If you prefer wood cutting boards and spoons like I do, you will know how quick they can split of crack with improper care. Making your own hydrating Spoon Butter is easy and inexpensive, and will help maintain your boards and spoons for years to come.
There may be affiliate links in this post. 😊 The conent on this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute any kind of professional advice. I am just sharing my experiences and opinions, one mom to another. Read my full disclaimer and Terms for more details.
I’m not going to lie… addressing my dry cutting boards has been on my to do list for a very long time.
But oiling them is always so drippy and messy and annoying, I just kept putting it off!
Today I finally pulled myself together and whipped up some amazing spoon butter, and I am so excited about it! My 4 year old helped me measure the ingredients and stir it all together. It was that easy!
What is Spoon Butter?
Spoon butter is an oil based cream that conditions wood kitchen items such as wooden spoons, cutting boards, lids, brushes, or drying racks. I call it Spoon Butter, but it is also commonly referred to as:
- Cutting Board Cream
- Wood Conditioner
- Wood Oil / Board Oil
- Spoon Oil
Spoon Butter is easy and fun to make at home and essential to maintaining your cutting boards and other wooden objects.
Washing your wooden spoons in warm soapy water, or accidently doing the unthinkable and sending them through the dish washer will dry them out fast.
When the wood is too dry, it will crack, warp, and split. Proper washing and oiling of your spoons and cutting boards will make sure they stay useable and seasoned for years to come!
Ingredients Needed To Make Spoon Butter
My Spoon Butter recipe is made from oil and beeswax. You certainly can use oil by itself to wipe your spoons with, but the addition of wax makes the oil more manageable.
This recipe is a simple 4:1 ratio of oil and wax. Some recipes use a 3:1 or even a 5:1 ratio of oil to wax. They all will work, but this is what I have found to be the best spoon butter recipe for me!
I like to make rather small batches of this recipe at a time, but if you have lots of wood that needs buttered, you can certainly double or triple the ingredients as needed.
This recipe as written will fill a 4 oz jam jar. It requires 2 Tablespoons of wax pellets, and 8 Tablespoons of oil.
You can also add a few drops of antimicrobial essential oils if you wish, but I have not experimented with that yet!
Lets talk about the ingredients for this recipe:
A lot of commercial spoon butters and cutting board creams use beeswax as their wax of choice. I love it because it thickens up the oil and makes it easy to slather on the spoons without making a drippy mess.
Beeswax is also long lasting, and has some antibacterial properties similar to honey which is beneficial for these kitchen items that will be touching food. Beeswax is frequently used in the food and cosmetic industries.
I prefer to use organic, pure beeswax for my projects. Here is a really good beeswax option if you don’t already have some.
You’re going to want to use beeswax pellets or pastilles instead of a bar, it will be so much easier to melt!
You can use a variety of oils for this recipe. Today I have used a food grade mineral oil because I had some that needed to be used up! But I will rotate what oils I use based on what is available in my pantry.
You want to pick something that still has a long shelf life so it doesn’t go rancid. (I’ve included links to some good options if you need to purchase some.)
- Coconut Oil
Coconut oil popular in spoon butter recipes, and can work if your house temperature is warm enough. Otherwise it will be too hard to get out of the jar!
- Fractionated Coconut Oil
Fractionated Coconut Oil is liquid at room temperature and will work great in this recipe.
- Sunflower Oil
A good, long lasting option. Can last for 2 years if stored well, out of sunlight. Look for “Cold Pressed.”
- Walnut Oil
Long lasting cold pressed oil with natural antifungal properties.
- Linseed Oil (Flaxseed oil)
You can use lard for this recipe, however lard has a shorter shelf life than other oil options when stored in the pantry. I recommend fridge storage if you plan to use lard, and only use very pure rendered lard so you don’t leave a meat smell. 🙂
- Mineral Oil
Inexpensive and lasts a long time, however it is obviously not the most natural option. 🙂 Make sure it is food grade.
Additional Supplies Needed
Besides the wax and oil, for this recipe you will need:
- A Tablespoon
- Wood stirring stick (Or a skewer works too!)
