Why You Should Switch To Avocado Oil For Baking

Since recipes are the culinary fabric of life, perhaps it's time we started sharing our kitchen magic more broadly, starting with an easy one: cooking oils. Gone are the days of sliding generic vegetable oils into grocery carts without a second thought. Now, there are canola, safflower, olive, and sesame oils, as well as peanut, safflower, coconut, grapeseed, and all the variations within each category, like cold press, extra-virgin, and more.

But there's a relatively new oil on the block that deserves a shoutout: avocado oil, which only started gaining recognition in America in the 1930s and became more widespread with improved cold press extraction in the late 1990s.  

Avocado oil claims superiority in several categories, but few are more evident than when it enters an oven, where it becomes the belle of the baking ball. With a neutral taste that blends with most foods, plus a super high smoke point between 470 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit, it's ideal for baked goods.

That's not even counting the fact that avocados are widely considered to be a superfood, according to Mayo Clinic. Since avocado oil comes from its nutrient-packed inner flesh, those health benefits carry over into the foods you bake with it.   

Baking with avocado oil

Cooking with avocado oil is an easy switch from oils such as canola or vegetable, and it provides a much lighter taste than olive oil. Sweet desserts and savory baked dishes both often benefit from a milder, gentler oil flavor and scent.

Many dough-based recipes such as pot pies, casseroles, or pastry appetizers require oil, either as an ingredient or coating. Fortunately, avocado oil comes in spray form as well. This type of oil is an excellent choice for baked vegetables such as broccoli, which typically gets drizzled with oil and spread on a baking sheet. 

Cakes thrive with avocado oil, which increases moistness without overpowering other ingredients. It works well in popular quick breads, most of which call for oil. The same goes for other everyday favorites. Try it when making standard or vegan versions of creamy vanilla cupcakes, lemon poppy seed muffins, chocolate donuts, and countless other baked delights. 

This high-heat oil also protects oven-bound foods from developing a smoky or singed flavor, retains its structure under heat, and resists degradation of its beneficial nutrients. It also stays fresh longer due to the oleic oil present in avocados, which guards against the rancid taste effects of oxidation. 

Health benefits of baking with avocado oil

Taste, structure, and adaptability are enough to make most chefs reach for a bottle of avocado oil, even though it sometimes carries a higher price tag than other oils. But there's a lot of nutrition inside that bottle, too. 

Avocado oil harbors a wealth of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and heart-healthy fats that can help your body absorb vitamins such as A, D, E, and K, explains Healthline. They also promote better digestion after munching on those delicious baked goods. From there, the parade of health benefits marches on, from potentially helping with eye, heart, periodontal, and skin health to potentially reducing dementia risk and enhancing wound healing. 

You may also care about how the avocados were grown, whether the oil has been treated with chemicals, and various other concerns. Read the bottle's labels for key terms and check the company website to find further information, such as whether or not the oil is made from peak-ripeness avocados, if GMOs or additives are involved, and how the oil was processed.