never know as this was a typical drive-by question where the user posted a question to get an answer to never return to even accept)
    – Fabby
    Apr 23, 2016 at 13:02
  • I used EVOO in a lemon poppyseed cake once. I won't make that mistake again. Dec 12, 2023 at 22:51

You can use applesause it works better if you ask me I can't have oil so I use applesauce use the same as the recipe calls for


If you would like your boxed mix brownies chewier and fudgier try Melted butter, strong coffee instead of water, and one less egg. The egg makes it cakier, more springy. Adding one less egg will make the batter much thicker before baking and more dense out of the oven. Also try baking them until they are just done, shiny on top and then let them cool all the way before cutting them.Also you can add a dollop of mayonnaise, no Miracle Whip, mayo. It's essentially eggs and oil. I say dollop because I've never measured it, and it works wonders in a variety of recipes, even scrambled eggs. Go figure.


You can use margarine as a substitute for vegetable oil. Melt the margarine, wait for it to cool to room temperature, and replace the melted margarine for vegetable oil using a 1:1 ratio. However, this ratio may vary between recipes, so this isn't ideal unless you're used to using margarine in a particular recipe.

  • 1
    I don't think this is always true. It may be often true but margarine is not 100% fat. Oil is. Oil is also liquid and margarine is solid, which makes incorporating it complicated. They have subtle differences. Could you please expand your answer to account for this?
    – Catija
    Aug 2, 2017 at 21:15

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