Many of my baking recipes call for room temp butter. In general this just means butter soft enough to be creamed with sugar, but is this a specific temp range? My kitchen stays cold enough in winter that butter doesn't really soften (and hot enough in summer that it would be liquid), but I can keep a small section of it at a constent temp, but what should it be set for?


  • 3
    Generally speaking, I don't think that most recipe creators measure the butter's temperature when creating/testing a recipe. They just know that it is "soft enough" as you said. I don't think you should be enforcing any temperature on yourself. Instead, if the butter easily creams/beats, I think you're good.
    – Chad
    Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 16:01
  • Also see the answers to this question. (cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/11216/…)
    – Martha F.
    Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 21:01

3 Answers 3


I, too, have the same problem - namely that in the winter we keep the house cool, and the butter is hard, etc..

In restaurants, I will microwave butter to get it to 'room' temperature when needed, but you must do it in short bursts, or parts will melt. Micro for 10-20 sec., then pause a minute, then do it again. As with any softening technique, the critical thing is that you don't want it to liquify in most cases, as it will lose the emulsion properties that make butter so awesome.


I would suggest approximately 21 degrees Celsius is a good start, or thereabouts.

Too much colder and indeed the butter will be hard enough to not cream well.

Warmer, within reason, should be fine, but yes - you don't want a puddle.


In theory, you could expect that to mean between 64 and 80 degrees F, which is about the normal comfort range of people. So it's a pretty wide band--if you can get your temperature anywhere in there you should be fine. Of course the lower you go the firmer the butter, and vice-versa. In the winter there's not much you can do if your house is cold, but in the summer a butter bell will generally keep the butter from getting too soft, even if things are fairly warm.

  • sometimes I put the butter on/near the oven if something's baking.. just takes 10 or so, but some does melt at the bottom edges
    – zanlok
    Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 19:13

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