What is Vegan Shortening: A Comprehensive Guide

Vegan shortening is a plant-based substitute for traditional shortening that has become increasingly popular among the vegan and vegetarian communities. Made from a blend of vegetable oils, vegan shortening is not only healthier than traditional shortening, but also cruelty-free, making it a popular choice for those looking to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Typically used in baking, vegan shortening has a similar consistency to butter and can be used in pies, cakes, cookies, and other baked goods. Unlike traditional shortening, which usually contains animal fat, vegan shortening is made using a blend of plant-based oils, which makes it a great option for those who adhere to a plant-based or vegan lifestyle or who are looking for a healthier alternative.

Whether you’re an experienced baker or just learning the ropes, vegan shortening is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes to create delicious, cruelty-free treats that are sure to be a hit with family and friends. So, if you’re looking to take your baking game to the next level while also reducing your environmental impact, vegan shortening is definitely worth trying out.

Why Vegan Shortening is Becoming Popular

Vegan shortening is quickly becoming a popular ingredient in baking and cooking due to a variety of reasons. First and foremost, vegan shortening is made without any animal products, which makes it a perfect alternative for those who follow a vegan lifestyle. Another reason why vegan shortening is gaining popularity is its healthier profile compared to traditional shortening.

Traditional shortening is made from partially hydrogenated oils, which contain trans fats that can increase cholesterol levels and lead to health problems in the long term. On the other hand, vegan shortening is made from a variety of plant-based oils that are not only trans fat-free, but also healthier for your body.

Moreover, the use of vegan shortening can help reduce the environmental impact of food production. Traditional shortening is often made with palm oil, which is known for causing deforestation and endangering wildlife species such as orangutans and tigers. Vegan shortening, on the other hand, is made with sustainable and ethical ingredients that have a lower impact on the environment.

  • Healthier profile compared to traditional shortening
  • Perfect alternative for those who follow a vegan lifestyle
  • Reduces the environmental impact of food production

Differences between vegan shortening and regular shortening

Vegan shortening is a popular alternative to traditional shortening, which is made from animal fat. There are a few key differences between these two types of shortening that are important to understand.

  • Ingredients: Vegan shortening is typically made with vegetable oils such as palm, sunflower, or soy, while regular shortening is usually made with hydrogenated animal fat or vegetable oil.
  • Texture: Vegan shortening tends to have a softer texture than regular shortening, which is usually quite firm at room temperature.
  • Flavor: Vegan shortening usually has a milder flavor than regular shortening, which can have a slightly buttery taste due to the animal fat content.

Despite these differences, vegan shortening can often be used as a substitute for regular shortening in recipes with similar results. It’s worth noting, however, that the texture of the final product may be slightly different depending on which type of shortening you use.

Here is a table comparing the nutritional information for a popular brand of vegan shortening and a popular brand of regular shortening:

Shortening Type Calories Total Fat (g) Saturated Fat (g) Trans Fat (g) Cholesterol (mg) Sodium (mg) Ingredients
Vegan Shortening 110 12 6 0 0 0 Palm Oil, Soybean Oil, Canola Oil, Vitamin E
Regular Shortening 110 12 3 0 0 0 Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil, Mono and Diglycerides

As you can see, there are some small differences in the nutritional content of these two types of shortening. Vegan shortening tends to be slightly higher in saturated fat, while regular shortening contains artificial trans fats. Depending on your dietary preferences, one type of shortening may be a better choice for you than the other.

Nutritional Benefits of Vegan Shortening

Vegan shortening is a plant-based alternative to traditional shortening, which is made from animal fat. Apart from its cruelty-free aspect, it also has several nutritional benefits:

  • Cholesterol-Free: Vegan shortening is free of cholesterol, as it is made with vegetable oils like palm, coconut, or soybean oil. Unlike animal fats, which are high in saturated and trans fats and can contribute to high cholesterol levels, vegan shortening can help maintain a healthy heart.
  • Low in Trans Fats: Most vegan shortening brands are low in trans fats, which are harmful to the body. Trans fats can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Many vegan shortening brands use palm oil, which is a natural source of saturated fat, but does not contain trans fats.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Vegetable oils used in vegan shortening are a source of vitamin E, which is essential for healthy skin and eyes. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that can prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, some vegan shortening brands are enriched with important minerals like calcium and iron, making it a healthier choice for baking and cooking.

