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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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4.55 from 35 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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318 Comments

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  1. Charlene muniz on October 22, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Hi Mrs. Gemma do you happen to have a recipe for dairy free butter?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 23, 2018 at 9:34 am

      Hi Charlene,
      No! There is really no such thing as dairy free butter, butter is dairy! There are products made from hydrogenated vegetable oils which are sometimes referred to as butter, but this pains my Irish heart!
      The process of hydrogenating vegetable oils is a big commercial process, not for the home cook. However there are some recipes online, using cashew nut milk for instance, palm oil, coconut oil etc. I am not sure this one is for me, but I will add it to my ‘to try’ list.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Nicole Guertin on October 21, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Hi. I used heavy cream with 5 g of fat per serving in my stand mixer on level 6 but the cream only got frothy. i used the whisk attachment. What did I do wrong?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 22, 2018 at 3:15 am

      Hi Nicole,
      What was the overall fat content of the cream? What is the serving size?
      On the carton of cream it should tell you the fat content, and this needs to be 35% + fat content to work well for you. This has to separate when you whip it, it just has to!
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. amy brannock on October 21, 2018 at 4:04 am

    dear genma,
    i love love love your recipes!! i was so very excited to try this and it worked beautifully! the only question i have is regarding the cream. in the video, you say “whipping cream” but the written recipe just says “heavy cream.” i only found heavy cream in one store near me and it was rather pricey -8.00 for three cups. it is local sourced pure dairy, though. just to be clear from reading your other replies, heavy whipping cream can also be used? thank you! erin go bragh!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 23, 2018 at 6:47 am

      Hi Amy.
      I do not know where you live! Cream means different things to different people around the world.
      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. These are also called ‘whipping cream’ all very confusing.
      Here in the US there is Heavy Whipping Cream, and that is what I use. In Ireland and the UK it can be Double cream, or Fresh Cream and either of these will be great. Double cream can be as high as 49.5% fat!
      I am thinking you are in the US, though the Beagan gailge threw me a bit 😉
      Thank you for being in touch, I hope this is of help,
      Go raibh maith agat,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. SAIRA on October 16, 2018 at 2:28 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I live in Tanzania. I buy freshly squeezed milk everyday and remove the cream after boiling the milk. How can i use that cream – (it is not in liquid form) to make butter? I would love to make my own butter as butter is quite expensive here too.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 17, 2018 at 4:38 am

      Hi Saria,
      That is a think knows as Malai in India, and no doubt different names in other places. It is cream, though it has been sterilized bot the boiling process.
      After gathering sufficient cream the process is much the same. Check it out online, there are a number of videos for making butter with malai.
      Thank you for this question, other bold bakers will be interested,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. MELISSA OPEL BURNS on October 12, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    I made some with 36% fat. Because unfortunatly that’s all you can buy in the United states. It was Byrne dairy. Supposedly no horomones, but I doubt if I believe that. My daughter broke my glass milk jug so I am unable to get the cream off the milk I get from the farm. Which is always good mixed in with our glasses anyways. I have yet to try it with fresh cream. Can’t wait! The only problem I have is my butter from store bought junk as I call it here is the butter is as white as can be. Yours is yellow. What country are you in? I bet it is either Canada or Australia or France or somewhere good like those countrys. When I buy butter from France and Ireland and Finland new zealand, the butter looks exactly like what you made. Do you have any ideas why my butter is white not yellow? Maybe it’s just from the crap they feed the cows and inject them with, or maybe that’s the best I can get here?? Also I don’t have any fancy blenders or food processers. All I have is an oyster cheap blender. I think they are like 30 bux, maybe that has alot to do with the outcome too? I added oak smoved sea salt and next I wanna add hickory smoked sea salt. I bought it from the Amish markets real cheap. 2.29 for 2 lbs. It’s called trace minerals, the brand. It tastes good. But I want it yellowish.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 14, 2018 at 8:31 am

