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Recipe: How To Make Homemade Butter

Butter From Local Sonoma Cream


Making butter is… like moving a hot knife through butter:  simple, smooth, and very, very easy.  If you haven’t done this yet, go out today and buy a pint of heavy cream, and then spend 10 minutes to make your own butter.  It’s incredibly simple to do, and it tastes wonderful!


Quick Homemade Butter


Equipment.


  • Mixer (or jar to shake)
  • Strainer
  • Bowl
  • Spatula


Ingredients.


  • Heavy cream (preferably fresh, organic & local!)


Steps.


1.  Leave the cream out for a bit so that it warms to 50F or so.


2.  Pour the cream into the mixer with a whisk attachment.  Put a cover over the mixer, so you don’t splatter cream all over your kitchen:


Cover the blender to prevent splatter


Alternatively, you can pour the cream into a jar you can shake.  (This will take longer, but your arms will get a good workout, and you can make it a family project.) 


3.  Mix on medium-high for 5-7 minutes.  For once in your life, you get to over-whip cream!  Here’s what you’ll see:


Not churned

Slightly turned, like whipping cream

Beyond whipping cream, turning yellow and beginning to separate

Fully separated from the whey


When the butter has separated from the liquid, you’re done mixing.


4.  Strain the butter into a bowl, making sure all the liquid runs out.  Then set aside the liquid.  (That liquid is homemade, uberfresh buttermilk!)


Strain the buttermilk


5.  Rinse the butter with water to remove any excess liquid.


Rinse the butter in cold water


6.  Knead the butter with a spatula to bring together the curds.  This doesn’t take long – a minute or two.  If you want to salt your butter, now is a good time.  (We prefer to have unsalted butter, which gives us more salt control when cooking.)


Knead the butter with a spatula

Fully kneaded butter


Save the butter in a sealed container in the fridge, and use the fresh buttermilk for pancakes or homemade biscuits!


Luxurious Homemade Butter


For more scrumptious recipes, visit our new Recipes page!


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82 comments to Recipe: How To Make Homemade Butter

  • I did this over Thanksgiving because I had leftover cream, but was out of butter. It’s so easy, but so good!

  • I make butter this way. The buttermilk is good for scones too. :)

  • [...] responses One Green Generation has a recipe for homemade butter. MMMmmmmm, homemade [...]

  • I was surprised at how easy it is too. I don’t do this on a regular basis, but if I had to, I know how. It makes for a special touch, I think.

  • dahlia

    if you let the cream “go bad”, you can make cultured butter with it. cream can sit in the fridge for a few weeks, even, before you get around to making the butter! extra delicious, extra nutritious. i like to add fresh herbs from the garden and salt the butter; then all i need to do it toss a veggie or an egg into the butter and a dish is all set!

  • Looks good. I’ll put it on my list of things to try over my next vacation from work (Feb.) Each vacation, I have so many new exciting things to try that become part of my day to day activities, but I probably would never get around to trying them in the first place if it wasn’t for this time off of my crazy schedule.

  • Melinda,

    How much butter did that quart of cream yield?

  • Rob

    I do this from time to time. I have even tried Crunchy’s JAr method , but this is easier. I have heard you can do this in a CuisinArt as well but have never tried that. Note- If you dont have a kitchen aid mixer with fancy whisk attachment, a regular mixer with beaters will work nicely too.

  • Gale

    I remember my Grandmother making butter using the the jar method. She would shake and shake that jar. I’m sure I probably had a go at it, but I don’t remember. It was a long, long time ago. I’m definitely going to try making butter soon. Luckily, I have the mixer! Thanks for nudging a sweet memory!!

  • [...] to peer pressure I decided to try my hand at making butter. I started it in the jar but when we hit the whip cream stage things seemed to stall out. After [...]

  • I am SO making butter next week…..Thanks!!!

  • Thanks for your comments, everyone! Fresh butter. Mmmm….

    Dahlia, Interesting info re: cultured butter – thanks for sharing it!

    Lisa, That was a pint jar, and it yielded about 3/4 – 1 cup of butter, and about the same amount of buttermilk.

