How to Bring Butter and Eggs to Room Temperature

The easiest way to get your baking ingredients to room temperature is to simply allow them to sit at – room temperature. That’s pretty much a no-brainer, right? But this method usually means that you have a bit of a plan in place. If I know that I am going to baking early in the morning, I always take my items out of the fridge and allow them to sit on the counter overnight.

However, if you’re at all like me, sometimes ya just get the urge to bake something without a plan in place. I often find myself in this situation and it can be a real bummer if the recipe you’re using calls for room temperature items such as butter, eggs, and cream cheese. But no worries, I’ve got ya covered – so the next time you find yourself staring at ice cold butter and eggs, you’ll know exactly what to do to get those items to room temp in no time!

I usually bake with room temperature eggs because they seem to disperse much better through batters when they aren’t fresh out of the fridge. Typically if the recipe calls for room temperature butter, it’s a good idea to use room temperature eggs.

How to Bring Eggs to Room Temperature

Place eggs in a bowl and cover them with warm (not hot) tap water. Allow the eggs to sit in the water for about 5 minutes or until they are no longer cool to the touch.

How to Bring Butter to Room Temperature

The Microwave Method

If you bake a lot, I’m betting you’ve attempted to soften butter in the microwave, right? I know some microwaves have a fancy schmancy feature that allows you to soften butter at the press of a button, but unfortunately, my microwave is not rocking that feature. Softening butter in the microwave can can be tricky because if you get distracted you’ll end up with a pool of butter instead of a beautifully softened stick.

Ya know you’ve done it – and I’ll attest to the fact that cleaning up melted butter from the inside of the microwave is a pain in the booty. After some trial and error, I’ve pretty much perfected my microwave softening technique, here’s what I do:

  1. Place stick(s) of butter on a microwave safe plate. Leave the paper wrapper on.
  2. Place the plate into the microwave and heat on high power for 5 seconds. Open microwave give the stick 1/4 turn (meaning, pick it up and flip it over onto its side) and heat again for 5 seconds. Do this on all four long sides of the stick(s) of butter. Typically after about 20-25 seconds my butter is perfect. This time will vary depending on your microwave – simply watch it closely and keep flipping it. The flipping action will help the butter to evenly soften.

The Cube Method

If you have a little bit of time on your hands, you can cut the stick(s) of butter into fourths and then cube into small pieces. The smaller the cubes, the quicker the butter will soften. Just leave them at room temperature for about an hour or until soft to the touch.

The Grating Method

I always have a lot of butter on hand and when it’s on sale I stock up and store it in the freezer. But sometimes I forget to move some to the fridge when I’m running low, and then find myself with pounds pounds of only frozen butter. The easiest way to bring frozen butter to room temperature to take out your handy box grater and grate the butter into a bowl.

Within no time, your butter will be soft and ready to be added to your favorite recipe. This grating method also works wonders when a recipe calls for frozen butter such as scones and pie doughs.

And there you have it, my not so technical methods of bringing ingredients to room temperature on the fly. I hope it helps you out the next time you feel the urge to bake up a batch of cookies in a hurry!


The Microwave and Cube Methods will also work for cream cheese. If you use the microwave method, be sure to unwrap the cream cheese before placing it into the microwave.

98 Responses to “How to Bring Butter and Eggs to Room Temperature”

  1. corinne — August 31, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I’ve found that stuffing a stick of butter in your back pocket while you prep the rest of the ingredients can be enough, at least with recipes that take a few minutes to set up!


    • Jamie — August 31, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      I LOVE it! My only problem is that I’d probably sit on it! ;) Thanks for sharing!

    • Missweet_cakes — September 2, 2011 at 7:36 pm

      If I am using my oven or pre-heating it for baking, I will sit the sticks right in the center of the oven where it is nice and warm. Just remember to rotate it so it doesn’t melt on your stovetop.

    • Meghan — September 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      I do this as well and works like a charm. Also for some reason the top of my fridge is warm, so sometimes I will set stuff up there, especially if I want it out of my way (small kitchen).

    • Kimberly — September 3, 2011 at 11:35 am

      These are all amazingly wonderful tips…but as I am not great at planning ahead. I have found that if I take the stick of butter in my tanning bed it works just as well…and I have a wonderful “Buttery” glow too! : )

  2. Victoria (District Chocoholic) — August 31, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    The grating method is brilliant! I’ve never heard of it, and have always just used the cube method. Thanks for being so helpful with all your tips.


  3. Nelly Rodriguez — August 31, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    What great, simple tricks and tips! Thanks for sharing dear…


  4. Michelle — August 31, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    I also usually just put the stick of butter in my pocket to warm it up (if I’m going to be at risk for sitting on it, I put it in a ziploc bag first.

