criscoIntroCrisco is an example of a hydrogenated vegetable oil. Unlike margarine, it does not have an exact 1:1 ratio for replacing butter because it does not contain water. When using Crisco to replace butter, reduce the amount of Crisco by 1/5.

Crisco is made from partially hydrogenating vegetable oils. Hydrogenation creates a solid fat by decreasing the amount of cis-double bonds (increasing saturated fat levels). These double bonds decrease the amount of van der Waals forces by creating less linear molecular configurations, which reduces the amount of contact between the triglycerides and results in less stability. Hydrogenation removes these elements causing an increase in intermolecular attraction and stability.

In terms of the creaming method, Crisco is a better fat choice than butter in regards to structure because it has a much wider range of plasticity. Crisco has a relatively high melting point compared to other fats, so there is no threat of it melting before the batter or dough is finished. Crisco has no flavor, so it is up to the baker to decide whether lard, butter, or Crisco is preferred.