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Shortening substitute in cookies

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For years, pastry chefs and bakers have used shortening’s promoting properties in a variety of recipes. And that’s why, when you don’t have it in your pantry, it feels impossible to get anything done. This is particularly important in cookies since the dough must be of the right texture in order to be flattened and moulded. But, you need not be concerned since many different products and food additives may serve as suitable alternatives.

What does Shortening do in Cookies?

Shortening is any fat that is solid at room temperature and is used in baking and sometimes cooking dishes. Whilst most shortening is derived from vegetable oil, animal fats such as lard may also be utilized. It’s 100% hydrogenated fat, tasteless, and devoid of moisture.

There are two methods to prepare the dough, and each is dependent on the presence or lack of shortening. Stretchy dough does not need shortening, and it is ideal for baked items that benefit from such texture, such as pizzas. But, in cookie recipes, the dough must be readily cut, which is why shortening is added to the mixture. Its addition keeps these cookies wet and helps them to firm without breaking form.

Shortening in Other Baking Recipes

Cookies aren’t the only dishes that benefit from the use of shortening. In many others, it helps to keep form and adds a certain amount of fluff with just enough moisture. It’s also useful for making baked goods for correct presentation since the dough stays together well after baking. It works not just for dough, but also for toppings and icing when you need to keep in shape.

Shortening, since it is entirely made of fat, lends a lot of smoothness to baked products. When added to the dough, the completed items become soft and moist, making them more appealing. Shortening adds no taste since it lacks it. Yet, it aids in the retention of additional tastes by trapping moisture in the dough’s fat foundation, enabling the dough to integrate the additions during baking.

Apart from cookies, shortening is widely used in a variety of baked products and dishes, including, but not limited to;

  • Cakes
  • Toppings and frostings
  • Scones
  • Pastiera
  • Snickerdoodles
  • Truffles
  • Muffins
  • Brownies
  • Pop-tarts
  • Cake roll-ups
  • Chocolate bars
  • Tartlets of pie
  • Buttercream
  • Donuts
  • Squares for dessert
  • Butterballs
  • Galettes
  • Biscuits
  • Bangers and mashed potatoes
  • Pies

Shortening in Cookies- Substitutes

So you’re preparing cookies and have all the ingredients ready. But then you discover you’ve run out of shortening and are at a loss on what to do. Worry not, since you most likely have excellent replacements right in your own kitchen. And since each one works well for various sorts of cookies, you have a vast selection of taste choices to experiment with. Here are a few of the finest;


For every cup of shortening asked for, use 2 cups. If you’re using sweetened applesauce, halve the amount of sugar in the recipe. Sweetness is a prominent ingredient in cookie recipes, and applesauce is the greatest option for shortening if this is what you’re searching for. It’s also quite thick, so you can be certain that the finished result will be perfectly formed, with just enough wetness and crumbly texture. 1 cup applesauce may be used in place of shortening.

Butter and Flaxseeds

In baking recipes, butter is a great alternative for shortening, and cookies are no exception. In addition to a crispy texture, your cookies will have a delightful and creamy butter flavor. And when coupled with flaxseeds, the result is a sweetened and thick batch of cookies. To achieve this, combine half of each to produce the complete amount of shortening necessary. Additionally, use butter in a flavor you like or that you know will enhance the target flavor of the cookies.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil has long been recognized for its health advantages, and many pastry chefs use it in place of shortening in many cookie recipes. To make things simpler, think of vegetable oil as liquid shortening since shortening is essentially hydrogenated vegetable oil. While olive oil is the healthiest option, it may not be a preferred flavor in cookie recipes. You may still utilize other delectable choices, one of which being coconut oil. To replace shortening in cookie recipes, use 3 parts vegetable oil for every 4 parts shortening and increase the eggs and sugar sparingly.


