I Tried the Viral “Butter Candle,” and It’s My New Favorite Party Trick

published Dec 4, 2023
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Butter candle in the center of a bread bowl.
Credit: Meg Asby

I can’t scroll for more than five minutes without seeing the viral butter candle these days, so I decided to finally give it a try for the holidays. And by “for the holidays,” I clearly mean on a random Tuesday (in December!) as an excuse to eat bread and butter for dinner. Because why not?

Quick Overview

How to Make the Viral Butter Candle

Melt butter in a paper cup with a food-grade wick secured in the center with tape or a wick holder. Place the butter candle in the freezer. Meanwhile, cut a hole in the center of a round loaf of bread for the candle. Slice the remaining loaf, leaving the base intact. Once the butter candle is frozen, tear away the paper cup, trim the wick, place inside the loaf, and light.

I fully recognize that this little project may be the most *extra* thing I have ever done in my life, but it was honestly so easy and way fun. Best of all, my teens thought I was cool for an entire hour! Here’s how it went, what you’ll need, step-by-step instructions, and some other tips I learned along the way. 

How to Make the Viral Butter Candle

What You’ll Need to Create the Viral Butter Candle at Home:

Credit: Meg Asby

Step 1: Melt the butter. 

Place the butter in a microwave-safe container with a pour spout, and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until completely melted. Use the best butter you can find and afford (I like Beurre de Baratte and Kerrygold), or add fresh herbs or roasted garlic to elevate a standard stick. 

Credit: Meg Asby

Step 2: Place the wick in the paper cup.

While the butter is melting, trim the food-grade candle wick to a length a few inches longer than the height of the paper cup. Using either tape or a wick holder, position the wick in the center of the cup. (A wick holder makes this easy, and they’re very affordable.)

Credit: Meg Asby

Step 3: Pour the butter into the prepared cup. 

Pour the warm butter carefully around the wick into the paper cup. 

Credit: Meg Asby

Step 4: Freeze the butter candle. 

Freeze the butter candle for one hour, or until firm. I placed my butter candle inside another container to catch any spills when I closed the freezer drawer, and let’s just say it was a good idea. 

Credit: Meg Asby

Step 5: Cut a hole in the center of the loaf. 

Using your spare paper cup as a guide, cut a cup-sized hole in the center of your loaf with a bread knife. Next, cut the outer ring of bread into diagonal slices, careful to leave the base of the loaf intact. This creates the pull-apart pieces that make this appetizer easy to eat. 

Credit: Meg Asby

Step 6: Prepare the butter candle and place it inside the loaf.

Once the butter candle is frozen, tear the paper cup away from the frozen candle, and trim the wick. Transfer to the loaf.

Credit: Meg Asby

Step 7: Light the butter candle. 

Light the butter candle with a match or an electric lighter. After 20 minutes, the butter will have melted enough for dipping. Simply tear a piece of bread and dip in the melted butter at the top of the candle. As @krusenews on Instagram commented, “The butter candle doesn’t burn at the same pace as my bread eating.” Same, but it’s worth the wait. If you don’t finish it in one day, it’s fine to pop in the fridge and enjoy again the next day. 

Other Butter Candle Tips and Tricks

  • Buy food-grade wicks. A word of warning: I already had a regular candle making kit at home, and I thought, eh, it’ll be fine. I’ve eaten a lot of birthday candle wax through the years, so what’s the difference? TASTE. The difference is taste. My first attempt at the butter candle tasted only of wax. Learn from my mistake, and buy the edible-grade wicks, even if you’re not feeling particularly cautious. I wasted 8 ounces of Beurre de Baratte and I can’t go back. 
  • Add whatever you want to your butter. Herbs and honey and garlic, oh my! Make your butter candle your own with your favorite mix-ins you (and your guests) will want to eat.
  • Put the butter candle in another container when you freeze it. As I mentioned, when you close your freezer, there could be some butter spillage. To prevent excessive mess, put the butter candle cup in a container in the freezer.
  • Have fun and enjoy without shame! OMG, do it! It’s bread and butter, but better. The process is easy enough for a Tuesday and special enough for a holiday. Ignore the naysayers who comment (hilariously, as @grimera did), “What in the live laugh love is this sh*t?” The butter candle is a silly way to eat bread and butter, and it made every single person in my family happy. I’ll be dipping my sourdough in a Beurre de Baratte candle all winter long, no matter how extra it is.