How to Make Butter

Homemade Butter
Got 23 minutes? Then you can make butter. © Sea Wave –

If you’ve ever over whipped heavy cream past the point of no return, don’t throw it away — on the other side of broken is homemade butter.

With just two ingredients and a mixer, you can make fresh, creamy butter at home in about 23 minutes. Either a standing mixer with whip attachment, or a hand held mixer with a whip attachment or the standard beater blades, will produce the same results, give or take a minute.

The cream will go through a series of quiet changes on its journey from liquid to solid, with a dramatic finale before becoming butter.

Once the butter is ready, a portion can be reserved for compound butter — a fancy way of describing butter that has been mixed with aromatic ingredients, formed into a log or other shapes, chilled, and used to flavor meats, fish, vegetables, or spread on breads.

Homemade Butter
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1/4 cup
  • 1 pint organic heavy cream, chilled
  • salt to taste
  1. In a large bowl, add heavy cream.
  2. Using a hand mixer beat cream on medium speed. The cream will start off frothy and then begin to thicken; increase speed to high and watch for the following stages:Coats the back of a spoon, but still runny; Soft peaks; Stiff peaks; Frosting-like; Begins to break into whipped pebble-like pieces - it will stay at this stage for quite a while; Listen for a slosh – as soon as you hear this, immediately turn off the mixer. Fat and water physically separate and the butter is left sitting in a pool of buttermilk.
  3. Transfer mixture to a cheese cloth-lined colander; drain buttermilk and, if desired, reserve for other recipes*.
  4. Squeeze any remaining buttermilk from butter; let butter stand in colander 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer butter to a medium glass or ceramic bowl; add salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate up to 14 days.
*The buttermilk is full of protein and can be added to smoothies, soups, sauces or used in baking recipes that call for buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate up to 7 days.