Make Your Own Butter Spread

Back in the early days of this blog I tried a recipe for making your own margarine spread.

And . . . it did not turn out so good.

You were supposed to take a pound of margarine and mix it with a 1/2 cup of milk to make a more creamy spreadable version like the store bought spreads.  But when I tried this mixture, the two ingredients really didn’t play together nicely. I ended up labeling it as one of my “Half Baked Ideas” and moved on to other projects.

Homemade Butter Spread

But now – it’s time to try again!   Here’s why:

Since I tried the original recipe, I’ve started using butter much much more than margarine.  This made me wonder how a recipe like this would work with butter. PLUS, helpful readers have left me comments telling me that I should try adding an oil instead of milk and then I would most likely have success.  Here’s an excerpt of what a reader named Melissa shared with me:

If you want a butter spread, use 1 cup softened salted butter (not margarine) and 3/4 cup grape seed oil or another healthy oil (olive oil will give it an olive oil flavor).  Whip with mixer.  Put into a container and refrigerate.  It will seem runny at first.  It will firm up.  I use this all the time.  If you want it even softer you can add up to 1/4 cup more oil.

From a health aspect – making the butter with a healthy oil will lower the saturated fat content and you will not be getting the trans fats from using margarine.

Giving Homemade Butter Spread A Second Try

Well this sounded like a strategy that would work so I decided to give making a homemade spread another try. I did as my readers suggested.  This time I used BUTTER, not margarine, and mixed it with OIL, not milk.

Yes – Much better!

This time around I had two ingredients that DID play together nicely and gave me a nice smooth butter spread.  I used the grapeseed oil as was suggested but perhaps a cheaper vegetable oil would work OK too.  I also didn’t have any salted butter in the house so I just used the unsalted variety I had in the fridge.  I can see where the salted butter would give the spread a little extra flavor, but the unsalted butter works too if that’s what you have around the house.

Here’s how to do it:

Homemade Butter Spread

Make Your Own Butter Spread


  • 1 cup softened butter – salted is preferred (2 sticks)

  • 3/4 cup grape seed oil

Place the softened butter in a mixing bowl.  Add in the oil.  Whip with a hand mixer until the ingredients are well mixed together.  The mixture will be more like a liquid at this point.  Pour into a wide mouth container and refrigerate.  The mixture will firm up more once it cools in the refrigerator.

If you want an even softer spread, you can add up to 1/4 cup more oil.

Homemade Butter Spread

A Question – Do You Keep Your Butter In The Cupboard?

If you’ve read this far, I have a question to ask you.   But first the background:

When I was growing up (and still to this day), my mother ALWAYS kept a little saucer with a stick of butter in it, just in the cupboard.  Not refrigerated!  This butter was always used when you needed some spreadable butter (for sandwiches, etc.).  Most  homemakers today feel that butter must always be refrigerated.  But in all the many years that my mother has been using butter that’s been out at room temperature for a week or two, never have they had any side effects or ill health from that practice.  Not once! A friend of mine said her parents always did this same thing too.

They don’t need to make their own butter spread – they just always keep some out at room temperature!

So here’s my question . . . is there anyone else out there that keeps some butter at room temperature at all times?  Or had a family that did this too?

I’m curious if this is just an old fashioned practice or if there are more folks out there yet today that follow this same habit.

Feel free to leave me a comment or a story – I’d love to hear it!


Need a few more bright ideas?
Sign up for the monthly email newsletter to learn about my latest content and tips for frugal homemade living.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I grew up in the Dairy State (Wisconsin) with a large family (6 siblings), with varied tastes. My Mother always kept some butter covered in the cupboard at room temp. for us kids. And, had butter in the Fridge for her & Dad. Never had an issue, as the butter was used fast enough. I know create flavored spreadable butters with my mixer and keep it in the fridge. I still love regular room temp soft butter.

  2. We leave some butter out at room temp too but in the heat of the summer or when the oven has been on for a long time, it can melt.

    If you leave too much out at once and don’t use it, it will go rancid or sour in a few weeks. A small amount, keep in a cool, room temp location has always worked for us and our parents.

    Keeping it on the counter uncovered is not a good idea, either, especially if you have a cat…

    I’m going to try your whipped butter recipe!

  3. I used to leave some butter in a covered butter dish on the worktop. It’s still not spreadable in colder months though, and in hot months it would go rancid or mouldy if I didn’t use it quickly enough (I didn’t use a lot, and had just left too much out at a time).

    However, I prefer not to use butter for ethical reasons so I’ve taken to using refined coconut oil (refined doesn’t taste of coconuts). If I want a bit of a flavour to it I add autolysed yeast flakes – I always have some of this mixture in a jar, and it tastes great on toast or crackers.

  4. I use butter (no margarine). I take a stick or two of butter and leave them out to get soft and then I transfer to a jar. No problems yet 🙂

  5. I’m with you! I cannot stand the flavor of margarine. I believe it was invented to help people eat healthier. They have now found that that’s not how it goes! So why not eat butter that’s so much tastier?

    I’ve always left the butter out that we use for sandwiches, etc. We do have to keep it covered in case the cat decides it looks delicious . . .

  6. I have been leaving a stick out for over a year now, after a friend telling me she’d been doing it her whole life. It’s great. On the other hand, if you don’t havd central heat and air it will become liquid in summer and likewise solid in winter, so the spread could really be helpful.

    1. You are so right Billie – I don’t have air conditioning and in the summer the butter left out gets pretty melted! And in the winter stays hard a long time too.

  7. I always leave some out…uncovered and ready to go……Husband likes marg but I always use butter…..

  8. Thanks Bev! We never use margarine in our house and sometimes I miss having a spreadable butter… its handy sometimes! I’m definitely going to make this! Thank you!

  9. I always have softened butter on the counter. I do use a “butter boat’ now, and it works great.

    Good idea about the spread, though. I may try that.

  10. We’ve always kept butter on the counter and have never had any problems with it whatsoever. I’m 50 years old … I’m guessing it’s a safe bet that it’s okay to do this. 😀

    1. I agree . . . seems there’s plenty of people who have done this for years with no problems or dangers.

  11. Beverly,
    Two Comments for the fabulous post…

    #1: I have left a small amount of butter out for that very same reason, in a covered milk glass buter dish. My mother and grandmother dd the same. My understading is that the fat in the butter has a preservative effect – and most butter has CLA a natural chemical change that occurs when cown eat and digest grass/alfalfa, and it is expressed in their milk and is also beneficial for fat metabolism in our diet. You can also supplement CLA if you don’t eat enough butter (part of the reason for the French Paradox, the French women eat alot of butter but are rarely overweight.) Sorry I digress…Squirrel!!

    #2. Try uisng flaxseed oil w/whipped butter for amazing flavor and spreadability, I have been doing this for years! We love it!!

    Love all your “Make your own posts…” Keep em’ coming!!!

    1. Thanks so much Eydie! I knew there had to be some more folks out there that followed this same practice with their butter. I’ll have to remember to try the flaxseed oil too!