How much does 4 tbsp of butter weigh in Oz?

Butter is a delicious and versatile ingredient used in baking, cooking, and spreading on bread. When following recipes, it’s important to accurately measure butter to ensure your baked goods or dishes turn out as intended. This article will provide a detailed answer on how much 4 tablespoons (tbsp) of butter weighs in ounces (oz).

The Weight of Butter

First, it’s helpful to understand how butter is typically measured. Butter is sold in stick form, with most sticks containing 4 oz or 8 tablespoons (tbsp). Each tablespoon of butter weighs approximately 0.5 oz. Therefore:

  • 1 tbsp butter = 0.5 oz
  • 2 tbsp butter = 1 oz
  • 3 tbsp butter = 1.5 oz
  • 4 tbsp butter = 2 oz

Knowing this conversion, we can determine that 4 tablespoons (tbsp) of butter weighs exactly 2 oz.

Why Measure Butter Accurately?

Measuring butter precisely is important in baking for a few key reasons:

  • It affects texture and flavor – Using too much or too little butter can make baked goods dense, greasy, or dry.
  • It impacts structure – Butter helps create a tender, flaky texture in pastries. Incorrect amounts can alter the structure.
  • It changes moisture levels – Butter contains water and fat. Varying the butter amount affects a recipe’s moisture.
  • It impacts cooking times – More or less butter may require adjusting baking temperatures and cook times.

By accurately measuring 4 tbsp of butter as 2 oz, you can avoid potential baking failures. Even small variances in butter can ruin the chemistry of a recipe.

Tips for Measuring Butter Accurately

Here are some helpful tips for measuring butter properly:

  • Use measuring spoons, not a butter knife, to scoop solid butter from the package.
  • Level off butter evenly across the top of the measuring spoon.
  • When cutting butter from a stick, make sure your measurements are precise.
  • Soften butter to room temperature before measuring for easier scooping.
  • Use a kitchen scale to weigh butter for the most accuracy.
  • Store butter sticks with measurement markings visible.
  • Understand conversions between tablespoons, ounces, and grams, for any recipe.

Metric Equivalent

For bakers and cooks using the metric system, 4 tablespoons of butter converts to:

  • 56 grams
  • 1/4 cup
  • 4.8 teaspoons

Being familiar with butter measurements in grams can be helpful when following recipes from countries outside the United States.

Does Butter Type Matter?

It’s also worth noting that different types of butter contain slightly different amounts of moisture, which can affect weight. For example:

  • Salted butter may weigh slightly more per tablespoon.
  • European-style butters tend to have a higher fat content.
  • Whipped butter incorporates more air and weighs less.

However, these differences amount to just a gram or two per tablespoon. So in most cases, the conversions remain accurate and 4 tbsp will equal close to 2 oz.

Should You Melt Butter Before Measuring?

Some bakers advocate melting butter and then measuring it. When solid butter is scooped, there may be gaps and air pockets. Melting provides a more compact, exact measure.

However, melting also causes some moisture loss as the water evaporates. So melted butter may actually weigh slightly less than its solid equivalent.

For most recipes, it won’t make a major impact whether you melt first or not. Just be consistent and don’t switch back and forth in the same recipe.

Advantages of Melting Before Measuring

  • Fills in air gaps
  • Creates a more level, compact measure
  • Allows you to pour melted butter into the measuring spoon

Disadvantages of Melting Before Measuring

  • Causes some moisture loss as water evaporates
  • Requires dirtying an extra bowl and waiting for butter to melt
  • May be more difficult to level off butter in a liquid state

How Does 4 Tbsp of Butter Compare to Other Fats?

Butter contains a relatively high concentration of fat compared to other cooking fats. Here’s how 4 tbsp (or 2 oz) of butter compares:

Fat Weight Calories
Butter 2 oz 204 calories
Olive oil 2.6 oz 239 calories
Coconut oil 2.1 oz 212 calories
Vegetable oil 2.4 oz 234 calories

As you can see, the same volume of different fats can have slightly varying weights and calorie counts. Substituting butter with another fat without adjusting the quantity may impact your recipe.

