Were you ever baking a recipe that requires butter-flavored shortening but ran out of it? You don’t need to panic. We’re here to help with the substitutes that work well!
The best and most obvious substitute for butter-flavored shortening is butter. Most recipes that require shortening can be done perfectly well with butter, and the taste will be the same. There are other substitutes, but they won’t be butter-flavored. That’s why we’ll direct our focus toward the use of butter instead of shortening.
Keep on reading to understand how butter differs from shortening, and know about all the other alternatives!
Well, the first shortening alternative that should come to your mind is butter. It doesn’t only have the same taste, but it also results in excellent consistency and texture. Some people even believe it leaves a better effect than shortening, but that depends on the type of goods you’re baking.
For example, butter is the best alternative for shortening when it comes to cookies because it has the perfect combination of fat and water. During baking, the water content changes to steam, which forms gluten. In turn, the cookies get their famous crispy texture.
One more reason to use butter as a shortening substitute is its low melting point. When the fat in it melts, your baked goods expand and puff up. In the case of butter, this happens faster than shortening because of the lower melting temperature.
Furthermore, butter is creamier than shortening, making it a perfect substitute for baked goods that need to have a soft, airy feeling.
Whether you’re cooking or baking, you want to get the exact right amounts to avoid any unfortunate incidents when it comes to recipes. We all tried baking and completely failed at one point, let’s admit it!
When using butter instead of shortening, there are some calculations you’ll need to do if you want to come out with the correct amounts. If your recipe requires half a cup of shortening, you should multiply the amount by 1.25. This should result in approximately 4 ounces.
Next, multiply the butter weight by 0.15, which should give you around 0.5 ounces. Remove this amount from the recipe, and you’ll have gotten it right.
You must do these calculations because shortening and butter have different water and fat content. So, using the same amount won’t turn out correct.
There’s a high chance that you don’t have butter either in your fridge. That’s why we’ll tell you about other substitutes that can serve instead of shortening. However, bear in mind that they won’t taste like butter if you’re looking for an alternative for specifically butter-flavored shortening.
Lard is only rendered pork fat, so it’s an excellent alternative for shortening. It has a high content of monounsaturated fats, and it’s known for its high smoke point. Besides, it doesn’t contain much water, so it doesn’t result in much steam.
In fact, you can use lard for deep frying because of its qualities. You should just take care that packaged lard gets hydrogenated most of the time, which means it’ll have a good amount of trans fats. So, make sure you’re getting pure lard from a trusted source.
Coconut oil is best known for its multiple uses. You can use it for hair care, skincare, and of course, cooking. If you ran out of shortening, you could use coconut oil instead, thanks to its high-fat content.
On top of that, it has a nice taste that adds a touch of savoriness to the final product. Nevertheless, some people avoid using it because of that exact reason. Not everyone can ensure the taste of coconut in biscuits, apparently!
You can use it in the same proportions you’d use of shortening.
Bacon fat is a close relative to lard, and it’s actually considered a variation or a type of it. You can use it for recipes that demand a lot of fat.
There’s a high chance bacon fat’s taste will appear in the final product, though. It may not appear in cooking, but it surely will in baked goods. That’s especially because bacon fat is a bit salty, contrary to the other substitutes, such as coconut oil.
So, when choosing bacon fat for your recipe, make sure the taste will be fine. No one would want to eat bacon biscuits!
If your recipe demands vegetable shortening, you can substitute it for margarine, which is a famous knock-off of butter. You can use it in the same amounts you’d add shortening.
There’s one thing about margarine you need to know; it’s highly processed. Therefore, it doesn’t have the same taste as butter. You may find it odd at first, but you’ll get used to it fast.
It’s not recommended to use it in high amounts, though, because it doesn’t have the same nutritional value as butter.
If you don’t mind the different flavors, there are a lot of other substitutes for shortening that you can use for baking or cooking. Here are all the substitutes for every form of cooking you’re doing.
When making cookies, people mostly use shortening because it results in a crumbly texture. Plus, the cookies don’t spread much, resulting in a dome-like figure.
If you want the same effects, you can opt for a mix of butter and coconut oil. The oil will slow down the butter’s effect a bit, which will get you a final result similar to that of shortening.
Meanwhile, butter alone will get the cookies to be flatter and crispier, which some people don’t prefer. You can still use it if you’re short on coconut oil, though.
Most people aim at a flaky texture when making biscuits. The tall baked goods also need to be fluffy, sift, and maybe a bit chewy, contrary to cookies. The use of shortening for biscuits is mainly because it guarantees the desired flakiness. However, some people still prefer to use butter because it accounts for a better flavor.
That’s why butter is one of the best alternatives for shortening—at least for making biscuits. That being said, you can also use coconut oil instead. And instead of the all-purpose flour, you can use almond flour.
Bread dough needs to have enough fat in it to provide the tenderness that bread is best known for. That’s why chefs use butter to make brioche and oil to cook challah. Each type of bread needs its own amount of fat, along with the other ingredients.
If your bread recipe demands shortening, you can use oil, butter, or leaf lard. All the mentioned options will get the tenderness you need, and they’ll make the bread airy and soft enough for savoriness.
The frosting is a bit challenging to make, seeing as its ingredients are more than just some flour and fat. While substituting shortening in cookies and biscuits is easy, it’s not the same with frosting. The best thing to do is to use a mix of butter, margarine, and coconut oil.
As you’ve seen, there are a lot of other options you can use instead of shortening. If you’re out of it before completing your recipe, don’t panic. Just look for some cooking oil or butter in your fridge, and you’ll be fine!