DIY: Homemade Butter

by Shawnda on October 12, 2008

in DIY

I made homemade butter this morning. I’d like to say that I tapped into some incredibly trendy, inner streak of domesticity for inspiration, but… I’d be lying.

I was at home sick and completely bored out of my mind. All My Children was still hours away. Cooking anything would be a complete waste of food because I couldn’t taste a thing. Then I spotted some leftover heavy cream hiding behind the apple juice so I made butter. I made butter because I didn’t have anything else to do.

Have you ever made butter? Thanks to modern technology, it’s almost an effortless process. I remember doing it twice before: once in kindergarten and once at my grandma’s house using a neat little butter churner. In kindergarten, we passed around a small jar of cream and shook it. Just when you thought you arm was going to fall off, you passed the jar to the classmate sitting next to you. At some point, the teacher pulled the lid off of the jar and we oohed and aahed. Butter.

For the price of some organic heavy cream, you too can make butter at home. (If you’re gonna make homemade butter, might as well use the good stuff, right?)

Homemade Butter

How to make your own butter in 10 minutes.


  • 2 cups of heavy cream


  1. Pour cold, organic heavy cream into a food processor. Turn the food processor on.
  2. After about 30 seconds, stop the food processor. You could stop here - you'll have a nicely thickened whipped cream for a decadent, dessert-like french toast, bowl of berries, or an ice cream sundae. But you won't have butter yet. Scrape down the sides and turn the food processor back on.
  3. After another two minutes, you'll start to notice your cream is developing a slightly grainy texture and is starting to look a little yellow-ish. You could stop here - I have no idea what you'd do with the no-longer-whipped-cream but not-yet-butter so do keep going. Scrape down the sides and turn the food processor on again.
  4. After another 3-4 minutes, you'll hear a distinct change in sound from your kitchen countertop. THIS is when you have butter! The mixture will have separated into a soft yellow butter and buttermilk. You're almost done! Now for the real work.
  5. Pour the butter through a fine mesh sieve and lightly fold the butter on itself to press out any liquid trapped in the butter. Pour off the excess liquid.
  6. Return the butter to the food processor for rinsing: Add 1/4 cup of ice cold water to the butter and process for 10 seconds. Pour off the water and repeat twice more to rinse any lingering whey.
  7. Pour the butter through a fine mesh sieve and lightly fold the butter on itself to remove any remaining liquid trapped in the butter. Transfer the butter to a bowl and cover tightly or stir in any combination of herbs and seasonings that you'd like. The butter will keep a couple of weeks in the fridge a week and much longer in the freezer.


Yields: ~1 cup of butter

Inspired by Gourmet

Estimated time: 10 minutes

Other DIY recipes – things you can buy already-made:
Roasted red bell peppers
Tahitian Vanilla Extract
Caramel apples
Pumpkin butter
Hamburger buns
California rolls
“Sun-dried” Tomatoes
Ricotta cheese
Peanut butter

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