In summary, vegan shortening offers a healthier and cruelty-free alternative to traditional shortening. It is cholesterol-free, low in trans fats, and can offer important vitamins and minerals for the body. Be sure to check the labels of the brand you choose, as some may contain hydrogenated oils, a source of trans fats.

How to Use Vegan Shortening in Baking

Vegan shortening is a versatile ingredient in baking that can be used in a variety of recipes. Here are some tips and tricks on how to use vegan shortening in baking:

  • Substitute vegan shortening for regular shortening or butter in recipes. Vegan shortening can be used in the same ratio as regular shortening or butter in most recipes, but be sure to check the label as some brands may have different recommendations.
  • Use vegan shortening to make flakier pie crusts. Simply cut the vegan shortening into small pieces and mix it with flour until it resembles coarse sand. Then, add cold water and mix until a dough forms. Chill the dough before rolling it out to make a flaky pie crust.
  • Add vegan shortening to cakes and cupcakes for a moist and tender crumb. Vegan shortening contains more moisture than regular shortening, which can make cakes and cupcakes more tender and moist. Simply cream the vegan shortening with sugar until light and fluffy, then add the other ingredients as usual.

Here’s a recipe for vegan shortening frosting:

Ingredients: Instructions:
1 cup vegan shortening Cream the vegan shortening in a bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
4 cups powdered sugar Gradually add the powdered sugar to the bowl, beating on low speed until fully combined.
2 tsp vanilla extract Add the vanilla extract and continue to mix until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
2-3 tbsp non-dairy milk If the frosting is too thick, add non-dairy milk one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

With these tips and tricks, you can use vegan shortening to create delicious and moist baked goods that are both vegan and tasty. Happy baking!

Top Brands of Vegan Shortening

Vegan shortening is an important ingredient for many vegan bakers. It is essential in making buttercream frosting, flaky crusts, and tender biscuits. If you’re new to plant-based cooking and baking, you may be wondering what vegan shortening is and what brands are the best to use. In this article, we’ll explore the top brands of vegan shortening you can find on the market today.

  • Earth Balance – This brand has been a household name for vegans for years. Their soy-free vegan shortening is perfect for baking, frying, and sautéing. It is made with palm fruit oil that is responsibly sourced and certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
  • Spectrum – Spectrum’s organic all-vegetable shortening is a great alternative for traditional shortening. It is made with sustainable palm oil and is free from trans fats. It is also non-hydrogenated.
  • Nutiva – This is a popular brand among vegans, and they offer a certified organic, non-GMO and vegan shortening. Nutiva’s shortening is made with red palm oil which is a more sustainable choice than conventional palm oil.
  • Coconut Oil – Coconut oil can make an excellent substitute for shortening in some baking recipes. It is solid at room temperature, making it a good candidate for recipes that require solid fat. It can also lend your baked goods a delicious coconut flavor.
  • Miyoko’s – Miyoko’s vegan butter is a great option in recipes that call for butter or margarine. The flavor is complex, rich, and savory. Its texture and consistency are perfect for baking and frying.


There are several options for vegan shortening you can find on the market today. It is important to choose a brand that is sustainable, organic, and soy-free if needed. We hope that this list has provided you with a good starting point to find the perfect vegan shortening for your next baking endeavor.

