Healthy Baking with Olive Oil

The new Dietary Guidelines emphasize replacing the solid fats (aka butter, shortening) in our diets with vegetable oils, like canola, olive and corn oil.

At a recent nutrition meeting, I had a chance to sample baked goods that were cooked entirely with light olive oil.  They were delicious, and I don’t think anyone missed the butter–really!  The key is to use a light olive oil as it won’t overpower the flavor of baked good like an extra virgin olive oil would.

The health payoff for making this recipe substitution is a great way to slash heart-clogging saturated fat.

For every cup you use olive oil in place of butter you slash nearly 90 grams of saturated fat from your recipe.

Here’s a guide to how to substitute olive oil for butter or shortening in your favorite baked goods.


1 teaspoon

1 tablespoon

2 tablespoons

1/4 cup

1/3 cup

1/2 cup

2/3 cup

3/4 cup

1 cup

Olive Oil

= 3/4 teaspoon

= 2 1/4 teaspoons

= 1 1/2 tablespoons

= 3 tablespoons

= 1/4 cup

= 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons

= 1/2 cup

= 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon

= 3/4 cup 

Cranberry Walnut cake

This is one of the baked goods that I loved so much when I tried it, I made it at home.

Cranberry-Walnut Pound Cake


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Pompeian Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup non-fat or low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, finely chopped
  • 4 large eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously coat a Bundt pan with cooking spray or oil.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a handheld mixer until light and slightly increased in volume. Add the sugar slowly while continuing to beat. The mixture will become light and fluffy.
  4. Add the olive oil and vanilla extract and beat another 2 minutes.
  5. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the batter, beating between additions.
  6. Gently fold in the chopped nuts and cranberries.
  7. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then invert the pan onto rack to remove and cool completely.


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