Monday, September 27, 2010

Make Your Own Spreadable Butter

I have been trying to feed my family healthier options, so I have switched from margarine to butter (not that butter is healthy, but it is the more "natural" option). The down side to this choice is that it does not spread easily straight from the fridge like margarine or spreads do. A butter chunk in the middle of my toast is not very appealing (to me, at least). Leaving it out on the counter is also not an option, due to the fact that butter is made from cream, which is perishable (and nobody likes botulism). I was going to just by a tub of spreadable butter at the store, but it was ridiculously expensive. Knowing that there had to be a cheaper option, I set the gears in my frugal little mind to spinning! I started doing some research. During WWII butter was rationed, so to make it stretch further they made what they called butter spread. I have several cookbooks from WWII, so I looked up some different variations of the recipe.

I found the best solution in "The Victory Binding of The American Women's Cookbook; Wartime Edition"(published 1943).

The steps were actually very simple (and I am all about simple).
You will need a pound of butter (4 cubes) softened and a can of evaporated milk.

Place butter in a large bowl and whip it with a electric mixer until it is light and fluffy.

Measure out 1 1/4 cups of evaporated milk.

Add the milk into the butter 3 tablespoons at a time, and blend into the butter with the mixer. Continue to adding milk into the butter until it is gone. Make sure milk is completely incorporated into the butter.

  • Add butter spread into a clean plastic container with a lid (mine is a Gladware container that originally held lunch meat).

Store in the refrigerator.

I taste tested it before I feed it to the rest of the family, and I gave it a two thumbs up. It was light and buttery. You can't taste the milk in it at all! There haven't been any complaints from the troops either, and I have been spreading it on toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, baked potatoes, and adding it to hot veggies. I consider that success!! The only down side is that you can not use it in baking; the recipe will not work. The recipe can also be halved or quartered if desired. Yeah! Another frugal dilemma resolved(with some help from frugal minded wartime home economists)!


  1. Wow! What an awesome trick! Also, I love your old cookbooks...they look like they would be a lot of fun to read!

  2. awesome!!! I cannot wait to try it! I am sure the one who has recently freaked out about spreadable butters ( he saw an email about margarine and it being made of plastic) will even like this!!!!!

  3. That is what freaked my out about margarine as well!

  4. I love this idea. I like butter much better than margarine, too, but never thought about making my own spread. I'll bet you could add herbs to it as well. Hmmmmmm.

  5. Just made this :) One thing-I had a lot of left over milk in my mixing bowl, even though I mixed for a long time. When I put it in the container afterward, I also had milk drainage (I tipped it over and milk came out). Hopefully this won't effect the butter at all?

  6. I spent many boring hours as a child in WW 2 hand beating with a wooden spoon fresh milk into butter to eke out our meagre rations. It was hard work - much easier today with eletric beaters.

    Along with bits of soap melted into a bigger block to re-use, it is one of the things I shall not be thinking of doing ever again!

  7. If you have trouble incorporating the milk, you can warm it first (not too hot - just blood temp) - this will help it whip into the butter. Make sure you add it slowly to avoid it splitting, and don't whip it too long - just until it's all taken up.

  8. This butter spread is delicious! So glad I found this on Pinterest! I made it and spread some on a batch of fresh popovers. Yum!



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