How To Cut In Butter – Helpful Kitchen Tips

If you love baking, you will probably hear about the term “cut in butter“. It is the most common phrase when it comes to any recipes for making pie crust or biscuits.

The meaning of cutting in butter is breaking the large chunks of butter into smaller pieces in other dry ingredients (normally flour) so that each of the pieces is fully coated in those ingredients.

Yet, how to cut in butter? How to cut in shortening? We will show you right now.

How To Cut In Butter – 4 Easy Ways For Home Chefs 

How To Cut In Butter

1. How To Cut In Butter by Using The Food Processor

Using a food processor is one of the easiest ways to cut in butter since all you have to do is press the button a few times, and voila, it is done.

Effortless, right? Here is how you do it:

Step 1: Cut the large chunk of butter into small cubes

What is cubed butter? Just in case you don’t know, it is small square pieces of butter with a size of about ½ inch (1.3 cm). And, if you’re wondering how to cube butter the right way, usually, we will use a knife for the cutting action – any knife with a blade will do.

Now, let’s get to work. 

You unwrap the stick of cold butter or a chilled one and place it on the cutting board. Next, slice them into cubes to mix in with the other ingredients.

Step 2: Mix all the ingredients in the food processor.

Add your butter cubes and other ingredients with the proper amount following the recipe into a food processor. Then press the pulse button for 7-8 times until the mixture reaches the consistency you want.

For each press, you hold the button for about 1 second and then release. It would help if you also took a second break between every press to check whether the butter reaches your desired size or not.

Once done, you can put the mixture in the oven to bake or add more ingredients to your recipe. You can replace the food processor with an electric pastry blender if you don’t have any home processor.

Note: one drawback of this method is that you may easily get it overmixed and result in too small butter cubes if you aren’t careful.

Watch this instructions video for more detail:

2. How To Cut In Butter By Using A Pastry Cutter

If you have no idea “what is a pastry cutter” is, it is a U-shaped baking tool with a handle on the top for any of you who haven’t heard about the pastry cutter. The pastry cutter has 4 to 5 thin blades at the bottom used for butter cut.

Let’s follow our instruction given below to know how to use a pastry cutter in cutting in butter:

Step 1: Cut the butter

Please take out the exact number of butter sticks based on the recipe and cut them into ½ inch cubes.

Step 2: Add all the ingredients into a bowl

Add all the dry ingredients and the butter into a big bowl and gently toss them up to cover the butter in those dry ingredients.

Step 3: Cut in butter.

Grab your pastry cutter and start to cut the butter in the mixture. With mashing motion, you press and move the cutter around to get diced butter or any size mentioned in the recipe.

It would be best to clean out the pastry cutter after one or two times mashing with your fingers to avoid the butter sticking onto the blade.

Or else, you can shake the mixture for some time while working so that the butter will get recoated and all the pieces won’t stick back together again.

Note: If the butter starts to soften at any point, you have to take the bowl and place it in the fridge to let it chill for 15 minutes. After that, you can continue your process.

3. How To Cut In Butter By Using Butter Knives

If you’re curious about how to cut in butter with knives, the instructions are below.

Step 1: Use a knife to cut the butter into cubes.

Step 2: Hold two knives with two hands and start cutting the butter into smaller pieces (it will look like the picture below). This method is a substitute for a pastry blender if you don’t have one at home. However, it might take you longer to get the job done.

Watch video instructions for more detail:

4. How To Cut In Butter by Using A Fork

How to cut in butter with a fork? Is it possible? Yes, it is. All you have to do is grab your fork and smash all the butter cubes you have sliced before into the dry ingredients.

The process is the same as using a pastry cutter or knives to cut in butter.

Tips and tricks

The Size Of The Butter Chunks Does Matter

If you want to shorten cutting in butter, it is essential to cut the butter sticks to ½ inch cubes. Why? The work will be a lot easier with small butter pieces, and you will get the butter smashed more even by cutting it beforehand.

Cold butter is a priority

If you want flaky pastries, your butter has to be cold and stay in the form of individual, small pieces when baking in the oven. If the butter gets too warm, it will release buttermilk, making the dough become a buttery tart dough.

Follow The Recipe And Stick With It

Sticking with the recipe given is crucial to have a good baking finish. For example, if your recipe requires heated milk, you should follow it to get the best taste of your pie.

Most of the recipes will give a specific butter size cut to achieve when cutting in butter into dry ingredients. It is advised that you should follow what is on the recipe since it will affect the finished product.

Everyone wants a loaf of yummy bread instead of an alcoholic bread, right? So, notice the recipe and stick with it is what is best for you. 


Use a fork

After reading, we hope you find this post helpful in guiding you on “how to cut in butter”. Plus, we also list some tips and tricks based on our experience that we think will benefit you in this work.

Good luck with your work. Thank you for reading.

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.