If you've ever wondered, "If a baking recipe calls for shortening, can I use butter or margarine instead?" you're not alone. Shortening and butter substitute questions come up all the time, especially in baking when the food science matters more. Here's our best advice.
As commercially available shortening is made of vegetable oils, you can use oil as a shortening substitute. Olive oil is considered the best option for this purpose. It is also healthy. However, olive oil is not suitable for baking products that are sweet. It can replace shortening in grilled sandwiches and other such food items.
To be clear, this is what I’m talking about: if the recipe called for 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening, you could use 1 cup of butter instead for a softer, shortening-free version. When baking… You can also substitute butter for shortening in baked goods, but sometimes there are also noticable differences. Shortening is 100% fat ...
Other coconut oil, lard is one of the few fats that are solid at room temperature, and the only reason for using shortening in baking that I'm aware of is to get the little lumps of shortening mixed with the flour that don't melt until it's baked, which will result in a tender texture.
The shortening substitution is different depending if you want a liquid shortening substitute or a solid shortening substitute so please note that when reading the table of shortening substitutes. Also, beware that substitutions are not always reversible - if you substitute Crisco for butter it is different than substituting butter for Crisco ...
When you have a recipe that calls for butter, you can substitute shortening, but you have to make some adjustments.There is some very basic kitchen math involved. This math is much easier done if you have a digital scale that can be set to grams. Weights (not volume measurements like cups) are a more accurate way to measure ingredients in baking.
To see just how different the spread would be, I baked two batches of our Self-Rising Crunchy Sugar Cookies (one made with all butter, one with all shortening), for another shortening vs. butter in baking comparison. As predicted, the cookies made with shortening spread less and remained slightly rounded, thanks to the higher melting point.
You can substitute vegetable oil, cup for cup, for shortening. Using oil versus shortening will change the texture of baked goods. The shortening, being a solid fat, will add more air to the batter when beaten in, giving the end product more of a cakey structure rather than the more dense structure oil will give.
Baking soda 1 teaspoon 4 teaspoons baking powder OR 1 teaspoon potassium bicarbonate and 1/3 teaspoon salt. NOTE: If the recipe calls for an acidic liquid such as sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk, vinegar, molasses, or citrus juice, you should replace it with the same amount of whole milk Beer 1 cup
Shortening is used in baking for short doughs—ones where a stretchy dough that forms gluten is not desired. If you want a flaky pie crust, for example, you don't want the gluten forming in the dough or the crust won't have the right texture. The fat in shortening coats the flour and keeps water from activating the compounds that form gluten.