Margarine, like butter, is an excellent alternative for shortening in cookies. Its high fat concentration results in a fluffier but crumbly texture in the cookies, as well as a creamy, delectable margarine flavor. Also, since margarine contains some water, additional moisture is added to the batter. You may use margarine in place of shortening in any cookie recipe, but be sure it has a taste you like in the end result. If the recipe calls for salt, decrease the amount slightly since margarine already includes some.

Fresh Cream

Fresh cream is the greatest alternative for shortening in cookie recipes with a milky taste. It’s heavy in fat and produced from milk, so you may expect food texture and a delightful taste similar to milk cookies. Since fresh cream contains a substantial amount of water, take notice and decrease the amount of water in the cookie mixture somewhat. In cookie recipes, you may use equal parts fresh cream and shortening.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you use half butter and half shortening in cookies?

You certainly can. With this combination, you get the best of both worlds. The shortening ensures that the cookies are moist, soft, and crumbly. And the butter adds a creamier texture to the taste.

Are sugar cookies better with butter or shortening?

Both work well for sugar cookies. But, butter is your best bet for a flatter form and crisper texture. Since butter has a low melting point, the dough spreads during baking before the form is entirely established.

How to make cookies soft and chewy?

To make the dough softer, mix in some cornstarch. Adding an additional egg yolk helps the chewiness as well. More brown sugar than white sugar may make the cookies softer and moister, while underbaking can have the same effect. Melt the butter for added chewiness.


Creating great-tasting cookies without shortening isn’t as impossible as many people imagine. You can make delicious batches every time you turn on the oven with great substitutes like these. Remember to experiment with them while preparing your next tray of snacks until you find more creative methods to prepare your favorite treats.


What is best substitute for shortening?

Vegetable oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, and grapeseed oil all have high smoke points and may be used for frying, but vegetable oil is your best choice since it’s cheap and flavorless.

Can you use oil in cookies instead of shortening?

Vegetable oil is a wonderful substitute for melted shortening in recipes. But don’t use vegetable oil as a shortening replacement in recipes like pie crust, biscuits, or scones—the dough won’t puff up correctly since there won’t be pockets of fat.

What can I substitute for 1 cup of melted shortening?

Instead of shortening, use butter or margarine, adding a couple of tablespoons every cup called for in a recipe. Use 1 cup butter or margarine plus 2 tablespoons for every 1 cup of shortening called for in a recipe.

Can I use butter instead of shortening in cookies?

In a recipe, can I swap butter for shortening or shortening for butter? This is a commonly requested subject, particularly when it comes to baking recipes. Yes, butter and shortening may be used interchangeably in baked items and as a one-to-one substitute.

What can I substitute for 1 2 cup shortening in cookies?

Butter is a natural shortening alternative since it has a comparable texture and a more savory taste. Here’s how to substitute butter for shortening in a recipe that asks for it: 1 cup Plus 2 tablespoons butter equals 1 cup shortening.

What is a healthy alternative to Crisco in baking?

Vegetable shortening may be replaced with banana, applesauce, or prune purees. While the tastes are somewhat different, you will become used to them.

Is shortening butter or oil better for cookies?

Yet unappealingly oily. They weren’t “bendy,” like margarine. Those cooked with vegetable oil were more delicate and crumbly. Unlike those produced with butter, the kind of fat has a little textural variation.

Shortening-based cookies were crunchier.

How much oil can I use instead of shortening?

To use shortening as a replacement for oil in baking, use equal quantities of each. This may be used to replace any sort of cooking oil, including avocado oil, vegetable oil, olive oil, and others.

What will happen to my cookies if I use oil instead of butter?

Since oil is a liquid, putting it in cookies usually results in a thicker texture. Also, since oil is 100% fat, it does not react with flour in the same way as butter does (butter contains water). As a result, your cookies will be less fluffy. If you like flat cookies, using oil is a fantastic choice.

What happens if you use butter instead of shortening?

If you bake using butter instead of shortening, you’ll notice these changes. Cookies baked with butter or margarine may be softer and more spreadable. Cookies prepared with butter are crispier than soft cookies made with shortening, but the taste is deeper.

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