- Quarter pint jar (4 oz jelly jar)
- Metal jar lid and band
- Small sauce pan
How Long Does Spoon Butter Last?
The spoon butter should last several months, depending on the age and type of your oil. I tend to make small batches so I always know it is fresh and rotate it every couple months or so when it runs out. You can try storing it in the fridge for a longer life.
I use my spoon butter quick enough that I’ve never seen it go rancid or bad, but I also haven’t attempted to push the limits to see how long it will survive… Use your best judgement on this one.
These are your food preparation tools after all!
How Much Does Spoon Butter Cost?
The cost will vary of course depending on your ingredients. Mine ended up costing me less than $1 an oz, which is awesome savings compared to some commercial spoon butters available. (Some were $2 an oz, some were almost $4 an oz!)
And I use organic ingredients! Woot.
How To Use Spoon Butter To Condition Your Wood
This is the fun part! Butter up your spoons and boards by taking a soft clean cloth and dipping it into the jar of butter. You don’t need copious amounts, start off with less than you think you need and add more. You don’t want to glob it on, just a nice layer all over the surface of the wood.
I like to use a piece of organic cotton cheese cloth.
When the wood you are buttering is covered, stand it up on a rack for several hours to soak up the moisture of the spoon butter. 6 hours or overnight has worked for me.
While the boards are sitting, I hand wash the cheese cloth with dish soap and warm water and let it air dry. I never put it in the washer or dryer, since it has been totally saturated with oil.
After the boards and spoons have had sufficient time to soak up the goodness, buff off any extra spoon butter with a clean cloth. What remains should not feel sticky or leave your hands oily.
To store my spoon butter, I fold the cheese cloth and place it in between the mason jar band and lid to keep it all together. (Plus, it looks so cute.) Then put it away until next time!
Free Spoon Butter Label Download
Don’t forget to label your spoon butter so you remember what it is!
Feel free to save this little label I made for my own jar, punch a hole, and tie it on with a string.
Okay, Lets make some butter!
How To Make Homemade Spoon Butter
You’re going to love the easiness of this recipe!
Measure your ingredients and add them to the mason jar. Then, you just need to melt them.
I don’t have a double-boiler so I use the mason jar boiler method.
Simply place the band of the mason jar into the water (with the top of the band, up) and place the jar on top. This helps the boiling water bubbles have room to boil and escape and prevents the jar from rocking or breaking. I don’t recommend putting the jar right on the pan.
Fill the sauce pan with water to cover the sides of the mason jar, leaving about an inch or so of headspace.
Fill the jar with the ingredients, and turn on the heat to a low-medium heat.
While the beeswax is melting, stir it very frequently. Once the beeswax pellets have totally melted, carefully remove the jar (I use a canning jar lifter), and set it on a towel to cool.
While it is cooling, check on it every few minutes and give it a stir. It should thicken up into a gel like/cream like consistency, perfect for rubbing on with a cloth.
What a great and unique gift this would make, paired with a wood spoon! We have loved making homemade Christmas gifts, such as the DIY Herbal Bath Salts gift I made last year.
Homemade Spoon Butter (Cutting Board Cream)
- 1 Small Sauce Pan
- 4 oz Mason Jar with Metal Lid and Band
- Wood Stirring Stick
- Soft Cloth or Cheese Cloth
- 1 Tablespoon
- 2 Tablespoons Beeswax Pellets
- 8 Tablespoons Oil (Mineral, Sunflower, Flax, Fractionated Coconut, Etc.)
- Measure 2 Tablespoons of beeswax pellets and 8 Tablespoons of your carrier oil. Pour them into your 4 oz mason jar.
- Place the band of the mason jar in the bottom of the sauce pan, with the top of the band facing up. Place the mason jar on top of the band. (This will help the boiling water escape and prevent rocking or cracking of the jar.) Fill the pot with water, leaving about an inch of the jar uncovered.
- Heat the water over low-medium heat. Stir the mixture frequently until the beeswax pellets are completely melted
- When the wax is melted, carefully remove the jar and place on a towel to cool. While it cools, stir it intermittently.
- The spoon butter will thicken up as it cools.
- Label and store the spoon butter in a cool dry place.
Do you use wood spoons and boards in your kitchen?