Yield: ½ cup

How to Soften Butter

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes

Many recipes call for softened butter. Did you forget to plan ahead, or maybe you just saw this note in the recipe card. Don't worry, we've got 5 ways to soften that butter quickly!


  • ½ cup butter


  1. Counter. The first and easiest method of softening butter is to take it out ahead of time. How quickly this method will work depends on the temperature of the room. A stick of butter will take approximately 1-2 hours to soften. 
  2. Cut the butter into smaller pieces. Cut the stick of butter lengthwise and then repeat so that the stick has been cut into quarters. Then, cut the stick into cubes that are ½” or smaller. This method will reduce softening time to 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the cubes.
  3. Grate the butter. Using the large size of a box or hand-held grater, using the wrapper to grasp the stick, run the stick of butter in one direction down the grate. Many pastry recipes, including those for scones, advise this method for incorporating the butter with the other ingredients. The butter will be softened in less than 5 minutes using this method.
  4. Heating it with an overturned container, such as a mason jar. Fill a quart size mason jar, or measuring cup with water. Microwave the container for 2 minutes. Carefully pour out the water and set the butter, still in the wrapper, on its end so that it stands vertically. Place the cup over the stick of butter and leave it for about 5-10 minutes. The heat from the container will be released gently surround the stick of butter and soften it. At the end of this time, remove the container and check the butter. It may be softer on the outside than in the core of the stick.
  5. Pound the butter flat. - Place the stick of butter between two large pieces of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin or kitchen mallet, pound the butter into a flat sheet, about ⅛th” thick. Let rest for about 5 minutes or until desired softness is achieved. Carefully peel the plastic wrap away from the butter while folding the sheet of butter.


  • How to Know if it's Softened. Press your finger into the middle of the stick of butter. If it leaves an indentation but doesn't stick to your finger, it is softened (keep in mind the middle of the stick takes longer to soften, which is why that is where we always check)
  • Another test you can perform is your should be able to slice through the stick of butter easily, meeting some resistence.
  • Finally, since softened butter should be at 68-72 degrees F, you can also use a probe thermometer to get the most accurate read.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 Tablespoon

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 91mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

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