How To Soften Butter: Your Ultimate Guide

It’s almost midnight, the rest of your family is asleep. You spent the entire day following your diet, but now you’ve woken up to midnight cravings. You slip quietly downstairs into the kitchen and gather the ingredients to make late-night chocolate chip cookies. Just as you’ve silently attached your mixing bowl to the blender and retrieved the measuring cups, GASP!, you realize you left the butter in the fridge, and it’ll be at least an hour before it’s cookie-ready.  

Do you go back to bed? Do you sit forlornly on the ground and cry? No, you go to The Grommet, and we not only offer our condolences, but we tell you how to soften butter quickly and rectify the situation. (And then you tell your friends about us the next morning over a mysteriously delicious batch of freshly baked cookies.)

How to Soften Butter Quickly

Any real baker knows that butter texture can alter the overall taste and texture of many baked goods, so microwaving butter isn’t recommended as it can create different textures. Therefore, the most well-known way to soften butter is to cut it up. Smaller chunks soften faster than an entire stick, so cutting the butter into smaller pieces is a proven way to soften butter quickly.

Another option would be to roll the butter out. This might require a bit more exercise than you anticipated at midnight, but think of it as your warm up. You know, burn a few calories, consume a few calories. It’ll all balance out. Simply take out some parchment paper, put the butter on top, and then cover it with another sheet. Roll your rolling pin over it and it should soften rather quickly. If you’ve already preheated your oven, rolling the butter on top of the warm stove might help move the process along a bit faster as well.

Another method is relatively similar. Put the butter in the mixer and turn it on at a low speed. It should whip the butter and help it quickly adjust to room temperature. If you happen to have a metal mixing bowl, wrap a hot or warm towel around it, as the metal will conduct the heat and help add warmth to the butter. If you’re worried it will melt, don’t. The constant motion will prevent the butter from melting, and will mix the added heat into the butter.

Can You Leave Butter On The Counter?

A cream-colored Butterie holds a stick of softened butter next to a sliced baguette

But of course, the best method to soften butter quickly is to not have to soften it at all. Did you know, that butter can be left out of the refrigerator for up to three weeks? Joelle Mertzel, Maker of The Butterie actually went to a Food Safety Lab in Los Angeles to research her product. The Butterie is an effective way to store butter outside of the refrigerator—enclosing it to stay fresh by keeping sunlight out.

When creating her product, Mertzel employed a team of scientists to test butter over the course of several weeks. She discovered that the butter stays fresh for up to 23 days, but to be safe, Mertzel recommends butter be left out for 21 days, or three weeks before being thrown out, so you can always have quick access to soft, ready-to-bake butter.

A blue Butter Bell sits on a breakfast counter next to toast & OJ

Another option would be the Butter Bell, an updated take on a French butter crock. This product stores butter out of the fridge and keeps it perfectly spreadable and fresh. Simply transfer your butter into the butter bell, and pack it in. The upside down storage design creates a natural seal. Now whenever you need fresh butter it’s always room temperature and spreadable, not to mention the new bone china display is designed to look great on the table or countertop.

While Butterie and Butter Bell are great products to have in your kitchen in case the midnight cravings ever wake you up, sometimes no amount of forward planning can prevent a sweet-tooth attack. When those moments arrive, and you’re frantically trying to find out how to soften butter, there’s always a solution, and we’re always here to help.

Craving ready-to-eat treats? We have a delicious gourmet food collection on hand to satisfy your cravings.

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  1. I ran into a butter dish that is like a roll top for bread but was small for a 1/2 lb. of butter. Neat invention

  2. Don’t forget about grating the butter. Works quickly!

  3. […] that you’ve tackled homemade bread recipes, learn how to soften & store butter for the perfect […]

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