Cooking Hack: Shortening Substitute


When it comes to baking, shortening is a common ingredient. But don’t fret if you run out of this ingredient in your pantry because there are simple substitutes that you can try. There are 3 options for shortening substitutes that you might want to use instead.

What is Shortening?

Simply put, shortening is any kind of fat that is used for baking. The fat coats the flour and prevents the water from activating the compounds that enable gluten to form throughout the baking process. Before shortening was used for baking, lard is a common ingredient used for this purpose.

If you cannot find any shortening on hand, there are a few options when it comes to shortening substitutes that you can use instead.

Butter (or Margarine)

Butter is a good substitute for shortening for making baked goods such as cakes, biscuits, and all kinds of pastries. You can also use margarine if you don’t have butter, as long as the flavor would suit the recipe you are making.

When using butter or margarine as a substitute, you can use the same measurement in terms of volume. But if you are measuring the ingredient by weight, use 25% less.

Coconut Oil (or Vegetable Oils)

The use of vegetable oil is a good alternative for shortening when baking. Coconut oil is one of the best options available. You can use a 1:1 ratio when replacing shortening with coconut oil. If you do not want to add a distinct coconut flavor to your dish or baked good, opt for refined coconut oil instead.


If you are making cakes or cookies, applesauce is a great substitute for shortening. The use of applesauce adds more density to your baked goods. For a cup of shortening in your recipe, you can substitute it with half a cup of applesauce. You can adjust the amount you use depending on the quantity of sugar in the applesauce.

Subscribe to our newsletter and
stay updated.