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Canola Oil in The Professional Chef's Kitchen

Baking With Canola Oil: Give Trans Fat the Boot

Still baking with solid vegetable shortening or other hydrogenated fats? You may want to think twice. Health experts tell us that trans fats have no place in a smart diet. Getting rid of them in baked goods isn't always easy, but canola oil can help. And because it is mild in flavor, it doesn't intrude.

Canola oil can also replace butter in many baking recipes, such as pie crusts, cakes and muffins, yielding a moister and softer product with no cholesterol and less saturated fat. As the conversion chart below shows, replacing a solid fat, such as butter, with canola oil can reduce total fat by up to 25 percent — a big calorie savings.

Watch Chef Stephen demonstrate Trans Fat-Free Canola Pie Dough and Chiffon Sponge Cake made with canola oil.

The conversions suggested below work beautifully in chiffon cakes, muffins, brownies, cornbread — most baked goods, in fact. For sweets that depend on creamed fat for aeration — some cakes and cookies, for example — this conversion is not as successful.

Solid Fat to Canola Oil Conversion Chart
Solid Fat (melted) Canola Oil
1 cup (250 mL) 3/4 cup (175 mL)
3/4 cup (175 mL) 2/3 cup (150 mL)
1/2 cup (125 mL) 1/3 cup (75 mL)
1/4 cup (50 mL) 3 Tbsp (45 mL)

Easy Tip: Use canola oil or spray to grease cake pans, muffin cups and baking sheets. It functions as well as melted butter, but with less saturated fat.

Recipe: Chiffon Sponge Cake

Recipe: Trans Fat-Free Canola Pie Dough