    My oven heats up the entire stovetop when I preheat it, so lately I’ve been softening butter on the stove top. I lack a microwave, but I’ve found that my toaster oven also works well for softening a stick of butter.


    • Christina — September 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      I also sit my butter on my stovetop and let the vents from the oven warm it up. I also use the microwave method, but usually over-do it and end up with a mess. I like the pocket method!

  5. kate @ pomelo sunshine — August 31, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I always find myself with this problem. I tend to be a spur-of-the-moment baker and I often end up microwaving butter to get it to room temperature and end up with a runny mess. Thanks for the tips!


  6. Stephanie — August 31, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Great post! I am so bad at planning my baking ahead of time so these tips are very helpful!


  7. Michael Black — August 31, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    I used your grating process last night and it was great. But I did lose some of the butter on the counter and will let’s just say it went all over the place. But I got a great results.
    Thanks for the tips.


  8. Katie | GoodLife Eats — August 31, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Luckily my microwave has a “soften butter” setting so I usually use that, but I never thought about how to quickly warm eggs. Great tip!


  9. ButterYum — August 31, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Good idea to share these tips with everyone. I do the cube method, only I cut the stick of butter into about 16 “pats” and place them in a single layer on a plate. If I need to speed the process along, I place the plate on the counter underneath the under cabinet lighting.


  10. Christina — August 31, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Great Tips Thanks!


  11. Ann P. — August 31, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    This was SO helpful and I am so grateful for this post! I feel like i’m always in this pickle, but the next time I am, I will remember what i’ve learned here. :)


  12. I do this all the time and already thought about sharing it with followers as well.


  13. Laura — August 31, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! I never bring my eggs to room temperature solely because I forget. Now I can.


  14. Wenderly — August 31, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Fabulous time saving tips! Thank you!


  15. Amanda — August 31, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    In response to the first comment: ROFL

    Great tips girl!!


  16. Notyet100 — August 31, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Very informative thnks:)


  17. Lauren — September 1, 2011 at 12:01 am

    GREAT tips! I’m bookmarking this for sure! I always forget most of these…


  18. Jun — September 1, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing!


  19. Kankana — September 1, 2011 at 2:47 am

    I was not aware of the egg but butter, yeah that is how i do it. I suck at planning baking as I hardly do it. Thanks for this post :)


  20. Mitha — September 1, 2011 at 3:38 am

    nice post!!
    longing to see more tips like this !!!
    Thank You!!!
    what I used to do to melt butter is
    I preheat my oven and switch it off and keep the butter pack in a bowl for 5 minutes. I found it easy


  21. Helen — September 1, 2011 at 3:49 am

    Oooh good tips! Whenever I have the sudden urge to bake I am always dissapointed I have to wait for butter to soften etc…
    I will definitely try this! Thanks.


  22. Chow Bella — September 1, 2011 at 6:34 am

    I use the egg method and the microwave method all the time, but I never thought of freezing and then grating butter, thanks so much!


  23. Karen@Mignardise — September 1, 2011 at 7:56 am

    All great ideas for someone like me who is bad at planning ahead and often wants to bake at the spur of the moment. Thanks – and the photo is gorgeous.


  24. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — September 1, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Great tips, thanks Jamie!


  25. The Sweet Cupcaker — September 1, 2011 at 8:08 am

    this was so helpful! I have already been doing the heat and turn method for a while but I love your idea for frozen butter–I always forget to put it in the fridge! thank you!


  26. Sarah @TheExPatBride — September 1, 2011 at 8:13 am

    I never saw a recipe with room temperature eggs, but it makes sense!


  27. kristina — September 1, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Yup. I melt my butter every single time I try. Even using defrost it ends up melting! Thanks – I’ll definitely try your method!


  28. Katherine Martinelli — September 1, 2011 at 8:31 am

    This is great. So simple but something we ALL need sometimes. I’ve never frozen butter – do you just put it, wrapper and all in the freezer? Then transfer to fridge when you want to use? The water and egg trick is just brilliant. Thanks!


  29. Twyla — September 1, 2011 at 9:35 am

    No joke, I deal with this dilhemma every weekend when I decide at the last minute to bake chocolate chip cookies or brownies. Thanks for the tips!! I use the microwave one all the time!! Another good question is; If you forget about the butter sitting out on the counter or don’t get the time to bake what you planned. How long can that butter sit out? And can you put it back in the fridge?


