How to Make Butter (and Buttermilk)





Introduction: How to Make Butter (and Buttermilk)

I am about to reveal to you an ANCIENT butter making secret, to make butter it requires, shaking, shaking, shaking, MORE shaking, lots of shaking, but the end result is FANTASTIC. Homemade butter can be fun to make (if you are a butter enthusiast).And clean-up is very easy, you only need a few things
Whipping cream (Can be normal or heavy whipping cream)
1 Jar
1 measuring device (not necassarily needed)
1 Fresh strong arms,able to withstand alot of shaking

the whole process takes about... 10-20 minutes, the majority of the time is shaking. The rest is prep time and finish

Step 1: Adding Ingredients

First you will want to measure out how much butter you really want to make. At the beginning of the recipe I measured about 1 cup of heavy cream, in the end this recipe yielded about half a cup of butter, (the other half cup didnt go missing, just "turned into" Buttermilk)

After youve measured out the desired amount of cream, simply pour it into the jar, there are no other required ingredients (and i usually put flavoring for the butter in at the end)

Step 2: Capping and Shaking

VERY VERY CAREFULLY put the cap on the jar. phew glad thats over.

then begin to shake,it will take awhile to shake this into butter but it is well worth it in the end.

Heres a picture of me shaking it in action :)

Step 3: Nearly Done

Every about 3 minutes check the jar by taking off the lid and looking inside, once you see about the consistency in the jar you are nearly done, in the picture the cream is just before whipped cream, (yes thats how you make it)

Step 4: Butter Sweet Butter

the cream will start to feel thicker as you shake it, making it MUCH harder to shake around, the easiest shaking method is to take the jar by the "neck" or the closest part to the lid, and shake downwards in a stabbing motion back and forth. Eventually the jar seems easier, and easier to shake, open the jar and peek inside, see butter? This is when the butter starts to seperate from the buttermilk, once you see the little clumps of butter inside the jar, begin to strain out the extra liquid (i recommend you save this, it is the buttermilk, and when home-made it tastes sweet, and is often used in baking i.e. pancakes,biscuits,etc; After straining the buttermilk you have the remeaining butter in the jar, just scoop it into a storage container and pat it down a bit, youll want to put it in the fridge to harden it a bit more so its easier to scoop and spread.

[the picture below is before straining out all of the buttermilk]

Step 5: Home-made Butter in Use

I spreaded my butter on a soft tasty piece of bread, to go with my spaghetti and corn :D

This butter tastes much better than store bought because there are much less preservatives (only what was in the cream) and contains no extra oils or salts, and actually tastes good to eat plain. Hope you like your new home-made butter :)



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    144 Discussions

    I grew up making butter this way! On Thanksgiving Day, my mom would hand each child a jar with cream and our job was to make the butter for Thanksgiving dinner!


    1 year ago

    What can you make with the leftover milk from making butter?

    Whatever machine the user decides to use to make beautiful butter from whole cream, keep in mind these things;

    1) Keep the cream and vessel cold and from getting warm throughout the process. Warmth makes cream angry and it just won't behave well to make butter, and it's resulting buttermilk.

    2) If using a machine (Food Processor, hand mixer, stand mixer, your hand with a whip in it), follow these steps: Freeze the vessel and whips prior to mixing (NOT your hand, though - that's an OSHA fine). Have the whole cream icey cold - but definitely NOT crystallized from partial freezing. While you may love to snap the key off a crispy cold, partially crystallized cola to drink at it's perfect temp and balance, starting whole cream that COLD will stall if not destroy the structures needed to build the cream into butter and it's remaining milk.

    3) It takes longer depending on the temp in the room, temp of the whole cream, any transference of heat to the vessel from your machine, etc. Consider heat your enemy.

    4) Drain the buttermilk from the butter using at least a 2x strainer. After draining, run the butter under cold tap water to wash away the residual milk. That can make it sour quickly and it tastes icky. Have fun! And, don't use words like icky when you are writing instructions.

    1 qt GV whole cream makes approximately 13.5 oz butter & 16 oz buttermilk prior to the curdling/souring process.

    1 reply

    I'm sorry to contradict you but I have watched many tutorials, each having great results, and they all say that having the cream at room temperature decreases the time required to make butter significantly. They have also posted proof. You don't really have a leg to stand on.

    Hi! I hope this thread is still alive. So I used All Purpose Cream instead of heavy cream and I've been shaking for almost an hour now, just stopped to post a comment here. Will this ever turn to butter or no? :(

    1 reply

    I live on a sustainable ranch and finally got our milk cow last weekend. So after milking her out and collecting all the cream I started making butter this morning, ( Electric mixer for me as I have to many things to get done to shake shake shake, ) I put the cream in and started her up (expecting butter in no time flat) 30 minutes goes by so I start looking up why I dont have butter yet, well by the time I read all the posts on here and signed up an hour has gone by and still no butter, - WITH an electric mixer mind you, so I finally get signed up for this sight and sit down to ask WHY dont I have butter yet what am I doing wrong, and just now almost an hour and a half later I have butter, so I guess now my question has changed to WHY did it take so long? everyone else on here seems to have butter in no time flat. Anyone? Anyone? ok so gonna go enjoy my butter - looking forward to some feedback for easier times ahead.

