How To Make Homemade Butter

homemade butter on biscuits

There is nothing more delicious than homemade butter! It doesn’t take that long to make and you can find all the ingredients at your local grocery store.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was blessed with having my three wonderful grandchildren spend a couple of nights with us! I always like to plan special events for them to enjoy and keep busy.

The first day we decorated gingerbread houses, went and saw Rudolph at a local theater and watched old movies while eating popcorn into the wee hours of the morning!

But it was the second day’s plan that I think they enjoyed the most. We made homemade bread and butter. They could not believe how homemade butter was made!.

Most commercially made butter is 80% milk fat and 20% water; this is the industry minimum combination that can be called butter. This means that extra water may be added to the butter in order to reach that minimum. Butter is sold by weight, and water is both heavy and cheap.

One advantage to making your own butter is that you can control the amount of salt you add for salted butter.

In our early days, butter making was largely the art of the farm wife. A “cool hand” was required in butter making as kneading butter required swift, hand movements and a cool temperature. These farm wives used their butter as barter at the general stores in exchange for merchandise needed at home.

In today’s world, you only need a mixer to vigorously whip air into the cold cream to form bubbles. The milk fat collects inside the walls of the bubbles and becomes light and airy. If you continue whipping the cream past this stage, it will eventually become butter.

Homemade Butter

yields: 3/4 pound butter

Notes: Use only natural sour cream in this recipe – one that doesn’t have any thickeners (like Guar gum)

  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Prepare a medium-size bowl of ice water.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, gradually whip the cream and sour cream together.

Increase the speed of the mixer and continue whipping until the cream separates and the mixture thickens. (Watch this carefully, because when it separates, it really separates and all the liquid will slosh right out of the mixer!)

whipping homemade butter

Use a rubber spatula to gather up the butter and remove it from the bowl.

homemade butter

There will be some liquid that is a natural result of this process. That liquid is actually buttermilk.

Gather the ball of butter together into a double layer of cheesecloth or a thin kitchen towel and plunge it into
the ice bath to wash any buttermilk off the surface.

butter in ice bath

Sprinkle with salt, to taste.

homemade butter in bowl

Pack the butter into molds, a bowl, or roll it into a ball or log shape using plastic wrap.

Use immediately or store in the refrigerator

forming butter in molds

To make a delicious breakfast butter, combine 4 oz. sweet butter, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp. honey. Refrigerate until firm.

Serve on toast, biscuits, pancakes, waffles or muffins. Read more on compound butters.

The process for making homemade butter is simple and the results are delicious. It is also a great learning tool to show children how a common grocery item can be made at home.

homemade butter on biscuits

About Chef Kathy

My name is Kathy Davault. I am an award winning chef and author, and have enjoyed cooking for over 30 years. I decided to go to culinary school to become a chef because I knew there was more to cooking than just following recipes.

I started my website in 2006 to offer an abundance of information on many of the things I learned in culinary school. I have a real passion for cooking and want to share all of my tips and techniques with you.

If you are serious about cooking, and would like to be considered a real chef without going to culinary school, let me show you how. You will truly leave a lasting impression on your family and friends, and become the talk of the party with your fabulous dishes!


Chef Kathy


  1. Dieter says:

    Nice, i wasen’t aware it was that easy.

  2. Lerry says:

    I like salted butter. I didn’t know it was so easy to make. I really want to try this if I have time.

  3. Mary E. Hamel says:

    I made this for the first time this morning — it was so easy and a tad messy, but all the effort was worth it. I melted a little bit in a pan for eggs and then had some for my toast. It works just like store bought. I guess you can bake with it?? This afternoon I will do some homemade biscuits and I am planning on using the buttermilk part of it for that. Can’t wait to use the butter on the hot biscuits!!
    I used Daisy sour cream.. it took about 15-18 min for the butter to finally come together using my Hamilton Beach mixer on “10”.

    • Chef Kathy says:

      Hi Mary:

      Thank you for your comment. You do have to be quick to turn off your mixer when the butter and liquid separate or it can get a little messy. I’m glad you gave it a try.
      Isn’t it yummy?

  4. Jackie says:

    We want high quality butter, but the really good stuff at the market is so expensive. So we tried a butter recipe and it turned out half way between whipped cream and butter–not what we wanted. Wewant to try again and this looks like a promising recipe.


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