Article

How to Make Butter

For some, butter is a mealtime staple. It melts over hot mashed potatoes, flavors dinner rolls and dresses up veggies.

And did you know you can make it from scratch? It’s a lot of fun to make at home, especially if you’re with kids who like to jump, shake and wiggle. Make their energy productive!

An electric hand or a stand mixer does the trick too.

Either way, here’s what you’ll need:

 

Ingredients 

  • Refrigerated, cold heavy whipping cream 
  • Optional: Sea salt or other flavorful additions like lemon zest, chopped herbs or honey 

 

Quantity

Here’s a tip: If you start with one quart of cream (32 ounces), you’ll make about one pound of butter (16 ounces, or four sticks) and two cups of buttermilk. 

 

“Shake It Up” Method

1. Pour your cream into a 40-oz. jar. Leave about a quarter of the jar empty so there’s enough space for the cream to move around. 

2. Begin to shake, shake, shake it! 

3. After five minutes, you’ll notice the cream thickens. After another 5 to 10 minutes, it will feel as if there’s no more room in the jar. But keep shaking! After 15 to 30 minutes of non-stop shaking, you’ll see the butterfat separate from the liquid. 

4. Once this happens, pour everything from the jar into a bowl.

5. The butter will clump together, and the watery milk pools into the bottom of the bowl.

6. Pour that liquid, or “buttermilk,” from the bowl. Put it aside for cooking, baking and even drinking.

7. Use a rubber spatula to press the butter against the bowl, squeezing out as much of the remaining liquid as possible.

8. Add about one-half cup of ice water to the butter, then press the butter and water against the side of the bowl. This part of the process, called washing, helps keep the butter from spoiling. Pour off the cloudy liquid and repeat the process two or three more times until the water becomes less cloudy. 

9. Continue to knead the butter against the side of the bowl until all liquid is pressed out.

10. Optional: flavor the butter with a little sea salt, or add lemon zest, chopped herbs, or honey. You could also cut the butter into fun shapes with holiday-themed cookie cutters. 

11. Now it’s time to package it. If you’d like, you can wrap it in parchment paper because the butter won’t stick to the parchment. Then place the parchment in an airtight container to keep it fresh. 

12. Refrigerate the butter up to one week or freeze it up to six months.

 

Electric Hand Mixer Method

1. Pour cream into a bowl. 

2. Turn hand mixer to medium speed and blend. 

3. As you blend, you’ll start to see the cream transform. First it will become fluffy whipped cream, then it will gain stiff peaks. 

4. After that, the cream separates into soft clumps of butterfat and liquid. Soon the butter clumps together, and the watery milk pools to the bottom of the bowl. It takes about 10 minutes.

5. Pour that liquid, or “buttermilk,” from the bowl. Put it aside for cooking, baking and even drinking

6. Turn your mixer back on and blend for a few more minutes to extract more liquid. Pour it out as before. 

7. Use a rubber spatula to press the butter against the bowl to squeeze out as much remaining liquid as possible. 

8. Add about one-half cup of ice water to the butter, then press the butter and water against the side of the bowl. This part of the process, called washing, helps keep the butter from spoiling. Pour off the cloudy liquid and repeat the process two or three more times until the water becomes less cloudy. 

9. Continue to knead the butter against the side of the bowl until all liquid is pressed out.

10. Optional: flavor the butter with a little sea salt, or add lemon zest, chopped herbs, or honey. You could also cut the butter into fun shapes with holiday-themed cookie cutters. 

11. Now it’s time to package it. If you’d like, you can wrap it in parchment paper because the butter won’t stick to the parchment. Then place the parchment in an airtight container to keep it fresh. 

12. Refrigerate the butter up to one week or freeze it up to six months.