    Gale, You’re welcome – I love nudging sweet memories. : ) You should definitely relive the memory by making your own butter!

  • I had NO IDEA it was that easy – I’ll definitely be trying this next week! Thanks for the inspiration and the tutorial. :-)

  • Well, I didn’t even wait a week. I needed buttermilk for a bread recipe and figured ‘what the heck’…two birds with one stone as it were. Tasted great and SO easy.

    Is it weird that I found the whole experience very empowering ?

  • N.

    We use to make this all the time when we had a “cow share” in Colorado. We got raw milk every other week and use the cream for this.

    Now we can get huge mounds of homemade butter from the Amish which is good because we don’t have raw milk anymore.

  • Late Bloomer, You’re welcome – have fun!

    Maureen, Awesome! Thank you for coming back to say so – brought a smile to my face! And no, not weird at all – it is empowering!

    N., I wonder how amazing that butter must have been. Mmmmm.

  • Larry

    How much better for you is homemade butter than store bought.

  • Hi Larry, Interesting question. I would say it depends on the brand you use of each. Eg, we buy cream from an organic, local source. So homemade butter from that would be better for you than average conventional butter (because my butter has no additives, preservatives, pesticides, or GMOs).

    But truthfully, the main reason to make your own butter is for the amazing taste and the lower cost.

  • One more thought – homogenization and/or pasteurization (a process used in most conventional brands of butter) does remove a good deal of the vitamins found naturally in butter (A, D, K, E, some proteins). But again, you have to buy non-pasteurized and non-homogenized cream to preserve those vitamins in your own butter.

  • Joy

    We have an old fashioned churn that I remember using as a little girl. The only way I could watch T.V. was to churn butter!!

    ha ha ha!

    I can do this! YES!

    Here’s how I make my own organic yogurt at home: http://mamacitalujan.blogspot.com/2008/02/making-yogurt.html

  • Just to let you all know, #20 is probably written in cyrillic. I’ll leave it, as those who have Russian fonts in their computers can probably read it. Sorry that I can’t.

    Joy, LOL! Then surely you can do this! Though do you still need tv as an incentive? ; )

  • Rhonda

    How much cream did you use?

  • Rhonda, It was a pint jar, and it yielded about 3/4 – 1 cup of butter, and about the same amount of buttermilk.

  • wanda

    I made butter by mistake once. My mixer broke so I pulled out my food processer. It was hoilday time and I always make my own whipping cream (no sugar added). Well I processed to long and ended up with butter, so I added honey and took it to dinner for the home made bread that someone else had made. It was just yummy and everyone loved it.

  • Hi there,
    Its 8am here in Maryland. I really like your article on Making Homemade Butter.
    I’m going to try this until I’m proficient at it. My wife just asked me to get 2 packs of butter. Egads…its real butter compared to “I can’t beleive its butter!” brand.
    My Aunt whom I used to live with back in the 1950′s, made butter with a butter churn. I thought it was fascinating but she didn’t let me try it as far a I know. She’s gone now but I remember that homemade butter was the way to go.
    Thank you for these instructions. I want to surprise my wife.
    Have fun…ole Dukeydog

  • Hi there,
    Its 8am here in Maryland. I really like your article on Making Homemade Butter.
    I’m going to try this until I’m proficient at it. My wife just asked me to get 2 packs of butter. Egads…its real butter compared to “I can’t beleive its butter!” brand.
    My Aunt whom I used to live with back in the 1950′s, made butter with a butter churn. I thought it was fascinating but she didn’t let me try it as far as I know. She’s gone now but I remember that homemade butter was the way to go.
    Thank you for these instructions. I want to surprise my wife.
    Have fun…ole Dukeydog

  • Kerri

    I make butter everyday at work. I’m working a temporary job at a local historic park. We teach school groups how to make homemade butter and vegetable soup. The kids love to help churn the butter. We give tours through the buildings at the park. When we are done the students get to eat the soup and butter that they helped to make. It’s very easy but we have noticed that if the room is very hot or too cold it will take longer to make the butter.

