What Makes Whipped Butter Different From Standard Sticks?

For an ingredient as ubiquitous as butter, it makes sense that there are so many options out there. From butter powder to ghee, there's plenty to choose from in the modern world of butter. One option that can cause confusion is whipped butter, a fluffy and light product that looks almost like whipped cream. Besides the obvious visual difference between your regular solid sticks of butter and the whipped concoction, what really separates these two?

The main difference lies in the air and other gases that are whipped into the butter to make it so light that it spreads easier and is significantly less dense than the tightly compact butter sticks. The benefits of this airiness are that you can apply whipped butter with ease to your toast or warm bread rolls, and it technically has fewer calories packed in. On the flip side, you can't use whipped butter for any typical cooking or baking projects, as it won't bring the same amount of butter per tablespoon. Still, it provides a lovely spreadable option for that homemade bread and a smooth, meltable topping for things like hot steak or mashed potatoes.

How to make butter that's light as air

If you're looking to try whipped butter for yourself, you'll find options at the grocery store; both Land O' Lakes and Challenge brands offer salted and unsalted versions. But, if you'd rather take the DIY approach you can easily make whipped butter at home.

Start with a 1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter (salted or unsalted, dealer's choice) and 2 tablespoons of milk. Take the butter out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before working with it so it can soften to room temperature and you can properly mix it. In a large bowl, beat your butter and milk with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, roughly 3 to 5 minutes. With that, you have your own homemade whipped butter. You can use it immediately on whatever warm roll you have sitting in the bread basket or you can refrigerate it, covered, for months.

Though you can't use your whipped butter in typical cooking and baking situations, it still has a deserved place on your dinner table.