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Take Your Recipes to the Next Level With These 5 Compound Butter Ideas

There’s butter… and then there’s compound butter. Chances are you’ve seen the words floating around a food blog or two, or maybe you’ve heard Gordon Ramsay casually drop them into conversation on MasterChef, but you’re still not quite sure what it is.

So what is it? In short, compound butter adds a flavorful ingredient to regular butter to improve its texture and give it a little more kick. It’s also completely addicting — so don’t be surprised when you whip up a batch and it doesn’t last very long.

We’ve got five different recipes for the good stuff with just one set of directions. Whether you are in the mood for an earthy flavor, some fruit, a cheese-infusion or a little spice, the end result will be nothing short of gorgeous.

More: Your Cakes Will Be Magical With These Simple Tips for Buttercream Frosting

compound butter recipes
Image: Carolyn Stalnaker/SheKnows

By spreading it on bread or adding a bit to your chicken, vegetables, grilled meats or fish, compound butters take your food (and your senses) up a notch. These recipes can easily be halved, and any seasonings can be adjusted to your liking. You can also give one of these mouthwatering homemade spreads as a holiday or hostess gift, packaged simply in a Mason jar with a ribbon. And remember: A pinch of kosher or sea salt brings out and heightens natural flavors.

5 Compound butter recipes
Image: Carolyn Stalnaker/SheKnows

How to make compound butter

Inspired by Your Homebased Mom

1. Herb-garlic butter recipe


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped sage
  • 1 pinch each salt and pepper

2. Citrus-tarragon butter recipe


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Zest from 4 clementines (or 1 large orange)
  • Juice from 2 clementines (or juice from 1/2 orange)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 pinch salt

Next up: Blue cheese and chive butter recipe

Originally published November 2013. Updated October 2017.

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