How to Make Butter

Wondering how to make butter? Turns out, it takes just 2 ingredients for a homemade version of this rich and creamy spread.

What is butter made of? The other day we were chatting with our 6 year old son about where dairy products come from. After starting to explain some of the logistics, we figured it was easier to show rather than tell. After shaking a jar for a few minutes, we had made it: creamy, deliciously salty butter! This trick is a fun “kitchen science project” and it tastes even creamier and richer than the real thing (we think!).

How to make butter

Only two ingredients are required to make butter: heavy cream and salt (which can be omitted for unsalted butter). In general, we recommend buying unsalted butter at the store for baking. Homemade butter is best for slathering on toast, and you can salt it to taste so it has a rich, developed flavor. Here’s how to make butter:

  • Beat in a stand mixer on medium speed (10 minutes): Place 2 cups heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer and attach the paddle attachment. Mix on medium high speed for 10 to 15 minutes, curdled looking and thickened.
  • Beat on high speed (3 minutes): Increase the speed to to high and beat another 2 to 3 minutes until separated into solid and liquid parts.
  • Strain: Place the butter solids in a fine mesh strainer and press with a spatula to remove liquid. Transfer to a jar or covered container and discard the liquid.
  • Mix in the salt. Stir in ¼ teaspoon fine salt. Then add more to taste if desired.
How to make butter

A note on the buttermilk

The solid that’s formed in this process is called butter and the liquid is called buttermilk. However, it’s not the same as cultured buttermilk that’s sold in cartons at the store: that’s an entirely different product! So don’t go trying to use the liquid in buttermilk pancakes or ranch dressing.

How long can you store homemade butter?

Homemade butter lasts in a sealed container for up to 3 weeks. Make sure to remove all of the liquid buttermilk before storing, or it can cause the butter to go rancid quicker. Store-bought butter lasts for 1 to 3 months refrigerated, so homemade has a shorter shelf life.

Homemade butter

Is it worth making butter homemade?

We think so! The butter you make at home ends up being quite similar to the butter you can buy at the store. So why make it homemade? It tastes a hint better. Our homemade butter ended up a bit richer and creamier tasting than the purchased version, possibly because of the added salt. You can add as much salt to the homemade spread until the flavor pops, making it the perfect gourmet spread. It tastes simply incredible on a piece of sourdough toast.

Another reason to make butter at home? It’s fun! It’s like a science project slash kitchen experiment that results in a delicious spread.

Alternate method: in a jar!

Want to learn how to make butter with kids? Simply pour heavy cream into a jar and fill it about halfway full. Add a pinch of salt and top it with a lid. Shake the jar vigorously for about 2 minutes, at which point you’ll have whipped cream. Keep shaking for another minute or two, and the solid and liquid will separate. Remove the butter and if desired, press it through a fine mess strainer to remove extra buttermilk (this helps increase its shelf life).

More butter resources

Want to make more with butter? Here are a few more recipes and resources:

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Description

Wondering how to make butter? Turns out, it takes just 2 ingredients to make this creamy and rich spread.


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste (optional)


  1. Place the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer and attach the paddle attachment. Mix on medium high speed for 10 to 15 minutes, curdled looking and thickened.
  2. Increase the speed to to high and beat another 2 to 3 minutes until separated into solid and liquid parts. Remove the butter solids to a jar or bowl, and discard the liquid.
  3. Stir in the salt. Store refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 weeks.

  • Category: Dairy
  • Method: Mixed
  • Cuisine: Dairy
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: How to make butter, Homemade butter