Skip to main content

How to Soften Butter Quickly

Ah, butter  — at once the most pedestrian, unremarkable of foodstuffs yet also a delectable addition that makes everything better. Butter is in a unique category with foods like the onion, orange, and salt: we take them for granted, but can you imagine eating in a world without them? Butter is stable for up to three months in the fridge, it can last for nine months when stored frozen, and — it’s even safe for a couple of days stored at room temperature, provided you do so in a proper vessel that blocks light and limits air exposure. (A butter dish and more butter-focused kitchen gadgets, e.g.)

Indeed, keeping a portion of your butter stored at room temperature allows for quick and easy slathering onto bread, waffles, or pancakes and can make cooking with the rich, fatty stuff all the more efficient. From a standard fridge kept around 40º F, a standard stick of butter will take about an hour to soften through. Chopping it smaller will of course speed that up.

If you forgot to keep a bit of butter out of the fridge an hour ago (or yesterday) and now it’s time for slathering, cooking, or making butter into fancy shapes for the perfect holiday table tableau, fear not: it’s easy to quickly soften butter without melting it into liquid form. (Though there’s a time and a place for liquid butter, of course!)

How to Quickly Soften Butter


  • A standard bowl (such as for cereal or soup)
  • 12 ounces of water
  • A second bowl (much like the first)
  • A microwave
  • Butter (placed in bowl #2)


  1. Put the water in bowl #1 and microwave it on high for 90 seconds
  2. Swap out the water bowl with the butter bowl and seal the steamy microwave ASAP
  3. Wait 8 to 10 minutes, and retrieve that perfectly soft butter from the microwave

Ah, but what to do with said perfectly soft butter? Why not try this perfectly simple recipe and whip up something sweet?

Easy Cinnamon Butter Cookie Recipe


  • 1 cup of softened butter
  • 3/4 cups of white sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder


  1. Preheat oven to 375º F
  2. Mix butter and sugar, then stir in egg and vanilla extract
  3. In separate bowl, mix all remaining powder ingredients, then stir into the wet ingredients and blend
  4. Use a cookie press if you have one, or use a spoon to drop ping-pong-ball sized balls of batter onto a cookie sheet and press them down to about a 1/4 inch in height (you can use the bottom of a glass)
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, stopping once they turn golden

And if you want to turn things up to awesome, also mix in some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the dry ingredients. Because spice.

Editors' Recommendations

Steven John
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Steven John is a writer and journalist living just outside New York City, by way of 12 years in Los Angeles, by way of…
Your guide to the pescatarian diet for healthier living
If you're considering a new way of eating, this may be the perfect diet for you
Pea puree with fish

Are you thinking of changing your diet? If a healthier you is on the to-do list this year, you might consider the pescatarian diet. At its core, the pescatarian diet eliminates all meat except for fish and seafood. Plenty of research tells us eating red meat increases your chances of heart disease and even death by 3% to 7%. The study even suggests that eating poultry twice a week increases these risks by 4%.

You may have heard of the Blue Zone Diet. If you're not familiar, Blue Zones are areas around the world where people live the longest, healthiest lives. The research was conducted by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic fellow and bestselling author. These zones are located in Japan, Italy, Costa Rica, Greece, and California. There are a number of practices you can put in place to follow the Blue Zone Diet if you wish. However, for our purposes, it's simply important to note that the people living the longest and healthiest lives were neither vegans nor meat-eaters. They're pescatarians.
What is the pescatarian diet?

Read more
Get creative: How to use hibiscus in your cocktails this spring
How to use hibiscus in cocktails
Alcoholic cocktail with pieces of fruit and berries in a bowl

Hibiscus is a great ingredient to incorporate into your cocktail game. Offering radiant color and a unique flavor, the flower is often converted to tea but also can be used as a syrup, lesser-known liqueur, soda, and more. And we especially like it in a good spring cocktail, as hibiscus is both floral and refreshing.

Why hibiscus in a cocktail? Because your mixology game could use a little creativity. There are enough boring cocktails out there made with the same old lineup of ingredients. Those are fine for regulars, but you're a budding cocktail artist.

Read more
From $350 to $1,399: The 5 best outdoor pizza ovens in 2024
ooni koda pizza oven review

Whether you're just starting on the craft of pizzas or you're a veteran who wants to make them in your backyard, you're going to want an outdoor pizza oven. If you have one, you can make your own delicious pizzas for your parties, and even try your hand at different recipes every night for your family's meals. However, with all of the options that you can shop, it may be overwhelming to narrow down your choices to the best outdoor pizza oven for you. To help you out, we've rounded up this list, with explanations on why we're going with these recommendations.

The major advantage of outdoor pizza ovens over traditional ovens is that they're capable of reaching higher temperatures in less time, which is necessary to get a perfectly cooked crust without burning the toppings. With an outdoor pizza oven, cooking will be done in a few minutes, for the ability to make pizzas pretty quickly so your family and friends won't wait for long. The best outdoor pizza ovens offer more than just this though, so if you're looking for something in particular, read on to find the cooking tool that you may have been looking for.
The best outdoor pizza ovens in 2024

Read more