People say that clarified butter doesn't taste as good as normal butter, but what if you were to make it in a way that retains the milk solids but still removes the water? So it would be something like 97 percent butterfat and around 3 percent milk solids? And also because there's no water, would this basically make it a more flavourful version of shortening? Thank you to anyone that replies.

  • 8
    Just to clarify things (pun intended) Clarified butter is butter without milk solids; if you do not remove the milk solids, then it is not clarified butter.
    – Max
    Aug 9, 2019 at 0:56
  • I arrived at this question because I want to make what it describes. I agree that with the milk solids, it's by definition not clarified butter. Perhaps we should call it dehydrated butter. I'd like to mention another use case: to add (more) butter flavor, when you can't have the extra water that would come with regular butter.
    – echo
    May 27, 2020 at 23:01

3 Answers 3


Clarified butter has plenty of butter flavor. The general reason for making it in the first place is so you can heat it to high temperatures without burning. If you re-introduce or keep the milk solids, you have defeated the whole point of clarified butter. You might as well just use regular butter.


Perhaps what you're describing is more like ghee ... which is butter that is cooked past the point of evaporating the water so that the milk solids brown and impart a nuttiness to the "clarified" product. It resembles beurre noisette but is filtered so as to retain the high smoke point but still has the nutty flavour imbued within it.


I am one of those people who isn't that fond of clarified butter. And for me, the problem is texture. Once the fat has come out of emulsion, it doesn't taste as good.

This means that your idea is no help. It doesn't matter if you leave the proteins in or not during the melting; the whole point is to not melt it at all.

I suspect that this is the reason why there are a lot of recipes where clarified butter is being used in baking or in melted sauces, but not really many cases in which clarified butter is turned into buttercream, or served as spread, or used in other applications where the texture is noticeable.

  • I'll add to this that if you were inclined to make a brown butter buttercream, the pure fat brown butter is much softer than unmelted butter at room temp. You'll have to use a combination of butters or a starch thickener to get it whippy.
    – kitukwfyer
    Oct 6, 2021 at 12:11

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