Many baking recipes call for butter at room temperature. That means it should be soft, but not melting. You want your finger to leave an imprint without being able to press through the whole stick. So how do we get there?
Here are 4 ways to get butter to room temperature, depending on how much time you have:
Let butter rest at room temperature
Obviously, to get butter to room temperature, the easiest thing to do is to let it sit at room temperature. If I know I’ll be doing some baking, I pull what I need out of the fridge an hour or so before I need them. Sometimes I even do it the night before if I’m really thinking ahead.
Cut butter into cubes
The more surface area there is, the quicker the butter will come to room temperature. Cubing the butter and spreading it out a bit to let the air circulate should cut down the time to under 30 minutes.
Warm in a double boiler
Place cubed butter in a large glass bowl and set it over another bowl or pot of hot water (steaming but not boiling, and make sure to do this off the heat of a stove). In just a few short minutes, you’ll be good to go! Just don’t leave it for too long or it could get too soft.
Warm in microwave
The microwave is always my last resort, as butter can go from cold to melted in a matter of minutes. But in a pinch it works. Microwave a whole stick in short 10 second bursts, rotating the stick a quarter turn after each burst so it softens evenly.