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Inspired by those gorgeous pastries you see in the bakery window, and want to try to recreate them on your own? Whether you’re making a pie, a tart, or croissants, you’ll need a few tools to help you create the perfect light, flaky pastry—and most important of all is the pastry cutter! 

What is a Pastry Cutter?

A pastry cutter—sometimes called a pastry blender, dough cutter, or butter cutter—is a baking tool designed to help incorporate fats into flour to make dough. Pastry cutters are typically half-circle-shaped with a flat handle and a series of curved metal wires or blades opposite the handle. If you’ve ever followed a pastry recipe, you’ve likely seen “cut in butter,” and that’s exactly what a pastry cutter does. 

Benefits of Using a Pastry Cutter

In addition to keeping your hands and your kitchen a bit cleaner, dough cutters and butter cutters are useful because they help your fats blend properly and evenly with your flour. The hallmark of great pastry is light, airy dough—and pastry cutters ensure this result. 

3 Best Pastry Cutters

1. Williams Sonoma Stainless-Steel Pastry Blender

pastry cutter
Source: William Sonoma
Stainless steel pastry cutters are great, lasting tools.

Williams Sonoma offers this stainless steel pastry blender for $12.95. Considered to be one of the best pastry cutters available, it’s a great choice for bakers of all skill levels, and its sturdy stainless design ensures you’ll be using it in your kitchen for years to come!

2. Farberware Soft Grips Pastry Blender

pastry cutter
Source: Walmart
Walmart has plenty of budget-friendly pastry cutter options.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly pastry cutter, Walmart has you covered. Their Farberware model, equipped with a comfort grip, is $8.97 and works perfectly for pastry beginners learning how to use a pastry cutter or how to cut butter into flour. 

3. Fusiontec Pieces Pastry Wheel and Cutter

pastry wheel
Source: Amazon
Pastry wheels are an alternative form of pastry cutters.

A pastry cutter wheel is an alternative to traditional pastry cutters. While this style of pastry blender can be used to cut in butter, it is more commonly used to cut dough

Fusiontec’s model, which is great for pie crust or ravioli, is available through Amazon for $10.99 and comes with stainless steel hardware and a comfortable wooden handle. 

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3 Pastry Cutter Substitutes

1. Forks

forks
Source: Unsplash
Forks are your best bet for substituting a pastry cutter.

If you’ve ever wondered “what can I use instead of a pastry cutter?” then open your silverware drawer and grab a couple of forks! You can easily duplicate the function of a pastry cutter by pressing the forks into your fat source and flour and mashing them into the crumbly consistency. 

2. Cheese Grater

cheese grater
Source: Pexels
Cheese graters are great for pastry-making in a pinch!

If you’re craving an apple pie but aren’t sure how to cut butter into flour without a pastry cutter, try using a cheese grater as a pastry cutter substitute. Grate your cold fats over your bowl of flour to help them break down and incorporate more easily, and then use a mixing spoon (or two forks!) to finish the dough blending.

3. Your Hands

hands holding flour
Source: unsplash
Hands make great dough mixers!

If all else fails and you’re still questioning what to use instead of a pastry cutter, go for your built-in baking tools—your hands! This won’t be the cleanest pastry cutter substitute, and you’ll need to be mindful of how long you’re mixing because the warmth from your hands can affect your fats and therefore your final dough, but your fingers and hands are perfect for working and mixing dough in a pinch. 

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