Baking Question

Decorating By Babarooskie Updated 16 Oct 2009 , 4:34pm by luddroth

Babarooskie Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 3:06pm
post #1 of 11

Hi everyone! Happy Friday!

I have a question...actually, maybe a couple of them.

When making a cake from scratch, rather than using butter, can you subsitute it for oil? If so, how much?

I'm a mix kinda gal...and have been thinking of changing to scratch.
What are your thoughts and opinions?

Thanks!

10 replies
luddroth Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 3:18pm
post #2 of 11

Hi! Scratch baker here -- and glad you're going to give it a try. As for substituting oil for butter.... No! If you're going to bake from scratch, you really have to follow the directions carefully and use the specified ingredients. I have found that many people who think scratch cakes are not as good as mixes are doing a lot of substituting and short-cuts. Baking is a bit like chemistry class -- all the steps and ingredients matter. It's easy, as long as you follow the instructions. A cake that starts with creaming the butter, then adding sugar will not work if you use oil and then try to mix sugar into it. And use real butter, not margarine. Makes all the difference in the world. So, cream the butter for a long time, add the sugar gradually and beat the heck out of it. Then, go to the next step. Good luck and happy eating!

Babarooskie Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 3:28pm
post #3 of 11

OK...it's just the reason I asked, is because I've noticed that butter can dry the cake out fater rather than oil.

-K8memphis Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 3:30pm
post #4 of 11

Luddroth is right on the money.

There's some threads around here about different scratch cake cake-offs, white, chocolate and carrot and you can learn a ton in those. Which recipes are the best.

Recipes printed in books authored by cake decorators are the best places to start.

DeeDelightful Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 3:39pm
post #5 of 11

What about Butter flavored Crisco? is that a replacement for butter in a scratch recipe? I've seen some cake recipes that call for shortening and i always wondered why they have shortening in them. Also, what about melted shortening to replace oil in a cake? is that a substitute?

Ronbob1984 Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 3:44pm
post #6 of 11

Using shortening can affect the texture if you are using to replace butter or oil. Butter and shortnening have different melting points, so the shortening may cause the cakes to be a little dry. In order for butter cakes to not be as dry, you really need to beat the butter for a while. It breaks down the fat molecules to make them absorb the flour better. (Yes, I am a science geek) icon_biggrin.gif

DeeDelightful Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 3:46pm
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbob1984

Using shortening can affect the texture if you are using to replace butter or oil. Butter and shortnening have different melting points, so the shortening may cause the cakes to be a little dry. In order for butter cakes to not be as dry, you really need to beat the butter for a while. It breaks down the fat molecules to make them absorb the flour better. (Yes, I am a science geek) icon_biggrin.gif




Well, Science Geek, that is exactly what I needed to know. Thanks a bunch. I'll stick to butter.

tigerhawk83 Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 3:53pm
post #8 of 11

I'm another science geek - butter is something like 15-20% water whereas shortening is all fat. So if you are going to substitute shortening for butter, you need less shortening and more liquid. Alton Brown (Good Eats on Food TV) does part of a lesson on this substitution.

I use the butter flavor shortening in my chocolate chip cookies rather than butter because I like the softer texture - but I use real butter in sugar cookies or cakes (unless the recipe specifically calls for something else).

DeeDelightful Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 3:57pm
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerhawk83

I'm another science geek - butter is something like 15-20% water whereas shortening is all fat. So if you are going to substitute shortening for butter, you need less shortening and more liquid. Alton Brown (Good Eats on Food TV) does part of a lesson on this substitution.

I use the butter flavor shortening in my chocolate chip cookies rather than butter because I like the softer texture - but I use real butter in sugar cookies or cakes (unless the recipe specifically calls for something else).




Okay, that's good to know. I've noticed that butter flavor shortening is recommended in cookie recipes, and I was under the impression that shortening in cakes gives it more of a commercial bakery flavor and texture, which is not what I'm looking for. Thanks, everyone.

Babarooskie Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 3:59pm
post #10 of 11

I would love to get a really good vanilla and chocolate scratch cake recipe....including the type of ingredients used, if that's OK.

Can anyone help me with this?

luddroth Posted 16 Oct 2009 , 4:34pm
post #11 of 11

My all-time favorite butter cake is Toba Garrett's "Moist Yellow Cake" from the book "The Well-Decorated Cake". It is moist, rich, delicious, and never fails -- so long as you follow the instructions to the letter and make no substitutions. It calls for butter, buttermilk, and cake flour -- people always want to substitute for those, but then it's not the same cake. Can you substitute carob for chocolate? Sure, but it won't taste like chocolate. Butter-flavored shortening is a can full of artificial flavors. It may be great for some things, but not for a butter cake.

And you know, my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe calls for shortening -- I've tried to substitute butter and it doesn't work! Shortening makes them lighter and crisper. So, if you want to duplicate what the author did, you gotta follow the author's instructions....

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