Can you freeze butter or flavoured butters?
Yes, and it increases its shelf life dramatically.
Key things to remember are to make sure your butter is covered or put in a container when frozen, as butter is naturally porous and absorbs smells easily. You don’t want your butter smelling of frozen fish or peas (or whatever you keep in the freezer)! The best method is putting it in an airtight container but don’t get too worried if you just leave it in the casing.
If your butter is about to expire, freeze it. However, for the best results, freeze it while it’s still fresh and useable.
We hate to mention it but you can also freeze margarine and spreads (what we call ‘pretend butters’) – some people think they are the same as butter, but they are made from oil and flavoured with butter flavouring, so not the real thing!
How long can you freeze butter for?
Unsalted butter can be frozen for roughly six months and Salted Butter can last for up to one whole year if you do it right. However, retailers and producers like us tend suggest 4-6 months for salted butter as the taste can start to change the longer you leave it in the freezer.
With Bullion butters, as they use fresh ingredients such as chopped garlic and mushrooms, we recommend up to 6 months in the freezer! That means, if you see an offer in the supermarket or on our website, don’t be afraid to stock up! (Some people think you can’t freeze flavoured butter – this is a myth!)
How to soften butter fast?
There are many ways you can do this, we have chosen our top 6 ways to soften butter:
- Grate your butter using a cheese grater onto baking paper or straight onto a slice of toast. If your butter is frozen then this works especially well as it starts to melt very quickly. It also works well for baking recipes as the butter doesn’t melt but gets soft quickly.
- Cut your butter into cubes and place into slightly warm water. Leave in water for roughly 10 minutes before taking the cubes out. Great for creaming when you need soft butter for a cake mix. (Mary Berry recommends this method). Note, this doesn’t work well for flavoured butters as the ingredients start to float in the water … see tip 3 for flavoured butter.
- Place the butter into a small freezer bag and put into warm water. Similar to the method above but works good with flavoured butter as the bits of parsley and garlic don’t go for a swim.
- Microwave the butter, yes we hate to say it, but you can. 10- 15 seconds should do it, but keep an eye on it to avoid it melting. This is the cheat way when you want soft butter pronto.
- Cut the butter into cubes, place in between parchment paper and roll with a rolling pin. This will create a butter pancake but it’ll get soft quickly!
- Create butter shards using a vegetable peeler. You can peel it straight onto a piece of toast and in a few minutes it’ll be soft enough to spread.
Can you soften butter in the microwave?
Yes you can, but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t melt. If your recipe asks for softened butter, melting butter is not the same!
If you do have to microwave then 10 – 15 seconds should do it, but keep an eye on it to avoid it melting.
What is softened butter?
Butter that is at room temperature and not hard. If it’s spreadable, then it’s softened. This is usually required for baking recipes when you cream butter and sugar together. Be careful, softened butter is not the same as margarine or spread!
Can I use margarine instead of butter for baking?
Generally you can, however, butter is more rich so you’ll get a better tasting result. You can especially tell the difference with biscuits, pastry and small cakes like scones for example as smaller bakes tends to come out flatter with margarine. For cakes, butter generally makes the bake darker compared with lighter colour of margarine cakes, but the difference becomes less pronounced. However, you’ll get a slightly wetter more oily cake with margarine. For icing, bakers do often use margarine as it’s so quick to cream.
Can I freeze Bullion Butter in the container?
Yes, and we recommend that you do! They will last up to 6 months in the freezer. For the best results, put the butter into an air tight container to avoid the freezer smells contaminating the butter. Our butters are so strong and powerful, it may even be the other way around! Have you tried our triple pack of Garlic and Herb, Mushroom and Truffle and Smokey Paprika?