This Is the Best Coconut Oil for All Your Baking Needs

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Peter Meciar/Stocksy)

Between the vegan bakers, Paleo eaters, and lovers of all things coconut, there’s a big market for coconut oil out there — and manufacturers have certainly taken note. These days there’s coconut oil at every supermarket, not just the health food stores. Heck, even HomeGoods is flooded with the stuff.

There are dozens of brands to choose from, but there’s only one brand we reach for: Artisana Organics.

Of all the brands we’ve tried, this is the one with the richest, purest coconut flavor. The oil is organic and virgin, or unrefined, which means it’s made from fresh coconuts and minimally processed. In fact, Artisana’s oil is considered raw because it’s cold-pressed instead of heat-extracted. That’s why it has such a lovely coconut flavor and aroma. Refined coconut oils, often made from dried coconut meat, can be heated, bleached, and deodorized.

Fun fact: This coconut oil is so good, it was featured in our list of our 100 most essential groceries.

Because Artisana retains its lovely coconut notes, it’s awesome for baking. It won’t add an overpowering flavor, but a nice subtle background that can enhance other flavors, or make your coconut-y concoctions really shine (think: granola and macaroons).

If a recipe calls for vegetable oil or melted butter, you can swap in coconut oil by simply heating it until melted. You can also use solid, room-temperature coconut oil in place of butter or shortening in many recipes, even cakes. It’s just a little more temperature sensitive because it melts at 76 degrees (butter melts at 90 degrees). Be sure all of your other ingredients are at room temp, too. If they’re too warm they can melt the oil; too cold and they’ll make it hard.

However, if you’re making things like pie crusts, biscuits, and scones, where you want cold bits of fat dispersed in flour, go ahead and chill that coconut oil down. Just measure it out, then plop small dollops of it on a plate and tuck in the fridge or freezer until hard. Then cut it in like you would cold butter.

To recap, there are obviously lots of ways to use coconut oil, and yes, lots of coconut oil choices out there. Just make sure you get Artisana. If it’s not Artisana, we also suggest Dr. Bronner’s. But as far as we’re concerned, those are your best options.

Do you agree? Have a different favorite? Tell us about it in the comments below.