      Hi Melissa,
      You are right! The butter I use, generally, though not all the time, is Kerrygold. This is Irish butter, and it is what I grew up with in Ireland.
      Grass few cows give a lovely yellow cream. The butter then reflects the feed.
      I do not know what cows are fed in other places but in Ireland they are largely grazed on fresh grass, and then they eat young grass, which has been saved as silage, in the lean winter months when they are housed. Other feeds are only used in emergencies. This is a general view of the topic.
      Good for you that you got there with this. Good to have you with us, and clearly you are managing that blender well.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Robyn Tassone on October 10, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    I tried this tonight and blew my husband’s mind when I told him I made the butter. We had it on fresh mini French bread rolls. Thank you so much for make it so easy!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 11, 2018 at 4:25 am

      Hi Robyn,
      There is an old saying ‘The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ and I think that is probably true! The other one I like is happy husband, happy wife, happy life, though I think I added a line to this one! 😉
      I am delighted you liked this simple idea, and that your husband loved it too, thank you for telling me, it made me smile!
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Vyna lemon on October 10, 2018 at 12:46 am

    Excuse me ms. Gemma I was wonder if I could use a blender for this recipe. I’m 17 and I live in a family of seven your recipes have worked wonders for us. Thanks for everything.😊

    • Gemma Stafford on October 10, 2018 at 1:42 am

      Hi there Vyna,
      Thank you for your kind words. I am happy you are baking with us.
      I think this would be a struggle for a blender. As the cream thickens to a butter it becomes really stiff and difficult to move in the blender jug.
      In small amounts it would work, but that would be time consuming. A hand whisk, electric beater will do this really well for you.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Mary on October 9, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Hi Gemma do you have a recipe for clarified butter?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 10, 2018 at 2:15 am

      Hi Mary,
      This is how I make it.
      I reuse a jam/mayo sterilized jar. You can sterilize the jar in the microwave by 1/4 filling a clean jar with water and boiling it for a minute or so. Handle with care, it will be hot. Pour off the water and air dry. Pop the butter into this and melt to liquid in the microwave. Set it up in the fridge. Poke a hole in the set butter and pour off the milk solids. If oyu make a lot you may wish to wash out the milk solids, but I make a couple of ozs at a time, and start again when it is used up!
      Easy, and you have the lid of the jar to seal it. Keep it in the fridge.
      I hope this works well for you,
      Gemma 🙂
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Ester abuel on October 9, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Hi gemma can you send me a recipe for cookies? Ill be having a charity work for the elders. Im from the philippines. Thanks in advance. You are such a very good chef. Kudos

  10. Daryll Hadfield on September 27, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    The butter can get very hard in the fridge. Could I add in some vegetable oil to perhaps allow the butter to be more spreadable?
    Daryll
    Redhead NSW
    Australia

    • Gemma Stafford on September 28, 2018 at 1:20 pm

      Hi Daryll,

      I would suggest letting it sit out in a cool part of the kitchen to make it spreadable. adding oil will change the quality and flavor.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  11. Amanda on September 9, 2018 at 3:27 am

    Hello! I’m so excited to try this recipe. The cream I’m going to use is VERY thick – will it still work? It doesn’t say what fat percentage, but I can only assume it’s the 49% variety!

    • Gemma Stafford on September 9, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      Yes thick cream will work. 49% is really high so that should work well.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  12. JK on September 4, 2018 at 6:36 am

    can I use a normal blender for this?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 4, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      Yes, you can 🙂

  13. Bernadine on September 2, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Hi Gemma!

    Can I use the buttermilk from the butter to make your sour cream?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 3, 2018 at 3:27 am

      Hi Bernadine,
      Sure you can, a perfect thing. Most store bough buttermilk is cultured, a bit like my buttermilk substitute. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/homemade-buttermilk/). You can drink the one you make at home too, but it is not cream, and you cannot make sour cream from it. Sour cream has all the fat of the fresh cream, you take that when you make butter, so what is left is more of a whey.
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Dawna on September 2, 2018 at 10:05 am

