Hate Butter Boards? Meet the Newest Trend: Butter Candles

The latest butter trend on TikTok is...candles? Here's how to make the latest edible table décor.

There's no denying it—the internet, and especially TikTok, is infatuated with butter. From homemade butter to compound butter to butter boards, 2022 was the year of butter. And, if the latest emerging food trend is any indication, 2023 will be no different. When it comes to butter dishes that double as delectable décor reign supreme, first there were butter boards, and now there are...butter candles? Yes, you read that right.

What Are Butter Candles?

The latest edible, incredible trend emerging on social media is butter candles. They are exactly what they sound like: A candle made out of butter. The nifty part is that rather than smearing or spreading, as the candles melt, they create a little pool of melted butter in which diners can dunk bread, steak, or anything else they desire.

Butter sculptures are not a new idea—who else had the butter turkey on their holiday table?! But butter candles are fairly new. We first saw them about a year ago on the TikTok account @sooziethefoodie and on creator @suea's Instagram account. The idea was simple but effective and immediately caught our eyes. In fact, in an interview with the New York Times, Suea said the first time she served butter candles at a dinner party, her guests, "'literally freaked out' when they realized they could dip their baguettes into the burning candles."

Butter candles are not only a cute, interactive addition to your dinner party table scape—they're also highly functional. Imagine a lobster dinner or steakhouse-style feast where everyone gets their own tiny butter candle to light, and dip, dunk, and spoon to their heart's content. Are you sold yet? No? Here's how easy it is to make them.

A candle made out of butter with a baguette in the background.
Courtney Kassel

How to Make Butter Candles

To make butter candles, you'll need butter—anywhere from a stick to a few sticks, depending on how many you plan to make—and food-grade wicks. You can buy wicks in the candle-making section of craft stores or online. We recommend using wicks made from hemp and food-grade beeswax.

From there, you can go one of two ways: Start with room-temperature softened butter, or with cold butter. We recommend using high-quality salted butter, since these candles are meant to add flavor to your food. If you start with softened butter you can simply place the butter between a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper, and use your hands to flatten, then shape it around a wick and into your desired candle shape. Allow it to set in the fridge or freezer until hardened.

Or, for an even easier technique, simply melt the butter and pour into a mold. We recommend using a silicone mold (like an ice cube tray) or baking mold; The more flexible, the easier it will be to un-mold the final product. You can also use an old jam jar, but it may be harder to dunk and dip, as you have contact with less surface area as it melts. Pour in the melted butter, set the wick, and place in the fridge to harden. That's it! Simply un-mold your candle(s), trim the wick as needed, light, and serve!

Having now made butter candles several times, here are a few tips:

1. When pouring the candle, use two chopsticks to center the wick and hold it in place as it sets.

2. My favorite method was ultimately using a silicone ice tray. It proved the simplest way to make individual-size candles that popped out easily and held their shape.

3. You may want to use ghee, or clarified butter. If not, you will get a patch of settled watery milk solids at the bottom when you go to un-mold the candles. It's not a big deal—you can just drain that excess water off—but it might cause a mess if you're not expecting it.

4. Have fun and get creative! Try a compound butter like garlic-and-herb butter candles for steak night, or cinnamon-sugar butter candles for brunch. Just like the butter board trend, the more you make it your own, the better it will be.

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