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How to make Homemade Butter

How to Make Homemade Butter (Bold Baking Basics)

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Easily make Homemade Butter with just a few simple ingredients to make your own delicious butter for baking recipes or just to eat on its own.


Hi Bold Bakers!

Butter is the backbone of all baking. Being from Ireland, I know great butter.

Usually I get inspiration for recipes from my Bold Bakers (that’s you!). How to Make Homemade Butter was requested a lot from people who said butter was very expensive in their country. However, after tasting this Homemade Butter I want everyone to make it! EVERYONE!

Not only was it fascinating to make, but immensely satisfying.  It takes no time at all, no special equipment, and it’s a pleasure to make. Also, make sure to check out more of my Bold Baking Basics.

How to Make Homemade Butter

Pour the cold cream into your food processor.  You can also use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer.

 

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Whip the cream until it separates. After around 2 ½ minutes you will see it start to over whip and really thicken — don’t stop! Keep going. After around 4 minutes it should be fully separated. You can see yellow buttery solids and a cloudy liquid at this point.

[ Once you master this butter, try out my Flavored Butter recipes! ]

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Once it separates pour in your ice cold water. This helps separate the butter fully and it separates from the liquid (buttermilk) and you will see even more buttermilk appear.

Place a sieve over a bowl and pour in the contents of the bowl. 

The liquid that remains is buttermilk.  Save the buttermilk in the fridge and use it in your baking or to marinade meat.

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Squeeze the butter solids in your hands to make sure there is NO more buttermilk in there. You want to remove it all otherwise your butter will be wet. Also you can squeeze it in a clean tea towel or a cheesecloth.

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Stir in some salt or flavors to your soft butter. This recipe will yield you over 2 sticks/10oz/ 300g of butter. 

Store in the fridge for 6 weeks and use in your baking, savory dishes or even on toast.  

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4.48 from 80 votes
How to Make Homemade Butter (Bold Baking Basics)
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Easily make Homemade Butter with just a few simple ingredients to make your own delicious butter for baking recipes or just to eat on its own.

Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 sticks
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • 3 cups (24floz/720ml) heavy cream (high fat content)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons Ice water
Instructions
  1. Pour the cold cream into your food processor. You can also use an electric whisk or stand mixer.
  2. Whip the cream until it separates. After around 2 ½ minutes you will see it start to over whip and really thicken. Keep going. After around 4 minutes it should be fully separated. You can see yellow buttery solids and cloudy liquid at this point.
  3. Once it separates pour in your ice cold water. This helps separate the butter fully separate from the liquid (buttermilk) and you will see even more buttermilk appear.
  4. Place a sieve over a bowl and pour in the contents of the bowl.
  5. The liquid that remains is buttermilk. Save it in the fridge and use it in your baking or to marinade meat.
  6. Squeeze the butter solids in your hands to make sure there is NO more buttermilk in there. You want to remove it all otherwise your butter will be wet. Also you can squeeze it in a clean tea towel or a cheesecloth.
  7. Stir in some salt or flavors to your soft butter. This recipe will yield you over 2 sticks/ 10oz/ 300g of butter.
  8. Store in the fridge for 6 weeks and use in your baking, savory dishes or even on toast.

Watch the Recipe Video!

Recipe Notes

Dairy free milk will no work for this recipe. You need dairy cream

Use a cream with a high fat content. The higher the better.

 

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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428 Comments

Write a Comment and Review

  1. Davyd on April 23, 2019 at 12:22 am

    When I’ve uses store-bought butter I usually keep it out at room temperature in an opaque butter dish. Would that be ok for homemade butter or is there some reason it needs to be refrigerated?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 23, 2019 at 10:56 am

      You can do either, some people prefer to refrigerate dairy.

  2. Natalie Watkins on April 20, 2019 at 7:16 am

    Gemma, you just took my love of butter to new levels! Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 21, 2019 at 4:48 am

      Haha! you are welcome,
      Gemma <3

  3. Nelsa E Lozada on April 14, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Can i add the salt while in the mixer instead of after?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 15, 2019 at 12:20 pm

      Hi, yes you can do that too.

  4. Mairin on April 14, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    I use my electric blender (not the and-held kind), using cream I skimmed off of fresh raw milk from my neighbor’s Jersey cow. Takes only a very few minutes. I’ve made Irish Soda Bread for years (recipe courtesy of a friend from Galway), but want to try the scones and the bread pudding. So glad I found your site!

    • Gemma Stafford on April 15, 2019 at 4:03 pm

      YAY, i’m delighted to hear that! Enjoy!

