Should You Hop on the Butter Board Trend?

Should You Hop on the Butter Board Trend?

A friend of mine with two young children has a family tradition: every evening, as they gather around the dining table for dinner, they go around the table and tell each other their “highs” and “lows” of the day.

I think this is a fantastic way to teach children many things, including A) we can acknowledge the lows, learn from them, feel the feels we need to, and move on, B) we will find both highs and lows in every day, and C) sharing our highs and lows with those we care about is something we should do regularly.

And in this vain, I will share my highs and lows regarding the butter board.

I’ve been on the fence about this trend since it came out. 

My first thought was, “Wow! That’s beautiful. And unique. And fun looking! Very creative.” 

Then my next thought followed, “Why would anybody want to do that? Ruin perfectly good butter.”

The high side (positives) of butter boards

  • Butter boards are cheaper than charcuterie boards

    • Artisan cheeses can cost around $15 a wedge. When you start to fill your board with many of these cheeses, you can see how the cost can go up fast. Considering you can by an 8 oz block of imported butter for the same $15, butter is relatively cheap by comparison. In addition, you need less of it to cover a board. The accompanying foods can also be reduced, since they are spread all over, rather than being piled into neat and organized areas.
  • Butter boards are tactile and hands-on

    • The act of making a butter board is the grown up version of finger painting. And using a butter board is the socially acceptable version of playing with your food. Creating beautiful swirls and mixing other foods into softened butter is very hands-on…and just fun.
  • Butter boards are great for kids and non-dexterous fingers

    • There is no right or wrong way to make a board. And eating it doesn’t take much finesse. But what makes a butter board easier for those that lack dexterity is the food is designed to be dipped and layered together. Smear whatever suits your fancy onto the board and then dip your carrier item into it and enjoy!
  • Butter boards are a single-dish solution to entertaining

    • On a butter board, the main idea is to make the board equivalent to a “one pot dinner.” The ingredients are layered in such a way as to extract the most exquisite tastes from the foods pairing.

Download List of Butter Board Theme Ideas



The low side (negatives) of butter boards

  • Butter boards are messy

    • You can’t get around the fact that, when you eat from a butter board, you are literally smearing food on your plate and then pushing it around - mushing food together to eat it. Flavors are mixed. Textures are compiled. And you’re probably going to be eating with your fingers. 
  • Butter boards can be less hygienic 

    • No double dipping allowed! However, as we all know, when it comes to a good dip, children (and some adults) can lose control. A way to combat this is to elect to make everyone use a spreading knife, or spoon if you have a lot going on.
  • Separating flavors with a butter board is challenging

    • Because the ingredients are layered on top of each other, one has no choice but to accept a compilation of flavors as one. If you want options for pairings, then you will have to offer up a variety of “boards.” In addition, if you are entertaining someone with allergies, you will need to know beforehand because it will be mixed in with everything - your guest will not be able to simply skip a single ingredient.
  • Most butter boards aren’t considered a balanced meal

    • Unless you are very creative and on a keto diet, the balance of fats and carbs to protein is a little high on the non-protein side. Although, if you use cheese “crackers” or another keto-friendly carrier and make sure all your toppings are a protein, you might be able to squeak by.

    Ideas for Butter Boards:

    Here are a few unique butter board recipes, with links to the sources included. 

    Baklava-inspired butter board

    Source: Aasiya's Kitchen

    • Butter
    • Chopped Almonds, walnuts, and pistachios
    • Drizzle/coat with a Honey/Sugar Syrup (1 cup water/1 cup sugar/1 Tbsp honey with a little cardamom, and juice of half lemon;. Boiled and reduced by half)
    • Serve w/ baked pie dough strips or bread

    Sweet & Spicy Asian-Inspired Butter Board

    Source: Aubrey's Kitchen

    • Butter
    • Head of Roasted garlic on the side for dipping
    • Dot with Chili oil all over
    • Drizzle with Honey
    • Cashews (optional)
    • Sprinkle with thinly sliced Scallions
    • Serve with French Bread

    Cheese and Fruit 

    Source: Aubrey's Kitchen

    • Mascarpone Cheese
    • Drizzle with honey
    • Sprinkle with pistachios, walnuts, or pecans
    • Sprinkle with dried fruit all over (cherries, cranberries, candied oranges, figs,etc)
    • Few drops of jam or preserves

    Summer Butter Board

    Source: Justine Doiron

    • Butter
    • Flakey salt
    • Lemon zest
    • Edible dried flowers
    • Bread for dipping

    Simple Apples & Peanut Butter

    • Peanut Butter
    • Sprinkled with chopped peanuts, mini chocolate chips
    • Green apples for dipping
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.