Quick question: how many times have you seen products with coconut oil? Probably a lot. Now, let us give you some quick trivia: you can also use refined coconut oil for baking.
Sounds exciting, right? But if you’ve been dabbling with alternatives to baking ingredients, you’ve likely stumbled upon coconut oil.
From the effects on taste and texture to its potential health benefits, we’ll take a closer look at coconut oil for baking.
Whether you’re a health-conscious home cook or a professional baker, this post will help you make informed decisions about using coconut oil for baking.
What Is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil comes from mature coconut meat. It contains saturated fat, making it solid at room temperature. It also has a high melting point.
Additionally, you can use coconut oil in tons of ways. These include cooking, baking, and skincare. Manufacturers also use oil as a natural ingredient in health and wellness products, such as supplements and soaps.
Coconut oil mainly contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of saturated fat metabolized differently than other saturated fats. Some studies suggest that consuming MCTs may have several health benefits. These include more energy and weight loss.
In addition, some studies suggest that coconut oil may have antimicrobial properties, which can fight off harmful bacteria and viruses. Plus, you can use coconut oil as a natural remedy for dry skin and hair since it moisturizes and strengthens the hair and skin.
Is Coconut Oil Good for Baking?
As promising as coconut oil sounds, it contains unique properties that may affect the taste, texture, and overall quality of your baked goods. So, use it sparingly. Remember, it’s not a one-size-fits-all substitute for baking fat.
One of the main reasons why people love using coconut for baking is the mild coconut flavor it gives. For instance, add coconut oil if you want to give that extra oomph to your pandan coconut cookies, coconut cakes, or bread. But note that the coconut flavor may not fit other recipes like double chocolate cookies or Japanese cheesecake.
Another reminder: coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so melt it before baking. When using it in recipes that call for softened butter, you need to work more to get the right consistency.
Coconut oil also has a higher smoke point compared to butter. This means that you can use it at higher temperatures without smoking or burning. You can also use it for cooking wonders that require high heat, such as deep frying or roasting.
Overall, coconut oil can be used for baking, but it means you need enough experience to perfect it.
Refined Coconut Oil Vs. Unrefined Coconut Oil
Coconut oil comes in two main forms: refined and unrefined. The main difference between them lies in how they get processed.
Refined coconut oil comes from dried coconut meat, also known as copra. Then, workers clean and bleach the copra to remove impurities. After that, they process it at high heat and pressure, eliminating the coconut flavor and aroma.
As a result, refined coconut oil has a higher smoke point than unrefined coconut oil. So, you can use it at higher temperatures without smoking or burning.
On the other hand, unrefined coconut oil, also known as virgin coconut oil, comes from fresh coconut meat. Workers then clean the meat and press it to extract the oil.
Next, they either leave it as is (cold-pressed) or gently heat it to remove impurities. The unrefined oil retains the natural coconut flavor and aroma, making it a great option for recipes that call for a coconut flavor.
In terms of nutritional value, both types of coconut oil contain high saturated fat. They also provide similar nutritional benefits. However, unrefined coconut oil retains some of the antioxidants and phytosterols found in fresh coconut meat that get lost during the refining process.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
You probably heard tons of elders say how amazing coconut oil is. Here are some benefits of coconut oil:
1. Weight loss
Consuming MCTs, the type of saturated fat found in coconut oil, can increase energy expenditure and promote weight loss. Additionally, they easily convert ketones, which can be an energy source. Studies have also shown that MCTs can reduce body weight, fat, and waist circumference.
2. Brain Function
Some studies suggest that coconut oil has potential benefits for brain function. For one, it can help improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
The liver can also convert the MCTs in coconut oil into ketones, which can be used as an alternative energy source for the brain.
3. Blood Sugar Regulation
Coconut oil helps improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Studies show that consuming coconut oil can help regulate blood sugar levels by doing the former.
Does your tummy act up all the time? Coconut oil might help.
According to research, coconut oil can help you better absorb fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. The MCTs in coconut oil also aids in the digestion process.
5. Antimicrobial Properties
Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that help fight off harmful bacteria and viruses. In addition, some studies reveal that coconut oil can inhibit the growth of certain types of bacteria.
6. Moisturizing and Strengthening Properties
Coconut oil softens and moisturizes the hair and skin. The oil’s high saturated fat content can help to lock in moisture, making it an effective moisturizer for dry or damaged skin.
When applied to the hair, coconut oil nourishes and strengthens the hair. It can penetrate the hair shaft and act as a protective barrier, preventing damage from heat styling and environmental factors. This wonder can also smoothen the hair cuticle, reducing frizz and adding shine.
How To Bake With Coconut Oil
Baking with coconut oil can be slightly different than traditional baking fats, such as butter or vegetable oil.
