I have been asked many times so I thought I’d decicate a post about it. We won’t be tackling the nutritional value of shortening or butter in this post but mainly pointing out the difference between butter and shortening in terms of cupcake decorating purposes.
Butter is roughly 80% milk fat, 18% water and 1-2% milk solids. It’s basically made by churning cream or milk. Resulting butter has a pale yellow color.
Vegetable shortening is 100% fat, snow white in color and doesn’t require refrigeration.
Using the Basic Buttercream Recipe and a clear extract, let’s see how butter and shortening will fare side by side. The following images will show buttercream made from purely butter (on the left) and purely shortening (on the left).
Buttercream made from purely butter will have a slightly yellowish tint while buttercream made from purely shortening will have a snow white color.
(2) Piped Frosting
When using butter, when piped into a cupcake it will look soft and heavy and will form a beautiful pointed soft tip on top once you release the frosting. When using shortening, piped frosting will be light and fluffy and will basically hold its shape. However, it will not form a beautiful pointed tip on top.
(3) Tinted Frosting