How to Make Butter

Yes, sometimes I make my own butter. I have a tendancy to over complicate projects, and that sometimes involves making ingredients I could easily buy at the store. Making butter is fun, really easy with the right appliances, and will impress the pants off of people when you tell them you can make your own butter.  I can’t claim that it’s ever really necessary, but butter you make yourself from heavy cream has the most delicious and fresh taste. Also, it’s reminiscent of elementary science projects and shaking cream in a jar. Only this is much less labor intensive. You only need 2 things: cream and a way of agitating said cream for a long period of time (I use a mixer, a food processor or even a strong blender could work, I would probably not suggest investing in one of these unless you plan on building a log cabin).

Pour the cream into your mixer. I used 1 quart of heavy whipping cream.

Start mixing. After around 6 minutes I had wonderful whipped cream. Add sugar and stop here if you would like to top a pie, dessert, coffee, hot chocolate etc… I want butter this time so I’m going to keep going.

Keep mixing on level 6 until you reach about the 20 minute mark (maybe a bit less). The whipped cream will be deflated and then it will suddenly break into butter and buttermilk. Like this:

Scrape all of this into a strainer and let the milk drain away. It’s perfectly good, so you can keep it to drink or pour over cereal or something. It won’t taste like the tangy buttermilk you buy at the supermarket, because that stuff is cultured. Don’t try to use it in a recipe that calls for buttermilk.

Next, you need to wash the butter. I know, it sounds strange. The problem is, milk goes bad much more quickly than butter, so unless you rinse all of the milk out of this, it will go bad very quickly. Clean the mixer bowl and put the butter back in. Start filling it with water and use a wooden spoon to press the butter against the sides of the bowl. Drain the water and repeat until the water runs clear.

Take the washed butter out, put it in a bowl and you’re all done! I just can’t seem to leave things alone, so I chopped up a few tablespoons of fresh dill and mixed it into the fresh butter.

This is wonderful on top of grilled fish, as a savory spread, or under smoked salmon.


Fresh butter (without herbs) is wonderful when making swiss meringue buttercream, spread on dinner rolls or as a compound butter. Like this dill butter, you can mix any herb in with the soft butter. You could also mix in berries and a bit of sugar to make a sweet compound butter.



  1. ddd,
    looks delicious!!
    i assume you wash it with cold water?

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