A compound butter is butter that has been flavored by blending softened butter together with various ingredients they are also known as finishing butter, or beurre composé in French. These can be savory or sweet and can make for a great signature flavor profile to provide with your food truck menu items.

The standard recipe for all compound butter is basically the same: soften unsalted butter and blend in the flavor ingredients with an electric mixer, beating at medium speed until completely blended (1 to 2 minutes). Use only fresh herbs and lemon or lime juice. Let the butter stand for an hour in a cool place, covered, so the flavors can develop; then refrigerate to harden.

Before refrigerating, you can roll the butter into logs with wax paper; press it into molds to create stars or other shapes; create balls with butter paddles; or simply press it into ramekins for serving. These tasty butter spreads are ideal for steaks, burgers, breads, and pancakes.

Compound Butter Recipes:

  • In a medium-size bowl, whip 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature) until fluffy.
  • Combine the softened butter and other ingredients (listed below) together until they are completely blended.

Tips for preparing Compound Butter:

  • The butter must first be brought to room temperature and softened by beating it.
  • The flavoring ingredients must be very finely chopped or pureed. If any extra liquid develops, it should be drained off thoroughly before mixing in the butter.
  • For the flavor to better penetrate the butter, allow it to stand at cool room temperature for a few hours before refrigerating.
  • Compound butters may be stored in freezer, tightly wrapped. Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water for cutting the frozen butter.

Amounts below are guidelines – adjust to your taste. Let your imagination be your guide!

Chile Pepper Compound Butter 
1 chile pepper, deveined and seeded, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Chive Compound Butter 
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
Pinch fine sea salt

Chocolate Hazelnut Compound Butter 
Powdered cocoa to taste
Sugar to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped hazelnuts

Creamy Brown Sugar Compound Butter 
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Honey Compound Butter 
1/2 cup honey

Honey Fruit Compound Butter 
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 small banana

Raisin-Nut Compound Butter 
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup finely chopped raisins
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Rum Raisin Compound Butter 
3 tablespoon raisins or currants
2 tablespoons rum
Sugar to taste
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sweet Citrus Compound Butter 
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons grated orange or lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed orange or lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

White Chocolate Compound Butter 
2 tablespoons white chocolate, melted and cooled
Ground cinnamon to taste

RELATED: Creating Your Food Truck Signature Dish

The Bottom Line

Compound butter is deceptively simple to make, even though it looks and tastes like a day’s worth of work. Make compound butter your food truck menu powerhouse for everything you sell. Using a straightedge, form the butter into a cylinder and roll the paper over it so that it keeps its shape. You can store it in the freezer for up to 6 months, slicing off coins of butter as needed.

If you have any other compound butter recipes you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them. You can share them in the comment section or on social media. Facebook | Twitter