  5. MB Jones on April 8, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    This is a great recipe with awesome results. Using my stand mixer, I get 782 grams of butter and 1 full liter of buttermilk per 2 liters of cream. I live in Thailand and cream is expensive here. I can actually buy frozen butter imported from Europe for half the price, but I enjoy making it, plus I use buttermilk frequently for baking and buttermilk is also expensive, and can be hard to find here. One thing I do slightly different is I separate the buttermilk prior to adding cold water to the butter, so as to yield pure undiluted buttermilk.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 9, 2019 at 5:29 am

      Hi there,
      Yes! and that is exactly as would be done when making a good lot of butter. The buttermilk is drained away before washing out the residue.
      Good job! I know this is such a different thing in countries without a rich dairy tradition. Thank you for telling us.
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Fran on March 30, 2019 at 5:23 am

    Hi Gemma, I have a couple of questions when I make the butter the buttermilk that remains can be used as is in place of buttermilk or do you have to now add lemon? And when making the Irish soda bread can you go through all the steps to make it then put in fridge and bake it the next day? Thank you, Fran ps love your recipes.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 31, 2019 at 1:57 pm

      I would add a little lemon just for the extra boost.

      So unfortunately it’s can be mixed up long before it’s baked and I’ll tell you why, once you mix the baking soda with the buttermilk it starts a chemical reaction and the bread will start to rise. That is why you need to get it into the oven as quick as possible. If you mix it up early and let it sit it will activate too early.

      Hope this makes sense.
      Gemma.

  7. Kimberly on March 24, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Hello! I just made the butter and it’s amazing! But now what do I do with the butter cream? I have a little over a cup of it and I’m lost on what to do with it. Any suggestions? Google failed me!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 25, 2019 at 1:42 pm

      I’m delighted to hear that! Great job! You mean you have leftover liquid that separated? You can save it an use it as you would buttermilk.

  8. caitael on March 23, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Won’t the ice water dilute the buttermilk?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 24, 2019 at 8:57 am

      Yes it will a little. You only add in a few tablespoons 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

  9. Bjpickens on March 18, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Made this on St Patrick’s Day to accompany Gemma’s recipes for Irish Scones and Irish Soda Bread. I felt so accomplished to make homemade Butter. It was easy and tasted wonderful! Will definitely do it again. I did use cheesecloth to squeeze the liquids out, worked great!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 19, 2019 at 12:16 pm

      YAY i am delighted to hear that, great job!

      • AmyW on March 19, 2019 at 1:20 pm

        I made this for st. Patrick’s day too. I set the cream out for about 6 hours
        So, it was warm but not soured. I added a bit of lemon juice to the buttermilk & let it sit while for 30 minutes or so, then used it in my soda bread.
        It turned out so tender.
        The butter turned out awesome too. I used a teaspoon of salt to 4c of 40% heavy cream. It was incredibly simple in a kitchen aid.I will probably make my butter regularly from now on…
        Thanks for the clear instructions, and recipe inspiration.

        • Gemma Stafford on March 19, 2019 at 6:15 pm

          I love to hear that!!! Thanks for trying it out.

          Check out homemade ricotta because that is another awesome recipe.

          Best,
          Gemma.

  10. Sandra Larwill on March 18, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    I just made this butter and it took at least twice as long as the recipe indicated but keep at it, it will happen! I used a scant teaspoon of salt and I find it a bit salty, so when I make it again, I will add less salt. Delicious butter. 😊

    • Gemma Stafford on March 19, 2019 at 2:52 pm

      Thank you, enjoy it!

  11. AmyJean A Warner on March 16, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    Can I add 1/3c. Canola oil to the finished butter after all the water is out and make it spreadable while cold?
    What do you think would happen?
    Thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 17, 2019 at 5:09 am

      Hi AmyJean,
      Haha! this is heresy! The suggestion is either milk or water, rather than oil. I do not know, I have not tried this, let it not be too much though. At room temperature it spreads really well,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Debbie on March 16, 2019 at 1:57 am

    How much salt should I add? I don’t want to add too much or too little.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 16, 2019 at 8:59 pm

      1 generous teaspoon would work well.

      Best,
      Gemma.

      • Debbie on March 17, 2019 at 2:44 am

        Thank you very much!!

  13. Bjpickens on March 14, 2019 at 9:49 am

    Wow, you make it look so easy and tasty. Can’t wait to try this! Your homemade recipes are so inspiring!!
    Love your recipes and web site.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 15, 2019 at 4:13 am

      Hi there,
      Do make the recipes now, and then let us see what you made, it is so encouraging for other bold bakers.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Daryl on March 13, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Hey Gemma! Do you know how to bake with homemade butter? Does 6 tablespoons of storebought butter equal 6 tablespoons of homemade butter in biscuits, for example?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 13, 2019 at 4:07 pm

      Great question, Darly. Yes, you are correct, it is the exact same. If you have a weighing scales it will make it easier to measure your homemade butter as it’s not prepackaged and marked.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  15. saturnight. on March 3, 2019 at 10:48 am

    How fat heavy cream should be? In my country, I haven’t seen more than 30-40% cream and butter usually is around 80%. The question is, won’t the cream just turn into wiped cream if I use a mixer, cause the process seems just the same.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 5, 2019 at 12:48 pm

      Hi, 40 % will work here Enjoy!

