Many baked goods require butter to be at room temperature, most likely for creaming butter and sugar, so it can be frustrating when you don’t plan ahead like you were supposed to. The good news is that there are many tips and tricks to help you soften your butter quickly so you can get to baking sooner. We’ve gathered all our favorite methods to get softened butter in no time. So just pick your favorite and get baking!
Our favorite methods to soften butter:
Take your butter out of the fridge and leave it on the counter for 1-2 hours. This method is the most hands-off and consistent but also the most time-consuming. We recommend this method if you have time, but if you don’t, there are plenty of other innovative ways to skip this step.
All you have to do is cut the butter into small cubes using a knife or bench scraper. The smaller you can make your pieces, the faster they’ll soften. We like to cube our butter before doing anything else. It only takes 15 minutes to soften cubed butter, so it’s a perfect time to prep anything you may need. You could also grate your butter, but it risks the chance of melting instead of softening.
Place a stick of butter on a microwavable plate and microwave in 10-second intervals while rotating the butter each time. This method seems to be the most popular, but there’s a price to pay with such a speedy method. Microwaving your butter will soften in some spots, melt others, and have no change in other areas. It’s wildly inconsistent, but hey, if it works, it works.
4. Cup Steam
Fill a large microwaveable cup with water and microwave on high for 1 minute. Pour out the water and use the cup to cover the butter. Allow the butter to steam for 5 minutes. One caveat about this method is the outside may be the perfect temperature, but the core is still cold, and after 5 minutes, the cup is no longer hot enough to soften the rest of the stick.
If you have some unresolved anger, we recommend this method. Just place butter in the center of parchment paper or plastic and wrap it loosely. Grab a rolling pin and pound, pound, pound. The force will flatten the butter and allow it to soften faster. This method is great, especially when making croissants.
We love this method because it’s the most fun and hands-on. Using clean, dry hands, gently knead the butter on a clean, dry surface until it’s pliable. The warm temperature of your hands will gradually increase the temperature of the butter. The unfortunate news is that it’s also the messiest. The price to pay for an enjoyable experience.
7. Body Temperature
Just like kneading, this method uses your body’s heat to soften butter. Just place the wrapped, cold stick under your shirt and secure it under your waistband. Allow the butter to soften for a few minutes. Forewarning, though, your body will be shocked by the cold stick touching your warm skin.
So, there you have it! Our favorite tips and tricks to soften your butter in no time. If you have more questions about softened butter, like why butter temperature matters and how to know when your butter is at the right temperature, we recommend reading our extensive article on everything you need to know about creaming butter and sugar.
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