How To Substitute Olive Oil For Butter With Healthier Holiday Bakes
We believe that winter and holiday season is a great time to indulge in some delicious baking and, if you substitute olive oil for butter, your cakes, pies and cookies will be packed with health as well as flavour.
By making a simple swap away from butter to extra virgin olive oil, your baked goods will be moist, tasty and loaded with healthy antioxidants and monounsaturated fats.
Generally speaking, you can substitute three quarters of the butter in your baking recipe with extra virgin olive oil to reduce saturated fat but maintain a good crumble, appearance and flavour.
Baking With Olive Oil As Butter Substitute: The Mediterranean Way
During the holiday season, there is so much baking inspiration out there to choose from so we have done the hard work and selected three mouth-watering Mediterranean inspired bakes which use extra virgin olive oil as the main fat source.
Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti with Olive Oil
- ¼ cup Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup white sugar
- Teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 ½ cups pistachio nuts
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
- In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.
- Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12x2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.
- Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
- Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool.
Olive Oil Brownies With Greek Yoghurt
- 1/4 cup Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lowfat Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius)
- In a bowl blend the extra virgin olive oil and sugar well with a large spoon until smooth. Add vanilla and mix well.
- Beat the eggs in a small bowl and add to the olive oil mixture and mix well.
- Add the yogurt and mix well.
- In another bowl blend the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Add to olive oil mixture and mix well.
- Incorporate the nuts and mix again.
- Line a 9 inch square pan (22 cm) with wax paper and carefully pour the brownie mixture in the pan, smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake for about 25 minutes.
- Let it cool completely, remove the wax paper and cut in squares.
Greek Orange Honey Cake
- For Cake:
- 5 large eggs
- 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt (I used fat-free plain Greek yogurt)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 tbsp ground almonds (do this in a small food processor)
- Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup coarse semolina (OR farina, Cream of Wheat, or this Creamy Wheat Cereal)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil
- Handful shaved almonds for topping, optional
- For Honey Pistachio Syrup
- 1 1 /4 cup shelled salted pistachios
- 1 1/4 cup quality runny honey
- Juice of 2 oranges
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan with butter and dust with flour (shake the pan a little to get an even coating of flour).
- Make the cake batter. Place all the cake ingredients (except the shaved almonds) in a large mixing bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon or a whisk to combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
- Bake in heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden and well cooked-through. To be sure, insert a wooden skewer into the center of the cake, it should come out clean if the cake is done.
- Remove from the oven and let the cake completely cool in the pan.
- Once the cake has cooled, prepare the honey syrup. Toast the pistachio in a dry non-stick pan over low to medium heat (pan needs to be large enough for the remaining syrup ingredients). Once they start to smell, stir in the honey. Add the orange juice and lemon juice. Bring to a boil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until nice and syrupy. (Do NOT taste the hot syrup, it will burn your mouth)
- Stab the cake all over with a small knife or a skewer to create holes. Pour the honey pistachio syrup all over the cake as evenly as possible. If you need to, use a spoon to distribute the pistachios across the top of the cake. Sprinkle shaved almonds, if using.
- You can cut the cake into 12 to 15 squares and serve at this point (see notes for best results.) Festive baking at it's best.