  • [...] was super easy, very fun and the results were amazing! (You can find instructions on how to do this here and here) [...]

  • Kelly

    I just made butter at home I used my magic bullet and the blender and stick method worked great.

  • Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I am definately going to try it as home made buuter is creamy and cheesy. Thanks a bunch.

  • Tami Suggs

    i love making this butter.i add honey, basil, cinnamon, and garlic for additional flavors…so easy!

  • ittleBit

    Back in Kindergarten my teacher taught us all to make butter. We all took turns shaking a glass jar with milk and a clothes pin. I missed it so much I decided to try and make it today for the first time. (in about 15 years).

    I tried the food processor, that made a mess. Then I tried the blender. The cream started to thicken and seperate, but then for some reason went back to liquid and wouldn’t thicken again. Maybe the motor heat caused a problem. SO! I added the cream to a mixing bowl and tried my hand mixer and VIOLA! Got butter. I definitely needed a towel to prevent more of a mess, but I love it!

  • Easter Dinner butter molds! Rather than buying those little lamb-shaped molded butters for your Easter (or any other special occasion) dinner, you can easily make your own special looking butter!
    This would also make a great hostess gift, or gift for the neighbors at Easter or any time.
    -After you’ve made the butter through step #6, press the butter into a mold of your choice. I’m a soapmaker and one aspect of what I do is highly decorative soaps, so I’m fortunate to have an abundance of different molds to choose from, being careful to clean thoroughly!! – to use for every occasion.
    -To buy molds, you can go to any craft store, Hobby Lobby, Michaels etc., and either look for the section where they have melt and pour soap supplies where they’ll have some to choose from, or in the baking / candy making section where they’ll have silicone molds that may be more seasonal.
    -Press the butter well into the mold, overfilling a but so that you can level off the top (which will be the bottom) with the back of a straight knife.
    -If the mold is clear plastic, raise it over your head and look to see that there are no obvious air bubbles.
    -Unmolding: Put the mold in the freezer. The more intricate the mold, the longer it should be in. You really want the butter to freeze so it will be solid and no part of it will stick to the mold. An hour should be good. Listen to be sure the freezer actually comes on at some point. The cold air blowing across the mold is much more effective than just the cold environment.
    -It should unmold easily by turning it over and pressing on the center back of the mold.
    -If you really want to get into it and have a beautiful mold for every special event, go online and simply search for “soap molds”. You will quickly be mind-boggled! There’s a lot of choices, but you can have something special and unique on your table all the time! Who knows – you may even take up soap making!
    -Herb-butter is great in molds too, using chives, garlic, even lavender!

  • Jennifer

    I’ve noticed a difference between European and American dairy. If I use raw organic milk to make butter, will that be closer to the European butters? Really cool article. Thanks much!

  • Rick

    I made butter today!

    I began making bread about 7 months ago, and have made waffles, pancakes, cakes and pies for years, but this was a logical, fun, continuation of the progression. Everyone loved it on their waffles today (made with the buttermilk from the process!

    Thank you Melinda for sharing something so easy, yummy, and affirming!

  • Thank you so much for a wonderful tutorial! I’m going to be trying it this afternoon!

    About how long will it stay good in the fridge?

  • Teena

    While in Headstart my daughter and son made butter like this in baby food jars

  • caryl

    My first batch (using local, raw, cultured cream)was easy and perfect…my second batch (using same great stuff), ended up looking like warm whipped margarine. Where did I got wrong? what can i do to save this batch? I’m wondering if time in the fridge will help, then I can press it again to remove more liquid?

    thanks for any ideas!

  • Thanks for much for this post! I can’t wait to try it myself! :)

  • [...] of butter: did you know it was THIS easy to make your OWN butter?! I’m doing it. Soon. Updates to [...]

  • Teresa

    Amazing! I used cream I had leftover from making ice cream. I couldn’t believe how easy it was and so good!

  • Jennifer

    This is a technical question but what is the fat content of homemade butter? While it sounds like I want less fat, that is actually not true. For baking purposes generally plugra butter is recommended because it has a higher fat content and just tastes better. As such I’m wondering if the homemade butter would be the high fat alternative to Plugra? Thanks.

