If you don't spend every waking minute of every single day frantically scrolling through TikTok like I do — and for your sake, I honestly hope you don't — I want to tell you about a food trend that's basically taken over my timeline. I'm talking about "butter boards," and they're coming for charcuterie boards' hypothetical necks.
TikToks using the #butterboard hashtag have already racked up 19.9 billion views, which certainly explains why I've been seeing so much expertly arranged butter art on my For You page recently. Even more impressive: This wasn't even a trend on the platform until recipe developer Justine Doiron posted the "first" butter board to her page, @justine_snacks, mere days before the post you're currently reading was published.
In the video that launched a thousand buttery, flowery cutting boards, Justine kicks things off by stating that she "wants to make them the next charcuterie board." When I first heard that five days ago, I giggled. Now, I think she's majorly onto something.
Her inspiration comes from Joshua McFadden's recipe for “Herbed” Butter with Warm Bread from his cookbook Six Seasons — which, personally speaking, is one of the three items I'd take with me to a deserted island if I had to. FWIW, he's thrilled to see it taking off in this way too. He recently told Today that it was "nice getting noticed that way" when asked about the recipe's mega-popularity.
To make her butter board, Justine spreads softened butter onto a cutting board before she decorates it with lemon zest, herbs, thinly sliced red onions, and some other toppings. To eat it, she swipes a piece of crusty, seeded bread across the platter...which definitely pissed off more than a few TikTokers worried about "double dipping."
After seeing versions of Justine's board all over my FYP for days on end, I decided it was finally time to re-create it in my own kitchen. I was so darn curious if it would live up to the hype, but after trying it myself, I'm happy to report that it surpassed my expectations — in more ways than one.
First, the ingredients. I followed Justine's guide on how to make a butter board from her website, swapping in the herbs, spices, and ingredients I had access to. The good news is that there's a lot of flexibility here, folks, so substitute whenever necessary!
Before you dive in, just remember that your butter needs to be totally softened (and ideally room temperature).
For two sticks of butter, it'll likely take under two hours if you let it sit out on the counter — but if you're in a rush, just warm a drinking glass under hot water and place it over the cold butter. It'll be softened in no time.
STEP #1: Spread your softened butter on a wooden cutting board, or whatever serving "platter" you'd like to serve it on.
Use a butter knife to swirl the butter into the pretty-looking pattern of your choosing. It's your butter board, so go as wild as you'd like to.
You'll want it to look something like this, but again, you do you.
STEP #2: Add your toppings. I started with plenty of lemon zest sprinkled over the top, and I'm reaaaaally glad I did. The bright, lemony flavor contrasted beautifully with the creamy butter, and it makes the entire thing taste a lot more "fresh," so to speak.
I then quite literally ~showered~ the butter with flaky salt. Be generous with it! It adds great texture and little pops of salty goodness.
You can totally use kosher salt, too — just be careful not to over-salt the butter since it's much easier to do with the smaller salt crystals.
Fresh herbs were next, and I used a combination of parsley, dill, and chives. In Justine's video, she also tops her butter board with thinly sliced red onion. I opted for shallots (for a gentler "bite"), but TBH, I think the red onion looked much prettier. The shallots did taste delicious, however, so again: up to you!
(Totally optional: I also added some of my favorite za'atar seasoning blend and some cracked black pepper. For, like, "dimension" I guess.)
STEP #3: Drizzle with something sweet. I opted for hot honey (and was REALLY glad I did), but I can also see a version of this butter board working really nicely with a drizzle of maple syrup. The sweet-savory vibes of this dish are truly A+.
And that's it! From beginning to end, it couldn't have taken me any longer than five minutes to put together. And in my humble opinion, I can't imagine a charcuterie board ever looking this aesthetically pleasing with such little effort.
Looks aside, I was even more curious about how it would taste. The verdict: It's pretty next level, if you ask me.
Every bite was, to put it mildly, fascinating. Getting different toppings on my bread with each swipe of the butter made for entirely different tasting experiences: the shallot-y bites were savory and sharp, the lemony bites were perfectly bright, and the bites with a little bit of everything were pure magic. The mixing and matching of components is what I love so much about charcuterie in the first place, so I was obsessed with this butter board for very similar reasons.
There's one last element of butter boards that I was anxious to put up against charcuterie, and that's their price point. If you've ever made a charcuterie board, you know it's not normally the most budget-friendly app. I had a hunch that butter boards could offer a more price-conscious entertaining option to those in search of one, and that hunch was correct.
After the butter itself, you'll likely be pulling from ingredients and items you already have in your pantry, like salt, spices, and honey. Since you can customize a butter board to your exact liking (and your exact inventory), I feel pretty confident that you can build one for less than $10 — easily.