This Clever Baking Video Answers the Butter Versus Oil Question Once and for All
I think we can all agree that vanilla cake is always appropriate. Unless you’re one of those “Team Pie” people — in which case, y’all go take five. But there’s one question on which the baking community has been divided for years: Is it better to use oil or butter in your cake batter? Thanks to a new Reel making the rounds on Instagram, the question has finally been answered.
The video comes from Bernice at @baranbakery, a dreamy account full of inspiration and tips for home bakers. Since being posted in late March, it’s racked up over 265K views, and here’s why: In the Reel, Bernice compares four different vanilla cakes, made with identical ingredients … except for the fat.
Honestly — I know you’re going to throw tomatoes at me for this — it depends on what you’re looking for. The cake made with veg oil was spongy and sky-high; a huge win for aesthetics. The melted butter cake, although short and slightly stodgy, was “way more flavorful.” From there, she baked a version with room-temperature butter and achieved a flavor-packed cake that rivaled the vegetable oil one for height. Don’t do dairy? You may be interested in the coconut oil cake, which was similar to the room-temp butter one, albeit with a strong coconutty flavor.
Commenters chimed in with their take on the best fat for baking, and offered some unconventional suggestions (one wondered if avocado oil might work; jury’s still out on that).
If you’ve always wondered why room-temperature butter is prized for baking recipes, Bernice shares the answer in her audio overlay: It allows for more air to be incorporated into the batter.
That said, there are a zillion reasons to make cake, so it’s helpful to have a few variations up your sleeve for customization.
Do you use oil or butter in your cakes?