How to Make Butter | Kitchen Explorers | PBS Food

How to Make Butter


Never try to impress an eleven year old.  Trust me on this one.  Chances are they will just look at you like the “old” person you are and cleverly come up with a response that in fact only proves your ‘old’ age.  For instance, when I started baking no-knead bread in our home years ago my daughter wasn’t impressed.  So then I tried impressing her with homemade butter.  Do you think that impressed her?  Did she say “okay mom, now that is cool” when I showed her?  No.

Perhaps she would be more impressed had her teacher not beat me to it.  Earlier in the year Mrs. Telstad and her class baked bread in class.  Then they actually made homemade butter to slather on top of each warm slice using a jar and muscle power.  By filling up a mason jar with heavy cream and tightly securing the lid, each student took one minute turns shaking the jar until curds of butter formed.  They then only needed to squeeze the excess buttermilk out before putting the butter to very good use.  When Mimi told me about it I was the one that was impressed.

Although shaking a jar for 30 minutes sounds like a great way to tone my biceps, I prefer a quicker method to making homemade butter.  By pouring cream into a food processor and essentially waiting about 7 minutes before butter curds form, making homemade butter has never been easier. I should note the same results can be done with a stand mixer with a few more additional minutes.

Sweet, fresh butter made from heavy cream and a pinch of salt is ridiculously easy – just not enough to impress Mimi.  To impress Mimi, you better up your game plan and bake bread in a homemade wood fire oven.  Sounds like I might have a summer project to work on.



Pour the cream into a food processor.


The cream will look like heavy whipped cream first as you process it.  Continue to let it processor running.


After 5 to 6 minutes, butter curds will form and separate from the liquid butter milk.  After squeezing out the buttermilk, you can gently knead the butter with a pinch of salt before using and storing in the refrigerator.


How to Make Butter

Making homemade butter has never been this easy. With the help of a food processor or stand mixer, all you need is heavy cream and a pinch of salt to make fresh homemade butter.



  • 1 pint Heavy Cream
  • pinch of sea salt or kosher salt


  1. Add the heavy cream to a food processor.  Process for 6-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl half way through.
  2. The cream will separate into tiny balls of pale-yellow butter curds and liquid butter milk.
  3. Transfer the butter over a strainer and gently rinse with water. Strain the butter through the strainer.
  4. Add a small pinch of salt and knead the butter by hand until creamy.
  5. Transfer the butter to an airtight container and refrigerate.  Use within two weeks.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 10 Minutes

Yield: 3/4 cup

Alice-Currah-169x215Alice Currah is the publisher of popular food blog, Savory Sweet Life. Her approachable everyday recipes are accompanied by beautiful step by step photos and have been featured online at Martha Stewart, Real Simple, The Pioneer Woman, Epicurious, Bon Appetit, Saveur, iVillage and many more. In March 2010, featured Alice as one of “Eight of the Very Best Food Bloggers.” You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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