Know Your Food Source: Make Your Own Butter


If you have kids, making your own butter is a great way to teach them about where food comes from, and how we can make some things on our own, without having to buy them in stores. Because it’s a bit time consuming, it’s also a great lesson in patience for little ones (and their moms and dads).


One thing to note, depending on how much you pay for your fresh, raw cream, this probably isn’t a cost-effective way to make your own butter. We paid $8 for a pint of cream and ended up with a cup of butter and not quite a full cup of butter milk. But, the $8 was worth it in order to teach our children a valuable lesson in ways to eat more locally and sustainably.


To begin, combine the pint of cream with a little less than a 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a stand mixer (you can also do the same thing by shaking the cream and salt in a jar, but none of us had quite enough patience for that!). You can use either the paddle or wire whip attachments to make the butter.


Turn the mixer on high, and make sure to cover it with a towel. Towards the end, the cream and butter milk will begin to separate and can make a big mess!


During the process, you will want to stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure the cream is being whipped evenly. In the beginning, the mixture will look like whipped cream, and then will begin to form lumps.

It will take about 15-20 minutes to “churn” the cream into butter. You’ll know it’s ready when the butter and butter milk have separated and the butter sticks to the paddle.


Once the butter is done, set a colander over a bowl. Pour the butter and butter milk into the colander and use a spatula to gently press the buttermilk out of the butter (don’t press too firmly, or you’ll push all of your butter into the bowl as well!)

When as much of the butter milk has been extracted as possible, run cold water over the butter and use your hands to form it into a ball. The butter will keep about 4 weeks in the refrigerator.


Our family enjoyed this on fresh bread, but it could be used in a variety of ways. Another great idea would be to make an herbed or flavored butter to season fresh steaks from Paidom Meats or your favorite local beef provider. Looking for a local dairy to buy your own milk and cream? We highly recommend Pereira Pastures Dairy and County Line Farms Organic Dairy.

Do you make your own butter? What is your favorite way to enjoy it?

Note: we would like to thank Living Well, Spending Less for first sharing this post and some helpful pictures. Read her post here:

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