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Aug 2, 2011 09:49 AM

Subbing butter for vegetable shortening in a cake recipe

I'm going to bake a chocolate cake (for a layer cake) and I keep butter on hand, but not vegetable shortening. Can I make the substitution without much of a problem? I'm already subbing "homemade" cake flour (the AP-cornstarch sub) for the regular cake flour. I'd rather not buy ingredients that I won't use much (i.e. cake flour, veg. shortening)--they take up valuable space.

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  1. I'm trying again, as my first response didn't take. I would absolutely make the butter substitution. The texture will change a little -- not quite so light and airy -- but probably more delicious with the butter flavor. Your flour sub may do the same thing. Your cake will be a little more dense, but I don't think anyone will notice as they devour the chocolatey goodness. I always sub butter for shortening, texture be damned, as something about the mouthfeel of shortening is unappealing to me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: maxie

      i agree. butter, margerine, crisco...all interchangeable . I figure most recipes started out with butter, were adulterated to those other two during the dark ages, so can easily be changed back. IMHO.

    2. The texture will differ but the flavor will be more appealing. That said, I have 2 cookie recipes that are sublime and DO NOT WORK without Crisco.

      4 Replies
      1. re: buttertart

        no kidding? are they just not crispy?

        1. re: danna

          Not the same at all. They have a unique brittle/crisp texture with it. They also use cream of tartar - that seems to add to the texture too.

        2. re: buttertart

          I have a chinese almond cookie recipe that works great with lard, pretty good w/ Crisco and not good with butter. It's not terrible w/ butter but it's not the right texture.

          1. re: chowser

            I always use lard in those. YUM...

        3. Thanks all! Butter it is.