What’s A Good Substitute for Emulsified Shortening? 10 Alternatives Worth Trying!

Emulsified Shortening substitute
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Looking for the best substitute for Emulsified shortening for your favorite recipe?

Then your search is over!

Generally speaking, shortening is the fat in baking that becomes solid at room temperature.

This helps to render baked goods a nice crumbly and soft texture.

The shortening doesn’t have any odor or flavor.

Moreover, emulsified shortening is mostly used for making icing and cakes where the recipe includes a large percentage of sugar.

It can absorb sugar and liquid easily. This also prevents the icing from breaking down.

But what if your recipe calls for Emulsified shortening and you don’t have access to this essential ingredient?

Emulsified shortening is a bit difficult to find in many areas locally. But don’t worry!

So, today, we come up with a various substitute for emulsified shortening that helps you to complete your recipe and turns out perfect without emulsified shortening.

You can swap emulsified shortening with lecithin, egg yolk, butter, margarine, applesauce, and other conventional shortening.

 You can also replace it with some specific oils such as canola oil, olive oil, coconut oil.

Animal fat such as Lard is one of the perfect alternatives for emulsified shortening.

But you should use them in the right quantity to achieve the results same as emulsified shortening.

Read further to know in detail about the substitute for Emulsified shortening and how to replace it.


What is Emulsified Shortening?

Sweetex Golden Flex Icing Shortening, 50 Pound -- 1 each.

If you are an avid baker, then you might have tried most of the cake mixes.

They are just mouth-watering … full of moist than the cake you mix from scratch! But did you know the secret ingredient that cake mixes used?

It is emulsified shortening, also known as “cake shortening”. “icing shortening”  “bakery shortening” or “high ratio shortening”.

This is used most often in baking recipes. It is typically used in icings and cakes where the recipe includes a large percentage of sugar.

This is a special shortening that allows the cake recipe to have more sugar in it than if you used a regular shortening.

The more sugar in a cake gives it the more moistness as Sugar is “hygroscopic”, It means sugar always attracts and holds moisture.

 Emulsified shortening is 100% fat without additional water or salt. It has emulsified shortening micro emulsifiers.

That’s the reason it allows the mixture to keep more liquid and sugar.

Thus, it is more temperature stable and does not make the icing taste greasy.

It is a perfect ingredient to keep more air after whipping it, which will add volume to the recipe.

The emulsified shortening is white in appearance, so it won’t change the color of the icing or other recipes.

So, it is often used in high ratio cake recipes.

The emulsified shortening is firmer than usual shortenings.  As it prevents breaking down icing, it is the best choice for a smoother buttercream icing.

You can use it in pies and tarts recipes as it helps the crusts to flake more.

It is a perfect shortening that can absorb more sugar and liquid than regular vegetable shortening.

It renders a smoother texture to cakes as well as helps to keep them moist. This can also keep the icings more stable.

You need to use 2/3 cups of emulsified shortening for every cup required in the icing recipe.

How Is Emulsified Shortening Used in Baking?

Emulsified shortening plays a vital role as a matchmaker in baking recipes.

The cake batter is a complex emulsion of water-based ingredients like milk and egg whites. It also includes fat-based ingredients, like butter or shortening.

As you know oil and water don’t mix generally. Here egg yolks as an emulsifier in your recipe solve that issue which acts as a kind of molecular matchmaker.

It will result in a very smooth batter and a cake come off with a nice texture.

Commercial baking recipes called for high levels of sugar and fat that just egg alone not able to emulsify precisely.

For this purpose, industrial bakeries add extra emulsifiers separately. But small bakeries and pastry chefs add emulsified shortening to make the recipes like “high-ratio” cakes.

Emulsified shortening has extra emulsifiers added to it during producing them. Every 10 ounces of shortening contains 1/3 ounce of emulsifiers that help the shortening mix together easily into the cake batter.

This enables small bakery owners, or even home bakers, to make cakes as light and delicate as commercial manufacturers.

If you want to try a high-ratio recipe at home to achieve professional results, you should use emulsified shortening.

High ratio cakes are made with a two-step method.

In the first step, all the dry ingredients contain in the recipe are whipped together with the shortening and eggs for making a paste.

This helps to distribute the emulsifiers from the eggs and shortening all over the mixture.

