Shake your way to fresh butter and you'll get bonus buttermilk in the process. Making butter is a great way to use up any heavy cream that's leftover after making another recipe. Homemade butter is easy to scale up or down, so you can make as little or as much as you'd like.
Homemade butter is a fun project if you want to try something new or need a fun activity to keep your kids busy. You can trade off shaking duties and enjoy your fresh butter right away. It'll be hard to go back to store-bought butter after you try the fresh version.
Try homemade butter on crackers or bread for a real treat. It's also good for sweet and savory recipes like cakes, cookies, and sauces. You can also flavor your butter with fresh herbs, garlic, cinnamon, and more for a fun twist. Butter freezes beautifully, so make a bunch and tuck it in the freezer for later.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Optional: salt (to taste)
Gather the ingredients.
Fill a jar halfway with heavy cream and screw the lid on tight.
Vigorously shake the jar up and down until the cream thickens and forms a ball. Continue shaking until a milky liquid separates from the ball of butter. This will take a good amount of shaking, between 5 and 8 minutes, but stick with it until you have a visible separation between solid and liquid. You can use an electric mixer, but for smaller amounts of cream, a jar with a lid is best.
Open the jar and discard or pour the liquid into another container. The liquid is the buttermilk. The solid ball is the butter.
If you're using the butter right away, skip to the next step. If you don't plan to use your butter immediately, knead the butter before storing. Put on disposable gloves and, with the cold water running, knead the butter with your hands until the water dripping out is clear. This might take up to 8 minutes of good kneading. By doing this you're removing any leftover buttermilk and slowing down the decay process.
After kneading the butter or before serving fresh, add salt (if using) to the butter and mix well. Refrigerate your homemade butter between uses to prolong its shelf life.
You can flavor your homemade butter a wide variety of ways:
- Herby Butter: Add 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chives, dill, rosemary, thyme, or your choice of herbs. Try using it on rolls or to flavor a roasted chicken.
- Garlic Butter: Add 1 minced clove of garlic and salt and pepper to taste and chill before serving. Add minced fresh parsley and use the garlic-parsley butter to make garlic bread.
- Cinnamon-Sugar Butter: Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and one tablespoon of powdered sugar. Mix well and chill. Use it on toast, scones, and pastries.
- Maple Syrup Butter: Add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Use it on pastries, French toast, or pancakes. Alternatively, use honey instead.
It's easy to scale up this recipe if you'd like to make more butter:
- Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of your stand mixer or blender and whip it on high speed. It'll make whipped cream at first, but in time it will separate into butter and buttermilk.
- One quart of heavy cream will give you one pound of butter (the equivalent of four sticks) plus two cups of buttermilk.