Oct 23, 2009

POC Tips: A Better Butterer

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In the last POC tip, I professed my undying love for cooking spray. And that love will stand until the end of time. So imagine my disappointment when I come across a recipe and I can see that cooking spray just won’t fit the bill for pan greasing purposes. Quelle horreur!

Well, there are times when a pan really does benefit from being buttered instead of misted with oil, like when a batter or dough is so thick that it will just absorb the sprayed oil or push it all around the pan while its being spread or pressed into place. Or when greasing a pan with butter lends flavor and browning to the crust of the baked good, and that’s the recipe writer’s intention. Despite the fact that I knew these truths to be self-evident, I still would sigh at the thought of having to mush perfectly good butter all over the place. Until I discovered this little trick.


Look to your butter wrappers, people! They tend to have the perfect amount of butter for greasing still clinging to them after the butter sticks are unwrapped. Especially if the recipe calls for the butter to be at room temperature (which is so often the case). It’s a most frugal little trick that not only makes buttering pans easier and faster, it keeps hands clean, too. And I need clean hands to keep a firm grip on things like my beloved can of cooking spray.

  • Now this one I have done for years and years before I discovered the wonders of spray…and usually its just the right amount left on the paper too ūüôā

  • My mum taught me this trick decades ago. I have to tell you, not only does the butter have amazing non-stick properties all its own, it also doesn't leave any hard to remove residue on your pans like cooking spray can. A win-win!

  • Okay, with ALL due respect (because I love your blog and think you do great work): DUH! (With regard to the butter wrappers, that is.) This is pan-greasing 101! Your mom (and/or dad) really fell down on the job not passing this basic tip on to you – I'm so sorry! But… I'm glad to hear you're now on board with this elementary and obvious technique!

  • Jennifer–Another great point. That cooking spray residue can be a doozy!

    Joanna–The goal of Piece of Cake has always been to share recipes and pass along information I've picked up along the way that I personally find interesting and helpful, with the knowledge that those who land here come from all levels of baking experience. Thanks for visiting.

  • I just did this for my husband's birthday cake mere hours ago! My mom always dove into the shortening tub with clean hands, but even as a kid I hated it.

    Sadly, I got a Misto oil sprayer a few weeks ago and was lulled into using it for a loaf of bread. No dice. It took me longer than I care to admit to pry that loaf of bread from its prison. Sigh.

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