Watch icn

An Introduction to Fats 04:03

Rose Lawrence

Fats come in a wide variety of flavors and consistencies, and play a crucial role in the baking process.

An Introduction to Fats 04:03

Rose Lawrence

Fats come in a wide variety of flavors and consistencies, and play a crucial role in the baking process.

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Serving Size

The Steps

  1. 1. Fats are a key component in baking and add texture and depth to each recipe. Not only do fats possess their own flavor, but they also carry the essence of the other ingredients throughout the entire recipe. Because flavor is essential, Chef Rose recommends purchasing the best fats possible. There are two types of fats: solid fats and liquid fats. Their distinction is based on their state at temperature. Solid fats, like butter and lard, are typically animal fats, and liquid fats most often derive from plants, seeds, and nuts. Solid fats are often used to make pies, biscuits, and pastries, as they help to yield a light and flaky texture. Substituting liquid fats for solid fats in these types of recipes is not recommended, as liquid fats do not contribute the same type of structure and will create a baked good with a dense and oily texture. Liquid fats, like vegetable oil, are best used for recipes where moistness is desired, such as cakes and quick breads. 00:04

  2. 2. Coconut oil is a special fat, as it can be considered both a solid and a liquid. This oil is solid at colder temperatures, but warms quickly, and can be manipulated for recipes that call for solid fats or for liquid fats. 01:41

  3. 3. Butter is divided into two categories: unsalted, also referred to as sweet cream, and salted. In the United States, unsalted is used almost exclusively for baking. In Europe, salted butter is preferred, and provides a rich and tangy flavor when used to make pastries. 02:00

  4. 4. As a general rule, any recipe that requires pouring a batter into a pan will most likely require a liquid fat. Olive oil provides a rich, forward flavor and is a healthy fat to use for baking. However, because it contributes such a strong flavor, it is not recommended for recipes where the fat's flavor needs to blend in with the rest of the recipe. Vegetable, grapeseed, and canola oils are great for these types of recipes. 02:40

  5. 5. All fats have different melting points. Melting points refer to the temperatures at which the fats begin to melt and smoke. When looking to substitute one fat for another, it is important to compare the two melting points and ensure that they are similar. 03:25

What You'll Need


- Desired fats (for example: butter, olive oil, coconut oil)

Chef Notes

Quick breads are leavened goods that are made without yeast or eggs as leaveners, and are typically made by combining wet and dry ingredients. Brownies, cookies, and cake-like breads like banana and pumpkin are all types of quick breads.

Chef Rose mentions that most solid fats are animal-derived. If avoiding animal-product consumption, use shortening or margarine.

Chef Rose mentions that salted butter is used most commonly in European baking. Though unsalted butters are most commonly used in the US, salted butters are available and may be substituted with equal measurement. Be careful when substituting salted butter for unsalted butter in recipes that call for additional salt. As a general rule, there is approximately 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a 1/2 cup of salted butter. Adjust accordingly, or check the salt content of the brand of salted butter you intend to use and compare it to salt alone.


Sign up to leave a comment

Taught by


Chef Rose Lawrence

Los Angeles

Rose Lawrence is a master of all things artisanal. Initially gaining recognition for her handmade, wild yeast bread, Ro... read more