    8 replies

    The problem is actually your mixer. By using a mixer, the blades are shearing the fat globules and preventing them from binding. I worked for an ice cream company and we ran into the same problem with a piece of equipment we were using.

    just make sure if using a mixer to place bowl and beaters in freezer for several hours ahead of time that is all u need to do before turning into butter with a mixer

    into butter

    AHHHH! NOW you tell me!I dried up my milk cow in search of starting her fresh when I had more answers. She is due any day now (actually acquired 2 more milk cows) so glad to be back in the loop of ANY info people can give me for the most for my buck. :) I finally got Butter, riccotta, mozerella, sour cream, pretty well figured out, (Always room for learning though) Do you happen to have any helful hints for Cheddar? I made MANY wheels (11 If I remember right) and Everyone of them went caput before 2 months was even over. So learning endeavor for this year is Cheddar Cheese! HELP!!!! :)

    ps - THANKS A TON for the feedback, I truly LOVE learning all I can about the process and every bit is filed away and Extremely helpful in growing.

    [lace your bowl preferably metal bowl and the beaters in the freezer for an hour first and be sure the cream is good and cold!

    Hi...I extract butter all the time from the packaged milk we get these days! So like you, I collect all the cream once the boiled milk is cool and store it in the freezer till I get a substantial amount (about 5 cups or more) for the next step. When you are ready to make the butter, defrost the cream till its soft. Put it in a blender (2 cups at a time) and add about half a liter of ice cold water (this is very important if you live in warmer parts). Put the lid on and start churning! If after a few churns the cream is still too thick, add a little more cold water. Churen away, and you should have a lump of soft butter rise to the top! So basically what you were doing wrong was churning without that ice cold water:) Hope this helps.... do let me know!

    I was brokenhearted when I read your follow-up post! I was here to research for a better cloth than cheesecloth to use for straining my butter when I read that you had let your cow dry up. BUMMERS!!! Anyway, I have ALWAYS used an electric mixer to make my butter. I believe the issue is the QUANTITY of cream you're using. I use raw cream from Jersey cows. I pull the cream off a couple days before I use it (keeping it refrigerated in mason jars). I have a VERY large "popcorn" bowl, and use my hand mixer. For one quart of cream, I can expect to mix at high speed for 30 min. By then, I have my butter, but have to kneed the rest of the buttermilk out. Found that I'm losing too much butter in the cheesecloth. Think next time I'll buy a linen towel for the purpose and see how that works. Here's hoping you start milking your cow again! What I wouldn't give to have my own!!! God bless!

    OH! No brokenhearted Necessary! She had her calf, and the calf from two years ago had her calf, and the Dexter we got had her calf, so have been up to eyeballs in Experimenting. UNTIL we lost the jersey mama, and so we put her calf on to her daughter so just have the one to milk, BUT it was a heifer, so still have three milk cows now and soon in Milk galore again. :) All a matter of learning learning learning and being ever watchful, Love this life, feel free to visit anytime! :)

    or you could get one of these to churn the milk

    There are a couple of things you might have left out.

    Use a blender, it works faster and easier.
    After you strain out the butter from the "buttermilk" you need to kneed the butter to remove the rest of the liquid milk from the butter. Otherwise your butter will not last very long.

    What I do is place the butter in a metal bowl and try to keep the butter fairly cold. About 50-60 degrees. using a nice heavy spoon, mash the butter against the sides of the bowl while tipping the bowl slightly keeping the butter at the high end to allow the milk to drain off.

    Once I think I've gotten most of the milk out, I then rinse the butter under cold water. This leaves the butter but washes away the milk. I'll rinse and kneed the butter a few more times until the water stays fairly clear. Since many people leave their butter out of the fridge, removing the milk keeps the butter from going rancid as quickly. As for some of the folks making a stink about the left over milk not being buttermilk, then adding cheese culture to the milk before making your butter will thicken the cream and will give you traditional buttermilk after you make your butter.

    You can read a detailed description of making butter with cheese culture here:

    1 reply

    In the 70's I could buy a gallon of milk out of the milking shed. I would let it set for 2 days, skim of the top cream. Let that sit for 5 days or so and dump in blender. It took maybe 2 mins of blending on high and then I would see chunks of butter. Drain very well as the previous poster says. This milk was obviously NOT homogenized.I loved mixing with honey! Never had a failure.

    I'm definitely going to try this! How long will this butter last if left covered at room temperature? I like my butter easily spreadable for toast.