Let's say I'm making a crumble topping or some biscuits. What, if any, differences would it make to the finished product if melted butter was used instead of rubbing it in to the flour? Thanks.

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    Does this answer your question? Why is there a difference between softened and melted butter when baking?
    – Sneftel
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 13:54
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    No, because using the creaming method is different from rubbing the butter into flour. They are two different applications of the same ingredient, but that doesn't mean the results of creamed butter vs melted would be similar. Furthermore, the rubbing in method requires solid cold butter, not softened butter. Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


Melting the butter would create a more homogeneous mixture of butter and flour. This may sound like a good idea, but actually preserving little clumps of butter and flour in the final mixture for your crumble (or streusel, or pie crust, or US biscuit) is what gives the finished product its flaky texture. If you try using melting butter you will a lower-volume, denser, harder results which is undesirable in the applications you are describing.

You can even inadvertently get this result if you warm the butter up too much with your hands while creating the mixture; in such cases it can be helpful to return the dough to the fridge for a few minutes and letting the butter re-solidify before crumbling any large clumps apart again.

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    So basically, rubbing in the butter would give a lighter texture whereas using melted butter would result in the opposite? Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 13:32
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    Melting butter would also make water available for gluten development, so you'd risk getting something more like a drop biscuit than a rolled biscuit. (although America's Test Kitchen had something that they called the 'dream biscuit' that used warmed cream to make drop biscuits: cooksillustrated.com/articles/1189-easiest-ever-biscuits )
    – Joe
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 14:22

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