How to Brown Butter

Want to learn how to brown butter for cookies, baked goods and savory dishes? This tutorial covers how to make it, as well as how to store browned butter. Browning butter is an excellent way to impart extra flavor into whatever you’re cooking. All you need is one ingredient and about 10 minutes to make the most nutty, fragrant, flavorful butter.

A jar filled with brown butter on marble

Who doesn’t love browned butter?

No matter the application or the recipe, it adds depth of flavor and color to any dish.

Today, we’re going to talk about how to make brown butter, how to store it and what to use it for.

Why I love this tutorial:

Honestly, browning butter sounds kind of intense, but it could not be easier to make at home.

Brown one or multiple sticks of butter at the same time since this keeps well in the fridge or freezer, too.

Then all you do is use the browned butter in cookies and other baked goods.

You can use it in savory dishes, too.

Basically: this is a great skill to have up your sleeve and a wonderful way to add nutty flavor to anything you’re cooking with it.

More recipes to use this goodness in: Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Bourbon and Walnuts | Pumpkin Drop Cookies with Browned Butter Icing | Shortbread Brown Butter Cookies | Brown Butter Pumpkin Streusel Muffins with Maple Cream Cheese Glaze

Want to learn more about cooking? Check out my Cooking Tutorials!

A stick of butter on marble with a blue striped towel and a saucepan

What you’ll need:

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Let’s talk ingredients!

In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

This is what you’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter—this is all you need. It’s important that you’re using real butter, not vegan butter or margarine.

The magic of brown butter is that the milk solids toast. They give the butter a fragrant, nutty aroma and taste.

Since margarine (or other non-dairy butter substitutes) do not have milk solids, they cannot brown and won’t provide the same flavor.

Collage showing how to brown butter

How do you brown butter properly?

Melt the butter in a medium skillet or saucepan over medium heat.

Swirl or stir the butter frequently. The butter will crackle and bubble as it cooks, as well as begin to smell nutty.

Brown bits will form in the bottom of the pan, so continue to stir (or swirl) until they turn golden brown in color.

Remove the skillet from the burner and pour the liquified butter into a heatproof bowl, crumbs and all. Let cool for at least 20 minutes.

Did you know

Browned butter keeps in the refrigerator for a few weeks in an airtight food container. If you’re using it in a baked good, you’ll want to bring it to room temperature before baking.

Close up of a white bowl of browned butter

Frequently Asked Questions

What is brown butter?

It is regular butter that’s been heated slowly, which leads to browned milk solids. The milk solids toast, giving the butter its color and flavor. The flavor is nutty, toasty and utterly delicious.

How long does it take to brown butter?

It takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes. This time depends on your stovetop and how strong the burner is, as well as your comfort in cooking down the butter.

Why is my butter not browning?

The liquid of the butter will not brown. There will be little browned bits that form as the butter cooks down, and this is what you’re looking for. If no browned bits are forming, check your butter label. Margarine and vegan butter do not have milk solids and will not brown.

Is butter supposed to boil when you brown it?

It will bubble and pop as the water cooks out of the butter and the milk solids brown.

Can you brown butter too much?

Yes. Keep an eye on the butter as it browns because it can go too far. If you overcook it, it could taste burnt.

Quick tips and tricks:

  • Double or triple the recipe. Since this keeps well in the fridge and freezer, there’s no reason not to make a large batch and then use it in various things. You can do this with any amount of butter.
  • Use it in sweet and savory applications. We love to add brown butter in cookies, blondies and cakes. But it also works swimmingly in savory recipes, like Browned Butter Sage Turkey.
  • How to store: Keep it in the refrigerator for a few weeks in an airtight food container. You may also freeze it for up to 6 months.

More recipes to try:

A jar filled with brown butter on marble
Yield: 8 servings

How to Brown Butter

Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes

Want to learn how to brown butter for cookies, baked goods and savory dishes? This tutorial covers how to make it, as well as how to store browned butter. Browning butter is an excellent way to impart extra flavor into whatever you’re cooking. All you need is one ingredient and about 10 minutes to make the most nutty, fragrant, flavorful butter.

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a medium skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Stir or swirl frequently. The butter will bubble and crackle as it cooks, as well as begin to smell nutty.
  3. Brown bits will form in the bottom of the skillet, so continue to stir (or swirl) until they turn medium brown in color. This will take anywhere from 5-10 minutes, just depending on your stovetop and the heat.
  4. Remove the skillet from the burner and pour the brown butter into a heat-proof bowl, crumbs and all. Let cool before transferring to a food storage container.

Notes

How to store: Keep brown butter in the refrigerator for a few weeks in an airtight food container. You may also freeze it for up to 6 months.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 91mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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