How to Make Butter

Okay everyone… I’ve had several emails about making butter.

It’s an extremely complicated, time consuming, difficult effort that requires years of training and study and complicated equipment and processing to do it right.

Okay, not really. I lied.

It’s really easy.

And fun too.

Here’s what you need.


Big Jar with tight Lid

A quart (or pint) of HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM

A pair of hands.

That’s it folks. That’s butter making needs.


My assistant Jeff is going to be making butter for the first time in his life and so you can see how easy this is.

First off. Set out your whipping cream for about 6 to 8 hours on the counter. Don’t worry, it won’t die. You need to let it get to room temperature and it needs to “mellow” a little bit. Kinda sour up a little bit. Don’t go much past 12 hours, especially if like it’s really hot out, though, or your butter will get a definately wonky taste. I like to set it out in the morning and then make butter before dinner. Seems to be perfect.


Okay… here’s the technical chemistry home-school mom stuff. Butter is made by a percussion action of the liquid against the side of the container. It’s not necessarily the action, or severity of the action (IE you don’t have to go nuts shaking it) but you do have to make sure your jar is large enough that the cream has room to slosh around and smack into the walls of the container.

If you were using an old churn, you would do the same thing, by bringing the plunger or paddle up and down. Butter making was often the job of the littlest children or even old granny, so brute force is not the thing here… it’s time… and slapping the cream around to force the fat globules to bind together.


Enlist a shaker. Anyone can do it. Kids have fun as much as growed-ups. We actually like to sit and watch TV and take turns shaking. And mix it up… don’t just shake in one steady pattern. We find if you shake up for a bit and then side to side and then turn it, to does seem to take a little less time.


At first, the jar will be covered in the cream and if you stop, it will be hard to see in it. Keep shaking.

Eventually you will see if start to kinda lump up a little bit… first sign, you can see the side of the jar become kinda of streaky, almost like oh, cottage cheezy thin kinda weird cream.

Keep shaking.


But then, after about 8-10 minutes???? It starts to really pull away from the sides and gets really kind of thick… like a milkshake or something…

Keep shaking.


But then… quickly… it all the sudden turns into a thin thin liquid and a big lump of yellow butter in the jar!!! YEAH!!! You made butter!

It’s really cool when it lumpifies. Ask Jeff. It’s like neat. Hard to explain… but it’s neat.


Okay, now carefully pour off the WONDERFUL true buttermilk into your carton or some other storage spot. This it a thin, no fat, slightly sweet yummy byproduct of buttermaking and is absolutely wonderful in bisquits, pancakes, any sort of baking… bread, you name it. Wonderful stuff. Save it and use it.


Now this butter at this state will be warm and kinda like pudding or something close to it… it’s not quite ready yet. You need to rinse it. Now… some people will kinda scare you that you need to rinse it like 20 times and press it in cheesecloth and all that stuff… naw. The main reason you want to rinse your butter is to get the left over buttermilk out because it can go bad on you after awhile. We’ve NEVER had any go “rancid” on us… because it’s too dang good and doesn’t last much more than a day or two at our homestead…

And if you refrigerate it, it will easily last a week or more without ANY thought towards rancidity…. but it won’t last that long. Unless you make like 14 pounds of the stuff.

So… we just rinse in the jar.

Nice cold cold water will help to make the butter firm up a bit.


Rinse, and use a little spatula or a big spoon to stir it up and kind of release as much trapped bubbles of buttermilk as you can. Pour out the liquid and rinse again. You want the water to be as clear as you can. It won’t ever be perfect clear, but you’ll see it… we usually rinse 3 times, that seems to be the best.


Then it’s time to salt the butter. You don’t have to, but we like it that way. Salt is a flavor enhancer, so it just seems to really make butter taste good. For a pint of cream, you will add about 1/4 a teaspoon. For a quart, about 1/2 a teaspoon. This is the time as well, that if you wanted to jazz up your butter… you could add any number of goodies….

Garlic – finely minced
Chives – again, minced
Herbs of any kind
Powdered Sugar & Orange Marmalade
Fresh fruit like berries
A spoon of jelly or jam
Finely ground nuts

YUM!!! Experiment and see what you think… it’s endless!


Just remember to stir it up good. It’s no fun to come across a big glomp of salt in your butter. Or chives or whatever!


We got a little flat of small jelly jars for our butter. We had used a bigger container, but then it was just harder for some reason… and we love the little jar because you can share them with a friend… or you can set one out in the morning and it will be gone by evening… and then it’s nice and soft and ready to spread on anything you want! And with the smaller amounts you don’t have to worry about that dumb old rancid word. (hahaha)

We like the little jars too because you can reuse them over and over and over. And they are cute.


But the very best place to store your yummy homemade butter is in your tummy. Especially with a slice of homemade country buttermilk bread! Like I said… butter NEVER has a chance to go rancid in our moby!

A pint will make about a half a pound of butter… a quart will make a pound. It does depend on your cream… some cream does make a little more butter. But we find that most grocery story cream is about a pound to a quart.

I’d love to find a local dairy and get the cream straight from the cows! But we don’t seem to have one that I’ve found yet…. but there’s got to be SOMEONE around the Toledo area that either has cows or has a family dairy… I’m still looking!

Now that will be one sweet day when we can take fresh cream from some nice cow lady and make butter! Can’t wait for that!!!!

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


How to Make Butter — 7 Comments

  1. Good morning from the south of England! I’ve just found your blog via Cold Antler Farm, and saw you playing your fiddle on Youtube, so thought I’d pop over and say hello LOL. Nice post about the butter – I’ve been doing mine for 20 years or so; I try and buy the cream when it’s on offer, and was lucky enough to get an antique glass churn on Freecycle – before that I used the Kenwood Chef mixer, but that went as the non-electric kicked in!
    Enjoying your blog, best wishes,



  2. This is Sarah from Northern Utah. Thanks for posting this! I’m planning on using your site when I make butter with a friend tomorrow. I love the pictures and you explain it the process so well without all the unnecessary, confusing info that other sites give you. Thanks again!

  3. Ok, I made the butter using your method and it turned out wonderful! The pictures were more than helpful and I just wanted to say thank you so much for putting up a post like this that makes making butter so simple! I’m putting a link to this one on my blog!

  4. I’ve been cruising around all over your blog 😉 and having a great time! I wish we lived closer, we have many similar hobbies it seems. I’d be glad to share some cream with you if we were closer. Yes, I’ve made butter, but I hate doing it because I get so mad when it goes rancid.. and mine does *sigh* Anyway, I made some of your chocochip cookies and have them in the freezer getting cold. Will move them to an ice cream bucket when they’re done and then can pull out a few to bake when I want them.

  5. Pingback: I just may have to try this! | A Hodgepodge Life

  6. Thanks for stopping by my site :) I just wanted to say I’m so glad to have discovered your blog. I’ve got a mobile home too and am also trying to remodel and do the homesteading thing myself. You have been such an inspiration!

  7. Pingback: How to Make Butter at Home — Mrs Dulls Nourished Kitchen