Guide to Baking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Quick Tips for Baking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
EVOO and Baking - A Perfect Match!
Almost everyone instantly recognizes how fresh extra virgin olive oil elevates any sauté, roast, or pasta while cooking your favorite meals. Did you know that extra virgin olive oil is perfect for baking? Everything from cookies, to bread, to pizza dough can be made with EVOO! This article will highlight substituting butter with olive oil and provide some fun and simple recipe inspiration for baking with olive oil at home.
The Facts: Butter vs. Olive Oil
There are a few reasons behind the olive oil and butter swap.
- The Health Benefits of extra virgin olive oil are far superior to butter. In fact, about 63% of the fat in butter is saturated fat! For starters, fresh olive oil is minimally processed, 100% monounsaturated fat made by extracting oil from the olive fruit. Saturated fats, such as butter, raise total blood cholesterol by increasing harmful LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Read more about the butter versus olive oil showdown by clicking this link from Harvard's School of Public Health.
- Flavor Enhancement— thanks to all the fabulous flavor complexities of olives and their varietals, you can impart fruity & nutty attributes to cake recipes as well as herbaceous & peppery notes to savory baked goods. Want to get creative? Try using our Lemon or Orange Aromatizado olive oils for a citrusy punch!
- Texture Upgrades— EVOO reacts differently (and better than butter) when making baked goods. EVOOs texture helps baked goods to "feel" light and fluffy while remaining moist much longer than, say, a cake made with butter. Butter also dries faster in baked goods and creates that "heavy" feeling in your body (read: saturated fat) during digestion.
Substituting EVOO for Butter
Don't worry, this is very easy! Sometimes, slight adjustments may be made when converting a recipe with butter to one with olive oil.
When baking at home, these substitutions are very handy when dealing with recipes that call for melted butter. We have many great recipes that substitute butter for olive oil on our Recipe Blog that are tried and tested to achieve the correct consistency and texture.
Styles and Intensity of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Baking
The type of olive oil you select definitely matters to the final flavor. You want to ensure you use fresh, quality extra virgin olive oil that compliments the other flavors in your baking recipes.
Sweet Profiles: Sweet bakes benefit from using mild-intensity extra virgin olive oils like Arbequina and Hojiblanca; these oils are delicate in intensity, fruiter, and often creamy, imparting an excellent harmony with other sweet treat ingredients. Infused olive oils are also lovely with sweets. Our favorites tend to be; Meyer Lemon, Persian Lime, Blood Orange, and Sweet Butter.
Savory Profiles: Savory bakes benefit from using medium-intensity extra virgin olive oils such as Coratina, Picual, Ginger, and Cobrancosa. In addition to their fruity-nutty and grassy notes, these tend to have a little more spice, herb, and pepper in their profiles. Imagine a dark chocolate cake paired with Picual Family Reserve to enhance the bitterness of dark chocolate and add some fruity, green flavors that elevate your cake.
Chocolate and vanilla are excellent pairings for fruit-forward, mild-intensity olive oils. Our newest recipe, Chocolate Olive Oil Cake, is moist and luscious. Perfect for simple frosted sheet cakes, cupcakes, or served solo (as shown) with a couple of scoops of your favorite ice cream.
Infused olive oils can boost breakfast treats by imparting flavor without the need for additional ingredients. Our fall Pumpkin Loaf is the perfect example by adding Ginger Infused Olive Oil for a bit of umami and pop.
Did someone say focaccia? We think focaccia is an ideal no-fail option for those new to baking. It's a crowd pleaser with its golden-brown & crisp exterior and fluffy, pillowy interior. The recipe below is an excellent example of how infused olive oils can enhance a recipe. We combined Porcini & Sage Olive Oil and Bacon Infused Olive Oil with our focaccia recipe, imparting smoky, savory, and herbaceous flavors.
Cookies can be a little tricky with the olive oil for butter swap. We suggest trying this delicious thumbprint cookie recipe. We infused the cookie dough with the fragrant and herbaceous Herbs de Provence Infused Olive Oil as a flavor contrast with tart and creamy lemon curd.
Other Tested Baking Recipes
Looking for additional inspiration? Here are some of our other popular baking recipes.
Chocolate Cherry Lavender Brownies
Olive Oil Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry Galette with Olive Oil Crust
Almond Rosemary Olive Oil Shortbread Cookies
Give the Gift of Baking
Know someone that loves focaccia as much as we do? Give them the gift an excellent and delicious baking experience with our Focaccia Bread Dipper Set. This collection includes our prized, medium-intensity, Family Reserve Picual EVOO, our Mediterranean Bread Dipping Seasoning, as well as a package of Focaccia Bread Mix.