Using Coconut Oil for Baking Instead of Regular Oil
Coconut oil is a popular ingredient in many sweet and savory recipes, including baking. It has a high saturated fat content, which gives it a stable structure at room temperature and high heat. This makes it a suitable substitute for other oils in baking recipes.
When substituting coconut oil for regular oil in baking, use the same amount as the recipe calls for.
Then, melt the coconut oil if solid before measuring it out. Remember that coconut oil has a distinct flavor and aroma. As a result, it may affect the dish’s taste.
Additionally, coconut oil may not be suitable for high-heat baking because it has a lower smoke point than some other oils.
Coconut oil features a distinct flavor and aroma, which can be pretty strong. While it may complement some recipes, it may not suit others.
For example, you can add it to tropical-flavored cakes and cookies but not to chocolate-based recipes. Given this, you should start by substituting small amounts of coconut oil. Then, increase the amount if you like the taste.
Moreover, coconut oil can affect the texture of baked goods. Because it is a solid at room temperature, it can make baked goods dense and heavy. If you want a lighter texture, mix it with canola oil to get the right texture.
Using Coconut Oil for Baking Instead of Butter
When substituting coconut oil for butter in baking, you can use a 1:1 ratio. So, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, you can use 1 cup of coconut oil.
Pro tip: coconut oil has a lower smoke point than butter, so using it in high-heat recipes can lead to burning.
Additionally, coconut oil is a semi-solid oil at room temperature. In contrast, butter is solid, so you may need to adjust your recipe. The best way to do this? Melt the coconut oil before using it in the recipe.
Using coconut oil instead of butter may not provide the same creaminess or structure as butter in some recipes. Hence, use coconut oil only when you’re sure sacrificing butter produces the same texture.
Food You Can Make Using Coconut Oil
Looking for food to experiment with? We got your back. Here are some dishes you can make using coconut oil:
Marinade your chicken cuts with coconut oil, spices, and herbs. Then, fry them using regular oil until golden and crispy.
A pancake recipe with coconut oil in place of butter features a subtle coconut flavor. It also becomes healthier and heartier.
Do you want some brookies with a mild, fresh coconut flavor? Replace butter with coconut oil in this brookies recipe to create rich and chocolatey brookies with a twist.
Coconut oil is a common ingredient in chicken curry. Cooks use it to sauté the spices. Doing so also gives the dish a rich and creamy texture.
Instead of butter, use coconut oil to make macaroons and enhance the original coconut flavor. As a bonus, the coconut oil gives it a unique texture. Use this coconut macaroons recipe as your guide.
These are just a few examples of the many dishes that can be made using coconut oil. As you can see, it can be used in tons of recipes. It’s also a versatile ingredient that can enhance your dish’s flavor and texture. Add the bonus healthy points, and you’re good to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, coconut oil can be used for baking. Doing so gives baked dishes a subtle coconut flavor and enhances their texture. However, you can’t use coconut oil in every baking recipe, especially chocolate-based ones.
The best type of coconut oil for baking is unrefined coconut oil. Also known as virgin or extra virgin coconut oil, it comes from fresh coconut meat. It keeps its natural coconut flavor and aroma. The oil also has a lower smoke point than refined coconut oil, making it more suitable for baking.
Yes, you can use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil in baking. To do this, substitute vegetable oil with coconut oil using a 1:1 ratio. This means you can use one cup of coconut oil for every cup of vegetable oil. Make sure to use liquid coconut oil as well.
Coconut oil is highly recommended when baking dishes that benefit from extra coconut flavor. These include tropical cakes and coconut cookies. Additionally, coconut oil is a common ingredient in gluten-free and vegan baking.
The best oil for baking cakes is cake oil. Cake oils are designed to produce moist, rich, and fluffy cakes that everyone loves. Additionally, cake oils help extend the shelf life of cakes by keeping moisture while cakes are stored or delivered. Cake oils also don’t harden when placed inside the freezer overnight, preventing cakes from hardening.
Coconut oil affects baked goods’ texture and flavor. It also adds a subtle coconut flavor to baked goods and gives them a unique texture. Meanwhile, hard coconut oil affects baked goods’ consistency.
Do you want a healthier alternative to butter and regular oil? If you’ve been a fan of coconut oil, today is your lucky day. You can replace butter or regular oil in tons of recipes, including coconut cookies and tropical cakes.
Just like its amazing cousin― extra virgin olive oil― extra virgin or refined coconut oil boasts many benefits that will add nutrients to your baked treats. So if you’re feeling adventurous, why don’t you bake some goodies using coconut oil now?
Over the years, HICAPS has helped bakers and businesses make delicious products by offering ingredients like ChiffonAide Cake Oil, Magic Whizk Whipping Cream, Red Velvet Flavor Emulco, and Instabake Brownie Mix.
HICAPS also provides tools and resources to valued partners, such as the free “How to Increase Your Sales Amidst the Pandemic” E-book and free dealer locator that helps look for baking ingredients near me.
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