Introduction: Homemade Butter

Picture of Homemade Butter
From today I am sure that many of you will start home making their own butter. Why?

1. Because it's easy

2. Because it's fast

3. Because it's cheap

4. Because it's fun!

This is all you need to do!

  • 250 ml of heavy cream
  • cheesecloth

Step 1: Step 1...oh Wait...there Is ONLY One Step!

Picture of Step 1...oh Wait...there Is ONLY One Step!

Pour the heavy cream in a bowl of your electric mixer, turn it on high speed and whip up the cream. When the cream it's nice and whipped...don't stop...keep weeping it until the fats in it will separate from the liquid and will stick to the whisk. It will take a good 5 minutes.
At this point move the solid fats (which is your butter) into a cheesecloth. Squeeze out the remaining liquid, then rinse it under water, squeeze again. 
Then remove the butter from the cheesecloth, wrap it up into plastic paper and refrigerate it until you are ready to use it

For more recipes check out my cooking blog:


midiansangel (author)2016-12-23

It sounds so simple? I always thought it was such a complex process.

I've tried in the past, and failed. Maybe I should try again

castlibbey (author)2014-04-01

I bought 30% light whipping cream, and I recently discovered that it is extremely hard to use it to make butter. Is there any way to make it heavier? I should probably mention in making it in a jar.

Fyre Rayne (author)castlibbey2014-04-22

The cream needs to be at least 35% milk fat, dearie! Try again jar or blender both work well.... incorporate child labour because it is fun !

Agnes Heidland (author)2012-03-21

I have a question.......having been raised on a farm, everything we ate came from the farm......we consumed raw milk and made our own butter.
My question, will the cream still separate from the milk after the whole milk has been pasteurized?

Yes it will. But not homogenized. B/c when homogenized, it is chemically altered so that the milk becomes 1 thing throughout. No cream, no milk. Just something weird & unusually white.

thehbird (author)CrayfishYAY2014-03-10

so true and so eww hey that rhymes lol ;)

ThamarBerber (author)2013-01-28

Living here, in The Netherlands, I wonder, if buying the cream for the homemade butter, isn't more expensive, than buying butter in the supermarket... Like buying wool for making a sweater, than buying a sweater in a shop, for instance. Just wondering.

Oscelot (author)2012-02-26

Question, do you think you could use a fresh pair of nylon knee highs instead of cheesecloth? I don't know where to find cheesecloth.

diamar79 (author)Oscelot2012-10-30

You can find it in the craft department at Walmart, but I don't see why a 50 cent pair of fresh knee-highs wouldn't work;)

Eluinn (author)Oscelot2012-05-13

Cheesecloth can be found in cooking sections of just about any grocery store, especially around thanksgiving

falconz (author)Oscelot2012-05-06

online or go to your hardware store.

-chase- (author)2012-02-27

Being a guy - one that likes to cook - i appriciate your instructable as i always wondered "how to make butter"

I have a question for you that you may or may not be able to answer about butter.

I've tried many types from some of the smaller stores that have pretty unique brands. One of them - made by the Amish.. comes in a block or brick.

This stuff is great - reeeaaal creamy - soft - one can feel the difference when spreading it or using a butter knife to cut into it.

How does your recipe compare and how do i make butter like the Amish's - so creamy and smooth and sweet?

Hopefully you'll post other varieties of butter making recipies in the future.
Like honey butter...mmmmh! ;-)

