Can you substitute canola oil for vegetable oil in baking?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you substitute canola oil for vegetable oil in baking?”, and what is canola oil?

Can you substitute canola oil for vegetable oil in baking?

Yes, you can substitute canola oil for vegetable oil in baking. Estimate a 1:1 ratio. The results will be great and the canola oil will not alter the texture or flavor of the end product. 

The smoke pint, fatty acid profile, and nutrition value are the main deciding factors behind the choice of cooking oil. The smoke point of the canola oil (400℉) and that of the good-quality vegetable oils (450℉) is comparable. 

Therefore, it all comes down to the nutritional value and the fatty acid composition of the oil. This is the main distinguishing factor behind canola oil and vegetable oil that almost have the same flavor. More on this in the article below.

What is Canola oil?

Canola oil has a neutral flavor and a high smoke point. Both of these qualities are desirable for cooking and baking. Moreover, canola oil is low in saturated fats and is a good source of monounsaturated fats.

Any oil with a high monounsaturated and polyunsaturated content reduces the risk of heart diseases by lowering the cholesterol levels in the blood. The main setback about canola oil is that it is extracted from a GMO plant

Some GMO plants are sprayed with harsh chemicals that are especially dangerous for people with allergies. GMO plants and their products have an overall bad reputation. More research needs to be done to deem canola oil healthy or unhealthy.

Benefits of plant-based oils

It is not healthy and sustainable to completely cut off fat from your diet. You need healthy fats to survive. Therefore, it is important that what kind of oils do you incorporate into your diet. 

As per the American Heart Association, plant-based oils are healthier than animal fats because the former has a high mon0unstuarted and polyunsaturated content. Collectively, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are called ‘Good fats’. 

Saturated fats are predominantly animal fats. You will find saturated fats in plant-based oils as well but in minute concentrations. The American Heart Association recommends opting for cooking oil that provides no more than 4 grams of saturated fats per tablespoon.

Using canola oil for baking

Canola oil is itself a type of vegetable oil. So, it can easily be substituted for vegetable oil in baking and cooking. Canola oil can withstand high baking temperatures without producing toxic compounds. The light texture and the neutral flavor of the canola oil do not overwhelm the flavor of your baked goods.

According to the  USDA FoodData Central, canola oil contains a 2:1 ratio of monounsaturated to polyunsaturated fats. A tablespoon of canola oil does not provide more than a gram of saturated fat.

What is Vegetable oil?

Vegetable oil is a mixture of a variety of vegetable oils, of which the origin and processing method can be a hassle to find out. Since the product is a mixture of many oils, you have little control over the type of fats you are consuming. 

The high smoke point paired with the neutral flavor is what makes vegetable oil the best choice for cooking and baking.

Safe storage of cooking oil

Cooking oils are highly prone to rancidity that occurs when oxygen reacts to the fatty acids of the oil, producing peroxides and free radicals. Frequent exposure to free radicals is linked with aging, heart diseases, cancer, etc

Besides, the rancid oil has a pretty unpleasant smell and taste. Ideally, cooking oils should be stored somewhere dark, dry, and away from sources of heat like direct sunlight and the stovetop. 

Oil should be stored in opaque bottles. If kept in the glass, wrap the glass with aluminum foil or any other material that can block the heat and sunlight.

Transfer the oil from a big bottle to a more handy small bottle. This will extend the shelf-life of the oil in the big bottle since it is not being opened and closed frequently. The small oil bottle can be stored in the fridge for a prolonged shelf-life.

Oils that contain veggies or herbs must be refrigerated immediately after opening. Use such oils within 4 days of purchase for the best flavor.


In this article, we answered the question “Can you substitute canola oil for vegetable oil in baking?”, and what is canola oil?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.