A Brilliant Board Presentation

There’s no mistaking THE NAME OF this new food trend. Much easier to remember—and pronounce—than charcuterie*, the latest in hostess and familY appetizers are butter boards. 

Next time you’re wondering which appetizer or snack to make for a dinner party, barbecue, or even a child’s birthday, you’ll be happy you’ve discovered this low-effort, economical, delicious appetizer that only requires butter, toppings, and bread. Whether savory or sweet, butter boards are helping hostesses and busy families everywhere serve up beautiful and flavorful spreads in easy and unexpected ways. 

Since going viral just before the holiday season, butter boards are already making the transition to spring entertaining and inspiring people to flex their culinary creativity with seasonal aesthetics and flavors. Of course, while butter is a great complement to nearly any finger food, the options are endless and the only limits are your imagination and your personal palate.  

Spreads may be sweet or savory so, depending on the occasion, you may want to start with unsalted butter and use sea salt or a variety of spices to make a custom flavor, or sweeten with fruit or honey for a lighter flourish. 

For a savory experience, consider adding bits of vegetable, nuts, olives, or cheese. Add some heat with slices of pepper, red spice, or curry. For sweet toppings, fresh or dried fruit will pair nicely or spoon in some jam, citrus, coconut flakes, or chocolate. 

Experts recommend serving with a hard bread that is easy to swipe without breaking, but any butter delivery vehicle will do including pita chips, naan dippers, crackers, pretzels, and chips. 


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • mini chocolate chips for topping
  • sprinkles for topping
  • Beat softened butter on high speed 2 minutes until pale and fluffy. Add salt. 

Add powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1 Tbsp. heavy cream, then gradually add more until the mixture has a spreadable consistency. Using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread frosting across the board or platter. Dust with mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, coconut, or fruit pieces. Serve with dippers (animal crackers, vanilla wafers, graham crackers).


  • butter
  • chives, rosemary, or basil
  • Chile-infused honey
  • black pepper
  • fresh baguette, sliced

Spread a thick layer of butter across the board or platter. Top with fresh herbs, hot honey, and black pepper. Serve with baguette slices.


  • 8 oz unsalted butter softened 
  • ½ cup fresh basil plus extra for topping
  • ½ cup dill plus extra for topping
  • ½ lemon zested
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 4-6 slices bread for serving

Add softened butter to a food processor along with the herbs. Blend until smooth.

Remove and spread on a board or plate. Top with lemon zest, flaky sea salt, and extra fresh herbs.

Serve with a butter knife and bread or add fresh radishes.


Start with softened butter—not straight from the fridge or melted. To soften to optimum consistency it is important not to use direct heat or a microwave—these will affect the texture after cooling. Try one of these techniques: 

  • Cut sticks into cubes, or scoop from a tub in small portions. Greater surface area allows each measure to come to room temperature. To speed the process, place butter portions into a bowl or large mug and cover with another steaming bowl. 
  • Pound butter with a spoon or tenderizing implement. 
  • Leave butter out at room temperature for about 15 minutes. 

Once softened, use a small, smooth knife or spoon to spread butter as thinly as possible onto the serving surface; e.g., cutting board or decorative tray. Create spaces with greater thickness to swirl the butter into peaks and pools, which will hold spices or toppings added later. 

Sprinkle toppings evenly, keeping in mind that this is a spread (not a dip) and the butter is still the focus. Butter will complement a variety of toppings but it is best not to overload the board. This will keep the focus on the richness of the butter and make it easier to transfer the board from kitchen to party or between guests without spillage. 

*While “shark coochie” is fun to say, in English it is shar-KOO-duh-ree, and if you want to try French, shar-kyut-REE.