sassy_pumpkins (author)-chase-2012-02-28

Chase, the difference comes from the cows themselves...the Amish do not give their cows anything but what they were intended to eat. They eat sweet grass, with the various other greens in the fields (our cows always loved clover with their grass) and they get some grains and hay in the winter...the sweetness in the butter is the sweetness you'd find in the cream. So, if you wanted your butter to be sweet and creamy like the Amish, you'd need to buy organic cream or find a farmer who farms organically and is willing to sell you the milk - to make butter from the fresh milk, simply let the milk sit in the fridge, wait for the cream to float to the top and skim it off...then just whisk or shake the cream in a jar with a fitted lid. Keep going unil you've got a big lump of butter. Most folks like to keep their butter in the fridge, but I was brought up that homemade butter was always better when it was at room temperature and it only ever went into the fridge in the summer time if it got really hot and the butter became almost melted. But for a nice creamy spreadable butter, keep it at room temp. If you want it to be in a block or brick like the Amish butter you buy, this comes from using use these wooden butter paddles that look sort of like a wooden square with a handle on simply roll the butter between the paddles, shaping it into the size bock you wish it to be. It makes no difference to the butter's flavor as to which shape it's in, so if you're making butter, just put it in the shape that you find easiest. As I mentioned in my other post, we always rolled it in some cling film, tightening the two ends like a candy wrapper, to keep it compact and uniform in shape so it could just be sliced as we needed it. But the way the cows are raised/fed determines the sweetness of the cream and eventual butter. Good luck, hope you enjoy the butter you make, it's so easy to do that once you try it, you'll wonder why so many folks go out and buy the stuff in the shops! =)

Yes, the difference comes from the cows' food. I live in Germany, but I buy only butter from Ireland (Kerrygold), because they let their cows eat grass almost the whole year. It's the only (non-organic) butter I know that you can keep in the fridge without turning the butter brick into a real brick. :-) It stays smooth enough to be easily spread on your bread.

pam819 (author)2012-02-26

When I was a kid a farmer down the road from us had a few cows, and he use to give Mommy fresh cow's milk. She'd bring it home and separate the cream from the milk and put the cream in a quart jar and then shake the heck out of it to make butter. I never liked it cause it wasn't yellow like the store bought oleo.

There's a few farmers that live near us and I've asked if I could have some fresh milk. They tell me no, cause they are not allowed to and if they were caught they'd get in big trouble.

So this butter, is it made from the cream you get out of the grocery store? Also has anyone noticed the butter you buy in the stores just don't taste like it use to and if you've noticed, have any idea why?

Ok, Later. pam

georgiapeach773 (author)pam8192012-02-26

I've been told that the way around not being able to buy raw milk is to get the farmer to sell you part of his cow, like buying shares of stock, then you can get the raw milk because it's coming from your cow. Ask at your local organic co-op or maybe Whole Foods store for someone who knows about this.

What if the share he sells you doesn't have any udders :)

pam819 (author)mrcurlywhirly2012-02-26

Erectedbuilder, what's Monsanto? I'll do a search and see what I come up with.

Thanks Georgiapeach for the info. I know of a food co-op in town so next time I'm in the area I'll ask.

Funny mrcurlywhirly, lol.

Ok, have a good one. pam

realmassage (author)pam8192012-03-14

If you want info on Monsanto, I strongly suggest going to - he has compiled a TON of info on that company and how they are trying to kill us all off. . .

Sooo.. 'Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free?' doesn't really apply anymore...because you HAVE to buy shares in the cow just to get the milk at all???
Anyone else think life was better when we were kids?

Isn't it wonderful living in a "Free Country" where you can't even buy milk that people have been drinking for 1000's of years? Lol, but you can go down to the drug store and they'll fill you up with stuff that'll make you shoot your best friends if you get off of it. What a Free Country we live in.
Does anyone know any real Free Countries that we can go live in?

This is genius, oh, please, everyone if this works...keep it under your hat as long as possible! I really do a lot of research about these things...they want to take (have already) the rugs from under your feet!

cheesphht (author)pam8192012-02-27

Ask them to give you "milking lessons". That's right, milk the cow, then take the cream. You wouldn't be paying for the milk - just the lessons thereby making it legal.

Remember, there's always a legal way around legal crooks. You just have to be thinking as crooked as they are.

pam819 (author)cheesphht2012-02-27

Cheesphht: You know I"ve never milked a cow in my life, so I'd have to have lessons for sure. But, that's a good idea wouldn't mind trying it.

Zorchy: Buying milk to feed the hogs would be a good idea if I had any hogs, lol.

Here's another question? does goat milk have cream or is it just cow's milk? Don't laugh at me I just never grew up on a farm that had cows or goats.

But, if they do wonder what goat butter would taste like?

OK, have a good day. pam

zorcy (author)pam8192012-02-27

Ask if he can sell you milk to feed your hogs. It's not for human consumption, just animal ;)

I think buying part of the cow is a great idea. And if you milk it yourself, you may be 'allowed' to steal the milk. Then you can compensate him for what you stole.

