Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nice fat vs Naughty fat - Which type of Chocolate Muffins taste the best?

Can butter taste better than vegetable oil?

Vegetable oil is often being misunderstood having lesser fat content than butter. The actual fact is NO! With the same weight, they both contain the same amount of fat and calories. The significant difference is that butter contains more saturated fat than some vegetable oil and excessive consumption of saturated fat can be bad for our hearts.

Vegetable oils that has lower amounts of saturated fats, and higher levels of unsaturated fats are olive, peanut, canola, avocado, safflower, corn, sunflower, soy, cottonseed and rice bran oils. Based on information from Wikipedia, butter contains 63% saturated fat. Typically, sunflower oil has 11%, olive oil has 14% and rice bran oil has 20% saturated fat. Shockingly, coconut oil contains 86% saturated fat!

Using vegetable oil with less saturated fat content is clearly a healthier option...but is it a tastier option?

As I was browsing a couple of my food magazines, I saw two different chocolate muffins recipes. One uses melted butter and another uses vegetable oil. Instantly, I had this idea and have bookmarked these recipes for this taste test...

Drum rolling... "Ta Da"...

Not surprisingly, the muffins with the "naughty" fat are the clear-cut winner. These muffins are less sweeter than the other ones and the addition of white chocolate subtly boost the sweetness of these muffins and the overall texture is simply beautiful.

For a fairer test, I have used rice bran oil to make my "nice" muffins as rice bran oil tastes comparatively to butter. In fact, the muffins with the "nice" fat are very delicious and moist as well. Unfortunately, this taste test has been a highly competitive comparison. The only reason that they have lost is because their opponents taste simply better... Or simply one recipe is just better than the other.

chocolate muffins 


Here's the recipes from Super Food Idea and Australian GoodFood magazines and both are Aug 2011 issues.
(with my modification in blue)

The Good Fat Chocolate Muffins
The “Naughty” Fat Chocolate Muffins
Source of recipe
Super Food Idea Magazine,
Aug 2011 issue
Australian GoodFood Magazine,
Aug 2011 issue

Make 12 x 1/3 cup capacity muffin
Make 12 x 1/3 cup capacity muffin
Self-raising flour, sifted
21/4  cup
1 2/3 cup
Cocoa powder , sifted
(Dutch cocoa)
1/2 cup
1/3 cup
Caster sugar
1 cup
2/3 cup
Dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup
1/3 cup
White chocolate
Oil / Butter (melted)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (rice bran oil)
100g butter
2/3 cup
Vanilla extract
1 tsp
Baking Time
25 min
18-20 min
Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan forced.

Line muffin pan with paper cases.

Combine flour, cocoa, sugar and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Make a well in centre. Whisk vegetable oil or butter, milk, vanilla and eggs in a large jug. Add the wet ingredients to well. Using a wooden spoon, stir until just combined (don’t over-mix). Spoon mixture into paper cases.

Bake accordingly to the above suggested baking time or until firm to touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 5 min. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve.

Happy Baking
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  1. that's so interesting - they both look fantastic - I always think butter just has the edge on taste - but then I eat too much of either one!
    Mary x

  2. Nice fat or Naughty fat both looks good. So you still prefers the naughty ones?

  3. This is so fun, thanks for the information. They both sound great bit I'm still convinced that butter will always win!

  4. Butter I guess but then I also use canola oil and it produce good result :D Both muffins looks gorgeous though but because I love white choco - the naughty one pretty pls :D

  5. Very interesting post. When I think of oil in a baked good the most prominent recipe that comes to mind is the chiffon or red velvet cake. I like the texture it gives cakes, but not to sure on muffins. I do know I could not refuse either of these in the picture-yum! Thanks for sharing.

  6. I love real tests - instead of guessing and wondering what's tastier, you made both versions so you can see for sure. Thanks for posting your results! I love baked goods with butter too - they usually have better texture and taste then the ones with oil.

  7. This is nice Zoe and you make me laugh! love your pictures!! LOL
    Sometimes I make my muffins with oil and are absolutely nice and these look delicious ! really nice and interesting recipe! gloria

  8. Hi Zoe, cute presentation, very lovely. Nice & delicious muffin. Have a nice day.

  9. You made me grin, Zoe. I love the pictures. Butter is a GOOD fat in my world. The muffins all look delicious!

  10. I always prefer butter to oil, and I can always test the difference when one or the other is used - my mom says it's cos I'm so picky hehe. Anyway love the angel/devil muffins - they look uber cute!

  11. I like the way you distinguished your muffins haha i find it so cute Zoe. But this is really an interesting post, as I thought it was the other way around.
    Have a great week!

  12. Interesting post n nice photos. Your both muffins look very yummy! I will use vege oil when bake for everyday consumption. Occassionally I will use butter especially craving for something rich. Thanks for your recipe.

  13. Ha, what a fun comparison. They both look great!

  14. Both are the winner.They look delicious!

  15. What a great post. That's a great comparison cos I always wonder if the butter would make a difference...now I know! :)

    Yeah, coconut oils has high saturated fat, but I also heard it's the good type. Many health food stores actually encourage to consume more coconut oil. I personally love the flavor added to baked goods and some savory dishes as well. :) Have fun baking.

  16. FOr me both are excellent,super delicious muffins.

  17. that's really a nice experiment working comparing the two. I should also consider using vegetable oil in some of my bakes and see..but i think i've tried that before..but never made any comparison.

  18. Zoe, both are great...I love them.

  19. Both look yummy to me but on second thought, would go for the oil .... less fat!

  20. this looks fabulous
    Zoe ivy gourd is more like a cucumber than bitter gourd it is tasty and not bitter :)

  21. Loved this post... I made muffins yesterday with oil... I honestly couldn't tell... I normally use butter for everything.

    I tested myself this week to see if I could go with no wine no butter... I failed on the wine still going strong without butter!

  22. Wow, both muffins looks super delicious! For me, I guess butter would always be the winner, with its buttery aroma and tenderness that I think oil does not have! I love the picture of your evil muffins, so cute! ... :)

  23. I actually like the nice muffin better, so nicely domed but of course you are the better judge taste wise!

  24. Mmmm....those look so so yummy. I love the one with the butter dripping down the sides. Delicious!

  25. Butter makes the world go round. If something tastes good, it inevitably contains butter. I LOVE the angel/devil cutouts on these cupcakes!!! Adorable and delicious-looking!!

  26. Hi Zoe

    My youngest son (13 years old) has a holiday home econ project. He chose to do this - the "Naughty" one. It's yummy and pretty. But only managed to make 6 only because the muffin cup is too big.

    It was difficult to whisk the milk, butter and egg together. He had caused a big mess in the kitchen ha ha ha! But it's a good try for him.

    Will post it on my blog :D

  27. hi... im new on baking may i know the 1 cup is how gram or ML?

    1. I follow the Aus cup system which is 1 cup = 250 ml. Weight is different if you are using different ingredients.