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The Best Butter Boards for Holiday Parties

Updated Nov 16, 2022

Updated Nov 16, 2022

Home > Blog > The Best Butter Boards for Holiday Parties

As the holidays approach full swing, family meetups and seasonal parties become more common. Hosting these social gatherings can be challenging, especially when finding suitable recipes for large, shareable dishes. Thankfully, a new online food trend might provide a helpful, efficient, and elegant answer — the butter board.

What Is a Butter Board?

As its name suggests, a butter board is just that: butter on a board. Simple and tasteful, butter boards allow the host to create sharable hors d’oeuvres that are as elegant as they are delicious. Hosts can quickly create platters by spreading room-temperature butter on a large board or tray, coating it with a selection of toppings, and serving it with bread or crackers.

Butter boards are highly customizable and can be flavored to complement any meal or spread. Sweet butter boards use unsalted butter with honey, cinnamon, brown sugar, maple syrup, and fruit. In contrast, savory boards can use either unsalted or salted butter, plus ingredients like nuts, olive oil, red onions, chives, chiles, fresh rosemary, herbs, meats, and vegetables. 

Are Butter Boards Charcuterie Boards?

To epicureans, the butter board trend may sound eerily similar to another tradition: the charcuterie board. Charcuterie boards originate from France and typically contain olives, cheese, cured meats, fruit, bread, and nuts. Today, these boards take many forms (like the cheese board) and have become a widespread way of preparing centerpieces for festive gatherings.

The butter board is a modern take on the charcuterie board. A butter board offers guests a shareable appetizer similar to a charcuterie board but is less expensive, complex, and time-consuming for hosts to create.

How To Make the Best Butter Boards

What You’ll Need

Butter boards have become popular due to their simplicity and short prep time. For most boards, you won’t need anything more than butter, toppings, a serving platter, a butter knife, plates, and crusty bread or crackers.

For butter, most professional chefs recommend some of the following brands:

  • Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter
  • Plugra European Style Butter
  • Shirgar Welsh Salted Butter
  • Daylesford Organic Salted Butter

How To Make a Butter Board

  1. Let the butter sit for 30 to 45 minutes until room temperature and soft. This makes the butter more spreadable.
  2. Spread the butter over the board using a butter knife, cheese knife, or spatula.
  3. Add your preferred toppings, bread, and crackers.
  4. Serve alongside appetizer plates.

Tips for Choosing the Best Board

We recommend using a wide cheese platter over wooden cutting boards when serving. While wooden boards might be more aesthetically pleasing, stone, marble, or slate platters are heavier, higher quality, and easier to clean up. Parchment paper also makes cleanup more manageable but can detract from the board’s presentation.

Butter Boards for the Holidays

Since this new trend is relatively inexpensive and highly customizable, it’s no surprise that many hosts and party planners would get on board. For several months, butter boards have been trending on social media. There are dozens of butter board recipes, from hearty, protein-packed ensembles to fall-themed, pumpkin-spiced placements.

However, many butter board recipes are fast and loose online, often missing measurements. We suspect this is because the exact measurements aren’t so important when making these boards. The free flow and experimental nature of butter boards make tracking exact proportions difficult and contrary to the expressive nature of the trend.

Below, we’ve gathered some of our favorite butter board recipes and organized them for the holiday season. Each board is built to taste, and most ingredients are dusted on top to cover the board entirely or used sparingly as garnishes. This is why the ingredients in our recipes here only include what’s on the board, not the exact amount.

Butter Boards for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving butter boards fit into one of two categories, savory or sweet. Savory boards fall in line with standard Thanksgiving Day fare, filled with fresh herbs, pistachios, black pepper, roasted garlic, and veggies. The sweet boards can act as a palate cleanser and contain ingredients like hot honey, lemon zest, fruit, and flaky sea salt.

Here are some of our favorite butter board recipes for Thanksgiving parties:

1. Pomegranate and Citrus Butter Board

This butter board is brought to you by convinoboard on TikTok. She combines bright flavors like orange zest and pomegranate with salt and honey to create a deep, savory theme that works perfectly as a Thanksgiving appetizer. This board is also a great source of vitamin A and C from the pomegranate and saturated fats from the walnuts.

Ingredients:

  • Salted butter
  • Sea salt
  • Orange zest
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Mint leaves
  • Marigold petals
  • Crumbled walnuts
@convinoboard The perfect buttery appetizer for fall entertaining and thanksgiving quickly approaching 🍂 #butterboard #appetizer #fallrecipes #foodie #butter #dinnerparty ♬ original sound – ConVino Board

2. Sweet and Hot Cream Cheese and Butter Board

This recipe comes from neurotic.mom on TikTok and uses a compound butter made from cream cheese and unsalted butter, along with various jams, pepper, and nuts. This combination creates a sweet and slightly spicy board. This platter’s heat and sweetness go well with the savory, rich courses common in Thanksgiving meals.

