Oil vs Butter Based Cakes

  • May 21, 2022
  • Cakes



In cake, moistness and tenderness is what we crave for and I don’t mind going for something impossible and extraordinary that will give my cake the moisture, tenderness and eating them gives a good pleasant and pleasure you crave for and that is why vegetable oil has the biggest function in most baking recipes because it keeps the cake moist and tender. It captures the gasses that are released from the interaction of the baking soda and baking powder which slows down gluten formation to keep certain baked goods tender and fluffy in texture. There is not much difference between an oil based cake and a butter based cake  but it lies in the texture and fluffiness of the cake.

 The sweetness of a cake depends on the texture of the cake and the freshness with fresh ingredients which makes it come from the kitchen to your mouth, So Yummy!


 Oil is lighter than butter (1 cup of melted butter weighs about 227 grams; 1 cup of vegetable or other neutral oil weighs about 218 grams),

 The texture of oil cakes is lighter too. In addition, oil is 100% fat. Most American butter, on the other hand, is made up of just 80% fat; the other 20% is made up of about 5% milk solids and 15% water.

 The water that’s present in butter strengthens the gluten in a cake’s flour, resulting in a crumb that’s more dense and not quite as tender as a cake made with oil. That’s not always a bad thing: for cakes where structural integrity is a priority (like in a many tiered wedding layer cake  that extra structure might be a necessity.The texture of cakes made with oil is—in general—superior to the texture of cakes made with butter. 

Oil cakes tend to bake up loftier with a more even crumb and stay moist and tender far longer than cakes made with butter. So why do most cake recipes start with butter flavoring? 

Cakes made with butter often taste better than oil cakes. It’s that last attribute that seems to have given some people (including some of my Epicurious coworkers) the impression that oil cakes are inferior to butter cakes. But it really isn’t so. If a cake is perfumed with good and original spices or loaded with carrot and nuts, the flavor difference that comes from oil or butter is negligible. And in the case of some cakes, oil can even improve the flavor.

      Butter based redvelvet                              Oil based redvelvet  


We used the same ingredients for both cakes (similarities) but not the same measurement and proportions which makes them different.

  1. COCOA: We use less cocoa in red velvet to bring out the flavor and dark color but much cocoa is used in chocolate cake to make it chocolatey.
  2. SUGAR AND SALT: We use much sugar and salt in red velvet cake to top up the sweetness and neutralize the sweetness of the cake than chocolate because chocolate is a very sweet snack that brightens our emotions so it needs less sugar and salt for it.
  3. LIQUID(OIL,WATER, EGG AND MILK): We used many liquid substances in red velvet cake because it is liquidized in nature to make it more fluffy, soft, moist than chocolate cake which uses less liquid because it is usually a tough cake.
  4. VINEGAR: We make use of vinegar more in redvelvet from the beginning of the procedure to the last process of the cake mixing to make it smooth and without lumps but in chocolate we add the vinegar only at the beginning of the process which is inside the butter milk.
  5. HOT WATER:  Red velvet requires a lot more of hot water than chocolate cake and also the process is different because hot water and mocha flavor is added during the process of mixing the red velvet but hot water and coffee is the last ingredients and last thing you add during the process of mixing in chocolate batter.


 REDVELVET: Is a liquidized( has a very high quantity of water) , fluffy and moist  cake. It tastes like a mild cocoa( thick melted cocoa) also known as Mocha flavor with a slight teaspoon of red coloring which is added to bring the red color that makes it red velvet but you can also make velvet of your choice like blue velvet, green velvet etc. All these bring out a sharp and pungent flavor to the cake which makes it balanced and the end result is very fine, smooth, tender and soft.


Flour 310g or 2 2/3 cups: It builds structure in the cake and also holds ingredients together resulting in batter or dough. It can also be used in greasing and dusting the baking pan or pans.

Vegetable Oil 220g or 1 cup: it adds richness and tenderness in the cake and also makes the cake moist. It also enhances the flavor and it makes the mouth feel(it creates feelings of mealiness, heaviness or oiliness in the mouth that is “from the kitchen to your mouth”.

