emulsified shortening


My husband favorite cake is burnt almond torte from a bakery in Pittsburgh. I found a recipe but it calls for emulsified shortening. What is it? What can you subsitute for it?

badge posted by: lneuhaus1 on January 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm in Baking, desserts and sweets
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reply by: swirth on January 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Emulsified shortening is also known as cake, icing or high ratio shortening. It can absorb more sugar and liquid than regular vegetable shortening and gives a finer/smoother texture to cakes while helping to keep them moist, as well as keeping icings more stable. It's mostly used in icings and cakes where the recipe contains a large percentage of sugar. Alpine Hi-Ratio Shortening and Sweetex are the most common brands.

There really is no substitute for it but you can buy it here:


and if you live near a Wilton store, I think you can get it there.

reply by: frick on January 26, 2012 at 9:25 pm

If you live in a large city, you can also buy it from wholesale suppliers to bakeries and restaurants, for instance, it is available here in LA but it requires a business license in food service to purchase it, and it is in large quantities. You can also get it from:


reply by: KIDPIZZA on January 27, 2012 at 10:35 am

Good morning. Most times as you have been told in another posting It's use is called for when the weight of the sugar exceeds the weight of the flour, by a large amount in percentage. This is a out of balance cake formula. In prof. bakeries they employ this ingredient for the fat instead of say like butter.
Most often, these types of out of balance cake recipes will bake in BUNDT pans or tube pans but not in loaf pans or normal round cake pans..
If you wish to bake it that way & you do not know how much fat to employ post or identify the recipe & we will figure that out for you.

Till then enjoy the rest of the day young lady.


reply by: BakerIrene on January 27, 2012 at 7:51 pm

In Canada it is sold at Bulk Barn, in the cake decorating section. It is marked "hi=ratio" and the ingredients list water.

reply by: sarahg1243 on October 13, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Hi there. So emulsified shortening is a special shortening that contains special micro emulsifiers and is used in a certain type of high fate cake which allows for absorption of the large amounts of liquid and sugar these formulas call for, an ability regular shortening or butter simply does not have. Unfortunately there are no easy substitutes. This particular type of high fat cake wherein this shortening is used is a class of cakes known as high ratio cakes. They are often made in high production bakeries and are cakes where there is a high ratio of sugar and liquid to flour, ergo the name.

While emulsified shortening is available at specialty stores and distributors, it might be better to substitute with the class of cakes known as butter or creaming method cakes. They are very moist and tender cakes, with a close grain, compact texture, somewhat similar to the high ratio, but not quite as smooth, etc. Also the high ratio cake is made using a special two stage process where the liquid is added in two stages. So in other words, it's a tiny bit involved and you might be better served by making a popular butter cake. But the special shortening is available and you certainly could make a high ratio cake for your husband.

One last thing. If you want to buy some of this type of shortening, simply Google it and you'll have no trouble. I'm not positive, but I think Michael's carries it. Check it out though because I'm not totally sure.

reply by: Livingwell on October 15, 2012 at 7:42 am

I haven't used it in baking cakes, but I LOVE it for frosting! It doesn't leave a greasy, slick mouthfeel like regular shortening does. I tried to buy it at the grocery store and bakeries in my area and couldn't find it. My local Michael's and Hobby Lobby didn't carry it, either, so your best bet may be online. Kitchen Krafts carries it online, but I'm hoping King Arthur will offer it at some point.

reply by: sandra Alicante on October 15, 2012 at 8:02 am
sandra Alicante

Or you could just use a different recipe. Bakeries tend to use products that mean they can make cakes cheaper, not necessarily better.