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How to Make Butter (Easy!)

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5 from 7 votes

Homemade butter is extra creamy and flavorful, with no added preservatives or fillers. And best yet, you only need two ingredients and 20 minutes to make it!

Homemade butter just hits different—it’s all about that unbeatable taste and texture. The secret? Freshness. When you’re making it yourself, you get to pick the cream, and that makes all the difference. Choosing top-notch, maybe even organic cream takes the flavor up another notch. And let’s not forget what’s not in there—none of those additives or preservatives you might find in store-bought butter. It’s a purer, more natural taste. Plus, you get to play chef and customize it however you want! Throw in some herbs, spices, or whatever floats your butter boat.

I don’t think I need to tell you all the ways you can enjoy butter, but just to remind you…use your homemade butter in recipes like a Buttered Lobster Roll or in this Popover Recipe, but also slathered on a warm Baguette or topped on a thick stack of Blueberry Pancakes.

Why Make Your Own Butter

Making your own butter is so rewarding. The first reason to make your own butter is clear; homemade butter has the best taste and texture!

  • Freshness and flavor: freshness and flavor go hand-in-hand. The flavor of fresh butter is richer and more vibrant, with an unbeatably creamy texture.
  • Reduced processing: commercially produced butter undergoes extensive processing. Homemade butter is less processed and closer to the “source”, which is reflected in its ultra-fresh taste!
  • Customization: making your own butter allows you to customize the flavor, from the amount of salt added to additional add-ins for specific dishes and serving preparations!

How to Make Butter

Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!

  1. Add.

    In the bowl of a mixer, add cream and salt. Turn to medium speed.

  2. Whip.

    In about 2-5 minutes, cream will turn into whipped cream, starting with soft peaks and then to stiff peaks. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

  3. Continue.

    Turn mixer back on medium speed for roughly 5-10 more minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixer often. The whipped cream will slowly transform to a crumbly-looking whipped cream, and then to solids and liquid.

  4. Transform.

    Turn mixer back on medium speed for roughly 5-10 more minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixer often. The whipped cream will slowly transform to a crumbly-looking whipped cream, and then to solids and liquid.

  5. Separate.

    Stop mixer and use clean hands to remove all butter solids from the buttermilk.Remove the butter solids from the liquid which is buttermilk.

  6. Rinse.

    Under cold running water, squeeze and massage butter until the water runs clear, about 30-60 seconds.

  7. Massage.

    Place butter on a plate or cutting board lined with a clean kitchen towel or sturdy paper towels. Knead butter for 2 minutes. Serve.After kneading butter, serve right away or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Homemade Butter Ingredients

You only need 1-2 ingredients and 20 minutes to make butter! How cool is that?

  • Heavy cream – the better quality the cream, the better quality the butter! Look for “heavy cream”, not “heavy whipping cream”.
  • Salt (optional) – want salted butter? You’ll need regular salt!
Homemade butter ingredients

Expert Tips for Making Butter

  • The better quality the cream, the better quality the butter! Try using local cream or organic cream for superior quality.
  • ½ teaspoon salt is typically the amount of salt in a stick of butter. If you prefer saltier butter, add more salt. If you’d like unsalted butter, no need to add salt. Keep in mind that salted butter typically lasts longer than unsalted, because salt acts as a natural preservative.
  • I prefer to work with cold cream, so when kneading the butter, it doesn’t melt in your hands.
  • Once the butter has formed, drain the buttermilk and rinse the butter under cold water. This helps remove residual buttermilk, preventing spoilage.
  • Store your homemade butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Proper storage helps maintain freshness and prevents the butter from absorbing odors.

