Homemade Butter

Saturday, February 12, 2011

This recipe was easy and produced fantastic results. I would recommend it to anyone to try (read my important info at the bottom of the post). I made this recipe because I had heavy whipping cream in my fridge leftover from holiday season desserts that was just going bad. It was a cost-effective, money-saving move on my part that also happened to be a learning experience. I have used my butter to bake with, fry with, grease a pan, and spread on toast. It tastes, looks, and smells, exactly like store bought items.

Makes: approx. 9 oz butter (just about two sticks) and approx. 2 cups buttermilk
Start-to-Finish: 25 minutes
Recipe by: Prepare Every Needful Thing


1 quart heavy whipping cream


Basically, when making butter you agitated, churn, or mix your cream until you can no longer do so because it has separated from the milks and turned into a solid.

1.  Pour whipping cream into a mixer
2.  Whip on 8 speed for 20 minutes. (You might want to stop every few minutes to scrape down the sides of your bowl. I did it 4 times during the process just to keep all the cream at the same stage.)
3.  While beating you will get to the soft-peak stage.
4.  Then the stiff-peak stage.
5.  Then the cream will start to turn from white to a pale yellow.
6.  You will start to see the cream turn grainy.
7.  Then it will begin to look wet on the top. (That is the liquid being squeezed out as the fats and proteins coagulate.)
8.  When it starts to look like bread crumbs turn your machine down a bit because it will start to spit liquid at you. (I turned mine down to 6.)
9.  The last step happens very quickly; you'll go from bread crumbs to a big chunk of butter in your whip attachment zipping around in a puddle of buttermilk. (It takes about 5 seconds so be alert.)
You are going to want to have everything set out where you need it before you start handling the butter because your hands are going to be covered in grease and you wont want to be riffling through your cupboards for a Tupperware container.
10. With clean hands, squeeze all of the butter solids to get any remaining buttermilk out. (When I first read this step of the instructions I imagined squeezing room temperature butter and it made no sense to me that it would work. But the consistency is like play dough so you will be able to wring out the liquids.)
11. You can put it in a container in the refrigerator at this point, but I've read that it can still have buttermilk in it and that can tend to make it go rancid, so many places suggested to wash it. I filled my mixed bowl with cold water (if you use warm you'll melt the butter) and then kneaded it a few times under the water. Pour off the water, and repeat until you feel like you've gotten most of the buttermilk out.
12. You can now either strain off the buttermilk and save it or you can just pour it down the drain. I choose to save mine and make buttermilk pancakes for breakfast. So worth it!

Important information you should know: This is not cost effective way to get your butter unless there is a great sale on heavy whipping cream or you have some leftover cream from another recipe you are trying to use up. I buy Land-o-Lakes butter, it has no artificial ingredients or preservatives so you aren't making the butter any healthier by making it yourself. Butter can be bought on sale and stored in the fridge or freezer for long periods of time without spoiling. Unopened in the refrigerator about 2 months, freezer about 1+ year. The homemade butter I made lasted about 2 weeks in my fridge before it started to go bad. It probably has something to do with the effectiveness, or lack thereof, at getting all the buttermilk out. Buttermilk last 7 days in the fridge. Many food storage suppliers offer a powdered butter product that can be reconstituted with water. Powdered butter is shelf stable for 5 years and costs approximately $20.00 for a #10 can. Canned butter is shelf stable for 15-20 years but it is more expensive at $6.00 per can and the can is the size of a tuna-fish can. Some people "can" their own butter but it is not a proven method because of the bacteria risks involved.