  • [...] Click here for an incredible and simple homemade butter recipe! [...]

  • [...] for the credit: I followed the butter/buttermilk instructions from One Green Generation (because there were pictures) and Ellie Krieger’s whole wheat pancakes (the best fluffy whole [...]

  • Claire Demmer

    How do you stop your home made butter going rancid in hot weather? I keep mine in the fridge but it still went off!

    • Lela

      Mine did too and I asked the local farmer that I get my raw milk from and he said you have to rinse the butter and squeeze out the butter under cool running water. You have to be sure you get all the milk out – the milk will sour. It doesn’t go bad, just the flavor will be off. He said to rinse it for about 4 mins.

  • Melody

    Thank you for the info and pictures, it’s very helpful. We are making butter for the first time and have tried a few things without success. I have been trying your method now today, and it seems to be working. However, 5-7 minutes did nothing for my cream. I have been whipping it for half an hour and it is finally starting to look like butter. What am I doing wrong?

  • Elizabeth

    We just made butter with the kids in the preschool I work at. With an old fashioned churn, they watched in awe through the glass as the cream slowly thickened. It was so fun to watch and I love the taste. This being my first time eating home churned butter it was fantastic.

  • [...] found this post , while searching through the internet and have found to be very [...]

  • Laura

    i’ve tried it by myself before doing this and it wasn’t working. i added a lot of salt and sugar, (i found out you shouldn’t put sugar in) and added LIGHT sugar, not heavy. I was shaking it for about 4 hour straight! i got mad i had to start over, but finally after reading this… it worked!

  • Pat

    So I tried making butter tonight because I had some cream I did not want to go bad. I used my electric mixer with regular beaters and beat for several minutes. I never did get milk just some wonderful whipped butter that tasted fantastic but I was wondering what I did wrong. Did I not beat it long enough? I really want to try this again because the flavor is amazing but I want to do it correctly. Thanks for the help!

  • Mick

    AWESOME, we only eat butter and it’s frightfully expensive here in South Africa, I already make my own yoghurt and bread, so I will definitely be making my own butter.

    Thanks so much. :)

  • [...] project is hard pressed to be any easier. I used a few different sources, particularly this one and this one. You just need a few basic kitchen [...]

  • Army

    i used to teach a unit on calcium and at the end of the unit, we would make butter in baby food jars. the kids would spread it on crackers and eat it. very fun, easy and teaches them a lot about the process involved before their parents buy it at the store.

  • Sarah

    If you’re going to do it by hand, with a jar, it helps to put a marble inside.

  • person

    this was a very good and easy recipe. the only thing was when I mad it I had to beat it for at least 20 minutes, unlike the 5-7 in the recipe. besides that it’s extremely Delicious, especially salted.

  • Thanks, just found this. First batch was not so great, but second turned out well.

  • Shannon

    I would so love to do this, but the problem is that it’s not very cost effective. A pint of cream from Strauss (the only kind I can find locally that doesn’t have additives like carageenan) is over $4. For that cream to yield only 3/4 c butter doesn’t seem like it’s worth it. Am I wrong? I would love to be wrong!

  • Amy

    Butter from fresh heavy whipping cream is pricy BUT has the great nutritional qualities in it, i.e. not stripped out or destroyed by commercial production. If you are going to use butter, try and get the cream from cows that are grass-fed/pastured (Strauss, Clover).

    The Omega-3:Omega-6 fat ratios are what your body is used to genetically. Cheaper poor quality butter can be bad for you; butter from pastured cows… excellent buy. Not only does it taste good, it’s good for your body. Especially for children who need the right kinds of “fats” for growth.

    Temperature is the key to producing a good butter. Too cold… takes forever, too warm… greasy mess. I like it over 60 degrees but under 68 degrees.

    I rinse it repeatedly, breaking up the butter granules where the “whey” is trapped in the butter. You can use a fork to squish the butter particles to get at the pockets of whey.

