How to Make a Butter Candle—TikTok’s Hosting Must-Have

Move over, butter boards!


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The best centerpiece is obviously one you can eat. And the butter candles popping up all over TikTok and Instagram Reels are the epitome of a delicious decoration. Not only are these candles made of butter custom created at home for dipping, they also fill your home with the luscious scent of melted butter, and will certainly be the star of any winter gathering. Or a fabulous hosting present! Here’s how to make them—all you really need is butter, a wick, and two cups. 

Start with salted butter. “Since the butter candle is meant to season food as it melts, salted butter is your best option,” says Shea Salisbury, content creator at Vital Farms. “Unlike baking, you want this butter to be already seasoned with enough salt so as it melts, it flavors your meal at the same time.”

Also unlike baking, butter candles aren’t super-strict on ratios or proportions, so you can make them to your preferred size and shape. For your first butter candle, start with a stick of butter. Salisbury recommends starting out small for a butter candle, so that the butter doesn’t melt faster than it’s being consumed and turn into a melty mess on your table. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe cup or bowl in 30 second increments. You can also melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stove, if preferred.

Once the butter is melted, set the wick in a plastic cup and pour the butter over it, making sure there’s at least ¼” of wick remaining so when the butter solidifies, you can light the candle. Plastic is best as a mold, because it makes it easy to remove the solid butter (which is self-greasing, naturally) and it will sit flat on a dish. Let the butter solidify in the refrigerator or countertop until it is hard to the touch. “Before you serve and light your candle, always ensure it’s fully set before adding it to your plate, as you want to make sure it resembles a melting candle,” Salisbury says. Letting it cool overnight will assure this, and then it’s ready to pop out of the mold and enjoy.

Mix-ins are also a popular way to add flavor and scent to a butter candle. Stir mashed cloves of roasted garlic and chopped fresh parsley into melted butter for a garlic-bread themed candle. Stir in cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat. Add a bit of red wine for a pink color, poppy seeds and lemon zest for a bright flavor, or try adding miso or even a bit of truffle oil for rich umami notes. If the flavor combo works in compound butter, it will work for the butter candle. Just avoid using bulky ingredients, like a giant chunk of garlic, Salisbury warns, “It could alter the shape of your candle or slow the drying process.” 

In a hurry? You can also purchase already-made compound butters, like Churn, which comes in flavors like cacio e pepe and truffle butter, and can be melted to create candles or just popped out of the plastic tub for a quick poke through with a wick.

Once you light the butter candle, it’s ready for dipping! Offer chunks of baguette, pita, sourdough, challah, or whatever you please for guests to enjoy your handcrafted butter decor. If you want to get really special, you can also make butter candles in several flavors, or even offer personalized butter candles for guests at their place settings with their favorite mix-ins.

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