Sprat Butter

Making infused, herbed, or otherwise flavored butters is a great way to impress friends and family. It is something so simple yet it really shows you put the extra effort in to make a unique food experience. This sprat butter is not only delicious, but something that is sure to have people saying ‘WOW!’

While you can blend butter with any number of things, this sprat butter only calls for three ingredients. And like with many recipes that only call for so few ingredients, quality is very important. I highly recommend before starting this recipe that you plan to splurge on quality ingredients – they really do make a huge difference.

This recipe also requires very little measuring. The butter to sprat ratio is 1:1 so if both are sold at the same weight you can just pick up a pack of both. The idea of mixing fish with butter might be weird, but trust me. Give this a shot and you’ll be surprised how much you like it. This is also a great way to introduce sprats to your diet if you on the fence about tinned fish. Although I love them and also use them in my Sprat And White Bean Crostini.

What Are Sprats?

Sprats are small, oily fish belonging to the herring family, Clupeidae. These silvery-blue fish typically measure around 10 to 15 centimeters in length and are found in abundance in the cold waters of the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea. They are commonly consumed in various cuisines around the world, often smoked, grilled, or canned. Due to their high oil content, sprats are prized for their rich flavor and nutritional value, containing beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. They are a popular choice for appetizers, snacks, and as a source of protein in many traditional dishes.

For this sprat butter recipe I am using smoked sprats in oil. I find some of the best sprats in the world come from the Baltics so if you can find a tin of Lithuanian or Latvian smoked sprats that will be your go-to. If you cannot find them at your local store you can always buy them online.

What You’ll Need

This compound butter only requires three ingredients, so quality is of utmost importance. I’ll break down the ingredients in a bit, but in a recipe like this you definitely do not want to cheap out. Low quality sprats can be off-putting to say the least, so try your best to buy a nice tin.

  • Sprats – I find the best sprats come from the Baltics, so try to find something from Latvia or Lithuania. It is up to you if you want smoked or unsmoked sprats, although I prefer the former. These little fish are packed with umami and make the final butter as addicting as it is easy.
  • Butter – As this is a pretty European recipe you’ll want to use a high quality European butter. That generally means something with a butterfat percentage of 82 or higher. I am using an 82.5% butter for this recipe, but you can use anything from 82 to 85.
  • Salt – Regular sea salt works fine in this recipe. However if you plan on serving this sprat butter on some nice bread, I highly recommend getting some Maldon smoked sea salt to finish.

To make sprat butter at home I also recommend a stand mixer or stick blender. You can of course do it entirely by hand with some forks or even a potato masher, but a stick blender makes this recipe in just a few minutes. I also recommend plastic wrap to help mold the butter into a log, although you can also use a small pot or ramekin instead.

How To Make Sprat Butter

Place your butter, sprats, and salt in a jar or bowl and blitz everything together with your stick blender/stand mixer. It is best if the butter is room temperature so it mixes easily. Do not worry about the bones in the fish as they get pulverized instantly.

After blending the butter and sprats together you can pour the contents on a sheet of plastic wrap. If you do not want to use plastic wrap you can just pour everything into a ramekin and place it in the fridge to set. I like making blended butter into a log for easy slicing.

Roll the plastic up with the butter into a log shape and twist the edges to tighten it. If your butter is very soft some might try to leak out so just wrap it as best as you are able and then pop it in the fridge. Voila! An easy sprat butter in less than 10 minutes.

sprat butter on artisan bread with spinach

How To Use Sprat Butter?

I absolutely love this butter on some delicious European bread (I am using a Scandinavian style flaxseed bread in the photo above). Toasted or untoasted both work; Just let the butter soften at room temperature for ten minutes then spread generously on the bread of your choice. Here are a few other ways to use sprat butter:

  • Grilled Meats – Like with an herbed butter on steak, you can cut a disk of sprat butter to top any number of grilled meats. I find it works extremely well on beef entrecote, or under the skin of a broiler chicken.
  • Pasta – Looking for a very simple pasta recipe? Simply melt a bit of sprat butter and toss it with boiled pasta. It’s like basic butter noodles but with an umami kick.
  • Dipping – Melt some sprat butter to use as a dip for seafood. I particularly like it with steamed jumbo shrimp. Sometimes you like classic cocktail sauce, and sometimes you want something a bit more unique.

Can Sprat Butter Be Frozen?

Yes, sprat butter can be frozen. In fact, if you make a lot of it freezing is actually your best choice. Butter softens quickly so you can still enjoy it whenever you want, but freezing butter will help preserve the taste and quality.

Due to the high fat content, especially with the extra fish oils, butter does have a tendency to go rancid. Thus, keeping it in the freezer is a great way to preserve it for a very long time. If you think you’ll finish it all within a week however, the fridge works perfectly for that.

sprat butter on artisan bread with spinach

Sprat Butter

Making infused, herbed, or otherwise flavored butters is a great way to impress friends and family. It is something so simple yet it really shows you put the extra effort in to make a unique food experience. This sprat butter is not only delicious, but something that is sure to have people saying 'WOW!'
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Sauce, Spread, Topping
Cuisine Eastern European, European
Servings 40 servings
Calories 45 kcal


  • 1 Stand Mixer or Stick Blender | optional


  • 200 grams Butter 82% or above ideally
  • 200 grams Sprats smoked or unsmoked, packed in oil
  • 1 tsp Salt or to taste


  • Place the butter, sprats, and salt in a bowl or jar and mix with a stand mixer or immersion blender until combined. You can also do it entirely by hand with a couple forks, but that takes more effort.
  • Scoop mix onto plastic wrap and roll into a log. Place in the fridge to chill.
Keyword Compound Butter, Dairy, Fish
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