Oil Substitute in a Cake Mix – What Can You Use?

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A cake mix is a powdered mixture that consists of dry ingredients necessary to make a cake. Using a boxed cake mix is a great option if you’re in the mood for a quick and easy, but delicious cake.

Making a cake using a cake mix is much easier than making a cake from scratch. However, you’ll still need several key ingredients, including oil. If you don’t have vegetable oil at hand, there are several other ingredients you can use instead.

So, what is the best oil substitute in a cake mix? The best substitute for oil in the cake mix is melted butter. Butter is a traditional baking ingredient that has a high-fat content and will give the cake a rich flavor and fluffy texture. Other substitutes for oil in a cake mix are applesauce, yogurt, banana, olive and coconut oil, and sour cream.

There are many oil substitutes for a cake mix that add moisture, create a fluffy texture, and taste just as good. Keep reading to learn why you need oil in the cake mix and what ingredients you can use instead of oil.

What Role does Oil have in the Cake Mix?

It’s essential to understand the ingredient’s role in the recipe before we try to substitute it for another ingredient. This is particularly true in baking, where each ingredient has a specific role that affects the quality of the whole recipe.

One of the oil’s main functions in the cake mix is to keep all dry ingredients moist. Oil locks gas created by the interaction of baking powder and baking soda and slows down gluten formation, giving the cake mix a tender and fluffy texture. Oil also helps bind all other ingredients together to form a compact mass.

Knowing what role oil has in the recipe will ensure you find an adequate substitute for it.

Best Oil Substitutes in Cake Mix

Many ingredients have the same binding properties as oil and can add moisture to the cake mix. Any of the following ingredients is a good substitute for oil in the cake mix:

1. Melted Butter

Melted butter is the best substitute for oil in the cake mix. Butter is high in fat and its role in baking is to give structure, richness, and fluffiness to cakes, cookies, pies, and other desserts.

Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented milk. As such, butter isn’t a suitable substitute for oil in the cake mix for vegans.

Substitute butter with oil in the cake mix in a 1:1 ratio. Make sure that butter is completely melted before you add it to the cake mix so it blends properly with dry ingredients.

2. Applesauce

Applesauce is another excellent substitute for oil in the cake mix. This puree can be made from peeled or unpeeled apples and may be sweetened or spiced.

Applesauce has a subtle, sweet flavor that goes well with vanilla and chocolate cake mixes. Since most boxed cake mixes have added sugar, use unsweetened applesauce instead of oil so your cake won’t be too sweet.

Substitute ¾ cup of applesauce for 1 cup of oil in the original recipe.

3. Greek Yogurt

Although it may seem unlikely, Greek yogurt is another great substitute for oil in the cake mix. Yogurt’s creaminess adds moisture to the cake mix and its acidity gives cakes a light and fluffy texture.

Greek yogurt has a smooth and creamy texture, and its tangy flavor works extremely well in cake recipes. Use Greek yogurt at a ¾:1 ratio as a replacement for oil in the cake mix.

4. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a good substitute for vegetable oil and offers numerous health benefits. It’s made from the wick, meat, and milk of the coconut palm fruit and is typically sold as white solid fat.

Coconut oil has a sweet and nutty flavor that works well in recipes and won’t affect the overall flavor of the boxed cake mix. Melt coconut oil first and substitute it for oil in the cake mix at a 1:1 ratio.

5. Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the healthiest substitutes for oil in the cake mix. It’s made by pressing whole olives and has a complex and nutty flavor.

Although olive oil has a stronger flavor than vegetable oil, it won’t overwhelm other ingredients in your cake. Use olive oil as a 1:1 replacement for oil in the cake mix.

6. Mashed Banana

Bananas are readily available throughout the year and can be used instead of oil in the cake mix. The mashed banana adds moisture and gives the baked cake a fluffy and tender texture.

Bananas can be sour or sweet, depending on their ripeness level. When baking a cake from a cake mix, substitute mashed ripe bananas for oil in a ½:1 ratio.


What can I Use instead of Oil in a Box Cake Mix?

Use melted butter instead of oil in a box of cake mix. As an alternative, you can use applesauce, mashed bananas, pumpkin puree, olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, sour cream, Greek yogurt, or ghee to replace oil in the cake mix.

What can I Use instead of Oil in Betty Crocker’s Cake Mix?

You can substitute butter for oil when making a Betty Crocker’s cake mix. Melted margarin, yogurt, sour cream, coconut oil, canola oil, olive oil, and applesauce are also good substitutes for oil in Betty Crocker’s cake mix.


Vegetable oil is a staple in many kitchens around the world. Oil is necessary when making baked goods and is one of the ingredients you need to add to a boxed cake mix.

If you’ve run out of oil, don’t fret! Many ingredients have the same binding properties as oil and won’t change the flavor of your cake.

The best substitute for oil in the cake mix is melted butter. If you don’t have oil or butter, use applesauce, Greek yogurt, sour cream, mashed banana, coconut oil, canola oil, olive oil, ghee, or avocado oil instead to make a fluffy and delicious cake.

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