Butter Candles Are The Edible, Show-Stopping Centerpieces That Have TikTok Split

From the invention of the printing press to the discovery of penicillin, humanity's innovation knows no bounds. The most recent example of mankind's ingenuity is no exception. Behold ... the butter candle. It's a humble candle wick suspended in rich butter, but light it and the butter slowly melts, dripping into the perfect consistency for slathering on bread. It's arguably one of the greatest achievements of our time, but the internet isn't so sure.

@sooziethefoodieblog

My favorite thing to make is hands down butter candles #candle #butter #nye

♬ TO THE MOON – JNR CHOI & Sam Tompkins

Tracing the exact origin of food trends like the butter candle can be challenging, but this one seems to have taken off online around 2021. Thanks to the culinary adventures of creators like @sooziethefoodieblog on TikTok, many folks felt compelled to try and post their experiences making butter candles of their own. Search #buttercandle on your social media platform of choice, and you'll find enough firey butter content to keep you scrolling for hours. Things get even more interesting when you click into one of the comment sections. That's because a lot of people aren't excited about this idea — they're irritated.

Weighing the pros and cons of butter candles

What's not to love about a butter candle? Many creators and commenters have pointed out its appeal as an eye-catching appetizer idea that's sure to impress guests. Plus, it's customizable with the addition of herbs, spices, and honey. And let's face it, butter is delicious and boasts a pretty solid fanbase.

However, some naysayers have a list of grievances against butter candles. The most frequently mentioned concern is about wicks. Commenters question whether they're truly food-safe and bring up the issues of ashes and smoke tainting the butter. (Fans clap back that hemp wicks with a beeswax coating that works just fine.) 

Others argue that the whole concept of the recipe is wasteful and not worth the time, effort, or precious butter. A few unlucky souls tried the trend at home, only to report back with horror stories, like @mamaliesse, who commented on one TikTok video, "We did this and it all caught on fire. Merry Christmas indeed..."

Making a butter candle without burning your house down

Butter candles aren't for everyone, but if you're feeling adventurous enough to try one, there are two easy (and more important, safe) techniques you can try. The first method requires a paper cup, a food-safe wick, and softened butter. Start by cutting a small hole in the center of the cup and threading the wick through. Then, keep the wick centered as you spoon in and pack the cup with butter. 

If you don't have a cup, you can use the roll method, which involves plastic wrap, a food-safe wick, and room-temperature butter. Place the butter on the plastic wrap, fold the plastic over the butter, then use the warmth of your hands to press the butter into a thick, even rectangle. Place the wick in the center and use the plastic wrap as a barrier to roll it into a candle shape. For both the cup and roll methods, you'll need to refrigerate the candle until it's firm, then remove the outer covering before plating.

No matter which candle-making method you choose, there are endless ways to customize and serve your butter creation. Consider adding herbs, fresh cranberries, or roasted garlic for a pop of flavor. For serving, you can surround your butter candle with freshly baked bread, roasted potato wedges, or if you're feeling extravagant, crab legs. But whatever you do, try not to leave your butter candle unattended, lest it tip and turn your dinner party into a literal hot mess.

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