what is shortening?

In your butter cream recipe it asks for a half cup of shortening, what is this?

From the editor:

The shortening referred to the buttercream recipe is solid vegetable shortening, available in the baking aisle in the US. The best known brand is Crisco.

In other parts of the world, it is known as Copha, white vegetable fat and Trex, among others.

If you can't find vegetable shortening, you can substitute coconut oil or palm oil, both of which are solid at room temperature. Alternatively, you can use all butter in the recipe. The finished buttercream will be softer with all butter, which is something to keep in mind if you live in a humid part of the world.

Michelle (editor)

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