Common Butter Substitutes

In some cases, you may need or want to replace butter in a recipe. Here are some common substitutes and how they compare:

  • Margarine – Nearly equal to butter in fat, taste, and volume. Replace cup for cup.
  • Shortening – More fat than butter, so use 25% less shortening. Adjust for texture.
  • Oil -Less moisture and fat than butter. Replace 1 cup butter with 3/4 cup oil.
  • Applesauce – Replaces moisture of butter. Use equal amounts.
  • Banana – Imparts sweetness and moisture. Use equal amounts.

When substituting for 4 tbsp butter, you would use:

  • 4 tbsp margarine
  • 3 tbsp shortening
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 4 tbsp applesauce
  • 4 tbsp mashed banana

How to Soften Butter Properly

Cold, solid butter can be difficult to measure accurately. Softening it to room temperature first makes scooping and leveling easier. Here are some tips to soften butter:

  • Leave butter out on the counter for 1-2 hours until spreadable.
  • Slice butter into tablespoon pieces, lay separately on a plate.
  • Microwave butter for 10-15 seconds to slightly melt edges.
  • Grate cold butter with a cheese grater, then lightly pack into cup.
  • Slice off what you need from a stick of cold butter.

Avoid prolonged heat when softening, as overheated butter may melt or scorch. And always use sanitary tools and surfaces when prepping butter.

How to Tell When Butter is Softened

Here are some ways to test if your butter is ready for measuring:

  • Should give slightly when pressed but still hold its shape.
  • Can easily be scooped and cut into with a spoon or knife.
  • Surface should have a matte appearance, not shiny or greasy.
  • Should not feel cold. Butter is ready when it’s 60-70°F.

Storing Butter Properly

To keep butter fresh for accurate measuring in recipes, be sure to store it properly. Here are some tips:

  • Keep butter tightly wrapped at all times.
  • Store in fridge for up to 3 months.
  • Can be frozen for 6-9 months.
  • Thaw frozen butter overnight in the fridge.
  • Keep butter away from foods with strong odors.
  • Avoid temperature fluctuations which can cause condensation.

With proper storage techniques, butter stays fresher longer and retains its flavor. This allows for more precise measuring and better baking outcomes.

How Measuring Butter Affects Common Recipes

To demonstrate the importance of accurate butter measurement, let’s look at how 4 tbsp impacts several classic recipes:


Butter is creamed with sugar to provide structure, texture, and moisture to cookies. Too much makes cookies spread, too little makes them dry and crumbly. With 4 tbsp butter balanced properly, you get tender, lightly-browned cookies.


Butter is melted and folded into the batter for flavor and moisture. 4 tbsp hits the ideal fat and moisture level for muffins to rise nicely and develop a tender crumb. More butter makes oily muffins, less makes dry muffins.

Pie Crust

Butter is cut into flour for flaky layers in pie crust. 4 tbsp butter distributed throughout the dough creates the optimal number of fat pockets for tenderness and structure. Too much butter leads to a greasy crust.


Butter is creamed with powdered sugar and flavors to make frosting. 4 tbsp butter produces a spreadable consistency and ideal sweetness, without being too thin, runny, sweet, or rich from excess butter.

Troubleshooting Butter Measuring Issues

If you experience any of these common baking problems, inaccurate butter measurement may be to blame:

  • Dry baked goods – Too little butter
  • Dense or greasy baked goods – Too much butter
  • Baked goods spreading too much – Extra butter
  • Overly rich or buttery taste – Excess butter
  • Off or inconsistent flavors – Measuring mistake

Carefully measuring butter by tablespoons or weighing it can help avoid these issues. Use proper tools and don’t estimate – exact measurements matter!

Key Takeaways

Here’s a quick summary of how much 4 tbsp of butter weighs:

  • 4 tbsp butter = 2 oz / 56g
  • Accurately measuring butter impacts baking success
  • Use proper tools and techniques for most precise results
  • Store and soften butter appropriately before measuring
  • Adjust accordingly when substituting butter in recipes

Understanding just how much 4 tbsp of butter weighs in ounces and grams provides a helpful reference point for recipes. So next time your baking depends on it, you can precisely measure your butter for perfect results.

Leave a Comment