Lots of recipes call for softening or melting butter before cooking or baking with it. Follow the steps below to learn these two techniques.
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When taken straight from the refrigerator, butter is quite firm. For some baking recipes and many frostings, you need to soften butter before trying to combine it with other ingredients. This is just a fancy term for letting the temperature of butter rise from 35 degrees (its refrigerator temperature) to 65 degrees (cool room temperature). This takes about 1 hour. But here are two ways to speed things up.
Butter can be melted in a small saucepan on the stove (use medium-low heat), but we think the microwave is easier.