Brown butter is a surprisingly easy and delicious way to add flavor to your baked goods! It adds a toasty, nutty, caramel flavor to cookies, cupcakes, cakes, and even buttercream! In this baking tips post, I will teach you how to make brown butter and how to use it in your baking.
What is Brown Butter?
Brown butter is butter that has been melted and cooked to the point that the milk solids toast and take on a nutty, caramel flavor. During this process, some of the moisture from the butter evaporates which also intensifies the flavor.
You can use brown butter to replace regular butter in most baking recipes! Use for cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and even buttercream frosting! It is the star ingredient in my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies and Brown Butter Buttercream Frosting.
How to Make Brown Butter
Brown butter is simple to make. It just takes a few minutes, a little stirring, and a little attention! Here are the steps!
- Place the butter in a medium-sized pan and melt over medium-low heat.
- Continue to cook the butter stirring frequently. The butter will start to foam.
- At this point, the milk solids in the butter will start to turn a golden color. Continue mixing so the milk solids do not burn.
- Once you achieve the level of browning that you desire, remove the pan from the stove and transfer to a heat-safe bowl immediately.
- Allow the butter to come to room temperature. If you are using the butter in a more solid form, you can chill the butter once it reaches room temperature.
You can cook the butter to your own personal preference. Some people prefer just a light toast, while others may gravitate toward a deeper browning. The longer you cook it, the darker the butter will become. Be aware that once the milk solids start toasting, they can go from perfect to burnt very quickly.
Don’t walk away from the stovetop
Brown butter needs your attention! The butter can go from melted to burnt very quickly, so it is important to stand by your stovetop and keep a close eye on the butter.
Stir frequently so the butter doesn’t burn
To reduce the chances of the milk solids burning, I recommend frequently stirring the butter. By keeping the butter moving, the milk solids won’t stick to the bottom and burn. Be careful to use a heat-resistant spatula or spoon so it doesn’t melt into the pan.
Remove from the pan immediately
Once you have reached the desired level of golden color, it is important to immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter into a heat-proof container. If the butter remains on the heat and in the pan, it will continue to cook and could potentially burn.
Use melted or solidify in the refrigerator
If you need to firm up the butter to use in a solid form, once it reaches room temperature, transfer the container to the refrigerator and chill. You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week!