Extra Virgin Olive oil offers so much more nutrient value with no downside, unlike the alternatives and can be readily substituted in most main course dishes where margarine or butter is used for frying or sautéing.
Using olive oil for baking is a familiar feature of Mediterranean cooking. While it may sound a bit odd, baking with olive oil has actually been done for centuries. Olive oil gives cakes and cookies a light texture and can be used with confidence in lieu of butter or other oils.
One tbsp.(3 ml). of olive oil has 120 calories and 14 g of total fat, including 12 g of unsaturated fat. Olive oil contains no trans fats or cholesterol. Salted butter has 102 calories per tbsp. and 11.5 g of total fat, of which 7 g are saturated. Butter also contains 31 mg of cholesterol. Excess monounsaturated fats, a low saturated-fat content and an absence of cholesterol make olive oil a better alternative than butter for the heart.
Olive oil dramatically cuts back on the cholesterol and saturated fat content of desserts. It produces lighter-tasting baked goods and allows the flavor of the other ingredients to come forth. Because olive oil contains vitamin E, it helps to naturally maintain the freshness of baked goods and creates moist cakes, biscuits and muffins.
Another great benefit of using olive oil in place of butter is that you actually need less, which means you save money along with calories and fat!
You can also use olive oil for preparing a baking pan before adding the dough or other mixture. Simply brush the oil onto your favorite baking pan, cookie sheet, spring-form pan or other type of baking dishes or pans.
You should also consider the taste factor. A mild tasting late harvest olive oil could be used in most cake and pastry recipes because cooking will get rid of the aromatic olive oil flavors. Uncooked confections such as cake frosting would taste more than a bit unusual if made with olive oil.
This chart shows the substitution amounts for butter or margarine in imperial and metric measurements. It is appropriate for most cake and pastry recipes where quantities are critical.