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Cooking Tips and Tricks: How to Soften Butter Quickly

Updated on January 10, 2012

This scenario may sound familiar: you bustle around the kitchen, preparing appliances, bowls, utensils, and ingredients for the World's Most Amazing Treat Ever, and just when you are ready to mix everything together, you realize that your butter is not at room temperature.


Don't panic! There are quite a few simple tips and tricks when it comes to getting butter softened in a jiffy. I'll share with you the most popular (and useful) ones below. Just because I like you, I'll also throw in my (until now) Super Top Secret Butter Softening Method, which is the quickest, laziest, and most wonderful butter-softening tactic of all.

I hope you find this quick guide and video to be useful! Have fun with your butter!

Gotta get that butter SOFT!
Gotta get that butter SOFT!

The 5 Most Popular Methods for Soften Butter

  1. Leave it out of the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes before baking: This, of course, does not work in cold rooms (e.g. those belonging to cheap gals like me who don't believe in heating) or those who are not good at preparing for things ahead of time.
  2. Cut the butter into small chunks and mix it using a stand mixer or handheld blender: The heat generated by all that friction softens it up quite quickly!
  3. Roll the butter out between two sheets of parchment paper: No electricity required! Though... you will need some parchment paper. As an alternative to the rolling pin, you can also use your firsts and BEAT the butter into submission!
  4. Heat the butter in a bowl over a pan with softly boiling water: Just be sure to watch it, or else all the butter will melt!
  5. Put the butter in a plastic bag and place that bag in a bowl of warm water: This is simple enough- just make sure the water is not too hot!

WARNING: Step AWAY From the Microwave!

If there is one thing you should NOT do to butter, it's put it in the microwave. Microwaving butter will melt it, not soften it.

Of course, if you do make this mistake, not all is lost. Butter shots, anyone?

How to Soften Butter: THE SIMONE WAY!

Ever since I was very young, I have been softening butter the same way. This is one of the few cooking tips and tricks that I have developed personally, so I'm pretty proud of it.

This method enables one to quickly soften butter without getting a bunch of containers dirty or expending any effort. All you have to do is...

  1. Remove the butter from the fridge
  2. Stow the wrapped stick in your bra, right under your armpit
  3. Go about your business (gathering ingredients, watching TV, yodeling...)
  4. Take the butter out when you need it- it shall be soft and ready to go!

At first the butter will feel a bit cold and odd in your bra, but believe me, you'll forget it's there in mere seconds! Also, though a bit gross, this method is entirely sanitary- after all, the butter is wrapped! Besides, sticking the butter so close to your armp- I mean, heart, makes the food you make extra special in my opinion. You can really taste the personal touch.

What's your favorite butter softening method?

See results

How Do YOU Soften Butter?

What is your go-to method for softening butter? Are you a mixer-person? Or a rolling pin master? Or do you use hot water to speed things up? Let me know in the poll to the right, or in the comments below!

Though we all have our own ways of softening butter, I am sure that we can agree on one thing at least: butter is awesome, and so long as it is treated fairly (e.g. not microwaved, wasted, burned, thrown out, or sworn at), it will do wonderful things to our favorite cookies, cakes, biscuits, and muffins.

Three cheers for butter! The breakfast of champions!

Thanks for stopping by my wee cooking guide, and have fun baking.


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    • poetryman6969 profile image


      3 years ago

      For those of us without bras this is awkward...

    • Tonipet profile image

      Tonette Fornillos 

      6 years ago from The City of Generals

      Perhaps it's a common thing forgetting to take the butter out in time when softened the Simone way :=), now that makes it extra special, indeed, couldn't imagine though... you got me in there Simone. You're so fun, thank you. Butter is awesome anytime!

    • LauraGT profile image


      6 years ago from MA

      Thanks Simone. Softened butter is the secret ingredient to lots of recipes, so this is helpful!

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Drat! Because using actual whips would certainly be the most enjoyable method of all, Leroyworld!

    • Leroyworld profile image


      6 years ago from Texas, No place else

      Nice. Leaving butter out for thirty minutes is soooo boring. I am going to try the parchment paper and fist suggestion. Take that butter.

      Seriously cutting the butter into smaller pieces and whipping it works really well and can be included as a step in certain recipes, like chocolate chip cookies. (I use a whisk or food processor - actual whips don't work that well.)

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      DRAT! Yet another reason for me to curse the anemic English muffens on my chest! I love that solution.

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 

      6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Inspired by this Hub, I have just invented a new way to warm up an egg for baking (which you often need to do): Put it between your boobs. Unfortunately, this only works if you have ample cleavage.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Dude, Emerald Strachan, the armpit method ROCKS.

      And I am a big fan of the butter dish. That is perhaps the best way to go if one knows one is going to be going through a lot of butter!

      Oooooh, good point Wendy Finn. Fun aside: the first thing I did once hitting the ground in London last year was buy a stick of butter :D

    • Wendy Finn profile image

      Wendy Finn 

      6 years ago from UK

      I love the bra technique BUT butter in the UK comes in way bigger sizes than the US sticks - there's just no room in there :-) Great tips!

