Introduction: How to Make Butter

Picture of How to Make Butter

Most folks think making butter is a time-consuming chore requiring a lot of muscle.

Well, it used to be. It still is if you use the pounding in a butter churn method, or the shake it in a mason jar method.

However, I'm lazy. I prefer this method - I'm all about making the appliances do the work.

This usually takes me 20 minutes to make, from the time I start pulling ingredients out to the time I put dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Don't let the number of steps fool you - most of that time is spent waiting, not working.

Cost: $5 for a quart of cream, of which we used half (one pint), so the portion used here was $2.50, which made about 8 ounces of butter.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients & Equipment

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Heavy whipping cream - this says minimum 36% milk fat on the label
If you buy a pint of cream, expect to make about a cup of butter.

Salt, optional


Measuring cup, optional

Not shown:

Spatula / scraper for blender


Small container to store butter

Step 2: Pour Cream Into Blender

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Add salt to taste here if desired. I wouldn't go over 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt to 2 cups cream to start.

Step 3: Turn on Blender

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Select highest speed you're comfortable with on blender. On this mixer, that's the "liquefy" setting. However, on liquefy, the thing sounds like a jet engine in my very tiny kitchen. So, comfortable for me is "grind", which bumps the decibels down to a slightly less painful level.

Step 4: Wait for the Magic

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This is the hardest step. It takes about 15 minutes total for steps 3-6 with my blender. Your blender may vary. That includes the time that the blender is stopped & I'm peeking inside to check the progress.

First, the cream will turn into soft whipped cream, about 2-3 minutes. Then stiff whipped cream, about 3-5 minutes.

During these 3-5 minutes, when you stop the blender to peek inside, use the spatula to scrape the whipped cream back down onto the blender blades

Step 5: Wait for It...

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Then it will start to get a little grainy. Those little grains are the beginning of your butter.

Keep waiting. I know you've been peeking, just keep waiting and listening and peeking and scraping the almost-butter back down.

The grains will be growing bigger and bigger. Then, the cream will start to liquefy again. That's what you're waiting for. This takes about 10 minutes in my blender (including peek time).

Step 6: You'll Know When It Happens...

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Finally, after about 13-15 minutes, the blender will make a funny noise - it will sound like you're blending liquid again instead of whipped cream. Stop the blender. You now have butter. It will be a barely cream, almost white color, not the bright yellow of store-bought butter. If you absolutely HAVE to have yellow butter, feel free to add some yellow food coloring.

Step 7: Get Ready to Eat

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Carefully, drain the liquid, leaving the butter in the blender.

Sometimes we rinse the butter, as it's supposed to make it last longer. Mostly though, it doesn't last long enough to spoil.

To rinse, add cold water to the blender, and pulse a second or two. Drain the water. Repeat until the water runs clear.

If the butter gets too warm and soft, put the blender in the frig or freezer for a few minutes, then pick up where you left off.

Step 8: Enjoy Your Butter

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Scrape the butter out of the blender onto a plate. You will probably have to take off the blades to get the last bit out. Pat dry with a clean dish towel or paper towel. Using your scraper, press gently to get the liquid out, then blot. Repeat until the butter is dry enough for you.

Press butter into a container, cover and refrigerate. Or, enjoy some right now. It will be the texture of whipped butter spread, but will solidify in the frig.

Some liquid may rise to the surface in the frig. That's ok - just pat off the liquid and enjoy your butter.


Thejesterqueen (author)2015-11-30

Once the majority of the buttermilk is drained off, you can put the butter in cheesecloth or floursac cloth to squeeze out the rest. I don't know how true it is, but I was told that the more moisture you get out, the longer it will remain fresh.

natalielovessparkles (author)2014-02-22

can you use half and half?

deathwisher (author)2013-12-28

Sorry culturing method

deathwisher (author)2013-12-28

Sorry culturing method

deathwisher (author)2013-12-28

Sorry culturing method

deathwisher (author)2013-12-28

Good one but you could use the culturibg method .you can make this with milk(indian method)

feliciaalvarez (author)2013-04-10

Agree with the comment about high powered blenders. In five minutes on hogh, my Vitamix had the raw cultured cream I started with heated up to 155F. Guess it's dead now! Cooling it down and the fridge to practice with anyway. Maybe a lower setting?

Subconscionaut (author)2010-06-20

for the absolutely have-to-have yellow butterers anatto is a naturally occurring color additive . yellow, just not yellow #5.(it's actually an orange color, but diluted it's a yellow. )

CyberBill (author)2009-10-06

Just made some tonight. My girlfriend wants to marry me now. THANKS!

kreuzberg (author)2009-08-27

I just tried this with my blender. I had it set on food processing speed. I got to the point where I had made whipped cream and kept got grainy, but then it turned into really thin liquid with no solids at all. Did I do it too long? I started out with "whipping cream" (not heavy whipping cream, if that matters). I plan to try it again tonight or tomorrow.

bagladyish1970 (author)2009-03-12

Herbed and/or garlic butter should be just as easy to make me thinks

col1999 (author)2009-02-12

Very cool! Thank you for sharing this!

pyroelfears (author)2009-02-12

why did you dump the buttermilk!!!!!!!!You threw the best part(besides the butter)!! you could have used the buttermilk in buttermilk pancakes, my favorite.

ixovaldes (author)2008-12-04

This was the coolest thing! I needed unsalted butter for a cake mix. I only had salted butter, but my wife always keeps heavy whipping cream.......Bammmm! 10-11 mins later it was Butter. I would suggest you drain it as best you can. switch to a small tuperware and start squeezing with a large spoon and the liquid will ooze out and then keep draining.

