My Steps Were Washed with Butter

Image by Southern Plate

As I have explored the world of Southern food and specifically Southern sweets, I have identified a few words evoke a Pavlovian response from me.  “Cake” is one of those words. “Sweet” is another.  Put the words “salted” and “caramel” together and I will come running with mouth agape and watering!  Perhaps the word that I hear the most that elicits just a response is “butter.”

That’s right, butter — not margarine, not oleo, not vegetable oil spread, but butter.  Those other words elicit a response, just not a favorable one.

Butter has long been seen as a part luxurious eating.  Whether it is used in desserts or savory applications, it adds a depth and richness.  I am reminded of the Biblical text where the man Job (who faced his share of hard times in life) described his life when things were good with “my steps were washed with butter” (Job 29:6).  I have to say, that image works for me!  What Real Southern Man would not like to have a life where their steps are drenched in butter?  I volunteer to be the first!  We may need to moderate our butter enjoyment for the sake of our health, but the joys of butter are many, especially in the world of Southern sweets.

Earlier this year a friend mentioned an old time recipe that sounded absolutely delicious.  She had tasted this dessert in a soul food café in Auburn, Alabama that she described as being like “the top of a cobbler” without the fruit underneath.  After a little research, I discovered that this treat was called “Butter Roll”.  It was basically a biscuit base rolled, spiked with cinnamon, and baked in a creamy vanilla/milk sauce.

I continued my research and found a few recipes.  My wife is the baker in the family, so with a little sweet talking I was able to convince her to give it a try – the resulting dessert was delicious.  I would have to say, it reminded me of my mother’s incredible cinnamon rolls (with a more biscuity texture) covered in a delicious, custard sauce.

To be honest, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of available history around for the Butter Roll.  Most of the recipes that I am able to find originate in the South and some report that it has roots in Central Kentucky, calling it Kentucky Butter Roll.

Find a great recipe for Kentucky Butter Roll here.

A great step-by-step recipe is found here.

And, for the record, add the word “roll” to the list of craving-inducing words …

To vote for Butter Roll in the Southern Sweets Showdown, visit our Facebook page of vote here on the site.

7 Responses to “My Steps Were Washed with Butter”

  1. Thanks for including the recipe. I was in Baton Rouge this past week (attending a conference at Healing Place Church – think Servalution). And the only thing I didn’t get to eat that I would have liked to eat was bread pudding…okay, that and some good ole crab claws (which are hard to find here in Central Texas). Now, I’ve had bread pudding on my mind, specifically, sweet potato bread pudding. I’m going to have to find my recipe but I think last time I made it, I just “winged it”. Butter was definitely involved.

  2. I married into a family where the butter roll is a staple at any family get together. My mother-in-law and her sisters always “argued” over which of them made the best one. A lesser-known, but true classic Southern dessert, indeed…

  3. Okay, I found this link…and this one looks like the one you have pictured and it looks better to me. I wanted to find the one that looked like a biscuit. The other recipe I found used pie crust for the bready part. I just want to say…this is not helping my new “diet” program. I’m just saying.


  1. Another Huge Upset in the Southern Sweets Showdown! | Real Southern Men - November 16, 2011

    […] Old Timey Butter Roll narrowly pull the upset over #3 Fried Peach Pie with 53% of the vote. Perhaps RSM Jerrod Brown’s nostalgic look at the classic Southern dessert, My Steps Were Washed with Butter, swayed some folks who had never […]

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