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Crisco - American word what is it?

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#1 Guest_toppy_*

Posted 07 May 2006 - 03:23 PM

Can anyone interpret for me.  I want to make up some buttercream icing to try a frozen buttercream transfer.  The recipe says to use crisco but I have no idea what it is.  Any of you girls out there know?

Here's the ingredients to put it in context.

1 cup Crisco (Do not use high-ration shortening. You need a stiffer
3 sticks butter (real butter, good quality)
2 Tsp flavoring (I use 1 Tsp clear vanilla, 1 Tsp butter flavoring)
2* pounds powdered sugar, sifted several times (I sift 5 times)


#2 georgiagirl

Posted 07 May 2006 - 03:31 PM

Crisco is a range of oils and shortenings.  It sounds like, from the recipe, that you'll need shortening.  I'm not sure of the Australian equivalent but it's like a solidified oil with a light texture.

#3 Guest_toppy_*

Posted 07 May 2006 - 04:06 PM

I know there are crisco oils in Australia but I wasn't sure if they have them in USA.  Mum just suggested copha, what do you think?

#4 georgiagirl

Posted 07 May 2006 - 04:10 PM

I think copha would work actually.. it's the same consistency.

#5 Guest_toppy_*

Posted 08 May 2006 - 10:35 AM

My American Aunt just sent this

About CRISCO, that is a white solid shortening , used in bake goods. a brand name
  you should be able to get something like it . do not use lard.

Does that sound like copha?

#6 Tina

Posted 08 May 2006 - 01:50 PM

Hi Toppy, Copha may not bee the product for you I just did a search on Crisco and the shortening to me seems to "soft" to be similair to Copha. copha is a hard product found in the diary section at the shops and normally is only used after it is melted. Correct me if I am wrong anyone, as I would love to know what else you can do with copha other than make White Christmas and or Chocolate Crackles.

This is from the Crisco Website (sounds like you may have to use margarine for your recipe)

Shortening (Crisco)
Crisco shortening contains 50% less saturated fat than butter, blends more easily, and does not require refrigeration. For easier use, try Crisco shortening sticks.

Edited by Tina, 08 May 2006 - 02:06 PM.

#7 Guest_toppy_*

Posted 08 May 2006 - 04:21 PM

So what would you use Tina?

#8 Tina

Posted 08 May 2006 - 04:59 PM

You are making an icing, I woud TRY the margarine and butter first (trial it with half the ingredients)

Does the method state to cream the butter and the crisco together??? If so then i am assuming that the crisco is margarine, as I do not know how you would cream butter and copha together without melting the copha first, then placing that into butter would make the butter start melting anyway.

And from the wording of the Quote from the Crisco website it does sound very much like margarine to me. ie the part where it says this: "Crisco shortening contains 50% less saturated fat than butter, blends more easily, and does not require refrigeration."

Here is a recipe for buttercream icing for you from the Womans Weekly recipe website unsure if you can use it for what you are planning though.

Buttercream icing
150g butter, chopped
2 cups icing-sugar mixture
2 tablespoons milk
Pink food colouring

Edited by Tina, 08 May 2006 - 05:17 PM.

#9 Guest_toppy_*

Posted 08 May 2006 - 05:13 PM

1. Cream the butter and shortening well.

2. Add the flavoring.

3. Slowly add the powdered sugar.

4. Mix on 8-10 speed for approximately 5-10 minutes for a smooth consistency. The length of time depends on the weather/atmosphere at your house.

*Add more sugar if not stiff enough. I live in the High Desert of California with no humidity. I had to add more sugar to this recipe while visiting North Carolina.

#10 Tina

Posted 08 May 2006 - 05:32 PM

I would just use the margarine and butter...............

#11 JLC

Posted 09 May 2006 - 10:33 AM

Hi Toppy,

I made an buttercream icing to be piped on to my DD's first birthday cake.. the recipe was american & it asked for the same thing... I used Copha with great success, it makes the icing creamy when at room temperature but goes harder when the cake/icing is stored in the fridge... the icing was fantastic to pipe onto the cake.


Edited by JLC, 09 May 2006 - 10:36 AM.

#12 Guest_toppy_*

Posted 09 May 2006 - 01:16 PM

My cousin is in USA as well and she sent this

I get the impression that
crisco is some form of hydrogenated oil.

My great Aunt sent this back

Crisco is an all vegetable shortening, do not know what COFHA is
(I did spell copha right)

If Copha sets it hard it may work.  Has anyone tried a frozen buttercream tranfer (FBCT) you put the picture on wax paper, freeze and then put it onto the cake.  That's what I'm hoping to achieve so whatever I use has to freeze hard.

#13 Doobeedoo

Posted 09 May 2006 - 01:34 PM

Go for Copha Toppy...  Copha will actually turn into the consistency of butter if left on the bench, it only goes really hard when refrigerated.


I have moved to America from Australia. I have a recipe that asks for 250g of copha. What can I get to substitute for this in America? What are the measurements to equal this quantity? I know it is a coconut based shortening. - Nlsmitty2 (2/12/00)


Shortening - A solid fat made from vegetable oils, such as soybean and cottonseed oil. Although made from oil, shortening has been chemically transformed into a sold state through hydrogenation. Vegetable shortening is virtually flavorless (has a bland, neutral flavor) and may be substituted for other fats (such as butter, margarine, or lard) in baking of pie pastry, cookies, and cakes. Shortening is ideal for pastry, since it blends well with the flour. It can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Vegetable shortening can be found in all grocery stores. One brand name is Crisco.

This is reverse....  ie   someone in America wanting to replace Copha with something !

So we have an answer !!     Copha can replace Crisco !