In the second step, the liquid ingredients and flavorings are added and mixed until they are combined into a thin, smooth batter which is finally ready for baking.

The commercial boxed cake mixes are produced with this same process; however, it results in a dry mixture rather than a paste.

The emulsified shortening is also used in icing which is used to decorate cakes.

This shortening-based icing is not tasted good like true buttercream icing.

But it is beautifully pure white and much more stable in warm or humid environmental conditions.

It also helps to make the cake even more appealing.

Substitute for Emulsified Shortening


Pure Liquid Soy Lecithin (Food Grade): Better Than Lecithin Granules as an Emulsifier Providing a Smoother and Larger Volume Finished Dough

If you are looking for a replacement for emulsified shortening for high ratio cakes, then you can swap it by using lecithin with butter.

Lecithin is typically found in egg yolks. It acts as the emulsifier in sauces and mayonnaise. You can also find in products like chocolate and baked goods like cinnamon rolls and pizza.

There are various uses of Lecithin such as Wetting agent, Pan release agent, Cake batter stabilizer, Fat replacer.

Lecithin is an antioxidant that enhances the stability of vitamins in various baked goods.

It is often found in vegan or low-fat cooking as a replacement for fat in baked goods.

This helps to improve the moisture and texture of the food.

You should use softened butter and lecithin mix to replace it. Here lecithin plays a vital role in stabilizing the fat.

Lecithin comes in powder as well as liquid form. If you are looking for baking, using liquid form lecithin mixed in softened butter is a better option than using powdered one.

It is far easier to disperse liquid lecithin in a batter than the finely powdered dry lecithin.

Egg Yolk

If you are looking for an easy and natural substitute for emulsified shortening to avoid artificial ingredients and make your recipe healthier, then egg yolk is the best alternative you have.

Egg yolks contribute a lot of fat and cholesterol to baked items.

Raw egg yolks enhance the richness of all types of baked goods from brioche to cake.

The fat contains in eggs acts like an emulsified shortening and enhances the tenderness of the baked cake.

Canola oil

Commercial shortening is made up of vegetable oils, so you can use canola oil as a shortening substitute.

If you are looking for emulsified shortening substitute especially for cake, you can absolutely substitute vegetable oil for emulsified shortening in cakes.

When you are substituting oil for shortening, you need to take into consideration your specific layer, sheet, pound, etc.

While using the canola oil as a replacement for shortening for making cakes and cookies, you have to use three parts oil for every four parts of shortening.

In that case, you need slightly increase the amount of sugar and egg. However, oil is much more liquid than shortening so you would have to lower the water content in the rest of the recipe.

If you are looking for emulsified shortening replacement for the biscuit recipe, then you can use canola oil for the shortening in your recipe.

But you’ll require to add it with the milk or buttermilk, rather than cut it into the flour mixture.

Your biscuits will be tender, but there is an absence of the flakiness associated with shortening.

If your recipe needs melted shortening, vegetable oil such as Canola oil is a good swap.

Olive oil 

There is another healthy ingredient you can swap with emulsified shortening; it is olive oil.

It can be an easily available substitute; you can use it in many recipes. But, you can use it in a specific type of cake, not all.

You can use it to replace shortening in grilled sandwiches and other such food items.

But It should not be used as a substitute if the recipe calls for melting of shortening.


Your best bet to replace emulsified shortening would be to use butter; as the fat and water contents are pretty identical in butter.

If you are searching for an emulsified shortening substitute, for making pastries, biscuits, and cakes, then, butter is a good choice.

However, you must make sure that the flavor of butter is suitable for the recipe.

Health-conscious people can pick a low-fat version of butter.

But a low-fat version of butter may not be as effective as shortening, as they don’t melt easily.

You can substitute butter for all or part of the emulsified shortening in a formula.
For this, you have to multiply the weight of emulsified shortening to be eliminated by 1.25.

This gives you the right weight of butter to use in.

Then multiply the weight of butter by 0.15 to get the amount of water or milk to be subtracted from the formula

You have to reduce the amount of salt while using it as a replacement because butter contains salt.


Another great alternative for emulsified shortening is margarine.

You can replace the shortening with the same amount of margarine.

If you measure by weight for replacing emulsified shortening, you have to take 25% more margarine.

You have to reduce the salt quantity while using the replacement of shortening as it contains salt.

