What can I substitute for shortening?

In this concise article, we will answer the question, “What can I substitute for shortening?”. We will discuss in detail the possible substitutes for shortening when it is not available. 

What can I substitute for shortening?

Shortening can be best substituted with butter, margarine, coconut oil, lard, vegetable oil, vegan butter, applesauce, ghee, and bacon grease.

Shortening is a fat that is solid at room temperature. It is used in baking to add texture and unique flavour to baking products. But, if for some reason there is no shortening available then you can use these substitutes with the same benefits and flavour.

Substitutes for shortening

If you run out of shortening, no need to worry. Below we have mentioned different substitutes for shortening that give the same texture and flavour to the dish. 


Butter can be used as a substitute for shortening. It has more water content as compared to shortening.

If you use butter as a substitute, it will make it less tender and will add a crisper. It adds a great perk to many baking products.

Butter helps in reducing the chances of cancer. Butter contains a high amount of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is such a compound that is converted into vitamin A.

It is also beneficial for the eyes and bones.


Margarine can also be used as a substitute for shortening. It is made up of vegetable oil, water, and milk. Water content in the margarine helps in making baked goods less tender and crispier. 

Margarine is not only helpful in baking products but also has health benefits. It contains polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These fats help reduce LDL (Low-density lipoprotein)

Coconut oil:

Coconut oil can be used as a substitute for vegetable shortening. It is used for adding flavour to baking products. If you want to get less coconut flavour, then you should use refined coconut oil as compared to unrefined.

Coconut oil is used in baking products for adding flavour but also it is super beneficial for health.

It helps in burning fats. It helps reduce hunger. It helps in boosting skin health and hair. Coconut oil also has ingredients that have anti-inflammatory characteristics. So, it is beneficial for health. It helps in increasing collagen production.


Lard is used as a substitute for shortening. It is made up of animal fat. Lard adds a unique flavour to the dish. It contains a high amount of vitamin D. It contains fats that are beneficial for the heart. As a replacement for vegetable shortening, you can use it as 7/8 cup of lard for every 1 cup of vegetable shortening.

Vegetable oil:

If you are looking for melted shortening as a substitute, then you could use vegetable oil. In vegetable oils, you can use canola oil or olive oil. These oils have low saturated fats. Other than adding flavour to the meal it has many health benefits. It helps in improving heart health. 

It is naturally trans-fat-free. It helps relieve menopausal symptoms. It is rich in vitamins. It has many skin benefits as well, it helps in softening cracked feet.

Vegan butter:

Vegan butter can be a substitute for shortening. It is made up of many plant-based oils just like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil. Using vegan butter could cause a slight change in the taste of baking goods. But still, it is a good choice to replace.

If you are looking for vegan butter to replace shortening, then you should go with Earth balance vegan butter. It gives the almost same texture and flavour to the dish as butter.

Another reason for replacing it with any shortening is, it is affordable.


Applesauce is used as a substitute for shortening. It is used for reducing the fat content in baking goods.

Applesauce also has many health benefits. It contains phytochemicals. These phytochemicals help in reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes, and many heart diseases. As it is obtained from the whole apple, it can be consumed every day in the diet. It makes the diet a balanced diet.


The amount of water in ghee is less than in butter. It can also be used as a substitute for shortening. It gives a smooth and unique texture to the baking goods. It can be replaced in the ratio of 1:1 as a substitute for shortening. 

It contains 9 grams of saturated fats, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fats. 4 grams of monounsaturated fats. 

Consuming ghee daily can help in strengthening your immunity. It also improves digestion. It helps in boosting memory. It is beneficial for the skin as well. It helps in glowing your skin.

Bacon grease:

Bacon grease can be used as a substitute for shortening. It can be used in an equal ratio of 1:1.

It is rich in essential micronutrients that contain potassium which helps support bone health, heart health, and muscle health.


In this short article, we have discussed the substitutes for shortening. These substitutes have the same flavour and texture as baking products.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.