What Are Butter Pats? What Are They Used For?

what are butter pats

Butter is used for many things, both in cooking and in serving. Therefore, there are different sizes and shapes of this type of food. However, if you have recently taken up cooking, you might come across the term “butter pat” without knowing what it might refer to. So, what are butter pats and what do people use them for?

Butter pats are single servings of butter, usually served in a foil packet, or creatively shaped into a square or ball. Each pat of butter generally weighs around 7 grams (½ a tablespoon) which is enough for covering a slice of bread. They are usually used in restaurants for adding class to a meal.

When trying to get creative in the kitchen, especially when serving a dish, butter can always be a helpful ingredient. Butter pats are invented and created specifically for this purpose, but you need to know how to combine them with your meals properly. In this article, I have explained how you can make butter pats and properly use them, and this way, you can get artsy in your kitchen.

How Do You Make Butter Pats? 

Butter is used in many meals and it can be served in different ways, so you can get really creative with it. That is actually the main point with butter pats, meaning that you can serve them individually in different ways. 

Butter pats are intended for individual use, so every person would use them in their meals in the way they want. 

Namely, butter pats are single servings of butter, and they can come in sticks, balls, or squares. They are enough to cover a slice of bread, a biscuit, or smaller pairs of crackers. If they are served in a restaurant, you will probably be able to use them on bread, or another appetizer that comes with them. 

However, if you want to use them at home, you will have to learn how you can make them. This is a classy way of individually serving butter to your family members or friends at breakfast, brunch, or even dinner. Butter pats are considered a cute detail on the plate, making your meal more delicious. 

Luckily, you do not have to buy butter pats because you can make them on your own. It is a very simple technique and you need really simple ingredients and utensils. Therefore, once you obtain unsalted butter, a spatula, and a small mold, you can begin your process of making butter pats.

Fill the Mold With Soft Butter 

You will need soft, unsalted butter and a small mold that will help you make nice shapes of pats. The process begins by filling the molds with soft butter. To make sure that is soft enough, leave it at room temperature for a few hours or use a mixer to soften it.

When filling the molds, check if there is no air left between the butter and the pan. 

Let the Butter Harden

Once you make your butter shapes, freeze them for about one hour. The freezing time usually depends on your freezer. You will know that your butter pats are ready when they are quite firm. 

Flip Over the Molds 

Once you take your molds out of the freezer, you will need a plate on which you can flip over the molds. Use a little bit of hot water, so the pats can fall out of the molds. Once they have fallen out on the plate, you can sprinkle some salt on top of them to make them salty, but this is an optional step.

If you do not need the butter pats immediately, you can place them in the fridge to keep them fresh until serving time. 

You can do this method with different kinds of molds, meaning that you can get creative with your butter pats. The molds you use for your holiday cookies can easily be used for butter pats, so you will end up with a lot of different shapes, such as hearts, cartoon characters, etc. 

what are butter pats

What Are Butter Pats Used For? 

Butter pats are mostly used in restaurants, i.e. when single servings of butter are needed. Usually, this is considered a fancy way of serving butter to each person individually, and it is regarded as a classy method that makes your dish look quite sophisticated. 

However, even though this method is usually used in restaurants, that does not mean that you cannot add a little bit of fanciness to your meals. 

You can make your breakfast or dinner just as classy even at your home for several people. Putting the whole block of butter on the table does not look nice, and it is not a really hygienic way of serving butter for many people. That is when butter pats would be convenient, but they will also look great on your table. 

How Much Does a Pat of Butter Weigh?

Generally, a pat of butter weighs around 7 grams. This estimation is based on the butter pats that are produced commercially and can be bought in a store. When you are making your own butter pats, they usually weigh around 2.5 grams or ½ tablespoons of butter.

However, this is just an approximate estimation that can vary, especially when made at home. This is because you can use bigger or smaller molds for making butter pats, meaning that the amount of butter you use will vary. 

How Many Calories Does A Pat Of Butter Have? 

As I said, the amount of butter you use for your butter pats may vary. However, if we base the estimation on the previous numbers then a ⅓ tablespoon of butter would contain around 34 calories. If you use a ½ tablespoon of butter for your butter pats, then one of them should contain around 51 calories. 

Once again, you should not entirely rely on these estimations since each butter pat might contain a larger or smaller amount of butter. This is just to give you an idea if you are interested in counting calories in your meals. 

Why Is It Called a Pat of Butter? 

The origin of butter pats is not really clear, but there is a theory by which you can get an idea of how they were created, and how they got their name. 

Namely, the whole process of making butter pats revolves around the tools that were primarily used for making them. The tools with which butter pats were originally made are called Scotch hands, which are basically wood paddles that prevented their melting before refrigeration. 

These wood pads were used for shaping and molding these tiny butter shapes, so that is how they got their name. Although the tools used now are not the same, the name stuck, so there goes the story behind the name of butter pats.

What Is a Pad of Butter?

If you have been researching butter pats, you have probably come across the term pad of butter. Logically, when doing research on this topic, you would probably assume that pads and pats are synonyms and are used interchangeably. However, thinking like this would be a mistake because there is one significant difference between these terms. 

Namely, a butter pat refers to the actual butter food served with your meals. A pad of butter is a small plate on which these tiny butter shapes are served. 

Therefore, these terms should not be used interchangeably, and you need to know the difference in order to avoid making mistakes in your kitchen.

Where to Buy Pats of Butter? 

If you do not have the time to make butter pats yourself, but you still want to serve them, you can always buy them and save yourself some time. Usually, butter pats can be found in bigger stores like Walmart. 

Serving butter can be interesting and creative, so now that you have learned the proper ways, do not hesitate to try these methods. You do not need special ingredients or tools, so engage yourself in making some butter pats, and add a little bit of class and fanciness to your next meal. 

  • Laura is the owner of Julie's Cafe Bakery. She started this blog with her grandma Julie who introduced her to the amazing world of cooking. She likes to experiment with different flavors, and her favorite flavors combo is chicken with coconut milk, curry and peanuts!