Tips & Tricks

How to Soften Butter – Easiest Method Ever

July 23, 2019

How to soften butter using the easiest method ever! If you’re doing some baking and need soft, creamy butter asap then this method is for you and there’s not a microwave in sight! It takes only 5-10 minutes and works every single time without any risk of your butter melting.

An overhead shot of softened butter in a rustic bowl

If you love to bake then you’ll know that most recipes involving butter require the butter be at room temperature to avoid any nasty lumps in your batter or uneven baking. This can make or break your cookies, cakes or whatever your baking so it’s super important.

BUT if like me you always forget to take the butter out of the fridge it can be an annoying wait….sometimes to the point of just not bothering at all, amirite?

Luckily I have the easiest method ever for getting softened butter that’s so fast that I do this EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Yup, it always works and I never even bother bringing butter out of the fridge in advance anymore I just use this simple method every time.

A side shot of softened butter in a bowl with a knife

What You Need to Soften Butter Quickly

  • Butter (obviously)
  • A bowl
  • Water

And that’s it, no microwave or stove….you need no more equipment at all, trust me. See the step by step photos and instructions below for how to soften butter perfectly every time.

How to Soften Butter – Easiest Method Ever

The crucial part of this working is the temperature of your water so you want to use tepid or warm water. The water should not be hot – this is super important.

Measure the correct amount of butter that you need then cut it up into small to medium-sized pieces or cubes. This helps the butter soften quicker (photo 1).

Fill a bowl with tepid-warm water then add the butter. Let the butter sit for 5-10 minutes  (photos 2 & 3).

Step by step photos for how to soften butter easily

Check the butter is softened enough by pressing a piece between your fingers. If it is, scoop the butter out of the bowl *see my tips below and your butter is ready to use (photos 4-6).

Why the Water is So Important

The temperature of the water is important it should be around 30-33C (86-91F) but don’t worry about getting the temperature exact just make sure that it feels tepid (just warm) and isn’t hot in the slightest!

If the water is hot then the butter will melt and you’ll be left with a bowl of water with melted butter floating on the top.

Why this Method Works

This method works so well because the butter has no risk of melting no matter how long you leave it.

If you make sure that the water is just warm and not hot then you can leave the butter in there without worrying about a timer.

There are many other methods that use microwaves, a hot bowl that’s been in the microwave but honestly, they ALL have the risk of melting the butter very easily. They also take up too much time for me, this method is both simple and fast!

Top Tips for Using this How to Soften Butter Method

  • Fat, oil and water don’t mix so don’t worry about “watery butter” it won’t happen just make sure to drain the water properly from the bowl.
  • Always fill the bowl with water first then add the butter so you can get the water temperature correct first. 
  • You don’t want your bowl to be overcrowded so if you have a lot of butter to soften divide it between two bowls.
  • I have separate hot and cold taps so I mix some hot with a lot more cold until the temperature feels tepid. If you want to use a thermometer then it should be around 30-33C (86-91F).
  • I drain the butter by scooping it out using a slotted spoon but you can also use your hands to scoop it out. Whatever method you use to make sure to give it a little shake to drain off any excess water then place in a separate bowl or plate ready to use.

An overhead shot of softened butter in a bowl

If you’ve tried this method for How to Soften Butter or any other recipe on the blog please let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

How to Soften Butter - Easiest Method Ever

How to soften butter using the easiest method ever! If your doing some baking and need soft, creamy butter asap then this method is for you and there's not a microwave in sight! It takes only 5 minutes and works every single time without any risk of your butter melting.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Author: Emily Kemp
Cost: $3.00

Equipment

  • medium-sized bowl

Materials

  • butter
  • water

Instructions

  • Measure the correct amount of butter that you need then cut it up into small to medium-sized pieces or cubes. This helps the butter soften quicker.
  • Fill a bowl with tepid-warm water then add the butter. Let the butter sit for 5 minutes.
  • Check the butter is softened enough by pressing a piece between your fingers. If it is, scoop the butter out of the bowl *see my tips below and your butter is ready to use.

Notes

  • Fat, oil and water don't mix so don't worry about "watery butter" it won't happen just make sure to drain the water properly from the bowl.
  • Always fill the bowl with water first then add the butter so you can get the water temperature correct first. 
  • You don't want your bowl to be overcrowded so if you have a lot of butter to soften divide it between two bowls.
  • I have separate hot and cold taps so I mix some hot with a lot more cold until the temperature feels tepid. If you want to use a thermometer then it should be around 30-33C (86-91F).
  • I drain the butter by scooping it out using a slotted spoon but you can also use your hands to scoop it out. Whatever method you use to make sure to give it a little shake to drain off any excess water then place in a separate bowl or plate ready to use.

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