Baking a cake or some cookies can make your day, so imagine having to go down to the store mid-baking because you’re out of butter. We know, it’s not a good feeling.
Luckily, you can use Crisco instead of butter. Granted, you’ll have to tweak the measurements of your recipe, but other than that, your baked goods should come out with a tender and nice texture.
Keep reading for an in-depth answer to the question “can you substitute crisco for butter?”. We’ll be explaining the difference between the two, how much you should use, and sharing tips on using crisco in baking.
In terms of composition, Crisco shortening is extremely close to what butter is, and both ingredients are commonly used in baking.
So, if you’ve already started your baking project and find out that you’re completely out of shortening, you don’t need to panic, because in most cases, you can still use Crisco shortening instead!
However, as mentioned above, the two compounds are extremely similar, but not identical. For instance, Crisco shortening is made of 100% fats while butter has some water content in it. So, for that substitution to work, you’ll have to do a little math.
Also, due to the change in composition between the two, there might be a few changes in terms of consistency and taste when using each of them.
The accuracy of the substitution is also essential, which is why having an accurate digital kitchen scale is ideal for that situation because weight is far more accurate than volume, like in measurement cups. Yet, the conversions can be done whether you use a kitchen scale or measuring cups.
As you now know, the water content of butter is absent in Crisco Shortening. But, apart from that, they’re basically the same.
You can substitute the Crisco shortening for butter by adding a calculated amount of water. Here are two different methods to adjust the Crisco shortening to replace butter:
For the highest level of accuracy, we recommend that you rely on weight rather than measuring cups. For this method, we recommend the Escali Alimento Digital Scale that allows you to set it to grams and a calculator.
Let’s say that the recipe calls for one cup of butter. This means that you need exactly 226 grams of butter.
To make the conversion, you should:
- Multiply the weight of butter in grams by 0.8 to find out the weight of Crisco shortening needed for substitution.
In the example, that’s 226 x 0.8 = 180.8 grams, so you’ll replace the butter with 181 grams of shortening.
- Multiply the weight of butter in grams by 0.16 to find out the amount of water you need to add to make up for the water content in butter.
In the example, that’s 226 x 0.16 = 36.1 grams, so you’ll add about 36.1 grams of water, which is about 2 tablespoons.
Adding the water is essential to keep the recipe creamy and prevent it from being chewier than the original one.
Here are some quick conversions to grams, so you can directly translate that into grams on your calculator:
- 1 cup = 8 ounces = 2 sticks = 226 grams
- 1 teaspoon = 1/6 ounce = 5.7 grams
- 1 tablespoon = 1/2 ounce = 17 grams
Whether you don’t have a kitchen scale set to grams or in a hurry, this alternative method will give you an excellent result without being too far off.
It’s ideal for simple recipes with ample room for changes in the ingredients, such as cakes and muffins.
Simply, if the recipe you’re following calls for butter in cups, replace it with the following amounts of Crisco shortening in addition to the specific amount of water and the optional dash of salt.
Here are a few examples to follow:
- For 1/4 cup of butter, use 1/4 cup of Crisco shortening + 1 1/2 teaspoons of water + a dash of salt
- For 1/3 cup of butter, use 1/3 cup of Crisco shortening + 2 teaspoons of water + a dash of salt
- For 1/2 cup of butter, use 1/2 cup of Crisco shortening + 1 teaspoon of water + 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- For 2/3 cup of butter, use 2/3 cup of Crisco shortening + 4 teaspoons of water + 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- For 3/4 cup of butter, use 3/4 cup of Crisco shortening + 1 1/2 tablespoons of water + 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- For 1 cup of butter, use 1 cup of Crisco shortening + 2 tablespoons of water + 1/4 teaspoon of salt
Note: In both of the previous methods, adding salt is only to give a similar taste of salted butter and not necessary for the substitution process. So, if the recipe calls for unsalted butter, you should skip adding salt.
While baking, the water content in the butter turns into steam, which plays a huge role in the development of gluten in the cake, making them a bit crispy and chewy.
Since Crisco shortening has no water, a cookie will have less gluten, which accounts for a softer texture that bakes up taller.
In terms of flavor, butter has a richer flavor while Crisco shortening has none, so you might notice that the taste is a bit different.
Butter and Crisco shortening belong to the same chemical group, which is the “fats” group. Both of them are made through the saturation of plants and seeds oils that have long chains of unsaturated fatty acids.
The process of saturating these acids is known as hydrogenation. Due to this closeness in chemical composition, both butter and Crisco shortening can be used interchangeably in a wide variety of situations.
Is Shortening Worse Than Butter?
According to Healthline, butter only contains 80% fats while shorterning contains 100% fats. It is also very high in calories and does not have either carbs nor protein. Shortening also contains very few vitamins and minerals which makes it worst than butter.
Due to the similarities in composition, substituting butter with Crisco shortening should work in the majority of baked recipes out there.
However, there are some situations and recipes where using Crisco shortening instead of butter isn’t recommended.
For example, no-bake cookie recipes, fudge, and candy recipes won’t turn out as great if you use Crisco shortening instead of butter.
Also, if you’re following a recipe where the butter is the main source of the flavor, such as sugar cookies and shortbreads, you should use the butter instead. This is because Crisco shortening doesn’t have a truly rich flavor as the one in butter.[Related Article: 10 Best Storage Containers for Baking Supplies and Buying Guide]
Here are a few tips to make your Crisco shortening bakery experience much easier and better!
As you already know, Crisco shortening does have a similar chemical structure to butter. However, regular Crisco shortening doesn’t have a distinct flavor that can add richness to your baked goods.
If you struggle to make your bakery’s texture more tender and need Crisco shortening for that, you should consider using the butter-flavored Crisco shortening instead!
Shortening has less saturated fats than butter and no water content, which helps in making crisco-baked goods have a higher and lighter texture.
On the other hand, butter has an authentic rich flavor that makes your cookies on another level! By combining the two of them, you get the best of both worlds!
So, can you substitute Crisco for butter in baking? Yes, you can! Just do some quick maths or follow the quick chart in this article to bake all your goodies with shortenings instead!
However, if you do have both butter and Crisco shortening, combining them together in a 1 to 1 ratio will give you both tenderness and rich taste!