Butterkäse Cheese Substitutes

Butterkäse cheese, sometimes spelled butterkase, is a mild and creamy cheese that originated in Germany. With its signature buttery flavor and smooth texture, it has become a beloved cheese for sandwiches, snacking, and melting.

Butterkäse Cheese Substitutes

However, you may find yourself needing a substitute for butterkäse if you can't find it locally or if you want to experiment with some similar options. The good news is there are several tasty cheeses that can work nicely in place of butterkäse.

What Is Butterkäse Cheese?

Butterkäse is a semi-soft cow's milk cheese that originated in Germany. The name literally translates to "butter cheese" which perfectly describes its rich, buttery flavor.

It has a smooth, creamy texture similar to havarti or young gouda. Butterkäse is noted for its mild taste since it's aged for only about one month. It typically has a pale yellow color, sometimes with an edible rind coated in wax or foil.

Butterkäse is made using a combination of thermophilic and mesophilic cultures which help develop its signature flavor profile. It's a great table cheese but also melts beautifully, making it a top choice for grilled cheese sandwiches or baked dishes.

Key Takeaway: Butterkäse is a mild, buttery German cheese known for its creamy texture and versatility.

What Does Butterkäse Cheese Taste Like?

True to its name, butterkäse cheese has a predominant flavor of sweet, creamy butter. It tastes rich and indulgent, with a smooth mouthfeel.

Since it's aged for only about a month, butterkäse has a very mild flavor. It lacks the sharpness or nuttiness of an aged gouda or parmesan. The overall taste is simple, milky, and buttery.

Some describe subtle notes of fresh grass or toast underlying the dominant butteriness. The rind contributes a hint of mushroom earthiness when eaten. Overall, butterkäse is perfect for those who enjoy a simple, creamy cheese.

Key Takeaway: Butterkäse cheese tastes principally like sweet, rich butter with a hint of grassiness. The flavor is mild and creamy.

What Is Butterkäse Cheese Good For?

Butterkäse is a versatile cheese that works well in many dishes thanks to its creamy texture and mild flavor. Here are some of the top uses for butterkäse cheese:


Butterkäse melts beautifully, so it's perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, pizza, mac and cheese, and casseroles. The cheese becomes silky smooth when melted.


The mild, creamy flavor of butterkäse makes it an ideal snacking cheese. Enjoy slices or cubes along with crackers, fruit, raw veggies, or charcuterie meats.

Cheese Boards

Butterkäse pairs nicely with aged cheeses like gouda, cheddar, or parmesan. The contrast of textures and flavors is pleasing. It also works well with wine or beer.

Sandwiches and Burgers

The smooth, sliceable texture of butterkäse makes it a go-to choice for cold sandwiches. It also can be used to top burgers in place of American cheese.

So in summary, butterkäse is wonderful for melting, snacking, cheese boards, and sandwiches. Its versatility and crowd-pleasing flavor make it a cheese worth keeping on hand.

Key Takeaway: Butterkäse works well melted, on sandwiches, for snacking, or on cheese boards thanks to its mild flavor.

The Best Substitutes for Butterkäse Cheese

If you can't find butterkäse, don't worry - several other cheeses can make solid stand-ins. Here are some of the top substitutes to try:


Havarti is a good meltier like butterkäse. It has a similar smooth, creamy texture when melted. The flavor is a bit more acidic and sharp when compared to the sweeter butterkäse, but still fairly mild.

Monterey Jack

Choose a young monterey jack to match the melty texture and mild flavor of butterkäse. Aged jack will be too firm and sharp. Young monterey jack provides a subtle tang.


Muenster is another good option thanks to its soft texture and mild, nutty flavor. It melts well like butterkäse but provides a bit more complexity.

Mild Cheddar

Mild cheddar, especially English-style, provides a similar creamy texture to butterkäse. Opt for white cheddar to get a closer match on flavor. The bite of sharp cheddar contrasts too much.


Fresh mozzarella shares the same milky flavor as butterkäse, though it can turn rubbery when melted. Use fresh mozzarella for cold applications like snacking or sandwiches.

Amish Butter Cheese

This Wisconsin original tastes almost identical to traditional butterkäse. If you can find it, Amish butter cheese makes the perfect sub.


Mild Italian fontina provides a creamy mouthfeel and subtle nutty notes. It works well melted or cold.

So in summary, havarti, monterey jack, muenster, mild cheddar, mozzarella, Amish butter cheese, and fontina all make good substitutes for butterkäse cheese.

Key Takeaway: Good butterkäse substitutes include havarti, monterey jack, muenster, mild cheddar, mozzarella, Amish butter cheese, and fontina.

Tips for Buying and Storing Butterkäse Cheese

Here are some helpful tips for purchasing and storing butterkäse cheese:

  • Check the aging - For the mildest flavor, look for butterkäse aged 1 month or less. Longer aging results in more sharpness.
  • Go for foil packaging - Butterkäse wrapped in foil retains its moisture and flavor better than wax-coated varieties.
  • Buy Sliced - If using for sandwiches, opt for presliced butterkäse to save time and effort. Sliced also exposes less cheese to air.
  • Keep refrigerated - Be sure to store butterkäse in the fridge, loosely wrapped in its original packaging.
  • Eat within 1-2 weeks - For peak flavor and texture, consume butterkäse within 1-2 weeks of opening. Mold spots can develop after this.
  • Freeze for longer storage - To extend its shelf life, you can freeze butterkäse in airtight packaging for 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge before using.

Following these tips will help you select the freshest butterkäse cheese and keep it tasting great. Enjoy this versatile, crowd-pleasing cheese on its own or substituted into your favorite recipes.


What's the difference between butterkäse and havarti cheese?

Butterkäse has a sweeter, creamier, butter-like flavor compared to the more acidic tang of havarti. Butterkäse is also softer and melts more smoothly than havarti.

Can you substitute butterkäse for mozzarella?

Yes, you can use butterkäse in place of mozzarella in dishes where you want the cheese melted, like pizza or casseroles. For cold dishes, the textures are too different to swap them.

Is butterkäse a good cheese for a cheese board?

Definitely! The creamy, spreadable texture of butterkäse pairs nicely with hard cheeses like aged cheddar or parmesan. Its mild flavor lets other cheeses shine.

What wines pair well with butterkäse?

Butterkäse works nicely with a range of white wines including chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon blanc, and pinot gris. The milky qualities of butterkäse match well with richer white wines.

Can you replace brie with butterkäse?

You can use butterkäse as a sub for brie in most recipes, however the flavor won't be as earthy, complex, or pronounced. The textures when melted are very similar.


Butterkäse is a wonderfully versatile German cheese with a creamy, buttery flavor.

While it's great on its own, you have several excellent options like havarti, monterey jack, or mild cheddar to sub in when you need a butterkäse alternative.

With its crowd-pleasing taste and velvety melted texture, butterkäse is sure to become a favorite cheese for snacking, cooking, and serving.

Cheese Lover Chloe 🧀
Cheese Lover Chloe 🧀

I'm a total cheese fanatic! When I'm not busy studying to be a cheesemaker, you can find me scouring local farmers markets and specialty shops for new and exciting cheeses to try. Brie is my all-time fave, but I also love exploring aged goudas, funky blues, and rich creamy camemberts. Looking forward to sharing lots of melty, gooey cheese pics and reviews!