Homemade Vegan Shortening Recipes

If you have a recipe that calls for shortening, chances are it is non-vegan. Fortunately, making your own vegan shortening at home is a simple process that only requires a few ingredients. Here are some recipes for homemade vegan shortening that you can try:

  • Coconut Oil-Based Vegan Shortening: This recipe calls for coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature and has a texture similar to shortening. Simply mix together 1 cup of coconut oil with 1/4 cup of any neutral-flavored oil, such as canola or grapeseed oil. Beat the mixture on high until it is light and fluffy, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Cocoa Butter-Based Vegan Shortening: If you’re looking for a shortening that will add a subtle chocolate flavor to your baked goods, then this recipe is for you. Melt 1 cup of cocoa butter in a saucepan and combine it with 1 cup of any neutral-flavored oil. Beat the mixture on high until it is light and fluffy, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Tofu-Based Vegan Shortening: This recipe uses firm silken tofu as a base for the shortening. Simply blend 1/2 cup of silken tofu with 1 cup of any neutral-flavored oil in a food processor or blender until it is smooth and creamy. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge, and be sure to stir it occasionally as it may separate over time.

Once you have made your homemade vegan shortening, you can use it in any recipe that calls for non-vegan shortening. It is a great option for vegan baking, and you can rest easy knowing that your baked goods are free from animal products.

Vegan shortening substitutes for non-vegan recipes

Vegan shortening is a plant-based alternative to traditional shortening, which is typically made from animal fat. This vegan alternative is perfect for those who follow a vegan diet or for anyone who wants to reduce their intake of animal products. While vegan shortening can be used in many recipes, there are times when it may not be available or desired. In these situations, there are several vegan shortening substitutes that can be used in non-vegan recipes.

  • Coconut oil: This is a great substitute for vegan shortening in recipes that require a solid fat, such as pie crusts and biscuits. Coconut oil has a similar texture to shortening and can be used in a 1:1 ratio.
  • Applesauce: When baking cakes or muffins, applesauce can be used in place of vegan shortening to reduce the fat content. The applesauce should be unsweetened and used in a 1:1 ratio.
  • Nut butters: Peanut, almond, or cashew butter can be used in recipes that require a creamy fat, such as frostings or icings. They should be used in a 1:1 ratio with vegan shortening.

While these substitutes can work well in many recipes, it is important to keep in mind that they may alter the flavor or texture of the final product. Experimentation may be necessary to find the best substitute for a specific recipe.

For those who may be unsure which substitute to use, the following table can provide a quick reference guide:

Recipe type Best vegan shortening substitute
Pie crusts Coconut oil
Cakes Applesauce
Frosting or icing Nut butter

Regardless of which vegan shortening substitute is used, it is important to remember that these alternatives can help create delicious vegan versions of classic dishes. Whether for dietary or ethical reasons, vegan shortening substitutes allow everyone to enjoy their favorite recipes without sacrificing taste or texture.

Frequently Asked Questions about Vegan Shortening

Q: What is vegan shortening?
A: Vegan shortening is a plant-based alternative to traditional shortening that is made from animal fats. It is usually made from vegetable oil and contains no animal products.

Q: Can vegan shortening be used in baking?
A: Yes, vegan shortening is commonly used in baking as a substitute for traditional shortening. It is often used in recipes for pie crust, biscuits, and other baked goods.

Q: Is vegan shortening healthier than traditional shortening?
A: While vegan shortening may be a healthier alternative for those who follow a plant-based diet, it is not necessarily healthier than traditional shortening. Vegan shortening is still high in saturated fat and should be used in moderation.

Q: What are some common brands of vegan shortening?
A: Some common brands of vegan shortening include Earth Balance, Spectrum, and Nutiva.

Q: Can vegan shortening be used in frying?
A: Yes, vegan shortening can be used in frying just like traditional shortening. However, it is important to use it in moderation due to its high saturated fat content.

Q: How is vegan shortening made?
A: Vegan shortening is made by hydrogenating vegetable oil to create a solid form. It may also contain other ingredients such as emulsifiers and stabilizers.

Q: Is vegan shortening more expensive than traditional shortening?
A: Vegan shortening may be slightly more expensive than traditional shortening, but the price difference is usually minimal.

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for taking the time to learn about vegan shortening! Whether you are vegan or just looking for a plant-based alternative to traditional shortening, this ingredient can be a versatile addition to your kitchen. Remember to use it in moderation and enjoy experimenting with new recipes. Don’t forget to come back and visit us for more information!