This Vanilla Butter recipe is made of vanilla bean, and cream is a perfect sweet treat or spreads on toast or vegetables.
For fans of vanilla, I decided to make this vanilla spread. We’ve received a bunch of fresh vanilla beans, and they were so fragrant and flavorful that I wanted to incorporate them into a delicious recipe. A vanilla butter spread allows me to showcase the vanilla bean’s taste and aroma and cook a versatile treat we enjoy in multiple ways. This recipe is a perfect addition to any foodie’s collection, from adding it to toast or vanilla Swiss roll for breakfast or as a condiment for vegetables.
While compound butter is usually salty and made by mixing butter with various herbs, and spices, this butter with vanilla is a sweet recipe perfect for treats like these raspberry white chocolate muffins or scones.
This recipe can be whipped up in a few minutes if you opt for store-bought butter. However, I want to share how simple it is to create your own butter from scratch. Although it may require extra 10 minutes and effort, the final result is well worth it.
What is vanilla butter?
It is a flavored butter made of cream and vanilla bean. This delectable spread has a rich and smooth texture with a sweet and fragrant vanilla flavor that is both indulgent and versatile. I love it on the top of these vanilla muffins.
Ingredients to make delicious compound butter
- heavy cream. There are different types, such as heavy, light, or whipping cream. For this recipe, heavy cream with a fat content of around 36-40% is the best option as it will help to create richer and creamier butter.
- Vanilla beans. They are the fruit of an orchid plant, known for their sweet and floral flavor and aroma. The beans are long, slender pods filled with tiny black seeds. When selecting vanilla beans, look for ones that are glossy and aromatic, as these are indicators of freshness and quality.
- Pinch of salt (optional) – a lightly salted recipe can enhance its flavor and balance its sweetness.
- Sweetener (optional). A sweetener is unnecessary for this recipe as the beans, and heavy cream provide a natural sweetness. However, if you prefer a sweeter vanilla butter, you can add powdered sugar, vanilla syrup or honey to taste.
You can find the precise quantities in the recipe card below.
How to make vanilla butter
First step – make a homemade butter
Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer. Attach the whisk attachment and begin whisking the cream on medium-high speed. The cream will thicken and eventually form whipped cream. Continue whisking until the mixture separates into butter and buttermilk. This process can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on the speed of your mixer.
Second step – separate butter from a buttermilk
Once the butter has formed and separated from the buttermilk, turn off the hand-held mixer and strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve the buttermilk for another use, such as baking. Rinse the butter under cold water to remove any remaining milk. If desired, add a pinch of salt to the butter and mix it in using a spatula or wooden spoon.
Third step – add a vanilla
Using a small sharp knife, slice the bean lengthwise and extract all the tiny black seeds using the back of the knife or spoon. Add the seeds to a bowl with the butter and mix them thoroughly until well combined. Make this delicious vanilla milk tea if you still have some vanilla seeds left.
Mix it using an electric mixer until well combined.
Fourth step – transfer to the airtight container
Form the butter mixture into a 1-inch log shape and place it on parchment paper or wrap it. Roll the paper around the butter to create a log shape and twist the ends to secure the log.
Tip: The leftover buttermilk from homemade butter can substitute for commercial buttermilk in recipes, but it may not be as acidic. Add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to match the acidity level. Remove the buttermilk thoroughly from the butter, or else the casein can spoil and reduce the butter’s shelf life.
Discover vanilla butter uses
- Add a little on toast or bagels for a delicious and flavorful breakfast.
- Use it as a topping for pancakes or waffles instead of syrup.
- Melt it and use it as a dip for steamed vegetables.
- Spread it on corn on the cob for a tasty summer treat.
- Use it as a buttercream frosting for cakes or cupcakes.
- Add a dollop to your morning oatmeal or yogurt as an awesome addition to your breakfast.
- Use it instead of unsalted butter in Apple Buttermilk Custard Pie, or in this small vanilla cake recipe.
- Melt it and drizzle it over popcorn for a sweet and salty snack.
- Use it as a spread on sandwiches or as a topping for honey butter fried chicken.
- Serve it alongside warm rolls or bread for a full of flavour appetizer.
- Turn it into this delicious raspberry mousse.
- Add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the butter mixture before combining it with the vanilla seeds. This will give the butter a warm and cozy cinnamon flavor making it perfect for this Easy Apple Crisp.
- Mix in a tablespoon of honey with the butter and vanilla for a sweet and creamy honey butter, perfect for breakfast or brunch.
- Add the zest of an orange or lemon powder for a bright and zesty flavor that is perfect for summer.
- Mix in a tablespoon of cocoa powder with the butter and vanilla for a rich, decadent chocolate twist.
- For a spicy note, add a pinch of nutmeg, allspice, and cloves to the butter and vanilla mixture for a warm and aromatic spice blend perfect for Christmas.
You can use unsalted or salted butter instead of making your homemade butter. See the best practices on how to soften butter for this recipe.
If you don’t have fresh, you can use pure vanilla extract, vanilla paste, or vanilla powder instead. Use 1 teaspoon of liquid vanilla extract or one tablespoon of vanilla paste to substitute one bean.
I used heavy cream to make homemade butter, but you can also use whipping cream or double cream.
If you want sweet butter, add honey, maple syrup, or powdered sugar to taste.
Tips for storing this delicious Vanilla Butter:
You can store it on the counter at room temperature for 1-2 days. However, I prefer to refrigerate it and store it in an airtight glass container. It will last for up to two weeks in the fridge.
If you want to keep it for longer, it can be frozen for up to three months. Then, wrap it tightly in plastic or aluminum foil and place it in a freezer-safe bag or container.