How to Make Shaped Pats of Butter for the Holidays


You can shape pats of butter to add an edible decoration to the holiday table. Traditional holiday butter shapes like turkeys and trees can be formed from softened butter then firmed in the refrigerator. Butter molds must be prepared to prevent sticking that can cause the formed butter to lose its shape. Butter pats can be molded well in advance and removed from the refrigerator moments before service. Give holiday guests an added treat by molding pats of butter into custom shapes.

Step 1

Fill a plastic tub or large plastic bowl half full of ice, then pour in cold water until the ice begins to float.

Step 2

Lower the butter molds slowly into the container of ice water until they are resting on the bottom, and allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes.

Step 3

Remove the butter from the refrigerator, then place it on top of a sheet of wax paper and on a flat, stable surface like a counter or table.

Step 4

Cover the stick of butter with another piece of wax paper and use a rolling pin to roll the butter to between a quarter-inch and an eighth-inch in thickness.

Step 5

Remove the top layer of wax paper and allow the butter to warm up for 30 to 40 minutes.

Step 6

Scoop pats of softened butter from the wax paper with a silicone spatula, and smooth them into the cold, wet molds right after they are pulled from the icy water.

Step 7

Cover a chilled sheet pan with a piece of wax paper, then place the filled molds onto the wax paper with the exposed butter facing down.

Step 8

Slide the sheet pan holding the filled butter molds into the coldest part of the refrigerator and give them two to three hours to get firm.

Step 9

Lift the filled molds up off the wax paper sheet about an inch and use the tip of a butter knife to pry out the formed butter. Choose a spot to pry out the butter pat that does not greatly effect the design if a small amount of damage is caused during extraction.

Step 10

Store shaped butter pats in an air-tight, plastic, food-safe container with small pieces of wax paper stacked between them for up to a month in the refrigerator.

Tips and Warnings

  • Formed butter pats will start to lose their shape and detail after about 30 minutes at room temperature.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic tub or large bowl
  • Ice
  • Running water
  • Butter molds
  • Wax paper
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp.) salted butter
  • Rolling pin
  • Silicone spatula
  • Air-tight, plastic, food-safe container


  • Instructions for Use of a Modern Butter Mold
  • Simple Recipes: How to Soften Butter Quickly
Keywords: holiday butter shapes, formed butter, pats of butter

About this Author

Brian Airman is a freelance writer, musician and food blogger with seven years of writing experience. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has been published online at eHow, Travels, and Yahoo Shine, with topics focusing on food, restaurants, cooking, and do-it-yourself project guides. Airman has also participated in the nursing program at San Diego State University.

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