Cooking and baking with coconut oil

I’ve been using coconut oil as a beauty product for a while now (and love it) but as I am also aware of the health benefits of adding coconut oil to your diet I’ve been dying to give it a go in my baking and cooking. It reportedly boosts metabolism, increases energy levels, aids digestion and enhances the immune system, to name just a few of the benefits of this super product, and so far I’ve tried it as a replacement fat in two recipes to see how it would go.

lucy bees coconut oil

Firstly I gave it a go in a cake recipe as a direct replacement for butter. After reading a few online recommendations I felt confident enough to go with a one-to-one switch for coconut oil, so used the same weight as I would have used with butter, The recipe was an old Bake Off one – Bakewell Cupcakes (decorated in Brazil colours for a World Cup themed bake sale), and here are the results.

bakewell cupcakes

In terms of the bake it was a great success – I didn’t find any difference in the rise or the texture when using coconut oil, so would be happy enough to use it in any cake, biscuit or brownie mixture. But the coconut flavour was definitely there in the cake. Personally I think it suited these cupcakes quite well, but if you don’t like the taste of coconut then this would be a problem. Also, it’s not the most cost-effective ingredient to be using. This jar cost me £6 and I used quite a lot of it in this recipe, so gram for gram it’s much more expensive than butter. I’d probably consider using half butter half coconut oil in future recipes.

Then I decided to use it instead of olive oil for a simple stir fry dish. Again it worked just fine as a replacement, and again the flavour of the coconut remained in the dish. I really liked this as it worked with the Asian flavours of a stir fry.

coconut oil in stir fry

So overall it’s going pretty well, and I’ll continue to try coconut oil in any recipes that I think will suit a hint of coconut flavour.

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