Everything You Need to Master the Butter Board Trend

published Oct 17, 2022
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Sticks of butter on a wooden cutting board
Credit: Joe Lingeman

ICYMI, butter boards are all the rage. And, well, we can’t say we’re mad about it. In fact, we might just be some of the biggest butter fans around, so you can bet your bottom dollar we’re stoked about the trend! If you haven’t seen one of these magical creations yet, please allow us to let you in on the craze. Endlessly versatile, these board are essentially a charcuterie replacement. All you’ll need to do is spread soft butter across the top of a board, season and garnish to your liking, and serve with a side of warm, toasty bread or your favorite crackers.

The best part? There’s no one single way to go about making one of these things. That’s why we’ve put together this guide full of a few of our favorite butter board ideas that’ll help you get started. Before you get too far in the planning process, though, we thought it’d make a lot of sense if we shared some of our go-to butter board finds that make the entertaining trend all the easier (and prettier).

First, you’ll need a surface on which to spread the good stuff. Now, there are a few directions you can go with this, but the basic principle is you want something that’ll provide some color contrast to your butter creation and stand up to the repeated bread-dipping. Here are some Kitchn faves:

  • If you’re looking for something that’s on the nose, but still cute, here’s a hand-crafted, solid cherry wood bread-shaped board that’ll make your spread look like butter on toast. Cute!
  • Calling all reBoard lovers out there: In case you hadn’t though of it, the colorful, BPA-free board could turn any stick of butter into a work of art.
  • Sophisticated butter board? We got you covered! Try out this organically shaped Acacia board that’ll look great on the tablescape.
  • For the pet parents out there, why not spread your butter across these fun, dog-shaped boards? Available in 16 breeds, you’ll find one that’s got a special place in your heart (it’ll make a great gift for the butter-board-lover in your life, too).

Okay, now that you’ve got your board all picked out, let’s talk about the star of this trend — the butter. Now, figuring out what kind of butter you’ll use all depends on what kind of board you’re creating. And, you should keep in mind that not all butter is created equal; different sticks are best for different applications (no matter which you choose, you’ll want to make sure it’s soft, so you’ll need this). Let’s break it down:

  • If you’re flavoring your butter (say, you’re whipping up our awesome Buffalo Ranch recipe), then you might want to go for a run-of the mill option. You know, what you’d use to bake with — just a regular ol’ stick. We like Challenge, or if European butter is more your style, Kerrygold.
  • If you need a quick and reliable option, we suggest this handsome jar of white truffle butter.
  • Maybe you’re getting all fancy with it — go you! For special occasions, you should definitely splurge on this small-batch cultured-cream butter that’s churned from the milk of grass-fed cows and comes in a variety of flavors.
  • Looking for a particular flavor or texture that you just can’t find in a store-bought option? Crisis averted. You can make your own! Just whip cream until it turns to butter. Easy!

Oh, and you’ll need something to spread the butter — hopefully into soft, pillowy waves whose craters hold little pools of delicious toppings. And, you’ll also need something for serving, unless you’re partial to the hands-only style (which we’re in total support of).

  • For the spreading and arranging of the soft butter we’ve got one single option for you (it’s the best out there for this sort of task): a mini offset spatula. The handy tool is helpful for cake decorating, gentle meringue lifting, and a whole lot more — but it also makes one heck of a butter spreader.
  • When the guests arrive (or if you’re feeling ambitious enough to tackle your butter board solo), you’ll want something pretty and useful for lifting and spreading the stuff onto your slice of perfectly toasted sourdough. Opt for these mod, dual-tone utensils, or a straightforward, get-the-job-done kind of find, such as these Sabre Bistrot Butter Spreaders.

Finally, we’ve arrived at the super fun part of the process: Toppings! There’s a gazillion ways to go here, but check out a few of our go-to butter board staples to get your creative gears turning (or should we say, churning).

  • Let’s start with the basics. First of all, anyone who ever told you, “no fat on fat,” was wrong! A flourish of nice olive oil to finish off your board is the way to go. Here’s a list of our favorite bottles.
  • Another non-negotiable for any butter board? Salt. The OG salt for garnishing is Maldon. It never disappoints — and they now make a smoked version, too!
  • For a funky, fun, and spicy option, maybe you opt for a combo of editor-favorite chili flakes (you could sub Fly By Jing’s tingly seasoning here, too) with the secret sauce that makes literally everything better.
  • Want even more complexity? Drizzle the butterscape with honey.
  • Looking to go with something out of the box? Get ready to fall in love with editor-favorite sweet spice mixes from Burlap and Barrel — or find a new favorite in blends from the sustainable, women-owned spice company Diaspora Co.
  • No matter how you do flavor your butter, if you want to fall in line with the trend, then you’ll need to finalize your creation with a generous sprinkling of edible flowers. There, now you can dig in in true TikTok style.

And, voila! You may now consider yourself a graduate of our butter board certification program. (Which means we’re expecting an invite to your next cocktail party!)