  16. Mai Ling on February 26, 2019 at 4:56 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Can I make this with 100% pure cow’s milk fresh milk full cream. This is how its labled

    • Gemma Stafford on February 26, 2019 at 10:17 am

      For this i suggest heavy cream.

      • Mai Ling on February 26, 2019 at 10:56 pm

        Ok. Thank you

  17. pierre on February 12, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    well yum for butter it s a do again thanks

    • Gemma Stafford on February 12, 2019 at 5:00 pm

      I am delighted to hear that!

  18. Amy Letzkus on February 12, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Just wanted to say thank you for this recipe! just made up a batch to surprise my husband with waffles and cinnamon butter on Valentines day 🙂 also did an herb butter for our dinner that night 🙂 Thank you so much I love all of your recipes!

    • Gemma Stafford on February 12, 2019 at 9:30 am

      WOW, great job! I am delighted to hear that!

  19. ivor297 on February 10, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Hi Gemma. Made it and tried some on toast before I fridged it Yum. Thanks for all your recipes

    • Gemma Stafford on February 11, 2019 at 3:39 am

      Hi Ivor,
      Good! delicious way to eat butter, yummy, now I am hungry 😉
      Gemma 🙂

  20. Trish Galz on February 7, 2019 at 4:15 am

    I have a question, can I use all-purpose cream? I don’t have heavy cream in my pantry.

    • Gemma Stafford on February 7, 2019 at 9:38 pm

      I would suggest sticking to heavy whipping cream for the high fat content.

  21. Kelly Stevens on February 6, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    I just watched your video on Facebook. I plan on doing homemade gift baskets this year for Christmas. This I think would be great “gifts in the individual baskets. I will refrigerate every thing until delivery. Just wanted to say THANK YOU. I’m looking forward to more videos. Do you have anymore gift suggestions?

  22. Gracie08 on February 4, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Was wondering if this go in the freezer if it is more than might be used in the 2 wks.

    • Gemma Stafford on February 5, 2019 at 4:09 pm

      Yes, that will work!

  23. pierre desrosiers on February 2, 2019 at 9:52 am

    why can t I ad the salt while doing the second part when balling it up it be more even no

    • Gemma Stafford on February 3, 2019 at 2:05 am

      Hi there,
      You can, if you like do it this way, just do not add it to the whipping cream, as it may prevent it whipping to separate. It was often kneaded in at the end of the process. you can do it as you wish, all will be well.
      Bon chance,
      Gemma 🙂

      • pierre on February 3, 2019 at 3:09 am

        thanks

  24. Audrey Chin on January 30, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Hi, I really want to try it out but I can’t find heavy cream in my local supermarket (I live in New Zealand)So can I use fresh cream?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 30, 2019 at 4:10 pm

      Hi,yes fresh cream should work as well!

  25. Evelyn on January 26, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    Hi Gemma! I’m from Perth Western Australia and I fortunately came across your video on Facebook a couple of days ago! I was so excited to try it, I made sure I bought thickened creme from my nearest Coles Supermarket and woke up today intent to try it and WOWSERS….perfect real butter that tastes a treat! It being the day after our Australia Day celebration & a Sunday, I’m about to use the buttermilk to make some Buttermilk Scones for morning tea! Thank you soo much! Loved the experience and the process!

    Evelyn 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on January 27, 2019 at 2:04 am

      Hi Evelyn,
      I hope you had a lovely Australia day celebration. My sister is a nurse in Perth so we got a video of the fireworks, amazing! Hot there too, wow, hard to be in the kitchen in that weather.
      I am delighted you made the butter, it is fun, and kids are really intrigued by this process. Perfect for the scones too, thank you for letting me know,
      Gemma 🙂

  26. Cynthia V on January 24, 2019 at 6:12 am

    This sounds like so much fun making my own butter and so simple! Where can I find the recipe you talked about making it with a handmixer? Is it really any different or does it just simply take longer?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 27, 2019 at 12:42 am

      Hi Cynthia,
      Really the important thing is that the cream is right. Once that is at least 35% fat content, no matter how you agitate it, it will eventually be butter. Easier for sure in a stand mixer, but not too much more difficult with a hand mixer. It is not a separate recipe, you can do it in a jar if you have the energy to shake it, and get a work out too!
      I hope you enjoy making this!
      Gemma 🙂