Homemade Butter Flavoring Ideas

There are endless flavor ideas for homemade butter, but here are some of my favorites:

  1. Herb Infusion: Add rosemary, thyme, basil, or dill for a savory twist.
  2. Garlic Butter: Mix in minced or Roasted Garlic for another classic savory flavor.
  3. Citrus Zest: Incorporate lemon, lime, or orange zest for a refreshing touch.
  4. Honey Butter: Blend with honey for a sweet and salty spread.
  5. Spicy Chipotle: Add chopped chipotle peppers in adobo for a smoky, spicy kick.
  6. Cinnamon Sugar: Combine cinnamon and sugar for a warm, sweet flavor.
  7. Truffle Butter: Elevate with truffle oil or chopped truffles for a luxurious taste.
  8. Sun-dried Tomato and Basil: Mix sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil for a Mediterranean flair.
  9. Maple Pecan: Incorporate maple syrup and Candied Pecans for a sweet, nutty twist.
  10. Smoked Paprika Butter: Add smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.
  11. Lemon Herb Butter: Combine lemon zest, parsley, and garlic for a versatile option on fish or meats.
  12. Vanilla Bean Butter: Scrape in vanilla bean seeds for a sweet, fragrant spread on dessert or breakfast options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I form sticks of butter?

Shape your homemade butter into a block, wrap it in parchment paper, chill until firm, then slice into sticks for easy use and storage in the refrigerator or freezer. Or use butter molds for decorative shapes!

Is making butter at home cheaper than store-bought?

In some cases, making butter at home can be cost-effective, especially if you can find affordable high-quality cream, but this may vary based on local prices.

Does homemade butter need to be refrigerated?

Yes, homemade butter should be refrigerated. While butter itself is a natural preservative due to its low water content and high fat content, refrigeration slows down the oxidation process and prevents the growth of bacteria. Remove butter up to an hour before serving for softened butter!

How long does homemade butter last?

Homemade butter stored in the refrigerator can last for about 2 weeks. Make sure to keep it in a sealed container to prevent absorption of odors from the fridge.

Can I freeze it?

Absolutely yes! Place butter in a freezer-safe container for 6-8 months.

Can I double or triple this recipe?

Yes! You can make as many batches as you’d like. Keep in mind the mixer churn time could increase with a larger volume of cream.

Recipe to Make With Homemade Butter

How to Make Butter (Easy!)

Homemade butter is extra creamy and flavorful, with no added preservatives or fillers. And best yet, you only need two ingredients and 20 minutes to make it!
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Sauce & Dips, tips & tricks
Cuisine: American, European, Irish
Keyword: any season
Servings: 8 tablespoons (1 stick)
Calories: 101kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace

Equipment

  • Stand mixer (recommended) or hand mixer

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream not whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt optional

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add cream and salt if desired. Turn mixer to medium speed (speed 4).
  • In about 2-5 minutes, cream will turn into whipped cream, starting with soft peaks and then to stiff peaks. Once it has turned to whipped cream, turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn mixer back on medium speed for roughly 5-10 more minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixer every minute or so (important!). The whipped cream will slowly transform to a crumbly-looking whipped cream, and then to solids (butter) and liquid (buttermilk).
  • Butter has formed when you see lots of liquid (buttermilk), and the buttermilk starts to fly out of the bowl and make a strong sloshing noise.
  • Stop mixer and use clean hands to remove all butter solids from the buttermilk. Set buttermilk aside for other uses!
  • Under cold running water, squeeze and massage butter until the water runs clear, about 30-60 seconds.
  • Place butter on a plate or cutting board lined with a clean kitchen towel or sturdy paper towels. Knead butter for 2 minutes, to squeeze out any liquid and smooth any lumps. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator!

Video

Notes

  • The better quality the cream, the better quality the butter!
  • ½ teaspoon salt is typically the amount of salt in a stick of butter. If you prefer saltier butter, add 1 teaspoon.
  • I prefer to work with cold cream, so when kneading the butter, it won’t melt in your hands.
  • You can shape the butter into a block, log, or use molds for a decorative touch.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 153mg | Potassium: 28mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 437IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.03mg
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