How to Soften Butter Quickly

how-to-soften-butter

I had a pile of 15 bananas from our family reunion that were changing from spotted to black and oozy way too quickly.  I decided that yesterday afternoon was the time to turn them into some whole wheat banana bread.  I started grabbing my ingredients when…dunh dunh DUNH!  I forgot to soften the butter!  How often has this happened to you?  For me, it’s happened more times than I can count.  Fortunately, a friend of mine who bakes all the time passed along a great tip, and no, it’s not the microwave.  (DON’T microwave your butter to soften it, bad idea!  Even if it looks solid it’s still melted and the emulsion you need for baking has been broken.  Check out this article on the magic of butter.)Whenever I need to soften butter quickly, I use this simple trick, so I’m finally sharing it with you in a step by step photo tutorial.  Why yes, it is because I love you!

First, unwrap your stick of butter and use a knife (any knife should work but a sharp one will be easier of course) to cut it in half lengthwise.

soften-butter-step1

Now you have two long pats of butter.

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Cut both of them in half lengthwise to make four long columns of butter.

soften-butter-step2

Now make seven or eight cuts along the columns to make small cubes of butter.

soften-butter-step3

TADA!  You now have A LOT more surface area exposed to the warm air.  This will help your butter to soften faster.

softening-butter

You’re welcome.

(You can also try my friend Elise’s method of rolling it out like dough)


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9 Responses to “How to Soften Butter Quickly”

  1. Debbie
    January 16, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    i use a cheese grater for frozen butter! works like a champ. same basic idea… and frozen butter grates easier without melting everywhere.

  2. Laura
    January 16, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    What a great idea! I always forget to soften butter ahead of time. I will be definitely trying this at some point I’m sure! Thanks for the tip.

  3. Karen
    January 16, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    Feeling a bit dumb for not having thought of this on my own… Thanks for the tip!

  4. Kelsey Hough
    January 17, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    That’s a great idea! Thanks for sharing! :D

  5. Kim L
    January 17, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    Great tip!

  6. flyingbird
    January 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    I never remember to soften butter, and am now in the habit of just popping the butter in the microwave on 50% power until the stick is soft.

  7. Tonja
    January 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    I can’t wait to try. I too typically use the microwave!

  8. Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen
    January 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    This happens to me all the time! Thanks for the great tip, I’ll be using this one for sure. :)

  9. Coleen
    February 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    Great tip! Now if I can just remember it! (I don’t bake very often)

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