Skip to Content

Deep-Fried Butter History + Recipe

Deep-Fried Butter History + Recipe

In the USA deep fried butter is a thing, yes you read that right. So if you love clogged arteries or you’ve simply lost the will to live, then this deep-fried butter recipe is for you!

Yes that’s right, this deep fried butter recipe which was featured at the Iowa State Fair in the USA, is a piece of butter on a stick, dunked in batter and put them into a deep fat fryer.

Purportedly deep fried butter balls originated in Toronto, Canada, before becoming very popular in the United States where it was a feature at the Iowa State Fair and the Dallas, Texas State Fair.

So perhaps it is more accurate to describe this dish as North American than just American.

However, this deep fat fried butter recipe is slightly more complicated than just simply fried butter on a stick.

Using a melon baller you can create bite-sized butter balls ready to fry. 

It also adds a slight twist by adding cream cheese to give more depth and flavour.

The butter is also frozen before it is deep fat fried, so make sure to follow the recipe below closely rather than blindly throwing a stick of butter into a vat of oil.

Many different variations on the recipe have sprung up, including adding cinnamon and honey to the batter and garnishing it with different ingredients.

But this version with added cream cheese is our favourite.

Whilst this recipe will be undoubtedly delicious, we can only endorse trying this deep fried butter balls recipe on very rare occasions and as part of a balanced diet.

History of Deep Fried Butter

According to trustworthy sources on the internet, deep-fried butter was invented by a man named Abel Gonzales Jr., nicknamed “Fried Jesus” as he also invented other bizarre fried items including fried coke.

Born in 1969, it’s amazing to hear that he is still alive today despite attempting to fry everything he sets his eyes on.

Fried Jesus then gave his deep fried butter recipe its first public appearance at the 2009 State Fair of Texas where it was somehow awarded the prize of “Most Creative food”.

One can only assume that there were no other entrants in the competition that year, or that Fried Jesus killed them off by clogging their arteries with his deep fried butter.

In 2011 America’s competitor to the title of Most Unhealthy Country, Scotland, decided to take the dish and instead cook it in Irn Bru batter, leading to some critics to call the deep-fried butter dish a “coronary on a plate”.

It’s worth noting that, whilst we believe that Fried Jesus did in fact invent deep fried butter balls, there is another claim to who founded this recipe dating as far back as 1747.

Purportedly a recipe for a similar recipe appears in the book The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy which was published in the 18th century, but the recipe is to roast the butter, served with oysters.

Believe it or not, there weren’t a huge amount of deep fat fryers around in the 1747 and so it is rather difficult to claim this is the exact same recipe.

In fact, somebody tried to make this 18th century roasted butter recipe and found that it just turned into a pan full of “soft buttery porridge”.

Deep fried butter balls

Deep-Fried Butter Balls Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This deep fried butter balls recipe is a delicious & dangerous mix! Use a melon baller to create bite size chunks from the stick of butter. 


  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 cup Plain flour
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Cream cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • Oil for frying


  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper, and stir well using an electric whisk.
  2. Take a baking tray and cover with a non-stick baking sheet.
  3. Next make small 1-inch sized balls out of your mixture, use a melon baller if you have one, but otherwise it is fine to use your hands.
  4. Place each of the balls on to the baking tray making sure none of them are touching. Place in the freezer for around 5 hours or until they are hard.
  5. After 5 hours, make your batter. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt together.
  6. Slowly add in your milk and water and beat until the batter mix is smooth.
  7. Prepare a deep fat fryer of hot oil or a large pot if oil if you don’t have a fryer.
  8. Place a toothpick into the middle of each of the frozen butter balls and, one-by-one, dip them into the batter mix, coating fully.
  9. Now carefully place the butter balls into the hot oil and cook through. As they start to go brown, turn them occasionally to ensure they are cooking through.
  10. Carefully take them out of the hot oil and serve as a snack.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 501Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 185mgSodium: 593mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 9g

Watch: Deep-Fried Butter At The Texas State Fair Video

This YouTube video from the Texas State Fair shows some of the most interesting deep-fried dishes available. But most importantly you can see people trying deep-fried butter for themselves!

One commentator remarks that it tastes like pancakes. Well… it is made from batter after all!

If you enjoyed this deep fried butter recipe, check out more amazing and unusual recipes from around the world.

Photo credit: Collin Harvey

Share on Social:

Skip to Recipe