How to Make Butter

Fresh homemade butter. There are not many other things that taste as delicious as this. Did you know you can make your own butter and it’s really easy to do?

I use to make it every year with my kids when I taught Kindergarten and it was always so much fun. The way their eyes would widen when they would see the cream start separating into butter and buttermilk!

how to make butter - picture shows a brown bowl of freshly made butter with some slices of bread to the right of it. To the left is a knife with a bit of butter on it. All of that is sitting on a brown cutting board. Under the board you can see a red napkin with white polka dots peeking out.

How to Make Your Own Butter

Start with a clean, sterilized jar. I usually use mason jars because they have airtight lids but I have made these with clean baby food jars when I was teaching so that each child could have their own jar. Pour in heavy cream (35% or higher). You only want to fill the jar halfway because you need room to allow the butter to churn as you shake the jar.

Shake, shake, shake. It can take up to 10 minutes of shaking to get the butter to separate from the buttermilk. Use a strainer to strain out the butter. Save the buttermilk! You can use it to make things like buttermilk fried chicken, pancakes, or biscuits. It will keep in your fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can also keep buttermilk in your freezer (although the consistency can change a bit so I don’t recommend it for drinking. It’s still just fine for cooking and baking with).

making your own butter - a brown bowl of freshly made butter with some slices of bread, to the right one half slice has butter spread on it  and to the left is a wooden spoon with butter on it. All of this is sitting on a brown cutting board and under that is some brown burlap

If you want to, you can rinse the butter solids with icy cold water to get rid of any excess buttermilk. You can also squeeze it into a ball, discarding any liquid that comes out. Repeat this until the liquid is clear. Some people like to use cheesecloth for this process. Leaving the liquid in the butter can cause it to spoil more quickly. We never did this step with my students and just used the solids as is and ate them right away.

If you do squeeze out all the excess buttermilk, your butter should last several weeks in the fridge.

If you want to add salt to your butter, use about 1/4 tsp salt for every cup of cream.

a white bowl sitting on a brown wooden table. In the bowl is homemade butter with green herbs mixed into it and there is a silver spoon in the mixture.

Once the butter is fully formed and squeezed out, you can always add herbs, garlic, honey, or other ingredients to make compound butter. When making honey butter, I like to use about 1/4 cup of honey for every 1/2 cup of butter. With herbs or other ingredients, I tend to just eyeball it.

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