You also have to take care of the water content as it is higher in margarine. It means you would have to decrease the amount of fluid in the rest of the recipe.

You can add flaxseed powder with margarine and use it as a substitute for emulsified shortening.

Add fifty percent margarine to fifty percent flaxseed powder and mix to the baking batter that you made.

It is a great substitute for cookies, which will become denser and sweet after baking.


The applesauce is a good swap for emulsified shortening for making sweet cakes and cookies.

Applesauce can be a perfect alternative for emulsified shortening, especially in sweet recipes and it gives the dish a denser texture.

If you require a cup of emulsified shortening for making a baked food, you may swap it with half a cup of applesauce.

If you are using sweetened applesauce for your recipe, lower the quantity of sugar to balance the sugar content.

Animal fats

Some people are using animal fats like lard, as substitutes for emulsified shortening.

These are also some non-hydrogenated fats, that are tasty and without artificial additives.

However, animal fats may contain high levels of saturated fats which are not considered good for health.

Lard is one of the perfect alternatives for emulsified shortening substitutes. But make sure that, you like the flavor of this animal fat and if you are not worried about its high-fat content.

If you are using lard instead of emulsified shortening, use it in smaller amounts.

For a cup of emulsified shortening, you can use a cup of lard after taking away two tablespoons from it.

It means 1 cup shortening = 1 cup lard – 2 tablespoons.

Conventional shortening

Crisco Vegetable Shortening, 48 fl oz (Pack of 2)

If you can’t get your hands on emulsified shortening then you can substitute it with other conventional shortening available in the market like Crisco.

But keep in mind, emulsified shortening can carry greater amounts of sugar and water than conventional shortening.

Crisco can produce a smooth, stable, and less greasy frosting perfect for wedding cakes as emulsified shortening does.

So, if you don’t have access to the emulsified shortening, Crisco will work definitely.

Coconut oil

The coconut oil is another great emulsified shortening alternative.

Coconut oil stands out from other oil alternatives, as it’s naturally solid at room temperature

Coconut oil has a similar texture to shortenings and most important it is vegan, too.

So, if you are looking for a vegan alternative to shortening, you can substitute it in one-for-one.

But keep in mind it will likely give your baked food a very slight coconut flavor.

Where to Buy Emulsified Shortening?

It is a bit hard to find the emulsified shortening locally in some areas.

But you can probably buy emulsified shortening by different brands on Amazon.

The Sweetex can be ordered on It contains High oleic soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, mono-and diglycerides, polysorbate 60.

This is the best shortening to use in buttercream. It is “Hi Ratio” it means so reliable to only as Hi ratio shortening.

You may seem it bit hard but is not like that, it softens up as you beat it. The good news is, Sweetex is Kosher and gluten-free if you are finding an alternative like that.

There are also other reliable and most commonly used brand of emulsified shortening is Alpine Hi-Ratio Shortening.

With that, I assure you it is worth your money, although both are more expensive than regular ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use vegetable oil instead of shortening for biscuits?

Yes, you can use vegetable oil as a replacement for shortening for biscuits. You can use canola oil for the shortening in your biscuit recipe. But you’ll need to mix it along with the milk or buttermilk, rather than cut it into the flour mixture. You will get the biscuits tender, but there is an absence of flakiness associated with shortening.

Is Crisco a vegetable shortening?

Crisco is an American brand of shortening. It is produced by B&G Foods, introduced in June 1911 by Procter & Gamble.

It was the first shortening to be produced entirely of vegetable oil.

what is the difference between regular shortening and emulsified shortening?

Emulsified shortenings are primarily used to absorb a higher quantity of liquid and sugar compared to regular vegetable or animal-derived shortenings.

Emulsified shortenings help to render a smooth and nice texture to the cakes while keeping the moisture content and also keeps the icing more stable than conventional shortenings.

Final Thoughts

Emulsified shortening renders baked goods a nice crumbly and soft texture, especially used in recipes that contain a high amount of sugar like “High ratio” cakes.

It is also used in icing to make it firmer and more stable even though in a humid environment.

Though it is a bit hard to find emulsified shortening for your baking recipes, you can try other good substitutes as mentioned above.

There are plenty of replacements you can try out.

You can find some alternatives easily at your home. But you have to use it in the  right proportion for perfect professional-like results.




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