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Substitute for Shortening in Cake

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You’ve undoubtedly come across shortening recipes if you like making cakes. Notably, shortening in cake gives a delightful soft, fluffy, and light texture.

But what if you run out of shortening in the midst of a baking project and discover you don’t have any on hand? There’s no need to fear; there are several fantastic shortening replacements in a cake.

Continue reading to discover more about shortening in cake and scrumptious dishes that can be made with it. In addition, I’ve highlighted suitable substitutions for shortening in a cake for days when you’re in a hurry.

Shortening Nutrition Facts

Substitute for Shortening in Cake

What is Shortening

Substitute for Shortening in Cake

Shortening is a solid fat obtained mostly from vegetable oils such as soybean and cottonseed that have been chemically hydrogenated into a solid form. It increases the shelf life of goods since it contains hydrogenated vegetable oil.

Trans fats are created as a result of this chemical process, and their consumption increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.

In the early 1900s, shortening was developed as a replacement for animal lard, which had a similar consistency. Notably, vegetable shortening is an old-fashioned component used in the production of short doughs.

Vegetable shortening businesses have gone above and beyond to distance themselves from trans fats since the mid-1990s, when the connection between shortening and health dangers was suspected.

This component, also known as vegetable shortening, is utilized in a variety of recipes ranging from homemade flour tortillas to white cakes. While shortening does not provide much flavor to baked goods such as cakes, it does add richness and softness, making them fluffier and flakier.

Shortening Used in Recipes

Shortening makes baked goods crumbly, flaky, and soft. Shortening makes highly delicate cakes, biscuits, and pie crusts because it has 100% fat rather than 80% fat butter and lard.

See some scrumptious cake recipes that use shortening:

  • Vanilla Cake Recipe
  • The Perfect Chocolate Cake
  • Simple White Cake
  • Buttercream Recipe Using Shortening
  • Fabulous Red Velvet
  • Yellow Cake Recipe with Milk Chocolate Frosting
  • Black Chocolate Cake
  • Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  • Moist White Cake
  • Pound Cake
  • Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting on a White Cake
  • Cream Cheese Pound Cake
  • Starlight Cake
  • Red Velvet Cake with Snow White Frosting
  • Vegan Buttercream

Substitutes for Shortening in Cake

If you don’t want to use vegetable shortening or don’t have any on hand, these substitutes will work.

Many of these changes will go undetected, so you may bake your favorite cake recipes without anybody recognizing that shortening is absent.


In your cake recipe, butter is a wonderful alternative for shortening.

Although butter may be used in place of shortening, the moisture level of the butter should be examined before making the move.

While shortening is totally made of fat, butter includes some water, therefore shortening provides more fat, resulting in improved richness and softness.

Each of these substances has a melting point. Despite these modifications, many members of the community have had success swapping butter for vegetable shortening.

So, if you don’t have any shortening on hand, use butter. Although your baked goods, like as cakes, may not be as flaky, they will have a rich and buttery taste.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another fantastic shortening replacement.

This alternative has a similar feel to shortening and is also vegan. You may substitute it 1:1, but bear in mind that your baked goods will likely have a tiny coconut taste.

Coconut oil, unlike shortenings, is a better alternative since it is natural and organic.

Notably, coconut oil, like butter, has a lower melting point than shortening. You may eliminate this issue by chilling your dough well before baking it.

Because of its high smoke point, coconut oil is often used to lubricate cake pans, muffin tins, and baking dishes.

Coconut oil has become a darling of the whole food movement for good reason. It is regarded to be a healthy fat with antibacterial properties. It’s also fantastic in baked goods like cakes.


Ghee is just butter that has been extracted of its water and milk particles. Ghee, like shortening, is made by gently heating butter until all of the water has evaporated.

Ghee may be used in lieu of shortening in any cake recipe that asks for it, particularly when a buttery flavor increase is desired.

Ghee contains a surprising amount of vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fats. While fat should be consumed in moderation, studies have shown that fatty foods like ghee may help with vitamin and mineral absorption.

Because ghee has a high nutritional value and a low fat level, it may be considered a healthier choice. Ghee is also a good alternative for butter while baking, such as when greasing cake pans or mixing batter.

Notably, ghee may be substituted for vegetable shortening at a 1:1 ratio.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is vegetable oil the same as liquid shortening?

The main distinction between vegetable oil and shortening is the solid feature. Shortening solidifies at room temperature, while oil does not. In most circumstances, melted vegetable shortening and vegetable oil may be used interchangeably in recipes.

Is shortening a better alternative to butter?

It was also healthier than butter and lard until recently since it had less saturated fat. We now know, however, that highly processed shortening has no health advantages and may be less nutritious than butter.

Why is it tagged “shortening”?

Shortening takes its name from the fact that it causes the gluten strands in dough to shorten. Wheat gluten forms elastic fibers and stretches dough, making it perfect for recipes that need stretching and molding, such as pizza dough.


If you are afraid that shortening is bad for your health, we have good news for you. Shortening was formerly made using trans-fatty acids, although many brands no longer use them.

Shortening is a solid saturated fat at room temperature, which means you’ll need to locate another solid fat at room temperature, ideally with the same low moisture content as shortening.

Here are a few shortening alternatives that will still result in a wonderful cake in terms of texture and taste.


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

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.

What is a good 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.

What can I substitute 1 cup of shortening with?

Butter. 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 can I substitute for Crisco in a cake recipe?

Best Crisco Alternatives
Any other brand of palm shortening or solid vegetable-based shortening.
Butter that is free of dairy.
Vegetable Oil, Margarine (normal or dairy-free).
The oil of coconut.
Fat from bacon.

Is 1 2 cup butter equal to 1 2 cup shortening?

Use the same quantity of whatever you’re using as directed in the recipe. In other words, the exchange should be one-to-one. If your recipe asks for one cup of butter, use one cup of shortening instead, and vice versa.

How much oil do I substitute for shortening?

Oil from Vegetables

Because shortening is created from vegetable oil, it stands to reason that vegetable oil may be substituted. While an equivalent 1:1 ratio may be used, it is better to use this as a replacement for recipes that call for melted shortening.

Can you just use butter instead of shortening?

Yes, butter and shortening may be used interchangeably in baked items and as a one-to-one substitute.

Can you use oil in place of shortening?

In general, you may use vegetable oil instead of shortening in cakes. If you use oil instead of shortening, be sure to follow the directions for your individual layer, sheet, pound, or bundt cake recipe, and then continue from there.

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.

Can I skip shortening in baking?

If you don’t have any shortening on hand, use butter instead—the quantity is the same! Your baked items may not be as flaky, but they will have a deep, buttery taste.

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