How to Soften Butter Quickly

Appetizers · March 13, 2014

How to soften butter quickly - for all those recipes that call for room temp butter!!

Hi there! It’s Kimberly from A Night Owl and I’m back again this month with another easy and helpful household tip! Last month I shared my tried and true tip on how to keep a windshield crack from spreading, and this month we’re moving into the kitchen with:  How to Soften Butter Quickly!

Now I LOVE to bake. That’s one thing (ok, of many) that was passed down to me from my mother. I don’t have a ton of time to bake, but I KNOW that if you’re here hanging out at Lil’ Luna, chances are you love baking too! So you know this tip on how to soften butter quickly is an important one! I’m always baking last-minute. My boys ask for cookies or I feel the itch to whip together a cake and of course I have butter (rule number 1 is to always have the staples on hand, right?), but of course that said butter is ICE COLD. And almost every recipe I use calls for ROOM TEMPERATURE butter.

What to do? Do you call it quits or plan to cook an hour from now when the butter has had a chance to warm up? NO WAY! First thing, grab that butter and I’ll share how to get it to room temperature in a jiffy. As in you won’t-even-notice that you started with cold butter jiffy! Are you ready for it?


How to soften butter quickly - for all those recipes that call for room temp butter!!

You cut it up. Yes, that’s it. Slice that stick or sticks of butter into tabs, lay them out on a plate or platter while you’re gathering your other ingredients and in just minutes, by the time you’re ready to use it in your recipe, it’s soft and ready to go!

How to soften butter quickly - for all those recipes that call for room temp butter!!

Now I know there are other ways to soften butter quickly. I’ve tried them all, I’m sure. You can also throw a stick in the microwave and heat on defrost in 5 second increments and that does the trick too. Or you could try heating it on a double boiler. But I’ve personally found more often than not with those ways that I melt the butter a bit, which for most recipes you want to avoid! So MY tried and true tip to soften butter quickly is just this – cut it up!

So next time you’re caught with cold butter and 30 minutes to get cookies on the table – give it a try! You’ll be amazed at how quickly that butter softens up and how perfect  your baking will turn out!

Kimberly - Crafts Contributor


This is great, Kimberly! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed room temp butter quickly. This tutorial will come in so handy!!

For more great tips and creations from Kimberly, be sure to visit her site at A Night Owl, and for more info about her go HERE.

For more great tips here on the site be sure to check out:

10 Brilliant Uses for Baking Soda! { } Lots of great tips to use that common pantry item!

10 Uses for Baking Soda

How to Clean Your Curling Iron - SO need to do this! { } Great tips to get that shiny curling iron back!!

How to Clean Your Curling Iron

How to Keep Your Toilet Clean Longer { } So need to do this!! Great tips!!

How to Keep Your Toilet Clean

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Another fast way (but a bit more work) is to grate it with a cheese grater. It’s also a bonus if the recipe instructs to cream butter and sugar together, the grated butter is so easy to get this task done!


I grate mine too!

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

Such an easy tip – I never thought of that!

jen @ Tatertots & Jello

What a great idea!


Chloe @ foodlikecake

Such a good idea and so easy!


I often sit my stick of butter on the stovetop while the oven is preheating. The residual heat softens without melting by the time I’m ready to use it. I love this slicing method too, especially when it’s for a no-bake dish!


That’s a smart tip! I usually just sit it on the warming zone on my stove- which is helpful if you have a warming zone on your stove! lol Next time I’ll cut it up first!


great top. Another method is to fill a glass or small bowl with boiling water, then empty the dish and invert it over the butter for 5-10mins and it will be soft

Michelle Zappitelli

about 7-10 seconds in the microwave softens it up perfectly.


This is a really great tip!!! Usually I just tempt fate by microwaving it for 3-5 seconds and hope to get it before it melts 🙂
Since this is such a smart crowd, do any of you have tips to quickly bring eggs down to room temperature??? I don’t know any tricks for that!


    Put them in a bowl and run hot tap water over them!


I juat microwave it for 4-6 seconds, still in the wrapper, then flip the stick to. Different side and repeat for 4-6 more seconds. That works for me.

Amy B.

This is what the power level settings on microwaves are for. Use 30% power aprox. 20 sec at a time, rotating each time. It gives you perfectly softened butter without melting it. Using the power level settings also helps with warming eggs before you stir them into a pudding or cream pie (warm eggs temper more easily because it’s not a such a harsh temperature change for the egg.)

You might also want to check and see if your microwave already has a soften butter setting. Mine does and it works great. 🙂


if you’re making cookies just put the whole stick in your stand mixer and beat it slowly…then once it’s stuck in the beater, crank up the speed for just a few seconds. This is the easiest method but is only good for recipes using your stand mixer.


I use a cheese grater. Increases surface area and butter becomes soft in no time.


Just pop the stick of butter in the microwave with a mug of cold water. No tiny time increments required, you can do it for 30-60 seconds, depending on your microwave power & the size of the butter stick. It heats the water in the cup, but just softens the butter through without melting it.

    Lil' Luna

    Thanks for sharing that tip!!




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