Can I substitute butter for shortening in a cookie recipe? If so, do I use the same amount? Thanks for your help! —J.G., Quanah, TexasButter can be substituted for shortening in equal amounts. However, there will be differences in your cookies. Besides having a rich buttery flavor, cookies made with all butter will spread more and have a darker color. If your cookies are spreading too much, keep the dough very cold, be sure the baking pans are cool and keep the oven temperature slightly higher than usual. You could also use a small amount of shortening in place of some of the butter to help the cookies keep their shape.