Homemade Butter!

I was doing the weekly food shop the other day, when I spotted some much reduced double cream, that was on it’s sell by date. I remembered reading somewhere about using double cream to make butter, so I snapped up a couple of pots and hot-footed it home to consult the inter-web!

I posted in the Make Do and Mend-able Facebook group, to ask if anyone had ever tried it, and if they had any tips, and as ever I had so many wonderful comments, and pointers. So I thought I would give it a go.

How to Make Butter-title

Now, there are several ways to make butter from cream, but the basic idea is to agitate it. A lot. Until the butterfat separates from the buttermilk.
The good old-fashioned way is to use a jam jar (someone suggested putting a clean marble in with the cream to help the agitation) and shake shake shake, until your arms are tired, and the butter has been made.
The other lazier easier way is to use a blender, or a hand-held whisk and whisk for several minutes, until it all clumps together.

As I had two pots of cream, I was initially going to try both methods, to contrast and compare! But after about 30 seconds 5 minutes of shaking cream in a jar, I decided that I was too impatient, my arms were too weak, and that life is too short, to persevere. So I used my freestanding whisk!

Some tips before you start:

Make sure the cream is at room temperature
It doesn’t matter if the cream is a day or two out of date

1. Pour the cream into your mixer

Whisk the cream

2. Whisk on full speed until it starts to turn lumpy (this didn’t take long-1-2mins?)

How to Make Butter 2

3. Keep whisking! The buttermilk should start to separate out (you may want to turn the whisk speed down a bit to avoid splatter!)
In another minute or so, it should have all clumped into a big ‘glob’ (technical butter making term…)

How to make butter 3


4. Place the solids and liquid into a sieve with a jug underneath, and give the solid lump a good squeeze or two to squeeze out all of the buttermilk.
Don’t throw the buttermilk away! You can use it to make muffins/scones/bread, and be double thrifty!

How to make butter 4

5. Rinse the solid ball of butter in very cold water for a minute or two, until the water is running clear

6. At this point, you can add salt if you prefer your butter salted.
I consulted an old butter wrapper that was in the recycling, and the salt content was 1.8%.
I weighed my ‘blob’ of butter, so that I could work out how much salt to add. Mine weighed 180g, so I added about 3g of salt and gave it a brief knead
For those of you whose GCSE maths is a dim and distant memory (!),
To work out how much salt you need: (weight of butter ÷ 100) x 1.8

How to Make Butter 5

7. Place your ball of butter onto some greaseproof paper, and then squidge/roll into a rough cylinder shape and twist the ends tightly

How to Make Butter 7

So there we go-easy peasy!
I got 180g butter and about 150ml buttermilk from about 450ml of double cream. The cost was 70p, which is far less than I would pay in the shops, especially as it was organic cream 🙂

If making butter sounds like just bit too much hard work, then here are some other suggestions for double cream excesses..!

  • Freeze it-if you lightly whip the cream, then you can freeze it for up to 3 months. When defrosted, it’s probably best to use it for cooking rather than eating by the spoonful, but it’s a good way to make sure you don’t end up throwing any out
  • Make it into sour cream by adding lemon juice, and then serving up with chilli and guacamole
  • Make ice cream! I found a super easy recipe a couple of Summers ago that needs double cream and condensed milk, tastes seriously good, and doesn’t need an ice cream maker 🙂
  • Take full advantage of the opportunity to have scones with jam and cream for tea…

Have you made butter? How did it go?

16 thoughts on “Homemade Butter!

  1. I haven’t made butter but when our shop was selling loads of big tubs off very cheap after overbuying at Christmas I made some seriously yummy icecream (without a machine, you just have to take it out the freezer and stir it regularly, so don’t start this at 9mm!) Can’t remember what recipe, but think it might have had soft brown sugar in.

  2. I remember Mum actually buying a churner from tupperware or some-such back in the ’70’s. It was such a kerfuffle to clean, she went back to her trusty kenwood, which I still use! I often see cream reduced, now I know what to do
    with it.

  3. One and only time was when I was in 1st Grade – our teacher supplied us with a jar and cream and we all took turns shaking it until the butter had formed. Quite an amazing event, given the fact that I still remember the experience and am now 61 years young. Best tasting saltine cracker, ever! Heh.

    • Just tried it on toast this morning, and it tasted just like butter! I’m always slightly gobsmacked when I make stuff and it takes like it’s supposed to!!

  4. What fun. I used to make butter all the time in the ’70’s…ahh , I think I just dated myself. But I had cream ready to go so I threww it in the kitchen add, and voila… Butter. I didn’t know you could use a mixer, now, that’s a great tip. Thank you!!!!!

  5. Pingback: Easy Thrifty Muffins | My Make Do and Mend Year

  6. We usually make butter too when we are fortunate to come across reduced cream. I’ve used double cream and also whipping cream if that is what is reduced. I read Rhonda Jean’s (from the Down to Earth blog) method so now I also use my food processor. It is just as quick as your way but has the added bonus of a lid so there can’t be any little splashy accidents : )

  7. Pingback: Easy Thrifty Muffins |

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