    • Peter Allison profile image

      Peter Allison 

      6 years ago from Alameda, CA

      Awesome tips! Wish I had read this 6 hours ago when I was kneading 3/4 cup of cold butter into a crumble! Something I adopted from living in the UK is keeping butter at room temp in a butter dish thingy. We use the stuff all day everyday constantly and to have it right there ready to spread (without destroying a piece of bread) is awesome. Today the recipe called for more than I had out, but in general, I say get a butter dish - the cute kind with a lid and leave at room temperature.

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 

      6 years ago

      I can't believe people actually voted the arm pit

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      I KNOW, right??

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      MMMM Pit butter, what more could one want?


    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Going for the blender is definitely a more classy approach, algarveview!

      And Mrs. Menagerie, if YOU go for the microwave in times of need, I don't suppose it can be all that bad!

    • Mrs. Menagerie profile image

      Mrs. Menagerie 

      6 years ago from The Zoo

      Hahahahaha..Oh, Simone, you are so adorable!

      I guess I'm very naughty because I just use the microwave...5 seconds only.

    • algarveview profile image

      Joana e Bruno 

      6 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Hello, Simone, I often have this same problem, I always seem to forget to take the butter out in time. Liked your tips, the armpit one is quite creative, personally I think I'll go with with the blender or mixer. Very funny!

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      LOL! Man boobs'll do in a pinch, Arlene V. Poma! All one really needs, of course, is a bra! Or perhaps even a long-sleeved, tight shirt :D

      I suppose microwaves could work if you've really got things honed in, Peggy W! I've just mussed things up too many times taking that approach T___T

      Hahaa, mljdgulley354! Bras are stretchy- there's always room for more, I say!

      This'll really come in handy for those times, randomcreative! And it's totally normal and non-gross. Totally totally.

      There may be other places to store butter on one's person, Afreen, but the armpit is the most convenient spot!

      Thanks so much for stopping by, LadyLyell and CZCZCZ!

      It really does work well, Hendrika. I've been doing it for years :D

      I guess I should give the microwave a second chance, Dolores Monet. Though I'm so hooked on sticking butter in my clothes that I may only get around to it once they put an end to clothing and bras, tehee!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      6 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi, Simone - I hate to say that I do stick the butter in the microwave for just 5 seconds or so. Oh, I love the video! This whole video thing looks like such fun and can be so helpful, especially for instructional hubs. Your actress was cute and personable.

    • Hendrika profile image


      6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      I must say the bra part does sound a bit funny, but I agree it should work pretty well.

    • CZCZCZ profile image


      6 years ago from Oregon

      Great hub and video on getting the butter soft, was funny to listen and read.

    • LadyLyell profile image


      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Good tips, some funny!

      Voted funny!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi sim! D way u melt butter is 2 shocking!! But my dear there is a much hotter place in our body than armpit so wat u suggest?

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great tips! I am not good about planning ahead with butter and should just leave it out for 30-45 minutes, but I normally don't. I'll have to try the bra trick next time instead!

    • mljdgulley354 profile image


      6 years ago

      Oh to funny. I will have to see if hubby will help me out with melting the butter. Not enough room in my bra.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Simone,

      You are just too funny! Softening butter under an armpit? Who knew! Seriously, if I forget to take out the butter ahead of time, contrary to your advice...I use the microwave. About 10 to 15 seconds usually does the trick and it is not yet liquified. (Probably depends upon microwave practice with a few seconds at a time).

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 

      6 years ago

      This is hilarious, and I wasn't expecting the bra technique. I can't do that. I can see myself having a senior moment and completely forgetting that I have a stick of butter in my bra. Maybe I can recruit one of the men in my family who has man boobs.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Dontcha just love that about the Internet, marriedwithdebt?

      And seriously, Patty Inglish, MS. There is SO MUCH one can do with bras! Seriously!

      Rochelle, this might be true, but I would like to point out that there *are* man bras out there- in plenty of flattering styles, too! Good point about the weasels, though. And I am glad you, too, advocate for proper treatment of butter.

      Now, that's EXACTLY what I would expect you to do, MickeySr. Totally reasonable! TOTALLY reasonable. I am sure Mirs. MickeySr will be happy to oblige.

    • MickeySr profile image


      6 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

      . . . that's fine for you, but I love to cook - what the hell am I supposed to do? I can just see myself, after asking my wife to put a stick of butter in her bra for me, explaining that that a lady on the internet named 'Simone' told me about it.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      6 years ago from California Gold Country

      This will not work for a lot of the guys.

      And yes, I wrote the animals in the bra hub-- putting butter in there will make the animals greasy and hard to hold onto. Also, yodeling annoys the weasels.

      I am pro butter, but don't like to see it mistreated, sworn at or beaten.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Hmm, didn't we have animals in the bra before? Bras are so versatile! Rated Up and more.

    • marriedwithdebt profile image


      6 years ago from Illinois

      Butter in your bra!!!!! I had no idea I was getting tips like this when I clicked. Great video and tips for softening :)


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