In the Kitchen : : How to Make Butter

There is a mystical aura around many of the everyday foods we enjoy. Yogurt. Tortillas. Kraut. Bread. Butter. Ice cream. Jam. Crackers.

In our society we tend to buy these items more frequently than we create them ourselves, thus giving the magic of creation away to the producer instead of keeping it in our own kitchens. 


But we can make it ourselves. So much of it. And many items (like crackers) can be made for pennies. Add to that the packaging you are avoiding, and making your own (at least on occasion) is a no-brainer.

Today's tutorial is a simple one. I remember making butter in grade school in a baby food jar. It is as magical now as it was then. Butter making is a great way for kids (even young kids) to participate in the beauty of creating their own food.

Butter Making Tutorial

1/2 tsp salt

1 pint heavy cream

1/4 c milk

widemouth canning jar and lid



wooden spoon

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Begin by pouring your cream and milk into the canning jar.

Add 1/2 tsp salt. (If you want the skimmed milk you pour off to be sweet after making your butter do not add the salt now. Instead add it when you are pressing our the milk during the final steps. Add it now for the easiest process).

Close the jar tightly and get shaking! (You can also make butter in a food processor or stand mixer, but this method is much more fun by the standards of our house.)

Put on some rockin' music and shake, jump, dance, and swing until the butter begins to thicken. You will see it transform from heavy cream to whipped cream.

Keep shaking.

Suddenly it will happen. You'll feel something begin to knock around in the jar. Looking closely you'll see two components: butter and buttermilk.

(Edited: The buttermilk will not the thick, sour liquid that you expect unless you first cultured your cream before proceeding with the recipe. You can make this recipe with cream that was cultured with yogurt, live buttermilk, or pima culture, however this recipe is the simplest possible incarnation of butter using sweet cream.)


Keep shaking! Soon the butter will all be consolidated into one lump
and you can separate the milk. Simply open the jar and pour through a
mesh strainer. (Reserve the salty milk for baking to replace your liquid and salt in a biscuit or dumpling recipe.)


Transfer the butter to a clean bowl. Remove the milk that is trapped inside of the butter by firmly pressing with
a spoon for several minutes. (If you skip this step your butter will spoil quickly.) The
milk will weep out and puddle in the bottom of the bowl. Stop pressing when there is no more milk weeping out.


Rinse the butter with cold water and form into a ball or block and pat dry. Your butter is done! Look how self-sufficient you are.

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Be sure to stop by tomorrow. I'll be posting a coupon code for free shipping on LuSa Organics and a giveaway of a $25 gift certificate!

12 thoughts on “In the Kitchen : : How to Make Butter

  1. denise says:

    Too funny. Was *just* tweeting about making butter. We make our own butter too. Boys love the shake method, but make a lot so also use food processor. I love cultured butter, so usually use that method. Home made butter is soooo good! I got some lovely butter molds for solstice, so we have beautiful little discs to use on our toast. 🙂 Love that last photo.

  2. Lynne says:

    A certain blog I’ve recently fallen in love with has me wanting to go back to basics – even moreso than before. Clean has become an endless source of inspiration lately! We are trying this out in my kitchen today,

  3. Rachel Wolf says:

    Hi Becca,
    I do use raw cream. Only. What temp was yours? Cold cream makes thicker butter but room temp. makes it faster. Does that make sense? Let it sit for two days, then skim, then whip twice as long as you have been. Hope this helps!


  4. Luciana says:

    this is great! I’m going to try it with Sofia–sure she’ll love the shaking part!–.
    I’m new here, and happy I found your blog!


  5. Regina says:

    Where we live we have to drive an hour or so to get fresh milk straight from a cow. To make butter from that milk do you still need to add cream or just shake? What ever my mom tried to do the last time didn’t work. It all went through the mesh strainer.

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