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Have You Ever Made Butter? It really is very simple.

on July 25, 2013 by Kristian 36 comments

By Kristian, Contributing Writer

Butter. Everyone uses it. People cook with it, bake with it, sauté with it. A typical meal at our house uses butter in some way.

Do you know how it’s made? Have you ever made it yourself? It really is very simple. If you are trying to incorporate real foods into your family’s diet, you need to know about butter.

Have you ever made butter? It's actually really easy to make! Find out here
Photo by Robert S. Donovan

How to Make Butter

First of all, you need good cream. I use an organic cream from the whole foods market, and I usually buy 4 pints of cream for 6 sticks of butter.

Have you ever made butter?

If you have a kitchen aid mixer, it is perfect for making butter. I use the whisk attachment to start with. Pour your cream in and let it go.

Making butter

As it whips, you will notice the cream turning thicker. This is what you want to see.

Making butter - getting thicker

Eventually you will get whipped cream consistency and I usually add a little salt into mine at this point. Let it keep going until the buttermilk begins to separate from the butter.

Turning into butter!

At this point, I switch from the whisk attachment to the neater attachment. This will take it from whipped butter to actual butter. Continue mixing slowly and stop to pour off any buttermilk you get into a container to save for later. (I wil discuss what to do with that in a bit). Once you get it to start sticking to the attachment, pour off the buttermilk and turn off the mixer. I then take mine and squeeze it to make sure to get as much of the buttermilk as possible. When done with this part, I take it and separate it into bars as close as possible to regular sticks you buy at the store.

At the end of this long process, you will end up butter. Yay!
I take mine and put it in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

All done with butter!

Now, what to do with the buttermilk you saved?

I take a little bit of plain Greek yogurt and whisk into the buttermilk to make it creamy and more of the consistency of milk. You can use this in pancakes, biscuits, breads, etc.

The left over of butter - buttermilk!

Enjoy! If you want more recipes and information about being a real foodie, check out my blog at kristianfrye.blogspot.com

Get instant free access to my Finding Joy in Your Home video course.

  • Do you want to discover more joy, peace, & tranquility within your home?
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    • I rarely add salt, but when do, I only use Himalayan pink salt and I only add a couple pinches when using two to three pints of cream. I am not a huge fan of salted butter, so you can add as much or as little as you want, depending on your preference.

    • So glad I can motivate someone to start making their own homemade things! I find it to be cheaper it make my own. 🙂 happy churning!

  1. I remember making butter in junior high in an agriculture class, though on a much smaller scale. It involved a baby food jar and a lot of shaking. 🙂

    I grew up in a margarine household. As soon as I was living on my own I started buying butter. For starters, it tastes so much better! And second, I figure the fewer ingredients something has, the easier it is for our bodies to digest. 😛

    • Hello! so glad you switched from Margarine to real food. Most people ( about 99% ), don’t know that Margarine is one molecule away from plastic. Seriously…… look it up. Although real food is usually more fattening, you tend to eat much less of it because it satisfies you so much more. I have lost so much weight eating “real” food and learning to read ingredients on packages you might think are good for you. Yes, it’s a lifestyle change but for the better. I lived in New Hampshire when I was young and was brought up on Land- O – Lakes Butter. I thought buying cheaper (margarine) was healthier and I could save money too. Talk to your “healthier” elders in the family and friends you know. They will be so thrilled to know that they are valued for their wisdom and healthy eating habits.
      Thank you for letting me share. Take care!


  3. I see that you’ve used country dairy cream. Are you from MI? I lived three minutes away from country dairy my entire life. I miss home so much and I can’t wait to try this recipe!!! Thanks!!

  4. Quick and maybe silly question. We do a lot of baking in my house and I despise spending sooooo much money on butter. If I make it the way you show here am I able to use it in recipes?

  5. Would this work with whole milk? We live on a dairy farm and have access to high fat in processed milk. Do you think it would work with that? Would love to make my own butter.