Erectedbuilder (author)pam8192012-02-26

Ask Monsanto they mess with 90% of the food we eat, the crooks.

jjmcgaffey (author)2012-03-01

For the jar method(s) - I've been told that putting a marble (sterilized as well as the jar) in with the milk makes the butter come more easily. Makes sense, though I haven't tried it myself.
I just made butter (in a class) with an old hand-cranked butter jar - the beater was triangular. It took about half an hour to form the butter. First it formed grains and got a little harder to crank, then it got easier again and the butter was all in one lump.
Wash the butter thoroughly - the better you wash it the better it will keep (the milk solids are what go bad, pure butterfat doesn't). Add the salt when you're finished washing, if you're going to add it - my teacher pointed out that a) salt is a preservative and b) salt is water-soluble - if you have salted butter and need unsalted, let it soften and squish it around under cool water for a while, most of the salt will be gone.

nfceagles (author)2012-02-26

I wonder if it would work with human breastmilk.

tn. (author)nfceagles2012-02-26

no, it wouldn't. human breastmilk doesn't contain high enough fat ratio overall.

toward the end of the day or if the mother is nursing an older child (toddler + ) then the milk does get thicker and creamier but it's homogenized. won't whip. plus, it takes forEVER to get enough to make into butter when you consider the average pumping session produces 1-2oz. breast milk needs to be used pretty quickly else the lipase in it will sour it off (still safe for comsumption - babies don't seem to have a problem with it).

if the mother is nursing a youngling, then there'll be more milk but the overall fat content will be much lower because at the start of the day, stuff's like water. only toward the end of the day does it start to thicken up.

trust me, i know.

knyque (author)tn.2012-02-29

Not so, it can be done, you just need more milk. It will separate quite well into cream, and the shaking method works too. It tastes slightly sweet, but very bland.

I find it interesting that people cringe at the idea of consuming human milk products, but have no issues with animal milk products

There's a restaurant owner in NYC who makes cheese out of human milk.

sassy_pumpkins (author)2012-02-28

To be completely electric free in making your own butter (great for kids to do), simply put the cream into a clean jar with a lid and shake...shake...shake...the butter will form. Then simply drain the 'butter milk' into another container to use in other recipes. If you prefer your butter salted, add just a sprinkle of sea salt to your butter and mix well. This was a job my Mother would give us kids to keep us occupied for a bit. Once your butter is to your liking (you could also add herbs to give it a different flavor...finely chopped rosemary, thyme or oregano in it is great and then add a slice of the herb butter over a nice thick stead! Anyway, once the butter is to your liking, wrap it up in plastic wrap, we always twisted the ends on either side and rolled it around to make a long cylinder shape so that the butter could then be just sliced to have nice little rounds.

yburrill (author)2012-02-27

Do not ask for Pig milk to make butter!!!! This milk is usually from cows that are being treated for mastitis and has antibiotic in it. There is a reason it does not go into the sale-able milk. Legally they are not allowed to sell "raw" milk before it is pasturized due to the small possibility of bacteria in the milk from the cows udders. And most farms do not have an easy way of getting small amounts of milk easily from their tanks to give/sell to individuals. My Uncle owns a Dairy here in Maine. Milk that you buy in the store has been homogenized so that the cream will not separate to make butter. Goats milk will not work either for a similar reason.

Atomic Tigger (author)2012-02-26

is there a difference between heavy cream and whipping cream? I only see whipping cream in the grocery store.

ghollander (author)Atomic Tigger2012-02-27

"Whipping Cream" is a more general term. Essentially any dairy products meeting certain guidleines regarding their fat content may be called "whipped cream". It's not hard to find products labelled "Heavy Cream", "Heavy Whipping Cream", "Light Cream", "coffee cream" etc. Availability varies greatly by region, local taste, regional dairy marketing trends, etc. Any of these products will make butter following the instructions above; the higher the fat content the more readily they may be churned into butter and the more butter made by volume. A pint of heavy whipping cream should make more butter than a pint of coffee cream.

