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What Is Deep-Fried Butter?

Allison Boelcke
By Allison Boelcke
Updated May 16, 2024
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Deep-fried butter is a dish made by drenching pieces of butter in a batter or a dry crumb coating and cooking them in hot oil until the outside is golden brown. The dish may be flavored to be sweet or savory. It tends to be most commonly found at fairs and festivals and is often available on a stick or served in bite-sized pieces with utensils or as a finger food.

Frozen butter pieces tend to be most commonly recommended to make deep-fried butter with. By freezing the butter beforehand, it may be able to more successfully withstand the hot oil and hold its shape, compared to chilled or room temperature butter that will typically fully melt when exposed to the hot oil. Batter ingredients tend to vary widely depending on the recipe and whether or not it is intended to be sweet or savory, but the base is generally made with milk and flour, and additional flavoring ingredients such as cinnamon, honey, garlic powder, or dried herbs. Some versions of the recipe may recommend coating the butter pieces in beaten eggs and covering them in bread crumbs instead of using a batter, which may result in a crispier coating.

Deep-fried butter may be made in a range of different shapes. If a stick of frozen butter is being used, a wooden stick is usually stuck into one end prior to frying. The frozen butter is also often cut into small squares for bite-sized pieces. It may also be made into butter balls by using a small ice cream scoop or melon baller to remove pieces from a stick or tub of frozen butter.

Since butter is prone to melting quickly, deep-fried butter is usually prepared in a short amount of time. The frozen butter is generally coated in batter or beaten eggs and crumbs, and then fried in hot oil just until the outside turns golden brown, often approximately 15 seconds. It is typically recommended to handle the butter as little as possible while coating it before frying to ensure the heat from a person’s hands does not start to soften the butter.

Deep-fried butter is often served plain or may be accompanied with other sauces or garnishes. Whole sticks of butter tend to be eaten as is, while the smaller deep-fried squares or balls may be served in a bowl with utensils. They are often topped with additional melted butter, and may be garnished with powdered sugar, cinnamon, salt, or other preferred spices or seasoning. The butter pieces also may be served with dipping sauces, such as chocolate or caramel sauce, fruit glaze, garlic butter sauce, or creamy cheese sauce.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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