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Substitute For Shortening In Banana Bread (How To Use Them)

Substitute For Shortening In Banana Bread (How To Use Them)

Are you making banana bread and are all out of shortening? No need to make a special trip to the grocery store, because there multiple substitutes for shortening you can use in any banana bread recipe.

Growing up, my family would make homemade banana bread all the time, and aroma and flavor takes me back to simpler times.

And I have carried on the tradition with my own children, and they love lending a hand when it’s time to bake a loaf.

And there has been many occasions where we have needed a shortening alternative, and in this article you will learn about the best substitutes for shortening so you can bake your own homemade banana bread.

So what are the best substitutes for shortening in banana bread?

The top shortening substitutes for baking banana bread are butter, lard, applesauce, avocado, coconut oil, and prunes.

Make sure to read on for how to use each of these shortening alternatives for the best results.

Shortening Alternatives

sliced loaf of banana bread on table

Shortening is a wonderful, classic baking ingredient that provides a soft texture to banana bread. It also produced a lighter and fluffier loaf due to it’s ability to trap air bubbles in your bread.

Shortening is 100 percent fat, so it creates a unique texture when baking banana bread. And while many of the following substitutes provide less fat, they will still allow you to bake a delicious loaf of bread.

Related Recipe: Banana Bread without Baking Soda


butter on cutting board and old table

Butter is a kitchen staple that is a wonderful substitute for shortening when baking banana bread. While it offers a lower fat content (around 80%) it still provides the fat needed for a fluffy loaf of bread.

I recommend using unsalted butter when replacing shortening, but if all you have is salted butter just reduce the amount of additional salt incorporated in your dough.

Related: Butter vs Lard


1 tablespoon of butter equals 1 tablespoon of shortening


lard in glass bowl

While not as common in American kitchens as butter, lard is an exceptional substitute for shortening in all types of baked goods, including banana bread.

In fact, it is my go to shortening replacement when making banana bread for my own family. Lard is a rendered fat that imparts a wonderful flavor and texture to banana bread.

Related: Lard Substitutes


1 tablespoon of lard equals 1 tablespoon of shortening


bowl of natural unsweetened applesauce

Applesauce is a popular dairy free and vegan friendly shortening substitute that can be used in almost any banana bread recipe.

Applesauce will add additional sweetness to your banana bread and creates a tasty finished loaf. The texture will be less fluffy, resulting in a denser banana bread but no other adjustments will need to be made to your recipe.

Note: Use natural, unflavored applesauce.


1/2 tablespoon of applesauce equals 1 tablespoon of shortening


whole and halved fresh avocado

Another non dairy and vegan friendly shortening substitute you can use are avocados. Simply mash or puree your avocado before adding it to your other ingredients.

Avocado adds a bit of flavor to your bread, but the avocado will not overpower the banana flavor.

It will produce a flatter and denser loaf of banana bread but no other adjustment to your recipe are needed.

Related: Avocado Oil Substitutes


2/3 tablespoon of mashed avocado equals 1 tablespoon of shortening

Coconut Oil

jar of avocado oil with wooden spoon on table

If you are a fan of coconut, then replacing shortening with coconut oil is an excellent option. This non dairy fat works wonderfully in any banana bread recipe. It creates a somewhat denser texture but the flavor is amazing.

Go with organic, unprocessed coconut oil for the best results. And no other recipe adjustments are needed.

Related: Coconut Oil Substitutes


1 tablespoon of coconut oil equals 1 tablespoon of shortening

Bottom Line

As you can see, you do not need shortening to make a delicious loaf of banana bread. There are a number of great substitutes you can use. The key to replacing shortening in banana bread is using an ingredient that produces a similar texture and flavor. And any of the above substitutes will work wonderfully no matter what banana bread recipe you are making.