How to Make Butter

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The flavor of fresh butter can’t be beaten and it is so simple and fast to make!

Homemade butter

Photograph by Angie Mosier

Sure, you can buy butter, but making it from scratch has many advantages:

  • It’s super fresh. You’ll be amazed at how good it tastes.
  • It’s fun and a really good project to do with kids to teach them where their food comes from.
  • You’ll also get buttermilk – so it’s a two-in-one recipe!

All you need to make butter is heavy whipping cream and a mason jar.

How to Make Butter

I learned this technique from the cookbook Welcome to Buttermilk Kitchen by Suzanne Vizethann and I’m so excited to share it with you (with permission). Unlike vegan butter, which isn’t that easy to make, the only challenge you’ll find here is your arms getting tired. If that is a barrier for you, do all of the mixing in a food processor, blender, or electric mixer instead of a mason jar.

Start by pouring some heavy whipping cream into a mason jar. It must be full-fat heavy whipping cream. The fat is very important! Suzanne also suggests adding a little bit of sour cream to make the butter extra rich.

Shaking mason jar

Photograph by Angie Mosier

Seal the jar really well and start shaking! After about four minutes, you’ll have whipped cream and also tired arms.

Mason jar of heavy whipping cream

Photograph by Angie Mosier

You can take a little break if you need to, but then keep going. After another 3 or 4 minutes, you’ll notice that there is liquid in the jar again. When this happened to me the first time, I thought that I had messed up. But, just keep shaking for another thirty seconds or so and then open the jar. Inside, you’ll see that there is liquid (buttermilk) and a solid mass (the butter!).

Remove the buttermilk and save it for chocolate mini Bundt cakes, cottage pudding, or the amazing buttermilk biscuits and pancakes in the Buttermilk Kitchen cookbook.

Place the butter in a bowl and press it together to form a ball. Pour cold water over it and rinse it three times to remove any buttermilk that may be clinging to it.

Rinsing butter

Photograph by Angie Mosier

At this point the butter is ready to use! You could also mix any flavors you like into it, such as:

  • salt
  • honey
  • herbs
  • spices
  • chocolate
  • lavender (I love the unique taste of lavender butter!)
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Homemade butter
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5 from 1 vote

Homemade Butter

The flavor of fresh butter can't be beaten and it is so fast and easy to make! All you need to make butter is some heavy whipping cream and a mason jar.
Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 minute
Shake and Rinse Time 10 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 104kcal
Author Stefani


  • 1 cup full-fat heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon full-fat sour cream optional but recommended for a delicious flavor


  • Pour cream and sour cream into a 16-ounce mason jar. Screw the lid on and shake the jar for 6-8 minutes. (After the first 4 minutes, you'll have whipped cream.)
  • Keep shaking until a lump has formed inside, and shake an additional 30-60 seconds after that.
  • Remove the solids from the jar. The remaining liquid is buttermilk - save for future use.
  • Place the solids into a small bowl. Pour cold water over the butter and use your hands to squish it into a ball.
  • Discard the water and repeat, rinsing 2 more times. At this point, you have butter.
  • Optionally add in salt, honey, or herbs.



From Welcome to Buttermilk Kitchen by Suzanne Vizethann. Photograph by Angie Mosier. Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
Yields 3 ounces of butter (almost 1 stick)


Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 22mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 437IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg
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