I grew up in a home where my single mother worked a lot, yet she prided herself in making homecooked meals. I also grew up thinking Country Crock was real butter.
After moving out and getting married, my husband introduced me to butter. My life has never been the same.
I dare say butter is what started me on my homestead journey. Once I experienced such a life changer as real butter, I began to explore making other foods from scratch as well. I wanted my ingredients to be better quality, so that I could have the best tasting food possible.
Although I must admit, for the first three years I was content with just purchasing butter from the store.
Then, when my girls were little I was trying to figure out a fun activity for them to do. As I read about making homemade butter I thought, “Sure, why not?”, and we ended up making butter from scratch.
I couldn't help but think, “Consider me sold!” It was so easy and we had so much fun shaking that can and I loved seeing the excitement in their eyes when the liquid turned to solid!
Since then I have learned several ways to make butter. The teenagers in my home economics classroom get just as awe inspired by watching butter being made and I opt not to do it by hand in there!
What is Butter?
Butter is everything.
Okay, all joking aside – butter is heavy whipping cream mixed for a long period of time. I say long period but at the most, you are looking at eleven minutes of shaking by hand. It goes through multiple steps before turning the cream into butter.
When making it yourself, you also get the added benefit of making buttermilk as well. So, here are a couple of different ways to make butter and buttermilk.
Different Ways of Making Homemade Butter:
I begin making hand-shaken butter by placing whipping cream in a mason jar.
Put the lid on tight and start shaking. This part takes the longest but the good news is you can still do other things while you shake. For example, I checked on my daughters who were cleaning their room and began watching a television show on our HD box.
After five minutes of mindlessly shaking, switching from arm to arm as one got tired, my cream has hit the lightly whipped stage. If you notice in the picture I may or may not have stuck my finger in to make sure it tasted good. Yes, it was delicious.
One thing to note here is that it begins to get hard to shake and you might wonder if it is shaking at all. Don't worry, it is!
After seven minutes
As I was screwing on the lid at five minutes, my daughter walked in from her room and asked if she could help to which I delightfully handed over the mason jar. She shook for another two minutes before handing it to me.
When she handed it back I could tell we were close because it would shake from top to bottom in a group. Not ready yet though.
After eleven minutes
At ten minutes I could tell we were separated. The sound of the liquid sloshing with the butter is really satisfying. I shook it a little bit longer as I walked from the living room to the dining room to take this picture and separate out the buttermilk from the butter.
There is the first way to make butter. It is fun and makes kids (dare I say, teens) say, “Hey, can I do that?” The taste is much sweeter and lighter than what is bought at the store. Really a win-win!
2. Food Processor
I have a small food processor but surprisingly, it made more butter than I thought it was going to. It was also the fastest, taking only seven minutes total.
The picture was taken after I had been pulsing the lid for about thirty seconds.
After three minutes
Here was the point that I realized I needed more whipping cream. So what you see here is two minutes of blending and the new liquid added in. If you have a traditional food processor, you will be able to push the “high” button and walk away.
After seven minutes
You can see here that there is buttermilk and butter. Yeah!!!!
Unlike with hand shaking though, it is not a ball and a liquid fully separated. In oder to fix this you have to add another step.
The added step
In this step, you take a mesh strainer and separate the liquid from the butter. It is important to move the butter around and push down gently in order to get all of the buttermilk out. If you have cheesecloth, that will work as well.
3. Kitchen Aid Mixer
I am a big advocate for the kitchen aid mixer and feel it is essential in a homestead kitchen. If making butter yourself all the time is something you want to do (along with other items such as bread) having a kitchen aid might be a smart investment. But enough about the equipment.
I will say that this method took as long as the hand-shaken method. This might be because I chose to stop it several times, and scrape the machine down.
I added salt to this one because the daughter declared it needed salt. We should consider this an added benefit- you can decide if you want to make it salty or not.
Yes, we are starting out with our good ol' whipping cream. Slowly crank it to 10 and, if you have it, add the splash shield.
After six minutes
At this point we have whipped cream, only salty instead of sweet. I did not taste test this version!
After ten minutes
Just as with the food processor, with the Kitchen Aid you have to separate them out using mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
4. Butter Churner
This is not something I have personally tried but cannot wait to try one day! I like that this recipe tells you to sit the whipping cream out and shows how thick the cream gets before you even start churning the cream into butter.
They also have a video to show you exactly how to use the butter churn.
Whatever You Decide
No matter how you decide you want to make homemade butter, I highly recommend doing it once in your life. It, in some weird way, changed my perspective on things.
I am warning you now, when you taste this high quality butter you will be convinced. And the added bonus is that you can use the buttermilk to make recipes like Buttermilk Waffles, Buttermilk Pancakes or even Buttermilk Pie!