Should You Melt Butter When Making Cookies And Cake?

There are several different ways you can prepare butter to be mixed into the other ingredients for your cakes and cookies. We have taken the time to research all of the different possibilities and each of their benefits! Read on to learn the tips and tricks to give you the bake that you’re looking for!

Adding melted butter to your recipe will change your cookies' and cakes' structure, density, and texture:

  • Adding melted butter instead of the traditional softened butter will result in a chewier cookie.
  • Softened butter in cookie dough will give you a more cake-like cookie.
  • Using melted butter in cakes to replace the oils will give you a firmer cake with a tighter structure.
  • Depending on preference, using melted butter may not give you the texture you want in a cake.

Deciding on whether you should use melted butter or not in your doughs and batters simply depends on your desired taste and texture for the end product. Using softened butter as instructed by most recipes will give you a more traditional product. With softened butter, your cookies will be more cake-like, and your cakes will be lighter and fluffier.

This is a difficult question to give a completely straightforward answer to. That’s why we will be using the rest of this post to elaborate and dive as deep into this subject as we can! More information on this complex topic will help you learn which method you prefer, how to properly produce each method, and why each one has the result it does.

Soft butter in the open lid plastic containing cup, Should You Melt Butter When Making Cookies And Cake

Does melting butter make cookies crispier?

How to make yeast dough, step by step, add melted butter to mixture

Why yes, it does! Adding the butter in a more liquid form makes the cookie dough itself thinner. As a direct result of it being thinner, it spreads out more when you put it on your preferred pan or cookie sheet. This means it is flatter when it cooks. So with less density for the heat to travel through, it simply crisps it up much easier.

The reason for this has to do with how the sugar and butter react when mixing them together. Then how that mixture reacts during the cooking time. It has a lot to do with the way the air is released from the thinner cookie dough.

How do you soften butter quickly for cookies?

If the desired result for your cookies requires softening butter instead of melting it, we can help with that too. The traditional method to soften butter is to let it sit out on your kitchen counter for one to two hours. However, even after that time frame with this method, the butter can still be too cold.

Here are some much quicker methods. You can grate the butter or cut it into cubes, and it will soften at room temperature in much less time. You can use a double boiler. If you don’t own a double boiler, then you can make your own by heating a small amount of water in a saucepan and stacking a metal or glass bowl atop. Just make sure to watch your butter closely so it doesn’t melt.

Click here to see La Patisserie double boiler on Amazon.

The last fast soften method is to let some ambient heat soften it. This would include putting the butter near a preheating oven, in a sunbeam, or in the microwave with it off after just microwaving something.

What happens if you use melted butter instead of softened for cake?

melted butter on a bowl

Using melted butter in a cake batter is seen less often because of how it affects the cake's texture. With melted butter, you get fewer air bubbles in the cake mix. This results in a tighter structured cake. The tight structure makes it much denser than using softened butter. Many believe that cake should have a lighter and fluffier feel to it, so you see the melted butter method less often.

Can you use melted butter in cake mix?

Absolutely you can use melted butter as a substitution for the oil that is called for in a boxed cake mix. It will change the cake, however. You’ll get a firmer cake than you would with oil. The cake will also have a more buttery taste to it than it may with oil. It will not ruin the recipe as long as you use the same amount of melted butter as you would oil.

Why isn’t my butter and sugar creaming?

It all comes down to the temperature of the butter being used. The purpose of creaming your butter and sugar is so that the sugar can be added to the butter in such a way that it makes air bubbles. If the butter is too cold, the sugar cannot properly nestle into the butter and create those air bubbles. When the butter is too hot, the sugar grains can get into the butter and make air bubbles but they will collapse very quickly due to the higher temperature of the butter.

Does it matter what type of butter is used?

Baking is a very precise science, so everything that’s factored in can affect the recipe. When choosing your butter, most recipes will call for unsalted butter. This is because unsalted butter is a good neutral cream for baking recipes. There may be an undesired effect if you use the salted variety instead. The slightest change in baking can throw the recipe off. So you can use it if you would like, but it’s best to listen to the recipe if it calls for unsalted. That way there won’t be any surprises.

Regardless of how you prepare your butter, make sure you like it!

As we have learned, there are several different ways to use butter while baking. You can absolutely use melted butter. Softened butter can also be used. Even chilled butter has its place in some baking recipes. Now that we’re aware of how each type affects our cakes and batters, we can be better-prepared bakers. The main thing to remember before starting baking is to use whatever method gives you the result that you love most!

For more great baking tips, check out our related articles:

Is It Better to Bake a Cake in a Glass or Metal Pan?

Are Convection Ovens Good For Baking Cakes And Cookies?

One comment

  1. is it possible to use melted butter for cookies but after chilling/ freezing them, to bake them into large tall cookies? i.e. not flat ones?
    please get back to me via email thank you!!

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