How to Soften Butter (9 Ways!)

Does the recipe you ’ re following call for mince butter, but you forgot to plan ahead -or good realized you need it ? Don ’ metric ton worry ! here are respective ways to get you back on track and moving fore .
how to soften butter
When a recipe calls for soften butter, but it ’ mho sitting cold in the refrigerator, here are a few simple techniques. They range from cutting into cubes to more physical methods like pounding it down or using microwave engineering .
Whether you ’ re making a batch of chocolate chip cookies, bid cakes, or pie crust, choose the method acting that syncs up beneficial. The list below contains easy hacks. Some are even fun to do !

Why do recipes call for softened butter?

Softened butter is easier to mix and evenly distribute with other ingredients. Plus, the temperature besides impacts a recipe ’ south desired texture or officiate.

Methods for Quickly Softening Butter ( from slow to fastest )

1) Room temperature

stick of butter on a plate Softening butter at board temperature gives the most coherent results with no campaign. however, it takes the longest time, so plan is required. Time depends on the environment of the room. I frequently pull a stick or two out of the refrigerator first base thing in the morning. There ’ s no significant remainder if the butter is left envelop or unwrap .
Prep Time: 1 minute
Softening Time: 1 to 2 hours

2) Cut into cubes

butter cut into several small cubes Cutting the butter down into humble cubes allows for faster cushion. Cut them into ½-inch pieces or smaller if desired for agile results. This method acting increases the temperature by about 5 to 10 degrees. Let it sit on the antagonistic until the craved temperature is reached .
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Softening Time: 5 to 15 minutes

3) Cup Steaming 

Heat water in a glass or ceramic cup, then pour it out. Place the cup over the unwrap stick. The humid environment reacts with the trap butter, but after 5 minutes, the temperature quickly cools down and loses its softening power. The outside of the butter will be softer than the core. Unwrap and allow it to sit on the counter, or cut into cubes to speed things up .
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Softening Time: 5 to 8 minutes

4) Microwave Steaming

This is a quick and docile method. Microwave some water to create a warm and aroused environment. then swap it out with a plate of sliced butter. The residual heat and humidity warm the slices. I find the enclose sphere will be around 79-degrees after heating the water. In fair 10 minutes, the butter will be ready to use .
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Softening Time: 10 minutes

5) Lukewarm water bath

A lukewarm water bath will feel slightly cool, but the remainder between the cool slices of butter and 80-degree fluid temperature will quickly soften the butter without melting it. This doesn ’ t influence well for sticks because the edges promptly soften, but the center stays firm, requiring more time and risks over-softening .
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Softening Time: 4 minutes

6) Pound the butter

clock to get some aggression out ! Pound a stay of butter between credit card or wax paper until very flimsy. The heat created by the friction and increased surface area will help it mince immediate. After flattening, it will be about 59ºF ( 15ºC ). Let it sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes to get to 65ºF ( 18ºC ). This method is promptly, easily, and gives a consistent texture and temperature throughout .
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Softening Time: 5 minutes

7) Grating

person grating butter onto a plate Grate the butter on the widest concentrate size of a hand-held kitchen grater or box grater. Use the paper that ’ s wrapped around the butter to help with absorbing, so you don ’ thymine nick your fingers on the sharp holes. It will come to board temperature very promptly. This works great if you ’ rhenium making promptly breads that require a bizarre texture like buttermilk biscuits or scones .
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Softening Time: 2 to 3 minutes

8) Stand Mixer

This method acting works great if you already need some yield butter for creaming with sugar. just cut the butter into even-sized pieces. For one stick, I cut it into eight slices. Mix on medium-low rush until it reaches the craved effeminacy. The friction created between the spank and the roll heats the fatness. What ’ mho big is that it ’ south already in the bowl for the adjacent footprint for your bake goods .
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Softening Time: 4 minutes

9) Microwave

warming butter in the microwave This method is the crafty but besides the quickest. The cardinal is to use medium exponent and flip the stick every 5 seconds to ensure even softening. I find that it takes about 30 to 35 seconds to reach 65 to 67 degrees .
This ensures the microwave energy is getting evenly distributed throughout the solid fat and not just one side. This method acting is ideal when you need to use a large measure of butter for a recipe. Some microwaves have a butter softening broadcast .
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Softening Time: 20 to 35 seconds

How long does it take for butter to soften?

A cold lodge of butter straight from the refrigerator is about 40ºF ( 4.4ºC ) and firm in texture. The softening clock time depends on the room temperature and ranges from 1 to 2 hours for a 4-ounce stick. The prison term will vary if it ’ randomness sitting in the windowsill with cheerfulness or near a quick oven. Just make certain that the butter does not wholly melt into liquid, or you ’ ll lose its air-trapping ability .

What is room temperature? 

If the instructions say to soften to “ room temperature, ” that can be from 68 to 72ºF ( 20 to 22ºC ) . This roll can fluctuate drastically in your home plate, indeed check your thermostat. You can besides turn on an instant-read thermometer, wait about 30 seconds for the reading in your kitchen. If it ’ mho more aplomb or affectionate, it will slow down or speed up the pace of dampen .

