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Old 09-28-2007, 09:52 AM   #1
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Shortening???

if a cupcake recipe asks for 3/4 cup shortening. what is the most suitable substitute?

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Old 09-28-2007, 10:15 AM   #2
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3/4 cup of butter
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:51 PM   #3
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And, make sure you cream the butter and sugar together very well - 5 minutes or more with an electric mixer. This is necessary to incorporate as much air into the butter as possible - shortening is abaout 20% tiny air bubbles that expand when heated - butter doesn't have any air bubbles so you need to add them. If you don't it will affect the texture and the cupcakes will be denser.
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Michael in FtW View Post
And, make sure you cream the butter and sugar together very well - 5 minutes or more with an electric mixer. This is necessary to incorporate as much air into the butter as possible - shortening is abaout 20% tiny air bubbles that expand when heated - butter doesn't have any air bubbles so you need to add them. If you don't it will affect the texture and the cupcakes will be denser.
If this is so, shouldn't you use 20% less butter?
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:13 PM   #5
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Hi Everyone!

I think it works this way: Butter is approximately 20% water and 80% fat. So to replace shortening (which is 100% fat) with butter, you need to add 25% (which equals 1 divided by 0.8) more butter than the amount of shortening in the recipe. In addition, you also need to reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe to account for the water in the butter. Reduce the liquid by 20% of the amount of butter added.

As an example, say a recipe calls for 1 cup of shortening and 1 cup of milk. If you use butter instead of shortening, you'd use 1.25 cups of butter and reduce the amount of milk by 1/4 cup (20% of 1.25 cups) to 3/4.

Kinda sounds complicated. Sorry about that!
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jennyema
If this is so, shouldn't you use 20% less butter?
No, Jennyema - the amount of fat is the same in the two on a volume to volume substitution .... but Shirley and Alton would both make me sit in the corner for not remembring this until your question:

You have to adjust the liquid content to compensate for the differences between the two - shortening is fat and air, butter is fat and water. Using US measurements (1 cup = 16 Tablespoons, 1 Tablespoon = 3 teaspoons) ... the factor is 1.5 teaspoons liquid per 1/4 cup. If you are substituting butter for shortning you subtract that amount of liquid from the recipe, if your substituting shortning for butter you add that much water.

So, in this case of swapping 3/4 cup butter for 3/4 cup shortning - Ally should reduce the liquid in the recipe by 4.5 teaspoons (or 1 Tablespoon plus 1.5 teaspoons).
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:06 PM   #7
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Whoa, I vote Michael to be DC’s version of Alton Brown! Great post!
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:31 PM   #8
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Whoa, I vote Michael to be DCs version of Alton Brown! Great post!

Too late. He is already there. Michael is the acknowledged master of the technically correct answer. If you want to know, ask Michael.
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:59 PM   #9
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Too late. He is already there. Michael is the acknowledged master of the technically correct answer. If you want to know, ask Michael.
Does that work for everything....like questions about women??!?!?!?!?! I've got a pat answer of "smile and nod your head" that seems to work, but I'm sure there is more!
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:02 PM   #10
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I can't speak to Michael's expertise on other topics.

My advice is to remember the two most important words any man in a relationship needs to know: "Yes, Dear."
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