How To Make Butter


I made butter! How brilliant is that? You can get some cream… and turn it into butter. In your house. It’s like magic!

Why would you bother making your own butter? Well, firstly because you know what goes into it – it’s great lesson on how our food happens (kids LOVE making butter). And secondly, because it’s fun to make stuff. Making butter gives me cooking joy! Butter!


Double cream. That’s it!

I gather that double cream is not widely available in the US/other foreign parts so if you are there get the cream with the highest butterfat you can. Double cream has a 48% butterfat content and the closest in the US seems to be heavy or whipping cream, which is 30-40% butterfat.

If you want to add salt, you can. However much you like. Mix it in after the buttermilk and fat have separated but before you squeeze and pat it.

The Cooking

“Cooking” is a bit of a misnomer. All you need to do is pour the cream into a container that you can seal tight = a (clean) jam jar, or bottle, or tupperware. And then shake it. For AGES.

At first it’ll slosh about, and then it’ll get thicker and seem like it’s not doing anything (but it is). Persevere – it should take anything from 10 minutes to three quarters of an hour. Shake it, shake it, shake it like a polaroid picture. Shake it above your head, shake it down by your knees, roll it along the ground, work those triceps.

Eventually, suddenly, you’ll hear a slosh. The fat and the buttermilk has separated. Hurrah! Now you need to rid the fat of all the buttermilk. Drain the liquid off (but keep it, it’s useful for making other things) and then rinse the butter throughly. Keep rinsing until the water runs completely clear, and then squeeze the butter. I just squeezed the butter in my hands, but you could use some muslin or cheesecloth, which would be less messy. More buttermilk will come out and it’s important to get it all out because if there’s any left in it can cause the butter to go rancid.

Use the back of a wooden spoon or spatula to shape and pat the butter, draining any more of the liquid that comes out in the process. Wrap it in grease-proof paper and ta-dah! Home-made butter!


15 Responses to “How To Make Butter”

  1. judywigin2008 Says:

    Butter! I once put some cream in to my icecream maker, forgetting that I was supposed to freeze it first(!) and I think it started turning into butter. I meant to try it again but I never got round to it. I am definitely going to try this recipe of yours.

  2. sriram Says:

    an easier way to do the same is to beat it using a egg beater or a hand held churner… it is faster and easier on your hands 🙂

  3. sara Says:

    what else can you use the liquid for?

  4. Angela Says:

    Well, you know… Anyplace you’d use milk. In a nice curry, or in pancakes, or biscuits. Anything. If you make butter from ‘cultured’ cream, the ‘buttermilk’ has a rich taste, like yogurt.

  5. Sherry Says:

    I like doing this with a stand mixer… Doing it by actually shaking it seems pretty extreme to me (almost an hour of shaking?! How to you sustain the will to finish?).

  6. Roenie Says:

    To realy appreciate the process of making butter, you have to start off by the shaking in abottle method. I remember my mom used to give my sister and I (then about 10 and 6 years old. Now 60 and 54)) each a bottle to shake. In those days we did not have a fridge to keep the cream or mixture cold. (It makes it easier to process). Boy, was that a job for small kids. Well it kept us busy for a while on the farm where there was not much else to do. build up arm muscles for other jobs also. But it was fantastic to actualy see the results. It eventually became a race to see whose butter is finshed first. And that fresh, salted butter on fresh home
    baked bread made in an old coal stove was fantastic. So get out there and shake your first efford first. it is so much more appreciated.

  7. Roger Says:

    You can use buttermilk for making Soda Bread.

  8. Asha Says:

    you can use buttermilk to make a special drink which is very soothing, and very energizing. add sm salt , some curry and a crushed green chilly into the butter milk and shake it well.. voila you have a healthy, creamy drink..

    • MAREE PLANE Says:

      Hi Asha

      This buttermilk drink you’ve posted sounds like something we’d like.

      So, say to a glass of milk, how much curry powder? and salt?

      I only know how to cut chillies how does one crush them?

      Does the chilli have a certain name? I don’t want to get a boiling hot one and burn us both.


  9. Asha Says:

    you can use buttermilk to make a special drink which is very soothing, and very energizing. add sm salt , some curry leaves and a crushed green chilly into the butter milk and shake it well.. voila you have a healthy, creamy drink..

  10. Scarlet Says:

    If you leave the cream to come to room temperature first, it turns into butter in less than 10minutes!

  11. fM Says:

    I really need to get the lil one making butter!

    Cheers fran 🙂

  12. Whatcom Locavore » Blog Archive » Homemade Butter Says:

    […] How to Make Butter – An even simpler, though more strenuous, way to make butter. Making Butter – Gives a lot of details and photos about the process. […]

  13. geordie Says:

    The butter milk is great for making creamed soups, my problem is I usually drink it first….Ahhhh well

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