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How to measure melted butter

Melted Butter

Butter can be used in many different forms in a recipe. Cold butter is usually cut into flour for pastry or biscuits. Softened butter is usually creamed with sugar for cookies and cakes. Melted butter typically used for cakes and quick-mixing recipes like muffins and quick breads. Recipes call for butter in different ways. When you’re dealing with solid butter, measuring is easy, but I often get asked “how are you supposed to measure melted butter in a recipe?” Some recipes call for “butter, melted” and others call for “melted butter,” and it can be a bit confusing at times.

The short answer is that you measure the butter before melting it, then you melt it and add it to your recipe. This is definitely the most common way of measuring melted butter and it is most likely the way that the person writing your recipe intended for you to do it. A very small amount of weight might be lost when you melt the butter (especially if you melt it at a pretty high temperature) because a little water will evaporate as the butter melts, but this should not have a measurable impact on the finished recipe. The only times when you want to melt the butter first and then measure it out are when your recipe calls for butter that is primarily used in a liquid form, such as browned butter, clarified butter or ghee.

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4 Comments
  • Holiday Baker Man
    March 7, 2013

    A great post… something I have never really thought about!

  • Barb
    March 8, 2013

    Thank you for this inforfamtion. This means I”ve been doing it the wrong way for many years which is melting the butter then measuring it. I look forward to improvement.

  • Terrence, Michael
    March 1, 2014

    Wow! Thanks a bunch. After 65 years of blissful marriage I now must learn how to cook/bake for myself. The Cooled Butter thing really threw me. Now I look forward to bigger and better things.
    My Martha Stewart Pancakes (mouth watering) called for cooled butter. My final mixture was with a multitude of pieces of butter. Thankfully the pancakes were still delicious.
    Am now looking forward to trying your melted butter routine.
    Maybe my scones will hold together better with the new butter routine.
    Thanx again.
    Terry
    p.s. my beloved wife is in long care with Alzheimers

  • Pedro
    February 17, 2016

    fantastico thank you i learned so much, just what I needed to know!

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