A Better Baker : How To Brown Butter

July 2, 2020

How To Brown Butter is part of our continuing series, A Better Baker. In this post you’ll learn the ins and outs […]

How To Brown Butter is part of our continuing series, A Better Baker. In this post you’ll learn the ins and outs of how to brown butter, aka liquid gold! Because butter is good, but brown butter is just better!

In case you hadn’t noticed, I sort of have a thing for brown butter and I couldn’t be more excited to share this step-by-step tutorial all about browning butter. Brown butter is where it’s at bakers. The slightly nutty, warm, caramel notes of brown butter elevates the flavor of everything from brownies and blondies to pie crust and pancakes. If you want to take your baked goods to “oh-my-gawd-who-made-that” status, just add brown butter. Browning butter is easier than you might think and it’s a life skill worth mastering if you ask me. Right up there with knowing how to change a tire and sew on a button. Read on for all the dos and dont’s for perfectly browned butter and then give it a whirl in one of the recipes linked below. You can thank me later.



Brown butter just so happens to be one of my favorite ingredients {next to chocolate of course!} and I like to use it any chance I get. If you ask me, brown butter pretty much belongs in everything. Take these Brown Butter Brownies for example. And I go nuts for these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies. OMG. SO GOOD! It’s also makes the most incredibly delicious buttercream frosting. Brown butter heightens the flavor of both sweet and savory goodies and adds a complexity and richness that you just can’t get with regular butter. I won’t bore you with all the science-y details, but basically we are cooking the water out of the butter and then toasting the milk solids left behind until they are a rich, golden brown. As the butter gently melts and cooks, the flavor, color, and aroma changes right before your eyes. Brown butter adds a rich, slightly nutty, caramel flavor to baked goods that makes everything extra delicious. If you haven’t made brown butter before, don’t you worry. You’ve come to the right place.




Browning butter could not be easier and the whole process from start to finish only takes 5-7 minutes. All you need is a saucepan, a spoon or a whisk, and well…butter, of course. It’s important to note that a light colored pan works best for browning butter. As the butter cooks it turns a golden amber color and a dark pan will disguise the color which could result in burnt butter. Brown butter is good. Burnt butter?? Not so good. A white or silver bottomed pan is your best bet. I like this one. Now just follow the steps below to make the magic happen!


step 1: melt the butter

Grab a stick or two of quality, unsalted butter. It can be cold or room temperature. For faster melting and even browning, cube the butter first before adding it to the pan. Place the pan over medium heat and standby as the butter liquifies. Stir occasionally until fully melted.


step 2: heat the butter

Once the butter melts it will develop a milky white layer of foam at the top and you’ll want to stir it a bit more frequently while keeping one eye on the pan at all times. The butter can go from a light golden brown to totally burnt in no time so the pan does require a little babysitting. This is not the time to multi-task so don’t wander off and leave the pan unattended. As the butter begins to sizzle and bubble it will make a low crackling sound. Keep stirring and watch for golden brown bits to begin forming in the bottom of the pan. This is a good sign that the water has evaporated out of the butter and now it’s time to brown the bits of milk solids left behind.

step 3: brown the butter

Once the butter turns a beautiful, toasty brown color the crackling sound will stop and you’ll smell a toasted, nutty aroma that is nothing short of heavenly. You’re looking for a golden brown, amber color. Little bits of brown butter goodness will fall to the bottom of the pan and grow darker the longer you leave the butter over the heat. This step happens quickly so continue stirring frequently so you don’t end up with bits of burnt butter. Stick close to the stovetop at this stage.

step 4: remove the butter from heat

Remove the pan from the stove top and carefully transfer the hot butter to a bowl, along with the bits of brown butter that stick to the bottom of the pan. Do not leave the hot butter in the pan as the residual heat will continue to cook the butter and you’ll be left with a burnt, bitter flavor. Can you burn browned butter, you ask? Yep. You most certainly can I’m afraid. The result is a bitter, burnt flavor that is the opposite of the nutty, caramel taste we are going for. Sadly there is no cure for burnt butter so you’ll need to toss the batch and start again.


And there you have it! Golden, nutty, caramely brown butter just begging to be added to your favorite cookies, cakes, muffins and more. This stuff is absolute liquid gold and there is no denying that it imparts the most delicious flavor to your favorite baked goods. You’ll be a fast fan of the magic powers of brown butter and you’ll find plenty of recipes to tempt your tastebuds here on the blog. I did name my blog Browned Butter Blondie after all! Perhaps I can talk you into a slice of this Brown Butter Banana Bread? Or how about this quick and dangerously delicious Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie? And if you love fruity desserts you’ll fall hard for this Brown Butter Berry Crisp. It is beyond!!

One last tip before you dash off to practice your newfound butter browning skills. Some recipes may call for strained and cooled brown butter. In this case, strain the hot butter through a fine mesh strainer to remove the browned milk solids. Then place the liquid butter in the refrigerator to chill until it becomes solid. At this point you can use the butter much as you would regular butter in things like cookie recipes where the instructions direct  you to “cream” the butter with sugar.

Just another example of how brown butter makes everything better!

If you like this post for A Better Baker : How to Brown Butter, you’ll also love…

A Better Baker: Top 10 Tips To Become A Better Baker

A Better Baker: Bundt Cake Basics

Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Toffee Cookies

Brown Butter Chocolate Pecan Tart

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A Better Baker : How To Brown Butter

  • Author: Browned Butter Blondie
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Dessert


A step-by-step guide to walk you through how to brown butter from start to finish. In just 5 minutes you’ll have perfectly browned butter ready to use in your favorite recipes.


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Stir occasionally as it melts.
  3. Once the butter melts, continue stirring as the butter begins to foam and make a crackling noise. Stay near the pan at this point and continue to stir often. The butter will continue to foam and sputter and then brown bits of butter will begin to form and fall to the bottom of the pan. This takes about 5 minutes.
  4. Continue to stir until the crackling sounds stop and the butter is a rich, amber hue with bits of brown specks settling at the bottom of the pan.
  5. Remove the butter from the heat and carefully pour into a medium heat safe bowl.


Cube butter before browning for best results.
Use a light color or silver bottom pan.



  • Reply
    October 18, 2023 at 10:02 pm

    I have read about finishing the browned butter with water (or ice) to replace the lost moisture. Could you finish it with cream or milk instead (once it’s cooled sufficiently so as not to curdle the dairy) as a richer option?

  • Reply
    August 21, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    Can this be done with plant based butter?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      August 23, 2020 at 4:26 am

      I haven’t tried this using vegan butter but please let me know how it turns out if you make them!

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