The Daley Question

Margarine for shortening?

Can you do a switcheroo in making cupcakes?

  • Pin It
Q: Can you substitute margarine for shortening in a cupcake recipe?

If the recipe calls for 3/4 cup of shortening, how much margarine would you use?

—Judy Levin, Chicago

A: Yes, you can. Just keep in mind there will likely be some texture and possibly flavor changes in the finished recipe.

You'll also need to use more margarine, about 20 percent more or roughly 1 cup, according to Siddharth Mangalore, an associate professor in baking and pastry at Kendall College in Chicago.

Why more margarine? Shortening is 100 percent fat, he said, while margarine, like butter, is a blend of fat and water — percentages vary depending on the type of margarine you use. Mangalore recommends using margarine in stick form because it will have more fat.

"Margarine in a tub is a little more spreadable so there is less fat and more moisture," he said.

The National Association of Margarine Manufacturers on its website notes soft spreads "with 60 percent or more oil can be used almost anywhere in recipes where butter or margarine is specified." But, the association does not recommend soft spread margarine for "baked goods that require precise amounts of fat and moisture, such as pastry crusts, unless a recipe has been developed specifically for that purpose."

Do you have a question about food or drink? E-mail Bill Daley at: Snail mail inquiries should be sent to: Bill Daley, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 60611. Twitter @billdaley.
  • Pin It

Search our recipe database:

Search Recipes  

Food Trends, Tips & Recipes

Season your turkey with Cuban flavors

Season your turkey with Cuban flavors

Give thanks for a turkey seasoned with memories.

Dressed in black

Halloween fare dressed in black

Set an elegant tone come Oct. 31 for a grown-up Halloween dinner with noir-hued dishes.

EATINGWELL: Healthy caramel apple needn't be short on taste

Healthy caramel apple that's not short on taste

This healthy caramel apple recipe has just enough caramel to give a nice hit of salty-sweet flavor in each bite for a tasty dessert.

Rich pumpkin tart without using dairy

Rich pumpkin tart without using dairy

A cheesecake-like pumpkin tart made vegan with tofu is flavorful and rich.