Effects also vary when baking with different kinds of oil.
Cake contains fat, which contains an abundance of calories. However, you may eat your cake and feel joyful too knowing you can bake healthier cakes by using oils instead of solid fats, such as butter and shortening. Each kind of fat affects cakes in different ways. Effects also vary when baking with different kinds of oil.
Tenderness and MoistureOil-based cakes are more tender and moist than ones made with butter, because oil coats wheat flour proteins better than butter does. If the proteins aren't adequately coated, they bond with water and create stretchy gluten, a form of protein that holds ingredients together and makes bread chewy. Aside from being one of the most healthy oils due to its monounsaturated fatty acids, olive oil is one of the best for making cakes. It not only moisturizes and tenderizes better than butter and shortening, but it also enhances flavor better than other oils.
Flavor EnhancementButter is the fat of choice in many cakes due, in part, to the flavor it imparts. Also, both butter and shortening provide a lighter texture than oils. Most vegetable oils can't compete in the area of lightness and flavor. However, "Fine Cooking" magazine reports that olive oil -- the less expensive kind simply labeled "olive oil" rather than "extra-virgin" -- adds a "deeper character" to cake drawing out and marrying the flavors of the other ingredients. Best of all, it won't make the cake taste like olives.
MouthfeelAlthough you are likely to find that cakes made with oil are moist and tender, some may create feelings of mealiness, heaviness or oiliness in your mouth. Even though butter and sugar can pose risks to your health, they create a lighter mouthfeel in cakes because they trap air in the batter when creamed with sugar. Fortunately, you can easily lighten an oil-based cake by whipping egg whites together with oil to incorporate more air in the batter.