    I use cultured buttermilk in many recipes (ex. Homemade ranch dressing). What is the difference between the buttermilk obtained from this process and store bought ‘cultured’ buttermilk. Are they interchangeable? Oh, and I was so excited to have finally made my own butter! Thank you very much for this easy recipe.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 3, 2018 at 4:27 am

      Hi Dawna,
      Buttermilk from butter making is the residue of milk solids and whey, and tends to be slightly sour in flavor, and it is drinkable, as people still do in many places.
      Cultured butter milk has had something added to sour it. In the commercially produced one the whole milk is fermented to allow the natural sugars in the milk to turn into lactic acid to naturally sour the milk. You would not drink this one.
      My buttermilk substitute here has vinegar of lemon juice added to speed up the souring process, and again it is for baking, not for drinking.
      This you can use in ranch dressing.
      I hope this helps, it is always useful to know the science!
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Aiknarf on September 1, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Hi! We only have all purpose cream in our local store, can I use that? Can I also use full cream milk? Thanks. 😊

    • Gemma Stafford on September 2, 2018 at 2:46 am

      Hi there,
      I do not know!
      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, I am wondering if this is what your All Purpose Cream is?
      Heavy cream/Double cream can run to 49% fat content.
      full fat milk will be about 3.5% fat content – so you would need a lot of milk, and a big butter churn to make butter from milk, though this is how it was done in the past, my method is a shortcut.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Victoria Hart on September 1, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    I cant believe it worked I tried it the other day but used whipping cream

    • Gemma Stafford on September 2, 2018 at 3:15 am

      Hi Victoria,
      Haha! oh you of little faith! would I put you wrong?
      It is an inevitable thing, if the cream is right the butter must form when it is agitated! I think butter was discovered accidentally, when farmers had to take milk in churns a long way to the markets the fat would form butter along the way, a happy discovery!
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Tara on August 27, 2018 at 10:48 am

    You’re a Genius! Seriously. Your recipes are amazing! I tried the one with the brownies that you put in the microwave: DE-Li-CIOUS 😉 although I never thought about making your own butter: well, I’ll try this one (after I’llI try your recipe for No-knead Donuts) Yum!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 28, 2018 at 9:41 pm

      I’m delighted to hear that 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

  18. Nickie Cowell on August 27, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Gemma, I love your recipes! I have made few of your recipes and they are all a hit 🙂 Today I made your homemade butter and it turned out great, I will make this over and over again no more store bought butter in this house. Thank you for sharing.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 28, 2018 at 9:42 pm

      I’m delighted to hear you like my butter recipes 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

  19. Yehudis on August 27, 2018 at 7:36 am

    Can I double or triple this recipe for a higher yield or is it essential that the volume remain low so that the whipping will work better?

    Thank you for all these great recipes!!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 28, 2018 at 9:46 pm

      Yes you can absolutely triple the recipe 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

  20. Noellean on August 22, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Again another one of your amazing recipe !
    You are a star ! 😊

    • Gemma Stafford on August 23, 2018 at 4:27 am

      Hi Noeleean,
      Thank you for your kind comment. I am really amazed at the reaction to this particular post, I though everyone knew this one. I know how I learned it, as a child, over-whipping the cream oops! not appreciated at the time, but a big learning curve.
      In the UK there are a number of types of cream, take a look at the labels. The higher the fat content- and they run up to about 49.5% for dairy cream, the higher the yield of butter.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Sandra on August 19, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    I will try making the butter soon

    • Gemma Stafford on August 19, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      I hope you do, Sandra. Let me know how you get on. 🙂

  22. JoeH on August 17, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Hi! Are you able to leave this butter out on the counter or does it require refrigeration?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 17, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Hi,

      you can leave it out on the counter. ut maybe just for 2 days.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  23. shachar on August 12, 2018 at 5:55 am

    hi.
    insted of ice water, can i use ices fuit puree?
    will it work?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 15, 2018 at 9:02 am

      Hi there,
      NO! I have no idea why you would do this. The purpose of the water is to wash and set the butter, not to flavor it.
      It is a necessary part of this process,
      Gemma 🙂

