How to Make a Butter Board that Takes Bread and Butter to the Next Level

Chic charcuterie boards will certainly always hold our affection, but butter boards are just too easy and too cute to pass up for a simple party snack.

As so many trends do nowadays, the obsession with butter boards began on TikTok. Brooklyn-based content creator Justine Doiron spread softened butter on a wooden board and topped it with flaky sea salt, lemon zest, herbs, red onion, honey and edible flowers. She then demonstrated how to eat it by swiping a slice of bread across the colorful creation. In the video, however, she credits Portland chef and cookbook author Joshua McFadden as the original creator of this viral sensation.

It’s safe to say the boundless world of butter has been explored long before TikTok trends, though. One example: the classic French snack of radishes dipped in butter and sprinkled with salt. In the end, we can all agree that you can’t get much better than a smear of perfectly soft butter on bread…that is, unless you jazz it up with a bunch of your favorite seasonings and toppings!

What Is a Butter Board?

A butter board is softened butter artfully spread onto a serving board and topped with various seasonings, spreads or drizzles. The possibilities are endless, and the flavor combinations are exciting to explore. The board is served with bread or crackers that can be swiped and swirled through the butter to create the perfect flavorful bite.

If you like the social snack sharing of elegant charcuterie boards, then butter boards will be right up your alley too. It’s a simple concept that anyone can replicate for their next party.

@justine_snacksI like this one idk I’m in a silly goofy butter mood♬ original sound – speed songs

How to Make a Butter Board

dipping bread in a butter boardKristina Vänni for Taste of Home

Start by selecting your board. It can be a large platter to serve a crowd, or a small wooden surface for a more intimate gathering. Just remember the bigger the board, the more butter and toppings you will need to have.

After you’ve selected your serving surface, it’s time for the butter. You can use either salted or unsalted butter depending on your personal preference. Unsalted butter tends to have a fresher, creamier taste, and then you can add your own desired amount of salt to the board. Salted butter tends to hold up a little bit better at room temperature, so that might be the way to go if you expect the board to sit out for a longer period of time.

Finally, it’s time to think about your toppings. Consider what can be sprinkled, dolloped and drizzled. Also, take into consideration colors and textures for optimal visual appeal.

For your butter board, try toppings like:

  • Citrus zest—lemon, orange or lime
  • Fresh or dried herbs—rosemary, thyme or basil
  • Microgreens or edible flowers
  • Flaky or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Hot pepper jelly, fig jam or honey
  • Chopped nuts or seeds

Really, you can top with whatever your heart desires (or whatever you can find in your fridge!). Here is how I made my butter board, but feel free to get as creative as you like.


  • 1 stick softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup microgreens
  • 2 tablespoons fig jam
  • 1 tablespoon honey


Step 1: Spread the softened butter

soft butter on Butter Board I na swoop designKristina Vänni for Taste of Home

Spoon the softened butter onto a clean, dry board. Use a knife or spreader to push the butter to about 1/2 inch of the edge of the board in an even thickness. Using a gentle back and forth motion, make swirls of butter around the board.

Step 2: Add seasonings and herbs

seasoning on butter boardKristina Vänni for Taste of Home

Evenly sprinkle the surface of the butter with flaky sea salt. Grate half a lemon over the butter, allowing the zest to fall down evenly over the surface. Sprinkle with the microgreens.

Step 3: Drizzle and dollop spreads

fig jam on butter boardKristina Vänni for Taste of Home

Distribute small dollops of fig jam over the butter, and drizzle the board with honey.

Step 4: Serve with bread or crackers

Butter Board with a side of toasted breadKristina Vänni for Taste of Home

Serve your butter board creation with slices of your favorite bread or crackers. Swipe through the flavored butter and enjoy.

Butter Board FAQs

What can I serve with a butter board?

In the end, you can’t go wrong with warm homemade bread. For this recipe, I used slices of baguette because the size was just perfect for snacking. Your favorite store bought or homemade crackers are also delicious options. Of course, you could also try something more out of the box. Combine a breakfast charcuterie board with your butter board and use pancakes as your “bread.” You could even try it with bagels or waffles.

What brand of butter is best for a butter board?

With so many brands of butter out there, it can be hard to decide which one is best for your butter board. Our butter taste testers love Land O Lakes, Kerrygold, Challenge and Vital Farms. You can try one of these or use your favorite.

Are butter boards safe?

So many people wonder if it is safe to keep butter out on the counter.

The USDA recommends that salted, pasteurized butter can be left out for one to two days. (Remember, butter will keep longer in a cool house and spoil quicker in a warm house.) Butter is most often made with pasteurized milk, which means it’s free of food-borne bacteria. In addition, given the high fat content of butter, it is naturally unattractive to bacteria as it doesn’t have much water where germs can thrive.

If you are worried about sharing the butter board with others, there are other options as well. Instead of presenting it as finger food where everyone can swipe their own bread along the butter board, simply set out some small butter knives for guests to use. This way each person can transfer the butter board spread to their individual plates.

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Kristina Vänni
Internationally recognized culinary authority Kristina Vänni is a well-known food writer, engaging TV host, award-winning recipe developer, and food stylist. In addition to writing for industry-leading food publications, she is a frequent featured expert on national media outlets and has served as a spokesperson and recipe developer for numerous national brands. Kristina is currently writing her first cookbook, an exploration of the traditional and seasonal cuisine from her family's dairy farm in Finland.