Can You Use Shortening Instead of Butter?

can-use-shortening-instead-butter Credit: Westend61/Getty Images

Shortening can be used instead of butter, but it may change the texture and flavor of food or baked products. Shortening produces higher, lighter-textured baked goods, while butter produces flatter, crispier products. Think twice before substituting shortening for butter if the buttery taste is an important aspect of the recipe, such as when making shortbread or butter pound cake.

For an effect closer to that of butter, simply add 1.5 teaspoons of water for every quarter-cup of shortening. Experiment with flavorings and spices to adjust the flavor profile. Alternatively, substitute butter with applesauce, avocado, canola oil, Greek yogurt or prune puree.