  24. Khalida on August 11, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Hiiiii gemma
    The butter does not trun for me

    • Gemma Stafford on August 12, 2018 at 12:30 am

      Hi there,
      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.
      This cream will turn to butter, no matter how you go with it, beat it long enough and it is butter. Other manufactured creams will not work, and I do not know what you have.
      Let me know,
      Gemma 🙂

  25. Glory on August 9, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Hi Gemma! I was wondering about the yield. How much butter would you say comes from the 3c of cream you use?? Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 9, 2018 at 10:23 am

      Hi there,
      Butter is the fat of cream. If you use 35% fat cream, then the yield will be a little over 1/3 of the cream you used, the rest will be buttermilk residue/moisture.
      If you get 49% cream the yield will be higher.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  26. Tina on July 31, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    I have made this butter twice now and we love it! I have a couple of questions.
    1. Is there a way to keep it on the softer side? Once I refrigerator the butter hardens up and it’s harder to spread. Almost like a stick butter. Any suggestions?
    2. I added too much salt to my last batch. Is there a way to fix that by bringing in another flavor/seasoning or oil?

    Thanks so much for all the great recipes!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 1, 2018 at 11:17 am

      I’m so glad to hear you tried this recipe! For a softer result, I would suggest whipping for a shorter period of time. In terms of the salt, to balance the flavor out try adding a bit of honey for sweetness. I hope that’s helpful. Keep on baking 🙂

  27. Mb on July 28, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    Thanks. Will be making this soon.

  28. KIRAN on July 28, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Hi Gemma
    It’s great going thru your recipe of cookies with multiple flavours….. I am sure to try them
    Kiran

    • Gemma Stafford on July 28, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Hi Kiran,
      good to have you here Kiran, do try the recipes, and let us know how you get on with them,
      Gemma 🙂

  29. Kylie on July 21, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Hi,
    I am planning on making your buttercream frosting. Can I use this butter to make it?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2018 at 1:43 pm

      Yes you can use this, Kylie 🙂

      Gemma.

  30. Ila Awasthi on July 16, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    I did do more research into this and found that cow milk produces yellow butter but buffalo milk produces white butter. That’s the milk my mom was using. The animals in that age and place were all pasture grazed 🙂
    Thanks for your response!

  31. Ila Awasthi on July 13, 2018 at 6:28 am

    How does the butter turn yellow? My mom used to make Home made butter like this but hers was always white. In the photos of commenters I see some are white and some are yellow.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 14, 2018 at 3:50 am

      Hi there,
      The butter produced by grass fed cows will produce a yellow butter, it comes from the chlorophyll in the grass. Irish butter, Kerrygold, is from grass fed cows, as are other butters around the world where the animals are pasture raised.
      I hope this clears this up for you, you can do a little more research into this if you wish,
      Gemma 🙂

  32. Rameen on July 8, 2018 at 4:03 am

    Hey Gemma 👋🏼

    What company’ Heavy cream do you use?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 8, 2018 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Rameen,

      I use trader Joes, kidson or lucerine 🙂

      Gemma.

  33. gail murphy on July 4, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    I finally got time to make my butter according to your recipe……and it came out great…..I added salt and some olive oil to make it spreadable……saving the buttermilk to make biscuits…….

    • Gemma Stafford on July 4, 2018 at 5:42 pm

      I’m delighted to hear that. Also check out my biscuit recipe.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  34. LucysMom on July 2, 2018 at 6:41 am

    I have now made this recipe three times. The first time I didn’t beat it enough and thought I must have gotten the wrong kind of cream, because it just turned into whipped cream. Then I watched the video more carefully and have gotten PERFECT butter both times. I forgot to salt it this last time, but it’s still delicious. Thanks so much! – Randi (Lucy’s Mom)

    • Gemma Stafford on July 3, 2018 at 3:21 am

      Hi Randi,
      Good for you, it is hard to have faith in this! It is a bit like the science of baking. I am happy you worked it well in the end. Thank you for letting us know, it helps other Bold Bakers,
      Gemma 🙂

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