Texas Nana (author)ixovaldes2009-01-15

My Mom use to make butter with my kids (now 27 & 30) when they were little They used a mixer.One Christmas my son wanted to make it green, so my Mom added green food coloring. They made butter lots of other times , too but my kids, Dad and brother still talk about the green butter when we get together. My Dad always says "if you're making butter don't add food coloring! " My Mom's gone now. It's a good memory for all of us. : ) Here's making some butter and memories with the little one in your life.

nerdmom920 (author)2008-10-27


shooby (author)2008-09-26

Wait, you drain the buttermilk. So tasty! If you like sweet tasting milk, drink the buttermilk, it's the best.

Derin (author)shooby2008-10-27

everyone gets the point! in a good way

rsrwright (author)2008-10-02

I think you should mention that liquid that you drain off is buttermilk. I save mine for pancakes. Fresh butter is the best, thanks for the how to.

Derin (author)rsrwright2008-10-27

buttermilk is delicious

Thoth (author)rsrwright2008-10-02

Though this buttermilk (aka taditional buttermilk) is more akin to whey than buttermilk you buy from the market which is a cultured milk product similar to yogurt.

darrylfraser1961 (author)2008-10-08

If you continue to run the mix in the blender it will turn yellow. The butter needs to be rinses to remove the buttermilk, otherwise it can turn rancid Good instructible

Derin (author)darrylfraser19612008-10-27

when i drank homemade buttermilk it had small butter particles in it

Derin (author)2008-10-27

The liquid you drain is awesome to drink just salt it its a waste draining it when you can drink it

Derin (author)Derin2008-10-27

the liquid is called buttermilk if its made this way(by churning) there are churning machines out there for this purpose the other way to make the liquid(no english term for it) is mixing with yogurt and shaking well

wasabi32746 (author)2008-09-28

I use to have the same exact blender. Never thought I would see one again.

That's what i was thinking!

I_am_Canadian (author)2008-10-07

Looks like whipping cream...

wilsonzone (author)2008-10-06

I made this last Friday using a food processor since we don't have a blender. It took a while (about 15 minutes, but watching it makes time drag) and I was starting to doubt it would work, but all of a sudden everything thickened up and I had butter. We try to stay away from salt so this is perfect for us. Only problem we had is keeping it in the fridge makes it too hard to work with. We take it out of the fridge an hour before we need it and it's perfect. My wife loved it and said I will be making butter from now on instead of her buying it. Great, now I have another chore to do around the house. ;-P

mozelda (author)2008-10-04

how long will it stay fresh in the fridge

Jesus Christ (author)2008-10-01

oh my dad that was delicious!

SillyWillyGilly (author)2008-09-29

Butter butter I like butter Better butter I like even better But beating better butter is best in a butter blender

Um, U R silly! LOL! good comment to break the monotony and wake my mind up a bit. heehee

feeshy (author)2008-09-26

Having a go at the minute, trouble is the blender is getting pretty hot and it doesn't seem to want to start solidifying. I've put it in the fridge to cool it down for now, hopefully it will work afterwards.

SFHandyman (author)feeshy2008-09-30

Don't cool it down, warm it up. For fastest breakdown it should be about 60 to 65 degrees.

yankeedudle (author)2008-09-26

Neat! Can I use lowfat milk instead of cream?

klynslis (author)yankeedudle2008-09-26

Butter is just the coagulation of the fat in the cream, so no, it wouldn't work. You would just have milk.

SFHandyman (author)klynslis2008-09-30

About a year ago on a cooking site somewhere, there was a post that went something like this "I love this, I can't wait to make butter. I'm going to use Soy Milk". All questions are good though! It was a good question yankeedudle. Soy Milk was just funny to me.

GiveGreenBagsDotCom (author)2008-09-30

I tried this and it was so easy! I'm glad i found this instructable.Thank you.

Cake4UsAll (author)2008-09-30

What a great idea. This will be very useful to me.

BaileyBoo2 (author)2008-09-29

Yum! it worked.

AidanG (author)2008-09-29

I always use hand mixers, the kind you usually use to mix batters or make whipped cream. Just keep whipping the cream, and eventually it will "break", and voila, butter! Then you just put the beaters in the dishwasher, and you're done - even easier to clean than using the blender.... Good instructible! I hadn't thought of using a blender.

stasterisk (author)2008-09-29

AWESOME!!! Thanks! I used heavy whipping cream and a normal blender, and it took about three minutes. The butter is delicous. I ate some superb fried eggs and ham made in my new homemade butter.

inquisitive (author)2008-09-28

MMmmmm...Butta! That is great to know if I run out too. I try to have heavy whipping cream on hand for lots of calorie killing delectables, so thanks!

Patrik (author)2008-09-27

Quick note of caution - most blenders aren't made to run continuously for 15 minutes straight. So make sure to keep any eye on the temperature of your blender motor along the way! Of course, there are also some high-powered blenders (Vitamix etc) that run at a high enough speed that whatever you're blending will heat up significantly due to friction (kinda cool - you can make hot soup, starting from cold veggies). I would guess that would be detrimental to butter making, but you'd probably know if you have one of these blenders...

EbolThrax (author)2008-09-27

I would have never thought that making butter was this simple... I can't wait to put this on some popcorn.

AnarchistAsian (author)2008-09-26

i love making butter!

library4me (author)2008-09-26

Can you freeze this butter and thaw it later?

lbailey825 (author)library4me2008-09-26

never tried it, but i don't see why not...

locofocos (author)2008-09-26

Haha, I had gotten some whipping cream to make into ice cream, but I waited a while to make the ice cream. When I opened up the 4 containers of whipping cream, they had chunks of butter in them. I actually had to get a spoon and scrape it all out cause only part of it would still pour. I initially thought it had gone bad and solidified (like if you leave milk in a thermos over thanksgiving break, don't remind me about it)

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