DIY Make Your Own Butter – heavy cream and salt are all you need to make homemade butter that is more delicious than any you ever bought at the grocery store. Spread some on warm bread for a heavenly treat.
Making your own butter is easier than you think! You just need two ingredients – heavy cream and salt. And the best part? It’s cheaper than store-bought and doesn’t have any additives at all. Plus, you can customize the flavor of your DIY butter to your liking by adding salt, herbs, and other spices.
In this recipe post, I’ll show you how to make homemade butter using a stand mixer or hand mixer. Let’s get started!
Okay. I know there’s a less than zero chance that anyone who reads this blog is ever going to make their own butter. I also already know that you think I’m totally crazy for doing it, too, so please don’t feel that you have to comment on that :-) Thank you very much.
It was just one of those things I’d never done and I wanted to see if I could do it. You understand, right?
And let me tell you something…you have never, ever tasted butter that tastes like this! Oh. My. Gracious. Goodness. It’s so much sweeter, so much butterier than any I’ve ever had. And it only took about ten minutes from start to finish.
So, some weekend when you have nothing else to do, buy a quart of heavy cream and make yourself some homemade butter. Then spread it on some lovely warm bread. You’ll absolutely love it!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This DIY butter only requires two ingredients – heavy cream and salt.
- It’s the freshest tasting butter you’ll ever have – much sweeter and richer than store-bought.
- You can customize the flavor by adding salt, herbs, and other spices to make a delicious compound butter for freezing.
- It’s a fun and easy kitchen project to do with kids.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Heavy Whipping Cream (You’ll need cream that is at least 30% butterfat, or heavy whipping cream. I can’t find the percentage of butterfat on any of the cream at my grocery store so I just trust that heavy whipping cream will work. I typically purchase Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream for making butter.)
- Yellow Food Coloring (Totally optional but it gives it a nice color.)
How to Make Homemade Butter
Before You Start
Before starting, you’ll need to “ripen” the cream by letting it stand at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours. During the ripening, it will thicken and become just mildly sour. This helps to give the butter a good, rich taste. After ripening, cool the cream again in your refrigerator for about an hour.
Beat the Cream Until the Butter Separates
- Pour the cream into a large electric mixer bowl. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring, if desired. (I find that four drops are just about right.)
- Beat at high speed until flecks of butter begin to form. This will start to happen when it has passed the “whipped cream” stage. Just keep watching and you’ll see it start to separate.
- Turn the mixer to low speed until the butter separates from the milk. Watch to keep the spattering to a minimum. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as the cream whips. You’ll definitely know when it separates. All the butter will clump together and mass around the beater or whisk.
- Once the butter has separated from the milk, strain off the buttermilk. The buttermilk is what’s left when the butter separates out from the cream. Don’t throw that away, though! It’s great for making biscuits or pancakes, or anything that uses buttermilk.
Wash the Butter
- Now, “wash” the butter either by hand under cold, running water or in the mixer. If washing by hand, gather the butter into a mass in your hands and “knead” it very gently under cold running water until the water runs clear. You really have to wash out all of the buttermilk that was caught up with the butter. It will make your butter go bad much more quickly if you don’t.
- If using the mixer, place the butter back in the bowl and add very cold water, about as much as the amount of buttermilk you poured off. Let the mixer run at its lowest speed. Pour off the water; repeat.
- Return the washed butter to the bowl and add a scant tablespoon of salt. On the lowest possible speed, mix in the salt. Remove the beater(s), scrape off the butter with a spatula. Work out any remaining water with a spatula by pressing the butter against the side of the bowl. Be sure to work out as much water as possible.
- Mold the butter in a butter press or empty it into a container with a tightly fitting lid.
How to Store
Use a glass or ceramic jar or container to store the butter as it’s known to absorb flavors and plastic containers tend to have residue.
The leftover liquid that you poured off is the buttermilk. It can be saved for later use as well. You’ll just need to store it in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Store both the butter and buttermilk in the refrigerator.
Besides freshly baked bread, homemade butter goes great in all types of recipes from savory to sweet. I recommend trying it in my Champ (Irish Potatoes), Cheese Grits, and on top of my Cheesy Chile Cornbread!
One quart of cream makes about one pound of butter, although it depends on how heavy (fat) the cream is.
No, you can make butter with cold cream but the flavor will be much richer if you let the cream mellow at room temperature before you begin.
Absolutely! You can use a food processor. Just make sure to watch the butter closely for separation and once that happens, turn off the processor.
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Here’s a beautiful, classic way to store your homemade butter!
Ceramic French Butter Keeper With Lid
(Disclosure: I’m an affiliate and will receive compensation if you purchase. This does not change your purchase price.)
How to Make Homemade Butter
- 2 pints heavy cream (1 quart)
- 1 tablespoon salt optional
- 4 drops yellow food coloring optional
- Ripen the cream by letting it stand at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours. It will thicken and become mildly sour. This helps to give the butter a mild, good taste. Cool cream again in refrigerator for about an hour.
- Pour cream into large electric mixer bowl. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring, if desired. Beat at high speed until flecks of butter begin ro form. Then turn to low speed until butter separates from milk. Watch to keep the spattering to a minimum. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as the cream whips.
- Pour off the buttermilk.
- Now, “wash” the butter either by hand under cold, running water or in the mixer. If washing by hand, gather the butter into a mass in your hands and “knead” it gently under running water until the water runs clear. If using the mixer, place the butter back in the bowl and add cold water, about as much as there was buttermilk. Let beater run at lowest speed. Pour off water; repeat.
- Add a scant tablespoon of salt. Let beater mix it into butter. Remove beaters, scrape off butter with spatula and work out any remaining water with a spatula by pressing butter against side of bowl. Be sure to work out all of the water.
- Mold butter in a butter press or empty it into a container with a tightly fitting lid. Store in refrigerator.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
— This post was originally published on April 2, 2009. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.