What Are Butter Boards and Why Are They Amazing?

published Sep 20, 2022
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butter board styled with edible flowers and onions.
Credit: Photo: Justine Doiron, JustineSnacks.com
Butter Board

Not too long ago, it seemed like just about everyone, everywhere was trying their hand at making charcuterie boards. In addition to the classic boards made up of things like salty cured meats, tangy cheeses, fruit, and crackers, we saw takes like breakfast grazing boards and sprawling dessert boards come onto the scene. With fall party season here, though, you might want to make some room for a different kind of spread: butter boards!

A butter board is exactly what it looks and sounds like: a large cutting board or cheese plate with a generous amount of perfectly softened butter spread all around, making it ideal for easy scooping and spreading. The best part? You don’t have to simply stop at the butter — a butter board is best when topped with tasty seasonings, spices, thinly sliced vegetables or fruits, jams, and sauces. Serve the board with a side of crackers, biscuits, crostini, and/or toasts, and you’re good to go!

Recipe developer and food influencer Justine Doiron of JustineSnacks posted a video on TikTok demonstrating how she makes her version of this fun and creative snack. Doiron’s butter board consists of beautifully swirled room-temperature butter on a cutting board topped with flaky salt, lemon zest, herbs, thinly sliced red onions, honey, and edible flowers.

Doiron says she originally got the idea from chef and cookbook author Joshua McFadden. The recipe, which McFadden posted on Instagram in 2019, was originally featured in McFadden’s 2017 cookbook Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, which was coauthored by Martha Holmberg.

Though both McFadden and Doiron’s versions are as picturesque as they are delectable, there are a few different routes one could take when it comes to topping their butter board. This version from The Modern Nonna has fig jam, sliced figs, hot honey, and chopped walnuts. A couple delicious-sounding ideas for butter boards include but definitely aren’t limited to:

  • Red pepper flakes, hot sauce, and hot honey
  • Ground cinnamon & maple sugar or syrup, served with French toast sticks (this idea is courtesy of Production Editor Tracey Gertler and Executive Food Director Nina Elder!)
  • Finely chopped dill, lemon zest, and ranch seasoning
  • Blueberry jam, lemon zest, and chopped walnuts

For more ideas for dressing up butter, check out this butter hack from Alex Guarnaschelli.