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1/2 Cup Shortening Equals How Much Butter?

Butter is used in cooking to add moisture and add flavor.

If you happen to find yourself out of butter or if you need a dairy-free substitute, shortening works well in many situations.

Shortening has a far longer shelf-life, which can make it more convenient.

But how much shortening do you need to add to balance out the amount of butter called for in the recipe?

1/2 Cup Shortening Equals How Much Butter?

1/2 cup of shortening equals 1/2 cup of butter. Shortening and butter work on a one-to-one scale, which means that however much butter your recipe calls for, that is how much shortening you should use. While you should use the same amount of shortening as butter, the end results will be slightly different.

1/2 Cup Shortening Equals How Much Butter?
1/2 Cup Shortening Equals How Much Butter?

Butter Versus Shortening

If a recipe calls for butter, you can substitute it with shortening. One of the things to consider when substituting is that there is a loss of flavor.

Substituting shortening for butter in baking is less noticeable than many other cooking methods.

Even with baking, your baked goods will come out differently than they would with butter.

This is because shortening is typically made from vegetable oil fats, which don’t cook identically to butter.

Butter provides more moisture. In comparison to shortening, butter has 20 percent water according to Foodnetwork, while shortening has zero percent.

There are instances where one is better than the other. Butter produces more moisture, which can be ideal for baked goods.

Alternatively, if you are baking and want to have a lighter result, shortening should be your go-to.

Baked goods made with shortening have a crispier texture.

1/2 cup of shortening equals 1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of shortening equals 1/2 cup of butter

How to Substitute Shortening for Butter in a Recipe

The amount of shortening that you should substitute for butter is surprisingly simple.

If the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of butter, you can use 1/2 shortening. 

What you need to account for is the difference in the final result.

While shortening and butter are interchangeable in the amount that is required for recipes, they each have different properties when cooked.

When cooking with shortening, you can adjust the recipe a little bit to get a similar result. For insistence, you can substitute milk for water, this can help balance out the fat levels.

Due to the added oils from the far in shortening, having a wetter mix will give you a more moist result.

Shortening is made of vegetable oil fats
Shortening is made of vegetable oil fats

Otherwise, items made with shortening are typically lighter or crispier.

If you’re making a substitute for shortening for butter, the temperature is important.

While shortening has a higher melting point, it also crisps up very quickly.

Butter allows you to be a little more flexible when it comes to timing due to the added moisture.

What to Watch Out For When Subtituting Shortening for Butter

If you’re substituting shortening for butter, one of the main areas that you should consider is taste.

Butter has a rich and natural flavor while shortening does not. Shortening consists of just the facts; there is no dairy.

The cooking method should also be adjusted when substituting shortening for butter. While shortening has a higher melting point, you should account for the lack of moisture.

For example, if you are making baked goods with shortening, a higher temperature or time is required.

By using shorterning there is a loss of flavor compared to butter
By using shortening there is a loss of flavor compared to butter

You will also see a result that has more texture. This is because of the oil in the shortening.

When using shortening, you can add a little bit of water if you’re concerned about moisture. Just be sure to fully mix the water in.

If you want an even cook, the uneven dough will produce less than desirable results.

Like butter, when it comes to shortening, it should be considered a dry ingredient.

Add your shortening when the recipe calls to mix your dry ingredients.

Because of the oils in shortening, if you add it to your wet ingredients, it will make it harder to absorb.

If you use shortening for baked good a high temperature or duration is needed
If you use shortening for baked good a high temperature or duration is needed

If you are using shortening as a substitute for butter in the frosting, you should anticipate a different texture.

With butter, the fat melts at body temperature, leaving you with a rich frosting.

However, with shortening it does not reach the proper temperatures to melt. It can leave a greasy or heavy after-taste.

Frequently Asked Questions About 1/2 Cup Shortening Equals How Much Butter?

Is shortening a healthier substitute than butter?

While neither is necessarily healthy, butter is healthier than shortening. Shortening is made up of fats. While not all shortening is made the same, most of the shortening that you find in the store is made from vegetable oil. You can find shortening that is made from butter or lard fat, just be sure to check the label first.

Does shortening cook faster than butter?

Shortening takes longer to cook than butter. Butter has a lower melting point of 95º F (35º C), whereas shortening has a melting point of 117º F (47º C). Because of this, either you need to anticipate longer cooking times or higher temperatures.

Can you use shortening in place of salted butter?

Some recipes call for salted butter. If you are out or need a dairy-free option, what about shortening? You can substitute shortening for salted butter. To do so, just add a little bit of salt and mix it into your shortening.

Conclusion About 1/2 Cup Shortening Equals How Much Butter

1/2 cup of shortening equals 1/2 of butter.

Shortening makes a great substitute for butter if you are out or looking to make a dairy-free option.

While you use the same amount of shortening that you would butter, keep in mind that due to the ingredients in each of them, you will get a slightly different result.