Question: Can I sub butter for shortening in cookie recipe.

October 10, 2010


Chris Paulk's picture

In most cases it should be fine- you may want to either reduce the salt if you are using salted butter or use unsalted butter.

Curt's picture

It will probably work. As Chris said...salt may be an issue but again...probably not.

ping's picture

yes you can but the cookies will spread more if using butter because of the moisture content. Also, butter is a healthier version as shortening contains hydrogenated fat. Hope this is helpful.

GreenGirl's picture

I never used shortening, lard or margarine in any cooking, always used butter and the results were great, so yes, you can substitute the shortening with butter.

Angie Montroy's picture

I only use butter when baking cookies. I find that with drop cookies it is best to refrigerate the dough thoroughly before baking. This will prevent them from spreading too much. If you have too much spreading after doing this, reduce the amount of moisture, ie. fat, by one tablespoon at a time. Be sure to document this on your recipe.

Cliff's picture

From my 40 plus years of cookie baking, I have found that butter tends to make the cookie spread out and shortening tends to make the cookie hold it's shape. Many recipes call for part butter, part shortening which results in the perfect cookie. It also depends what type of cookie you are making, too.

HyeThymeCafe's picture

It depends on the texture you are looking for. If you are low on butter and wondering if you can substitute shortening, by all means do. If you are wondering if one bakes better than the other, I have always found shortening to lead to a crispier texture.

When baking something like Paklava, I use butter for the flavor and include some shortening for the crisp. For vegan friends, we make it with butter-flavored shortening.

If you like a softer cookie, I'd stick with the butter. :)