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Make it Monday: How to Make Butter! (hand method)

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Make your own butter

     Have you ever made your own butter? It’s really not that hard to make your own butter, even by hand, and it tastes oh-so-good! It’s so easy a kid can do it (though little ones may tire of doing before it’s done). I remember doing this at the fair a few years go. 

     All you need is heavy cream, a clean jar and cheesecloth or clean mesh strainer. And a pinch of salt, if desired.
     The first thing to do is fill whatever jar you’re using halfway with the heavy cream. Do NOT fill it more than halfway. Ideally, a little less. Allow the cream to sit for 30-45 minutes or so to get to room temperature (or set it in some warm water). Otherwise, the process takes a lot longer!

how to make butter

     The next step to shake the jar vigorously up and down. Shake, shake and shake some more. K (who is 3) lasted a minute or two before she didn’t want to do it anymore. So just go ahead and accept that you will be doing most of the work. The shaking process takes about 20 minutes or so.

How to Make Butter     Okay, so your shaking and pretty soon it seems like you’re shaking a solid rock or something. But don’t give up. Just keep shaking. Suddenly, after a while, you will start to hear a “sloshy” sound, like a solid in liquid, and you will sort of feel it in the jar. Almost done with the shaking! 

     Shake another 3-4 minutes and stop. At this point, if you continue, it will start to solidify again. At least that’s what happened to me. If you open the jar, you should see a little ball with liquid (buttermilk) pooled around it.


     Put a piece of cheesecloth over another clean jar and let it “dip” in the middle (so the butter doesn’t fall off!). Dump the contents of the butter jar in the cheesecloth and allow it to sit a minute or two, so the buttermilk can drip off.

butter cheesecloth

     Put the butter into whatever container you want (bowl, etc) and add a pinch of salt. Bigger batches you can put a bit more, but you don’t want to over salt. Put it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. It is awesome on fresh baked bread! 


     Unfortunately, making your own butter won’t really save you money (unless you find an awesome deal on heavy cream) as store-bought butter is generally cheaper than cream. So save the homemade stuff for when taste really counts! 

     Now that you know how to make your own butter by hand, grab the kids for a fun practical lesson! You might even use baby food jars for small amounts.
     Have you ever made your own butter?

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  1. I’ve never made my own butter and thought it would be a lot of work (images of working butter churns for hours). This really sounds like a lot of fun and how cool to have super fresh butter. I think I might make some for Thanksgiving and then in a few years when my little guy is big enough I’m sure this will be a fun thing we do together (maybe his help get Thanksgiving dinner ready project!). Thanks for the cool post!

    1. I will be posting an even easier method soon (probably next week!) so if you have a stand mixer, be sure to check back. This method is best for children as a learning activity 🙂

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