  27. Arielle Smith on January 14, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    Thanks for posting ! The butter is great and i mainly use it for baking but what if i wanna spread it on
    toast ? Once i refrigerate it the stuff is too hard spread. It kinda crumbs when I attempt to scoop
    If i soften it that helps, but i dont want to have to warm it each time. Would i be better off to leave on the counter ? If it spoils can i tell so no one gets sick ?
    Should i try added olive oil ? Sorry for so many q’s

    • Gemma Stafford on January 15, 2019 at 5:00 am

      Hi Arielle,
      I grew up with butter, every day, every season, and we learned to deal with it.
      In winter, when the indoor temperature is rarely over 20C, we leave it on the counter, in a covered butter dish.
      In summer we leave small amounts out, just sufficient for one meal, and refrigerate the remainder. In extremes we give it a few seconds in the microwave to soften it out for spreading. You would get used to this process quickly.
      Butter is a fresh thing, and indeed it would go rancid if left at room temperature too long. It would of course melt too if it is hot enough. It can still be used, but best to manage it,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Arielle Smith on January 15, 2019 at 2:32 pm

        Thanks for the quick response

  28. Kay on January 9, 2019 at 1:44 am

    Hi Gemma
    I have double cream (uk) and date is close to expire, can I still make butter from this cream and if so, how long would you advise to keep it for?
    Thank you so much
    Kay.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 11, 2019 at 11:17 am

      Hi there, yes you can! The butter will be great for up to 6 weeks. Enjoy!

      • Kay on January 11, 2019 at 11:55 am

        Thank you

  29. Brenda Leo on January 6, 2019 at 6:41 am

    Can this sit on the counter as longer as it is under 80’?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 7, 2019 at 12:42 pm

      Yes, it can.

  30. Auzzy on December 31, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Can I make the butter, unsalted?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 1, 2019 at 2:08 am

      Yes you don’t have to add salt 🙂

      No problem.
      Gemma.

  31. Evelyn Hayes on December 29, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Hi
    My attempt looked like whipped cream and did not separate . Where did I go wrong ?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 31, 2018 at 4:57 am

      Hi Evelyn,

      I’m sorry to hear that. Was it a high fat cream?

      I haven’t had this same experience.
      Gemma.

    • Meredith Larsen on February 11, 2019 at 12:28 pm

      I thought mine was going to fail but it just took more than twice the amount of time listed in the recipe. Finally, all the sudden it separated. Are you sure you went long enough?

    • Amy on February 16, 2019 at 10:59 am

      Just made this recipe using a stand mixer. Just wanted to tell those of you not to be discouraged if it looks like thick whipping cream to keep mixing it. Eventually it will get the thick yellow curds as described but just takes a bit longer! Then you can follow the steps as Directed!! Happy baking! 😊

      • Gemma Stafford on February 16, 2019 at 4:20 pm

        That’s fantastic, Amy!!

    • Jessica DeWet on February 17, 2019 at 11:00 am

      I am standing in my kitchen now with the same problem. I used my hand mixer and went for longer than the times listed in hopes that it was just taking longer but even at nearly twenty minutes, I still have no separation. I don’t know what I’ve done wrong.

      • Gemma Stafford on February 18, 2019 at 1:40 am

        Hi Jessica,
        The cream which I use for most of my recipes is fresh dairy cream. This needs to be at least 35% fat content to whip well. This is from cows milk. It is a liquid product found in the chill cabinet in your store. It will spoil in a few days, even when refrigerated. It has no additives, it is just natural cream, skimmed from milk.
        In some places, where there is no dairy industry, there are manufactured products, usually made with milk powders and fats. These are good for some applications, but they are not fresh cream. This type of cream would not work to make butter.
        If you whip fresh cream, with the right fat content, for any time it will separate, it has to, it is the nature of the beast. I suspect there was something not right about the cream, low fat content for instance.
        I hope this helps you to figure it out,
        Gemma 🙂

  32. Joanne Kyvetos on December 28, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Hi Gemma, I can’t remember how I came across you site, but I’m really glad I did. I just finished making your butter, 3 m 15 sec flat. WOW! I didn’t add salt and it is perfect.
    I live in Quebec Canada (Irish on my mother’s side) and at first didn’t know what you meant by “heavy cream” to us heavy cream is whipping cream 35% fat. So if I may, to help future cooks searching for “heavy cream”, it is “crème fraîche” 49% fat. It has the same name in English and French. I didn’t find a bigger size than 250ml at 3.99$ cdn. I works out to make about 1/2 cup (125 ml) of butter. I wish I knew a cow, I’d make a deal with her.
    This butter will be a special treat, due to price versus final quantity.
    Thanks again.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 30, 2018 at 11:02 pm

      Im delighted to hear you liked the way it turned out. Enjoy 😀

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