    I keep my butter frozen until I’m ready to use it, and then I treat it like fresh milk that will go “sour” if left out in room temperature. You are just not able to get all they “whey” out in the home kitchen. I mold my butter, then put it in sealed ziplock bags in the freezer.

    I’m able to just pop some out when ever I need butter. My friends love the molded butter. And it speaks loudly: handmade with lots of care! I use tablespoon sized molds frequently (hearts, snowflakes, gingerbread man, etc) or larger.

    If the heavy cream has been ultra-pasturerized you will probably never get it to “come” to the butter stage. Be very careful… even some “organic” producers will “ultra-pastureized” their cream… colored water lasts longer on the shelves before it has to be discarded.

    For those who want to get serious, I bought an old electric butter churn (1940′s) off E-Bay (or you can get it new from Lehmans). Very easy and minimal mess. Not really cost effective for an occasional butter session, but if you have a good source of cream, excellent!

    Have fun!
    Amy
    30 years Maternal/Child Nursing

  • SO I came across this post while searching how to make butter, made my first batch this morning. And I am now reading through some of your other posts, and well loving them :) So many things are ringing true for me even on the other side of the world in New Zealand.

  • [...] in Jars Getting Some Culture from Traveler’s Lunchbox Homemade Butter from The Wednesday Chef Homemade Butter from One Green Generation /* Bookmark/Share var addthis_config = { services_compact: 'email, favorites, twitter, [...]

  • Breanne

    I just made this recipe for the 2nd time, and it turned out just as good as the first time. Who knew making butter was so easy?? I’m severly lactose-intolerant, so being able to make my own butter has been delightful. I seriously didn’t know what all the fuss about butter was until I could eat it too!

  • [...] off the cream-layer. You can use that cream for something else, or churn it into delicious homemade butter! This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← “Elements of Life” [...]

  • [...] I researched a few blogs to see how other people have done it. It turns out this process is relatively simple, especially since I splurged on a KitchenAid mixer. I settled on a recipe I found at One Green Generation. [...]

  • Lb Spurgeon

    I made homemade butter last week. Used my mixer and a lot of patience. There is a difference between what I made, and your final pictures. Mine is not as darkly yellow, more of a light creamy yellow in color. ???

  • This could be a very very bad question but I am going to ask anyway. I have a container of heavy cream that expires Oct. 1. If I make butter with it now, before it goes bad, could that add longer life to it, can I freeze it and wait until the day I am going to use it? Just curious. Thanks!

  • Theo

    Thank you very much! :]

    This recipe was quick, easy and extremely helpful :)

  • At the prices of butter these days this is sure to be added to my price comparing list. It really was very easy to make. I can’t wait to try it in my next cake or buttercream recipe!!! Thank you so much! :-D

  • Rene'

    I love this recipe! It is easy to follow. Thanks for the heads up about covering the mixer- when it is done you’ll have a mess if you don’t cover it!

  • Eileen

    I found your page via a google search. Heard you could do this and having a sm carton of heavy cream and no butter I gave it a whirl and wowza! This is so cool I can’t believe it! Very empowering. I can have organic butter for the cost of heavy cream and get the butter milk as a bonus. I’m just flabbergasted.
    Oh, and it is super tasty to boot :D

  • i’m so glad that the person who put this on here did because it help me make butter and i’m only 10 years old and thats all!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kathleen

    Question- I am relatively new to lactofermentation and sure have the “bug” for it! I’ve made homemade butter by shaker method now and then since I learned how in kindergarten ! You mentioned the separated liquid is buttermilk- is it actually whey? This would be Another great source for my fermenting habit! Thanks in advance!

  • Shrikant

    Hi! We don’t get to buy cream… All we get is milk, from which we make home-made yoghurt. Would the same method using an egg beater work to separate butter from the curds…, or will it just mix and blend them up…
    Looking forward to your experience to help me out.. Thanks in advance!

  • Robin

    I tried this and all I got is cool whip I beat it for 10 minutes on med high what went wrong had my heavy cream at room temp.

  • Mel

    Hi, is homemade butter suitable for making buttercream, ie for cupcake toppings? :)

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