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Foods -- Fats and Oils

Can solid shortening be substituted for oil in baked goods?

Rating: 91

There is no standard way to substitute oil for a solid shortening in baked products. Oil is 100% fat while butter and margarine are 80% fat. Solid shortenings like Crisco have air whipped into them so when one cup is melted, it would be less than one cup. Also, oil does not help incorporate air into the batter during the creaming stages as well as solid shortening. Therefore, if you substitute oil for shortening your baked product will be more compact and oily in texture. If you want to experiment with a substitution, use 20% less fat when oil is substituted for solid shortening. Also, try beating egg whites to stiff peaks and folding into the batter. The best suggestion is to write to the companies that make oils and ask for their recipes that have been developed using their product.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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