Egg 100g because a normal big egg is 50g( 2 big sized eggs) once at a time: it contributes structure in the form of proteins which gives a cake firmness, lightness and stability, it incorporates air into the mix to achieve the perfect rise, it also gives a good texture in the cake. 

Sugar 300g or 1 1/2 cups: it is what makes sweet tastes sweet. It creates tenderness, color(brownish) soft and moist.

Buttermilk (450g) or powdered milk( 90g): it improves the nutrition, taste, appearance and texture of the cake batter. It also improves the moisture absorption, crumb and texture, browning and flavor of the batter  but it must be added with your vinegar.

Baking soda 5g or 1 tsp: it acts like an anti agent in the cake batter and helps to circulate air in the cake batter

Baking powder 8g or 1 tbsp : it acts as a raising agent.it also helps to increase the volume and lighten the texture of the cake because it releases carbon dioxide gas into the batter causing bubbles in the wet mixture to expand and leaveningthe mixture.

Salt 5g or 1 tsp: it helps to enhance the flavor of the ingredient and also helps to balance the sweetness of cake batters.

Red food coloring gel 1 tsp: it enhances the coloring and texture of the cake.

Unsweetened Cocoa powder is 16g or 2 tsp : it makes the color of red velvet cake more vibrant and also leaven the cake to tight tender crumbs.

Vanilla extract flavor  2 tsp or 10g : it  chemically adds flavor and it also brings out the flavor of other ingredients in the mixture. Vanilla powder can be used to substitute the vanilla essence.

White Vinegar 1 tbsp: a sour-tasting liquid containing acetic acid, obtained by fermenting dilute alcoholic liquids, typically wine, cider, or beer, and used as a condiment or for pickling.

Hot water 225g: it moistens the batter of the cake, it also outrages the flavor you use to make the cake and it also makes the cake soft. 

Mocha flavor 1 tsp: it gives extra flavor in the cake and makes it taste like a slight cocoa which gives it a red velvet taste.


1. Measure and sieve all your dry ingredients together in a separate bowl ( flour, baking powder, baking soda, red food color, cocoa, salt) and turn with a wooden spoon until well combined.

2. Measure your oil, sugar and egg in your mixing bowl or mixer and mix together until well mixed and combined together. 

3. Mix together until well mixed and combined together. It will dissolve all the sugar and blend it very well till it changes color( light brown). 

4. Measure your buttermilk and add vinegar inside it and allow it to be outside like 2-3mins, then pour it into the same mixer bowl and mix until well combined.

5. Boil your hot water and measure the mocha flavor inside the hot water and mix it with a spoon until well mixed.

5. Pour the mixed mocha and hot water inside the mixing mixer little by little until it finishes and allow it to mix and dissolve the foamy particles that circulate the top of the batter to avoid holes in your cake when fully baked.

6. With a flour parker, pour in your flour bit by bit until well combined without any trace of flour in the mixing bowl or batter and add the last vinegar so that it will smoothen your batter to the mix and mix very well to avoid lumps inside the batter.

7. Prepare your pans with butter and lined with baking paper to avoid sticking and pour your batter to the already pan and bake at a moderate temperature to avoid overheated cake, undone or burnt cake.


  1. Using good and appropriate ingredients.
  2. Measure your recipe accurately with a measuring scale or spoon.
  3. Line your baking pan neatly with baking paper and butter. Firstly, rub your margarine in your pan then line the side with a long sleeve baking paper, then cut out the size and shape of the pan with your baking paper and lined the base or you can use butter and flour only.
  4. Preheat your oven before putting your cake inside the oven so as not to affect the rising of the cake and set your oven at an accurate speed and temperature.
  5. Once your batter is ready, pour it inside your baking pan and put it immediately in the oven when the oven is hot but not too hot.
  6. Always check your cake in the oven to avoid burnt cake. You can check your cake with a skewer or toothpick to know whether it is ready or not.
  7. Do not over mix your batter to avoid a tough cake, mix it in the estimated and appropriate time that is required for it.
  8. Immediately your cake is ready, bring it out from the oven and tap it immediately to avoid shrinking by the side of your cake especially in butter based cakes.
  9. Allow your cool down before frosting or decorating and eating your cake because it makes the ingredients used in the cake to settle and brings out the sweetness of the cake.

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