Ingredients:

  • Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Jams or jellies of choice
  • Recommended pineapple hot pepper
  • Honey
  • Sea salt
  • Rosemary
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Red pepper flakes

Special instructions: Mix equal parts room temperature butter with room temperature cream cheese in a small bowl before spreading. We recommend a low salt or no-salt butter, as cream cheese is already salty, especially when combined with a sea salt topping.

@neurotic.mom Mix equal parts butter and cream cheese. Spread on board and add the following according to taste: jam/jelly (i used pineapple hot pepper), honey, sea salt, pepper, rosemary, chopped walnuts, red pepper flakes. Serve with artisan bread and crackers. #butterboard #charcuterie #butterboardtrend #tiktoktrending ♬ original sound – neurotic.mom (ballerina baker)

3. Apricot and Goat Cheese Butter Board

michaelfinch created this high-end butter board on TikTok. He combines organic butter, goat cheese, apricot jam, and truffle honey to create a gorgeous butter board that your guests will love. While the ingredients on this board are a little more challenging to find, sourcing them is worth the effort.

Ingredients:

  • Softened, organic, unsalted butter
  • Lightly whipped goat cheese
  • Apricot jam
  • Dried apricots
  • Truffle honey and macadamia nut mix
  • Edible flowers for garnish
@michaelfinch My take on the viral #butterboard what would you put on yours?! IB: @Justine Doiron ♬ original sound – Michael Finch

Butter Boards for Christmas

Christmas butter boards are almost universally sweeter, combining dried fruit, cinnamon, honey, and nuts. Most boards that fall into this category pair well with hot malt cider or make excellent opening dishes for holiday ham dinners.

1. Cinnamon and Honey Butter Board

This delectable board comes from mishas_kitchen. Misha combines cinnamon, honey, and butter, creating a sweet, whipped spread. He then adds fig jam, almonds, and croutons, making a crunchy, sweet, and complex centerpiece.

Ingredients:

  • Cinnamon, honey, whipped butter
  • Fig spread or other fruit preserve
  • Almonds
  • Maple candied bacon bits
  • Cornbread croutons
  • Honey

Special instructions:

This board is the most complex recipe to make on this list. It requires homemade whipped honey and cinnamon butter. To make this, combine a half cup of softened butter, a quarter cup of confectioners sugar, a quarter cup of honey, and one teaspoon of cinnamon. For the candied maple bacon, we recommend this recipe. And finally, while he mentions that the fig spread is homemade, store-bought spread is perfectly fine for this recipe. Alternatively, you can substitute it with any sweet fruit preserve, like apricot or cranberry.

@mishas_kitchen #sweet #butterboard #foodtrend #foru ♬ Banana (feat. Shaggy) [DJ FLe – Minisiren Remix] – Conkarah

2. Basic Cinnamon Butter Board

From mamainthekitchen on TikTok, this butter board is the quickest and easiest to make. With only four ingredients, this recipe is a great springboard for making your own butter board at home.

Ingredients:

  • Butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey
  • Crushed walnuts

Optional ingredients:

We added sliced almonds, a light dusting of brown sugar, and apple slices to this board with excellent results. We also recommend adding cranberries for a more holiday-themed board.

@mamainthekitchen My take on the Butter Board Trend 😋 IB@Justine Doiron #butterboard #butterandbread #appetizer #foodtiktok #foodie #buttery #butterboards ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

3. Decadent Dessert Peanut Butter Board

While this entry might be cheating, you’ll agree that this recipe from foodfables on TikTok is well worth the rule-bending and extra carbohydrates. This dessert-style recipe uses smooth and creamy peanut butter combined with nuts, peanut brittle, and dark chocolate to create an amazing post-dinner treat for the whole family.

Ingredients:

  • Smooth peanut butter
  • Crushed peanuts
  • Chopped dark chocolate bits
  • Chunked peanut brittle
  • Banana chips
  • Beagle chips
  • Toast crackers
  • Green apple slices
@foodfables My take on what’s trending in food, the peanut butter board #butterboard #peanutbutterboard #peanutbutter #snackboard #trendingfood ♬ Butter – BTS

A Final Flavorful Note on Butter Boards

While not quite the same as classic charcuterie boards, butter boards are easy to make, inexpensive, and delicious — it’s easy to see why they’re becoming a popular social media trend. As the holidays approach, these appetizer platters allow you to create a mouthwatering centerpiece for your next seasonal event.

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