Butterkäse has a buttery flavor and appearance. It is often described as mild, partly due to its brief aging time. The softness and mildly salty or acidic flavor is reminiscent of Muenster or Gouda cheeses. Butterkäse first appeared in 1928 as a variant of Italian Bel Paese. The texture of Butterkäse is smooth and creamy, sometimes nearly spreadable depending on the firmness achieved by the cheesemonger. Butterkäse is often sliced and added to rolls and sandwiches or melted for cooking.
Butterkäse is light in color, ranging from white to light yellow-orange. It is commonly found in a loaf shape convenient for slicing. It can also be found in a smoked variety.