Shortening Substitutes

What is a good shortening substitute? Substitutes for shortening include butter, coconut oil and other items used in accordance with our table. When substituting, beware that shortening is usually referenced in the solid form, as in cans of Crisco. But Crisco can be used in recipes both in the solid form and in the melted or liquid form. Both forms can be substituted for other ingredients.

Check the table below for an easy shortening substitute or a Crisco substitute. The shortening substitution is different depending if you want a liquid shortening substitute or a solid shortening substitute so please note that when reading the table of shortening substitutes.

Also, beware that substitutions are not always reversible - if you substitute Crisco for butter it is different than substituting butter for Crisco (see table below).

When baking, you may want to use Crisco as a substitute for butter. When frying, you may want to use Crisco as a substitute for vegetable oil.

Shortening Substitutes

Shortening Amount Substitute
Shortening substitute 1 Cup Solid 1 Cup -Minus 2 Tablespoons of Lard
*OR* 1 Cup Butter
*OR* 1 Cup Margarine
Shortening substitute 1 Cup Melted 1 Cup Vegetable Oil (or other cooking oil, but only if melted shortening is called for in the recipe or you are frying)
Butter substitute* 1 Cup 1 Cup Shortening +Plus 2 Tablespoons of Water

Considerations with Shortening Substitutes

*NOTE: When you are substituting Crisco for butter (your recipe calls for butter), you must add 2 T of water but if you are substituting butter for shortening (your recipe calls for Crisco) it is an equal substitution of softened butter for Crisco.

Remember, when making substitutions be sure to measure accurately for best results. Again, these substitutions for shortening are distinct based on whether the recipe calls for solid or melted shortening. Some substitutions for crisco may alter slightly the taste, texture, weight, or moisture content of the finished product. Some people prefer the shortening and some prefer the butter or oil, personal preference.

To find out more about crisco visit our shortening shelf life page.

A note regarding Substitutions...

Using these substitute suggestions may slightly alter the taste, texture or appearance of your resulting recipe. However, we recommend these substitutions as similar replacement ingredients when the original ingredients are unavailable.