#14 MeNelly

Posted 09 May 2006 - 01:51 PM

I am freaking out reading what you ladies are putting on cakes!!  My DH has heart disease and anything that is hydrogenated goes straight to your arteries, it is the worst kind of fat you can eat.
I hope your cake turns out well but I would be scraping the icing off before feeding it to the kids!! original.gif

Lynnie original.gif

#15 Guest_toppy_*

Posted 09 May 2006 - 02:53 PM

Thanks Pam and thanks Lynnie.

I do realise it is anything but good but apart from the cake our parties are pretty healthy.  My chn rarely eat lollies, don't have soft drink, have diluted fruit juice and are pretty healthy so I do allow them this as a one off treat.  My chn are intollerant of cream and ice-cream so they generally do miss the topings on other chns birthday cakes so I don't deny them a special one for their own.

#16 Doobeedoo

Posted 09 May 2006 - 03:09 PM

ohmy.gif   Hope your cake turns out beautiful Toppy and I'm sure the kids will enjoy it... I know I probably would

#17 Guest_toppy_*

Posted 09 May 2006 - 03:15 PM

Just have to decide what to put on and make sure I can get it all in Karratha <_< .  I'll have to make a few cakes, one for our family, one for sunday school, one for play group and one for her party so I thought I'd use the chance to trial some different techniques.

Don't worry Lynnie it will be basics for most of them but one special one. happy.gif

#18 MeNelly

Posted 09 May 2006 - 10:16 PM

LOL Toppy, don't stress original.gif  I hope you don't think I was having a go at your parenting, just that the word hydrogenated is a scary word in our household after all our education about heart health.
Good luck in finding everything in Karratha.
Four cakes for one birthday, lucky kid  smile1.gif  I have 4 kids and three of them have birthdays 3 months in a row, we would have 12 cakes in three months, a bit much I think LOL  tongue.gif

Lynnie original.gif

#19 KathyL

Posted 10 May 2006 - 12:04 AM


I live in HK - where I can't get Copha, but I can get Crisco. Crisco is a vegetable shortening that is solid at room temperature - in fact, when I buy it, I don't have to refrigerate it (yes, it's a little scary if you think about that one too long).

I've only just started using it - and I only use it for butter-cream as it is pure white. The reason is that if you use butter, it is slightly yellow and your colouring will be affected (eg. your pink won't be bright and your red will be orangey). Even vanilla essence will 'colour' your icing so you can buy clear vanilla flavouring and butter flavouring. If you go to the Wilton site, you will see plenty of stuff on the merits of crisco versus butter for decorating.

The thought of what it is does put me off a bit (hydrogenated whatever) - but it looks much better than butter if you want a certain colour. It is also much easier to work with because it whips up easier and it can be iced on smooth. Butter tends to be softer and you can't get crisp edges on your cake.

As for a replacement - you could try Copha. Going the other way, I've tried to use Crisco for Choccy crackles and they are yuck. But that's no reason to say it won't work in buttercream.

On the issue of your transfers, you could try a chocolate transfer using coloured candy melts. I used a choccy transfer for a Saturday Night fever cake that I made - and it looked great. If you can't get candy melts (another AMerican thing), try white chocolate with colouring added.

Good luck!

#20 caligirl_north

Posted 10 May 2006 - 12:48 AM

In many cases you CAN substitute lard for Crisco & with a better result, nto for frosting however  biggrin.gif Butter/margerine should sub fine, just as PP said Crisco will give you a slightly different color.

BTW, crisco is disgusting stuff LOL

#21 Guest_toppy_*

Posted 10 May 2006 - 01:03 AM

Thanks girls esp about choccy transfer.  I wanted to trial that one but couldn't find instructions.  I bought copha today it says vegetable shortening so assume that's right.

Anyone know how much a stick of butter is?  biggrin.gif

Lynnie - No offense taken.  It's easy to put rubbish into our kids.  We try not too all year but let loose for their birthdays.  Due to food intollerances we have to be strict on them which often means watching friends eat treats.  We let loose on their cakes to make up for it.

Found some gorgeous flower decorations in woolworths today so I'll use them for the playgroup cakes, $3 for 20.  Cup cakes iced and it'll be done.

I know what you mean about birthdays Lynnie, Dad's was yesterday, Mum's Thursday, DD's Friday, Mother's day Sunday, Nanna's was last week and my sister and niece next Wednesday.  Unfortunately now too far away to see them sad.gif

#22 Merganser

Posted 10 May 2006 - 01:26 AM

A "stick" of butter in an American recipe is 113 grams, also equivalent to 4 ounces, also equivalent to 8 tablespoons, which is also equivalent to 1/2 cup.

#23 Guest_toppy_*

Posted 10 May 2006 - 01:32 AM

Thanks so much Tracy.  I remember an American at uni saying that she thought it was wrong for people to say they speak Australian or American and that it should be just English.  The problem is at times we do seem to speak another language.

Thanks for your help.  I think making the cake may be eaiser then finding out how. wink.gif

#24 talimonster

Posted 10 May 2006 - 01:59 AM

I am an Aussie living in the US. You could use copha, but it will have a flavour to it. Crisco doesn't have flavour, it is just greasy, IYKWIM? It is soft though, so the copha will set once you use it.

#25 jenh

Posted 10 May 2006 - 04:15 PM

I have just been through the same problem as you toppy.

I did end up using copha - just zapped it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften. Have to say the flavour was fairly ordinary so you could try to use a combination of a bit less copha and add more butter to make it taste slightly better. It seems the main advantage to this buttercream icing is that it should hold it's shape in hot weather.

And I agree with you Lynnie, my arteries were hardening on the spot just looking at it!!!! (not that a full on butter icing would be any better!)

Good luck!!!

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