How to Make A Butter Candle
By: Jack Mancuso
Have you ever heard of butter candles and wondered about them? This one’s pretty straightforward: it’s a candle constructed from butter, and I’m going to teach you how to make a butter candle for a great presentation. You can use salted or unsalted butter for these instructions, depending on the other seasonings you use.
- Food-safe wicks or butcher twine
- Molds**, and
- Cooking gloves.
You can often find these at a local craft store.
** You don’t necessarily need a designated butter candle mold. Use things you already have in your kitchen, like a coffee cup or gravy crock with a wide-diameter rim.
The Tallow Touch
While the idea might sound unfamiliar, butter candles aren’t really new. Tallow candles (beef fat) have been around since the time of the Ancient Romans. You can still make a beef tallow candle for culinary applications, too. Today, however, let’s focus on the butter.
Butter Candles: Designs and Applications
There are two basic designs for making butter candles. One is hand-fashioned, and the other you can use for pouring and dipping.
A handmade butter candle has a rustic appeal. You can put it on a plate to melt slowly into things like breadsticks or crackers. For dipping or pouring, think seafood, meat, vegetables, baked potato bites, rice, and pasta.
How to Make a Poured Butter Candle
- Melt the butter. If you plan on anything like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, or other herb mixtures like Cuso’s Grass Seasoning, now is the time to add them. Warming them in the butter improves the flavor.
- Cut your wick. Dip it into a little of the melted butter for an extra coating and let it cool.
- Tie one end of the string around a chopstick.
- Place the chopstick evenly over the mold (wick in the center, touching the bottom). You can put in two wicks if your mold is large. Just place the chopsticks side by side with the prepared wick attached.
- Pour the butter into the mold. Do this slowly so the wick remains in the center of your butter candle.
- Chill for one hour, or for greater longevity freeze them.
- When you’re ready to serve, light your butter candle and enjoy by pouring it over food or dipping edibles into it.
Tip: If you want to make small, individual butter candles for your guests, use paper cups. Just peel away the paper, and they’ll look perfect!
How to Make a Hand Shaped Butter Candle
- Remove the butter from the refrigerator, leaving it at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Before you start shaping the butter candle, add finely minced herbs or spices.
- Cut a piece of plastic wrap about 6” long.
- Put the mixed butter into the center.
- Fold a piece of the wrap over the mixture and flatten it with a rolling pin.
- Put the wick into the middle of the flat.
- Now, use your plastic wrap for rolling and shaping the candle.
- Refrigerate or freeze before serving.
Flavoring Butter Candles
Butter candles are basically compound kinds of butter in a new package.
For breakfast items, you’re looking for spices like cinnamon, ginger, vanilla powder, and allspice. Cuso’s Coconut Rum Seasoning and Cuso’s Maple Bourbon Seasoning taste amazing on pancakes and waffles.
Beef: Red wine and Cuso’s Dirt® Barbecue Rub
Fish: Cuso’s Lemon Pepper with garlic juice
Pork: White wine with Cuso’s Gravel Seasoning
Chicken: Cuso’s Grass (oregano, parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme)
- Double-check to see that your butter is firm from top to bottom. Otherwise, it will simply puddle.
- You can put a small dish under your molded candle to catch the overflow.
- Do small batches. Be kind to your budget. Try two sticks of butter, one for a hand-molded butter candle and one for a poured candle, as practice.
You can share the method of how to make a butter candle with friends, or keep it as a "family secret."