To further bore you all with additional detail: in the United States the USDA regulates/classifies dairy products according to the ratio of milkfat to total weight of the product. By law, to be called "heavy cream" a cream must have at least 36% milkfat (but it can have more); "light whipping cream" must have at least 30% milkfat (but less than 36%); "light cream" must have at least 18% milkfat, but less than 30%.

Note that in the US any of these products (at least when sold commercially) can be pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized and may contain any of a number of stabilizers and thickeners (such a carageenan, etc.) which can influence (for better or worse) the creation of butter.

No not that I know of

douge11 (author)2012-02-26

Bear milk if 24 percent fan would get a lot of butter ..but it's hard to milk a mother bear!

1233fire (author)douge112012-02-26


hummingbird2u (author)2012-02-26

Love the cheese clothe method, I will try this idea. I was using a fine mesh sieve over a bowl to catch and save the buttermilk for baking and pancakes. I use a food processor and it is really fast. When my kids were little we put a clean marble in a jar with heavy whip cream and made butter by shaking. It was slow but fun. I live in Washington state where it is league to buy raw milk and the cream separated at the farmer markets and our co-op store too. So i consider myself lucky. I culture mine with kefir granules first. But this is so i can digest it better since i am lactose intolerant. I make yogurt out of the whole milk too. Some states allow you to buy or pay for a cow and the farmer can then give you the miik/creamfrom said cow. Like Oregon.. We used to live in Utah where we could also buy the raw milk from one dairy that sells through their natural food store but the milk isn't separated from the creams and I had a heck of a time figuring that out. It was messy and I didn't arrive at a satisfactory method. Some states allow large vat low heat pasteurization. It's more gentle and used by the small organic dairy farmers.

pescabicicleta (author)2012-02-22

I've made butter for special occasions for years. I haven't found it to be "cheap," but it is easy, and the flavor is worth the cost.

I usually add flaked salt, or honey into the butter once I've washed the butter.

When I first drain the butter, I do so in a colander, over a bowl. That buttermilk makes for fantastic fried chicken.

i think it's "cheap" because I live in China and here butter is VERY expensive!

djimdy (author)ExpatCucina2012-02-26

I've had a much harder time finding heavy cream in China than butter.

In Poland the 36% fat cream is around 14 PLN per litre. This translates to ~400 grams of butter, based on my practice. The butter itself is 8-10 PLN for 400 g.

Homemade butter: 3.5 PLN/100g
Butter from the market: 2 PLN/100g

I do prefer homemade option anyway :)

BlueberryCrazy (author)2012-02-26

haha "keep weeping until the fats separate" this made me lol. If you're someone who doesn't have an electric mixer (like me) the whisking may just reduce you to tears... I'm going to give this a go, I just have one question though, is heavy cream the same as thickened cream?

blopez (author)2012-02-26

If you want butter that is yellow without using food colouring, you can do what Ma did in the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Grate a carrot into the cream, heat it a little and let it steep. Strain out the carrot and you have lovely orangy-yellow cream. Use the carrots in a nice carrot cake.

davepotwin (author)2012-02-26

This is the perfect recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits.. Make your own butter and use the leftover buttermilk to make the biscuits. I like to add a dash of kosher salt and a tablespoon of honey blended in the butter before it goes on the biscuits.. Enjoy

lnxusr (author)2012-02-26

How much butter do you get? 259ml is about a half pint carton or about a cup of cream. How many grams or cups of butter do you get from this?

I can get natural (no hormone's added) milk and cream locally, but cannot get natural butter without a 60 mile drive to my nearest Whole Foods. This would be great if I use more butter than I purchase on my periodic trips to Whole Foods.

jimbo69 (author)2012-02-26

I have made it from raw cows milk that we used to buy from the dairy farm and skim the cream off the top of the milk and use a gallon jar. If you wanted color you could add yellow food coloring and flavor or salt to your choice. Have fun and experiment.

cesarakg (author)2012-02-26


What about using whole milk?

sorry, but no it has to be cream.

Angelsontheisland (author)2012-02-26

You can use a butter churn if you can find one. I have my Granny butter churn and we used it a lot when we lots of cream. Fond memories. :-)

About This Instructable




Bio: An Italian living in China with a passion for cooking. I grew up in a picturesque town called Lecce nestled on the “heel of the ... More »
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