Butter and sugar are commonly combined to make things like cookies and cakes. The two ingredients are often creamed together, which helps the sugar smoothly integrate into the butter while adding air to the mixture for a fluffy end texture. You may have noticed that unsalted butter is typically labeled “sweet cream” or “sweet butter”. Additionally, butter itself can taste sweet to many taste buds. Because of this, many people ask, “Is there sugar in butter?”.
Sugar in Butter
Butter is a dairy product because it is made from milk. Specifically it is made from the fat portion of milk known as buttercream. The buttercream is added to a churner which separates out liquid buttermilk from the solid fat portion that makes butter. The buttermilk is drained leaving what we know as butter. Salt can be added or it can be left unsalted. Sugar is not added in normal manufacturing of butter.
While sugar is not an ingredient added during manufacturing, it does still contains trace amounts of sugar. This is because butter is made from milk. Milk naturally contains a sugar known as lactose. Yes, the same lactose that causes digestive problems in many people who suffer from lactose sensitivity or intolerance. Butter is very low in lactose (sugar) because the buttermilk that is drained out during manufacturing actually contains the majority of the sugar. What is left is the butter (fat) that only contains minimal sugar content. The very low lactose percentage of butter makes it suitable for consumption by many who have trouble digesting lactose and those looking to consume small amounts of sugar.
Below we have provided the nutritional data for one tablespoon and one cup of butter to show how minimal the sugar content actually is in butter. While butter might taste sweet to your tongue, it is likely not the sugar creating this taste but the fat. There are .14 grams in a cup and it is basically nonexistent in a tablespoon.