Friday 27 January 2012

How to make Butter

I've done this a few times now and it is easy and fun.

You will need:

  • Some double cream - it works better if the cream is not too fresh, but still before it's use by date (I do it when I get a pint of cream in the discount section in the supermarket for 5p or similar)
  • A very large jar - your jar should be more than 2x the volume of the cream, the bigger the better (the one I used was too small and made it more difficult)

Pour the cream in the jar put the lid on tightly and shake

and shake

and shake

(small people can roll the jar, which helps, but you'll still need to do some pretty violent shaking)

and shake

and shake

and shake

you will go through the 'whipped cream' stage and then you will hear a reassuring 'THUNK' as the butter suddenly forms.

before I go any further I feel it is prudent to say that I have heard tell that the shaking can be foregone by using an electric mixer or food processor, but where's the fun in that???

Continue to shake until you have very defined solid and liquid (by this time you have forearms the size of a small village)

Remove the lid of the jar and pour out the liquid into a jug (this is buttermilk and will make the most amazing pancakes)

Put the lid back on and shake a little more to get out as much liquid as possible - buttermilk will cause your butter to spoil, you want to get it all out.

Once you strain it a couple more times turn your butter out onto a chopping board.

>>> the photos are of Small making her own little block, she is 5 and was quite capable >>>

Squeeze out more butter-milk by patting and squeezing the butter with some wood spatulas (or proper butter paddles if you happen to have any lying about)

Sprinkle some salt over the top and then shape it into a block.

(1pt of cream will give you 2 reasonably sized blocks)

Use the buttermilk within the use-by date of the original cream - we use ours straight away for the most wonderful pancakes; but you can drink it or use it for anything you might want creamy-milk for.

The butter will keep for a while, since it is pretty much fat and salt. But I would recommend popping it in the freezer if you aren't going to finish it in the next few days (better safe than sorry)



  1. Came across your blog via the Ish forum pages... and what a lovely blog it is too. Keep meaning to have a go at the old butter making with a jam jar malarkey. And I LOVE your homemade play kitchen... Shame we've already got one (not homemade) or I would be cobbling one together as we speak (so to, er, speak). Will try and remember to go to Amazon via here...I like the idea I might be doing a real person a favour rather than just lining Amazonian pockets.

  2. I can't wait to make this! I often buy creams like this and it gets wasted. Now I know what I can do with the left overs. Best of all my kids can have fun doing it.

    Is double cream the same as heavy whipping cream?

    1. Hi Pearl,

      Double cream here is 48% fat. I know that it is hard to get in the US but yes, heavy cream (35% fat +) or heavy cream would probably be just fine.

      Let me know how you get on.



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