    • Christine — December 30, 2011 at 10:11 am

      We never put our butter back in the fridge (except during summer); we use it straight out of the cupboard. If I set butter out to soften in the wrapper and don’t use it, I’ll put it back in the fridge to harden up a bit so I can remove the wrapper easily.

  30. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — September 1, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I do my best to try and pull butter out before going to bed and let it sit out overnight. Maybe that’s a bad method but it works for me… WHEN I remember! I’ve been known on occasion in warmer months to put butter in containers and set them outside for a short time – works like a charm when you’re in a rush.


    • Memoria — September 1, 2011 at 8:52 pm

      Ina Garten does the same thing with her eggs and butter. When I know I’m going to bake the next day, I take them out before going to bed too. Otherwise, I place the butter on top of the oven as it preheats (as others have mentioned here), and I place the eggs in warm water for a few mins (sometimes fewer than 5 mins).

  31. Becca at Its Yummilicious — September 1, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I’d love to thank you for the great tips, but I’m still ROFL at the first comment! :D

    Seriously though.. super helpful post, Jamie. THANKS!

    P.S. I’ve also created a bain marie of sorts to soften my butter when needed. I just set the bowl over the simmering water and place the wrapped butter into the bowl, then TURN THE TEMP OFF while I’m prepping the rest of the ingredients. The heat from the bottom of the bowl and the hot water underneath usually make my butter the perfect consistency in 5 minutes or so.


  32. Chels R. — September 1, 2011 at 11:51 am

    What a great post full of some much useful information! Thanks so much for posting :)


  33. Shannon — September 1, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I definitely use the microwave method for my butter & cream cheese. I always forget to leave them out to soften. I have never thought about grating frozen butter, though. That’s genius!!


  34. Beth — September 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I rarely remember to set my stuff out, but I do usually preheat my oven, so as I’m preheating the oven and preping other stuff, I let my butter or cream cheese sit on the stove to slowly warm. It’s worked for me so far!


  35. Steph @ Running in the Kitchen — September 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    THANK YOU! I faced this problem earlier this week. Genius!!!!


  36. Rachel @ the Avid Appetite — September 1, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    I love these tips! I always do this, without fail. And when I get the urge to bake…I want to bake!


  37. Erik — September 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Those are some great suggestions. I seem to find myself not planning ahead quite often, though I’ve never tried that method for warming the eggs. What I have done is crack them open and put them in the microwave on a very low power setting (like 20%) for about 20 seconds at a time – it usually works okay, but I like your method better. I’ve really go to try grating my butter sometime, I’ve heard that suggested before but I always forget about it.


  38. angela@spinachtiger — September 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I have to admit to that pool of butter in the microwave many times. I feel I can never learn, but I’ll try the five second method next time.


  39. Tracy — September 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Wonderful tips!!


  40. Cupcake Activist — September 1, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I’m am guilty of microwaving butter too long, and then still using it. Thanks for the tips.


  41. Lauren at Keep It Sweet — September 1, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Great tips! Sometimes I’ll put the butter on top of my oven as it pre-heats and that seems to work!


  42. Becca — September 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    I havn’t tried the hot water method for the eggs, but I have tried the butter and the microwave and it usually never turns out :P I usually get the butter to become melty-ish, but I will try that 1/4 turn trick next time. However, I usually know what I’m going to bake so I set ingredients out about an hour before I plan to bake.


  43. Mary Beth — September 2, 2011 at 10:25 am

    This is a really helpful post! I’ve never heard of the grating method before. That’ll definitely come in handy when I forget to move over my frozen butter :).


  44. cathy — September 2, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Love this, now I want a new microwave. My chemist husband said I needed an “egg blanket” one time when I was holding my eggs in my hand trying to get them to warm up. :) I said smart idea, now go make it! :) lol


  45. Christie — September 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I open the butter package, lay a piece of parchment over it and whack it flat with my rolling pin. It is soft in a couple of minutes. Grating butter sounds like such a better thing to do instead of cubing! I’m going to try that next time.


  46. Erin — September 5, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I am always forgetting to set my butter out for it to get to room temperature! I’ve mostly figured out how to get it pretty perfect in the microwave, but I’ve never heard of grating frozen butter!


  47. Kim in MD — September 7, 2011 at 8:14 am

    These are wonderful tips! Thanks so much for sharing!


  48. Savannah @ Sweet and Savvy — September 18, 2011 at 9:33 am

    This is such a great, informative post!! I have always wondered how to get things room temperature.


  49. Archie — September 18, 2011 at 10:58 am

    This is very helpful.
    I tend to end up failed baked goods, when I use eggs straight from the fridge.


  50. dianne — September 26, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I have always wondered…now I don’t. Thank you!


Leave a Comment