The best temperature for cakes, cookies, and frostings

Soften the butter to just below board temperature, about 65 to 67ºF ( 18 to 19ºC ). This range allows the needle-like beta premier fatty crystals to be solid but still elastic. When mix, the dampen fatness traps atmosphere pockets, so cookies, cakes, and frosting will turn out easy alternatively of dense .

How to test when butter is properly softened

The most reliable method is inserting the probe of an instant-read thermometer in the kernel of the butter. It ’ second always going to be cooler in the core. Another set about is to poke your finger onto the butter ’ s surface. It should leave an indenture but not stick to your finger, and there should be some slender immunity .

How to save over softened butter

The melting point of butter is between 82 to 97°F ( 28 to 26ºC ), from where it turns solid to liquid. It ’ s best not to re-chill wholly melted butter, as it loses its fatten crystal properties and will impact the texture of broil goods. however, if it ’ s a little excessively strong, you have a few choices .
For sticks or pieces, place in the refrigerator, checking every minute until it gets closer to room temperature. The deep-freeze besides works, but check more frequently as the temperature is 0ºF ( -18ºC ) compared to 40ºF ( 4.4ºC ). Slices can be placed in a bowl with a few ice cubes and lightly assorted until more firm. If needed, dab the pieces with a paper towel to dry the coat .

Can butter be too soft or hard?

Yes ! If the butter is excessively soft, it won ’ triiodothyronine hold breeze and will deflate. This creates categoric baked goods, or drooping frostings. If it ’ mho at all melted, that won ’ thymine trap air out and rather be greasy. cold butter is unmanageable to whip or cream, creating little chunks rather of being placid .
Pin this recipe to save for by and byPin This

How to Soften Butter

When a recipe calls for softened butter, but it’s sitting cold in the refrigerator. Don’t worry! You have a few options to get you back on track.







  • ½ cup butter, one stick, unsalted or salted

  • boil water, as needed for steaming method


Room temperature

  • Place the butter on the counter in a warmer area in the kitchen, unwrap and place it on a plate. You don’t want to put it too close to a hot stove or a warm window, or it can melt. Depending on the temperature of the room, it will take 1 to 2 hours to soften.

Cut into cubes

  • Slice the stick lengthwise into ½-inch thick rectangles. Cut into ½-inch cubes or smaller sizes for even quicker softening. Let it sit on the counter until the desired temperature is reached, about 5 to 15 minutes.

Glass Steaming

  • Use a glass or ceramic cup that’s large enough to cover the butter. Fill with boiling water. Alternatively, fill a microwave-safe cup with water, heat on high power until near boiling, about 3 minutes. Let the cup sit for 3 minutes to warm up, then pour out the water.

  • Place the wrapped butter on a plate, standing up. Immediately place the warmed cup over the butter. Check after 5 minutes, then every 1 minute after, about 8 minutes maximum. Unwrap and sit on the counter until the desired temperature is reached, or cut into cubes to speed up softening.

Microwave Steaming

  • Slice the butter into even-sized pieces, about 1-cm thick. Evenly place them on a plate. Using a microwave-safe material, heat 2 cups of water on high power for 3 minutes.

  • Remove the cup from the microwave and replace it with the plate of butter. Close the door and let it sit for about 10 minutes to soften.

Warm water bath

  • Cut the stick into 1-cm thick slices and place them in an even layer into a small resealable plastic bag. Remove the air, and seal.

  • In a medium bowl, add 4 cups of 80-degree water for 2 minutes, then flip it over and let it sit for another 2 minutes. Repeat the flipping process in 1-minute intervals as needed.

Pound the butter

  • Place the stick of butter in the center of a large resealable plastic bag. Pound it down with a rolling pin until flattened, then roll to an even 1/16-inch thickness. Let it sit at room temperature until the desired temperature is reached, about 5 minutes to reach 65ºF (18ºC).


  • Use the largest holes on a kitchen grater. Unwrap the butter, leaving some around the stick’s top to use as a place to grip. Grate over a plate and use it immediately or within a few minutes.

Stand Mixer

  • Cut the butter into even-sized slices, about 1 tablespoon in size (1-cm thick). Place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-low speed (setting 4) for 2 minutes.

  • Scrape down the paddle and bowl, then mix on medium-low until it reaches the desired temperature, 1 to 2 minutes.


  • Place the unwrapped stick of butter on a microwave-safe plate. Use the medium power setting (50%) and heat for 5 seconds. Flip the stick over clockwise, so it’s on another side, heat for 5 seconds.

  • Repeat with the remaining two sides, about 20 seconds total. Keep flipping and heating in 5-second intervals until it reaches the desired temperature. It takes about 30 to 35 seconds to reach 65 to 67ºF (18 to 19ºC).


  • Instant-Read Thermometer

Want to save this recipe?

Create an account easily save your darling contented, so you never forget a recipe again. register nowadays nutrition Facts
How to Soften Butter

Amount Per Serving

Calories 102

Calories from Fat 108

% Daily Value*

Fat 12g


Saturated Fat 7g


Trans Fat 1g

Cholesterol 31mg


Sodium 101mg


Potassium 3mg


Carbohydrates 1g


Sugar 1g


Protein 1g


Vitamin A 355IU


Calcium 3mg


Iron 1mg


* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet .

Tried this recipe ? Tag @ jessica_gavin on Instagram. I ‘d love to see how it turns out ! Tag @ jessica_gavin