  6. Thanks for posting! Here in CA a # of butter is over $4 with generic brands hovering right around there. Cream or Heavy Whipping cream in a 32oz (quart) carton is around $3.50. Using these rough estimates, I’d yield 1.5lbs of butter/32oz of cream. So, it’s a savings and a fun experiment for the kids. 🙂 Recently, I entered a cake in at our county fair and won 10# of butter! lol Can’t wait to get it. 😉

    RE: the fresh milk: Yes, you could use fresh milk. The high fat content would probably be very tasty! Your cream wouldn’t be pasteurized (flash heated to kill pathogens like tuberculosis, which at least in CA, is an issue once again in some herds) or homogenized (which means at the milk plant, the milk/cream is spun at high rates and separated per whatever fat content manufacturers wish, also blending the milk and cream together uniformly. [In a milk tank at the dairy (for those who don’t know) the cream floats on top]) Another way to look at it is: straight from the cow or tank is how they did it back in the day. Sorry, former cheese plant foreman with a degree in Dairy Science, but now a stay at home mom for almost 10 yrs. Nice to know that part of my brain still works. LOL 🙂
    Also: “Organic” doesn’t mean better quality. Just high prices for the name. Cows with antibiotics (either from being sick or just calving) are NEVER milked into the dairy’s tank. The dairymen would be fined BIG time and have to pay for the whole load of milk lost, not just his own milk tank. Creameries/milk plants test every tanker for antibiotics before pumping into silos. It never makes into the plant. Big time trouble if it did. Food for thought.

    Thanks for the recipe! I wondered if I could use my mixer. In school we’d use mason jars. 🙂 I have cheesecloth, so I’ll try draining off the buttermilk (which is $2-ish for a quart) with that.

  7. Few Questions.
    How long should I expect this process to take (sometimes I get worried when ingredients don’t hit the right consistency). Also, is this a butter I could leave out on the counter or does it have to be refrigerated?

    Thank you!

  8. I just tried a different recipe & I thought I mixed it to long when I got the whipped cream. I threw it away. I used a ninja blender is that ok or should I use my hand mixer?

    • Good morning! Butter is like a lady, and wants to be treated with loving care and patience. I think perhaps the bullet processed the dairy too quickly. Our great grandparents would have worked the cream steady and slow. I think that’s the idea of using a hand mixer, to churn it. You have more control, with a hand mixer. I have a bullet blender also and have never thought to make butter in it since the machine works so quickly, but they make good smoothies!

  9. Have you ever tried doing this in a blender it worked out great for me except one thing they only sell ultra-pastured cream out here very upsetting it took over 20 mins to get half a stick I’m pulling out my kitchenaid next time. God bless

  10. I just had to tell a funny story. I worked in a hotel bakery shop. I was making chocolate mousse and was whipping gallons of whipping cream. I stepped away and the whole batch separated. I thought the chef was going to kill me. He said that’s okay just save the butter. Huh? lol

    I never did think to make it at home!

  11. I notice that other recipes call for rinsing the butter in water until all of the buttermilk is out of it otherwise it will go rancid sooner. Do you do this?

  12. I already make my own yogurt in my InstantPot and it’s a HUGE savings for us (my daughter has to be lactose free and that stuff is expensive!). I’d love to try this. Several people asked questions I hope will be answered first though as I’m nervous about wasting money…can you freeze the buttermilk? I know you can freeze store-bought butter and it does fine. Can you freeze this butter? Do you need to rinse the buttermilk off of the butter before storing so the butter lasts longer? Sorry to ask so many questions! We’re transitioning careers and moving across the country, so every penny saved helps! Thanks!

  13. I’m confused. All it takes to make butter is cream and salt? Where does the buttermilk come in? I would love to try this.

    • Yup! All you need is cream (you don’t even need salt)! Once churned, it creates the butter from the fat in the cream. The buttermilk is the liquid that is left over. The cream separates into the fat (the butter) and the liquid leftover (buttermilk).