Honey Sweetened Lemon Butter

May 3, 2012(updated on October 18, 2023)

In my family, if you want to host a holiday celebration, it’s best to stake your claim early. My cousin Amy and her partner own the bulk of the Jewish holidays. Another cousin frequently hosts Thanksgiving. My parents are responsible for Christmas. And several years ago, I found myself in possession of Mother’s Day hosting duties.

Here’s how it happened. Awhile back, I joined several sets of cousins for a Mother’s Day brunch at a local restaurant. We had young kids with us and though everything was lovely, I realized that it was impossible for any of the mothers to really enjoy meal. So I volunteered to host for the following year. And as so often happens, a tradition was born.

sweet lemon butter

I will admit right now that my offer was in part self-serving. I love having people over for brunch. I relish any excuse to pull out my waffle maker, roast up some potatoes and scramble an obscene number of eggs. Some years I make dozens of biscuits and put out five or six jars of jam. Scones or muffins are also fun, as are quiches, eggy casseroles and a mountain of oven-cooked bacon.

making lemon butter

Recently, I plucked my copy of Recipes from Home off my living room bookcase and was reminded by a helpful sticky note (placed long ago when I first acquired the book) that I wanted to make Sweet Lemon Butter. The thought occurred that it might just the thing to add to our Mother’s Day brunch and so I made a test batch. Essentially, you stir a slurry of lemon juice, zest, chopped mint and honey into some softened butter, pack it into a jar and chill it until just spreadable but not mushy.

lemon butter

Once it was done (of course, I made several tweaks), it took all my willpower to keep from pulling out a spoon and eating a couple big bites (I will confess to several small taste tests, just make sure it was good). It’s transcendent on a freshly baked scone and awfully tasty just scraped on toast. If you’re hosting a brunch (Mother’s Day or otherwise), consider adding this sweetened compound butter to your menu.

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Honey Sweetened Lemon Butter


  • 1 stick butter softened
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced mint
  • pinch flaky salt


  • Combine butter, lemon zest, juice, honey, mint and salt.
  • Using a spatula, scrape the compound butter into a small jar or container.
  • Refrigerate until just set.
  • Serve with warm scones or biscuits.

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28 thoughts on "Honey Sweetened Lemon Butter"

  • So enjoyed sharing meeting you in NY!

    First of all – you are a goddess to host Mother’s Day. A GODDESS.

    Second of all – this sounds like another great idea for my overflowing meyer lemon tree. What doesn’t taste better with lemon in it?! Now, just need to make the scones but in the meantime, a slice of simple toast will do!

    1. Beth, it was so good to meet you as well! Truly, I adore hosting for Mother’s Day, so it’s no hardship. And Meyer lemons would be absolutely gorgeous in this recipe.

  • this is also a delicious way to use up jam. i do a version very similar, replacing the honey with jam (always looking for a way to use up preserves!). your mother’s day tradition sounds lovely. 🙂

  • This sounds delicious. I hope I can convince someone here to make it for me for Mother’s Day – if not I’ll have to make it for myself.

    1. At the very least, it’s a quick little thing to stir up. If you have to make it yourself, at least it’s not too taxing.

  • Frankly, any day’s a good excuse to have a mountain of bacon, IMHO but Mother’s Day is especially good 😀 The moms in your family are lucky indeed! Compound butters are always such a great thing to have around – this honey & lemon combo sounds especially delicious.

    1. Flaky salt is kosher, Maldon or some other sea salt that has larger grains than standard table salt. When you use something that has a bigger grain, you get tiny bursts of saltiness tucked in with the sweet of the honey and butter. It makes it extra delicious.

  • This sounds delicious and being half Greek, there are always lemons in my fridge. I, too, love doing breakfasts and brunches.
    On a different note, I finally got to Fishs Eddy. Thanks for mentioning it. Went with my son while visiting him in Hoboken last weekend. He loves the place, too, and plans to take his significant other there. Great place; found some aweome Scotch glasses for my water. Now if I can just get my husband to let me donate all of those plastic glasses he loves so much! Is plastic grasses kind of like an oxymoron?

  • Sounds good. Thanks for sharing. I discovered your blog from another Homesteading blog that I love! Im pretty new at Homesteading and frugal living, but I am giving it a try! I would love for you to Guest Blog if you are interested! (Mommies and Beyond dot com)

    Also, I would like to inite you to join the Easy As Pie Click and Subscribe Blog and Column Hop http://mommiescraftsandtreasures.blogspot.com/

    1. Shanna, thanks so much for the invitation to guest blog. Unfortunately, I really don’t have time to do it right now. My book comes out in just a couple of weeks and it’s left me entirely swamped. Maybe when things settle down again.

  • I love hearing about other family’s holiday traditions! For the past nine years my Mom & I have been doing a charity walk bright and early on Mother’s Day, which we then follow up with a great brunch made by my Dad. Eating at home, but not having to cook, is much more relaxing than eating at a restaurant when you have little kids. Your mom friends are lucky to have you!

  • In sheer coincidence, I made an herbed butter with dinner last night that included lemon juice, but I had a really hard time incorporating the juice into the butter. Suggestions?

    1. Marie, I found that this one wasn’t a perfect incorporation either. If it really frustrates you, you can always skip the lemon juice and just use the zest. Better incorporation that way.

      1. Ah, so it’s not just me! Good to know. Thanks for the tip and the great blog. I read it regularly.

  • Is this something that has to be used right away? How long to you think it would last in the fridge? It looks great, and I have a couple of lemons from my food co-op box I am trying to use up, but there are only two of us in the house.

  • OOOoooh….I think substituting orange in the recipe would make a great butter for Orange-Cranberry Scones! Thank you for posting a lovely recipe. I have a few of those cute Kerr Jars with the “sit on” lids that I’ve been wondering what to do with.

    Have a lovely Mother’s Day!

  • I’m so happy to have recently come across your blog – I know that I’m going to love it – and this butter!

  • I just ran across your site via Love & Olive Oil….not realizing that you are the SAME Food in Jars that has the book coming out! I’ve already pre-ordered it! Yippeee! I’m your newest subscriber and can’t wait to try this butter! SO nice to meet you!

  • Looks scrumptious!
    Question… would you be able to type in your “subject” line of your emails the recipes or subjects you are talking about on each of your emails? It would make searching thru my emails from you a lot easier when trying to find topics and recipes you emailed out… Just a thought 🙂

    1. Stacy, unfortunately those emails are automatically generated and I don’t have any control over the subject line. I’ve tried to alter that in the past and can’t do it.

  • Oh. My. Gosh.

    I just spent 5 sweaty minutes, agonising in a hot kitchen over why is the butter floating in a honey-lemon juice puddle until I finally thought to check the reviews.

    You really should put a note up about problems incorporating the mixture; might save some people some drama! 😀