How to soften butter quickly using 6 easy tricks
Oh butter! It’s one of those staple ingredients we love in cooking, and don’t get us started on all the butter used in our favorite holiday desserts. In fact, stocking up on butter before Christmas is essential for all your cakes and pies. But wait, did you remember to take out the butter to soften it?
When a recipe calls for softened butter, you may panic when you realize that the butter is still hanging out in the fridge! Don’t worry, because we’re here to help you with some quick and easy tricks to soften butter.
But first, why do you need to know how to soften butter? If the butter is too cold, you will have difficulty mixing it with the rest of the ingredients, which can result in a lumpy, uneven dough. If it is too melty, your baked goods will be dense and flat. Reduced butter falls somewhere between cold butter and melted butter.
So, what’s the best way to soften butter quickly? There are a bunch of scams on the internet these days, but it’s not always easy to determine which ones work and which ones you should avoid. Fortunately, The Pioneer Woman Test Kitchen has looked into the matter and found the best ways to soften butter quickly.
1. Planning for the future.
This may seem obvious — and it may not be the quickest on the list — but leaving butter on the counter only takes 30 to 60 minutes for it to soften. You’ll know you’ve reached perfect softness when the butter pierces easily when pressed with your fingers without losing its shape.
2. Cut the butter into cubes.
This method will help speed up the process of softening the butter on the counter. Simply cut the stick of butter into small cubes to allow it to soften more quickly.
3. Grate it.
Using the large holes of the grater, you can grate a stick of butter to create shavings that become soft in minutes! This method also works if you are dealing with frozen butter.
4. Hit it with a rolling pin.
Looking to relieve some stress? Try getting it out of the butter by pounding the cold butter with a rolling pin! Just make sure to place the butter between two pieces of wax paper, then flatten the butter by beating or rolling it with your rolling pin.
5. Use a cup of hot water.
You’ve probably seen this technique on TikTok, and our test kitchen has confirmed that it actually works! Here’s how to do it: Microwave water in a cup (alternatively, boil the water in a kettle, then pour it into a cup). After you fill the glass, pour it. Then place the hot cup over the stick of butter. Wait about 10 to 15 minutes and the butter will soften.
6. Use the microwave.
If necessary, you can use butter in the microwave as long as you follow a few simple rules: It is best to heat it in the microwave at 20 to 30% power, in 5 to 10 second intervals. (This will prevent the butter from melting too quickly.) Turn the piece of butter over to a new side on all four sides, after each period. Once you can leave an indentation in the butter when you press or pinch it, it’s ready.