The Alternative Fat That Will Elevate Packaged Cake Mixes

If you've ever had a boxed cake mix stored away in your pantry just a little too long, you might not have the handful of staple ingredients the cake mix calls for. And one of the most important ones is the required fat: vegetable oil. In baking, oils serve as a source of moisture and help to distribute heat evenly in the oven, resulting in a tender and fluffy cake (via Washington Post). But just because you don't have the specified fat on hand doesn't mean you have to fore-go baking. 

Instead, you can use coconut oil (via Real Simple). Coconut oil has been a popular ingredient in healthy cooking and baking for years, and for good reason. It's a versatile oil that can be used in place of traditional oils like vegetable oil in many recipes, including boxed cake mixes. In fact, using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil in your cake mix can result in a healthier and tastier dessert.

How to substitute coconut oil

Using coconut oil in place of vegetable oil in your boxed cake mix won't change the flavor of the cake. In fact, it can enhance it, according to Real Simple. Coconut oil has a subtle, sweet flavor that complements many desserts and it's especially delicious in yellow and vanilla cake mixes. The coconut flavor won't be overpowering — even to those who aren't big fans of coconut.

It's important to note that you should use refined coconut oil in baking, according to the Food Network. Refined coconut oil is odorless and tasteless, making it a better choice for baking with other flavors. 

Substituting coconut oil for vegetable oil in your boxed cake mix is easy. Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, but it quickly melts and mixes into batter like any other oil after being melted (via Food Network). Simply melt the coconut oil — using a 1:1 ratio with the recommended oil — and mix it in with the other ingredients, per Real Simple.

The next time you're making a boxed cake mix, try using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. You just might be surprised by the results.