How to Make Butter

Want to learn how to make butter? It’s so simple! Easy to do! And a fun learning activity for kids of all ages! It’s budget-friendly and only requires 2-3 items. Learning how to make butter is simple, and a good workout! Learning how to make butter is a fun life skill to learn whether you’re at home or in the classroom.

How to Make Butter- buttered toast- butter in a jar- kids activities blog
Learn how to make butter to put it on all your favorite foods like toast!

Learn How How to Make Butter

Learn how to make butter at home in just a few minutes with cream, a jar, 2 marbles and some “muscle”.

Recently we made homemade butter. It was so easy to do, and the results were delicious! If you’ve never made butter from scratch, this is an experiment you have to try at home or in the classroom with your kids and students!  

You won’t believe how fast and easy it is to turn a cup of cream into a batch of fresh and tasty homemade butter!

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Related: You know what else uses butter? Cookies!

Supplies Needed To Learn How To Make Butter

Directions On How To Make Butter

Step 1

We started by filling the jar about 3/4 full of cream.

Step 2

We added two marbles to help with mixing and put the lid on. I double checked to make sure that the lid was on REALLY tight.

Step 3

Then we put on some fun music and we danced around while we shook the jar. It doesn’t really matter how you shake or how hard you shake them, but you need to keep things moving.

How to Make Butter- shake the butter in a mason jar
Shake the heavy cream in the jar!

Notes:

It’s best to do this with two people so you can trade off and let your arm rest. After 5 minutes, we had a nice whipped topping.

Step 4

When the cream goes silent, keep shaking. It won’t feel like anything is happening, but your butter still needs a lot more work.

Step 5

Shake until the butter forms together and sticks and moves off of one side to another. There should be buttermilk in your jar and the butter should look smooth, not grainy.

How to Make Butter- whipped topping in a mason jar
After a while you’ll have whipped topping. Keep shaking!

Step 6

Once the butter is done, fill a bowl with ice water.

Step 7

Pour out or save the buttermilk for later. Take the butter, and pat it into a ball and drop it in the water.

Step 8

Do this 3 times until most of the buttermilk has been washed out. This is also the time you would add salt or any other flavorings.

Our Experience With Learning How To Make Butter

I talked a little bit about how butter is made. I explained that basically cream is full of little fat globules but they are all scattered through the liquid. Once the mixing starts, those fat globules find each other and they start to stick together. As they stick together, the cream separates into 2 parts – the fat globules (butter) and the liquid (buttermilk).

How to Make Butter - The butter will start forming and it'll look grainy! Keep shaking and the butter form together.
The butter will start forming and it’ll look grainy! Keep shaking and the butter form together.

As more and more fat globules stick together, a lump of butter begins to form in a pool of buttermilk.

After about 10 minutes of shaking and dancing, we could hear a distinct “thud” as a ball of butter had formed in the jar.

How to Make Butter - Finally the butter will come together! The liquid is buttermilk.
Finally the butter will come together! The liquid is buttermilk.

We drained off our liquid and were left with a beautiful batch of fresh, homemade butter. It’s a good idea to rinse the butter under cold water, kind of kneading it with your fingers to remove all of that buttermilk.

Our fresh, butter tasted delicious as it was, but you could add a pinch of salt to it if you’d like.

It’s so yummy on toast as an after school snack and it’s a great learning activity to do with your kids. Try it at home or in the classroom, or even while camping or traveling.

Learning How To MakE Butter at Home with Kids

All we used was a clean jar (the Ball Jars are perfect for this), glass marbles, heavy whipping cream, music, and man-power.

If you have multiple children, they can always trade off when their arms get tired! That way the process of making butter can be sped up and everyone can learn how to make butter!

How to Make Butter - Nothing beats fresh butter on hot toast!
Nothing beats fresh butter on hot toast!

What To Use Your Homemade Butter For?

Homemade butter can be used for anything you would use regular butter! To me it actually tastes better because you still get hints of buttermilk, which is delicious!

You can put it on toast like we did, cook with it, flavor it (we like salted butter), use it for a butter board, turn it into compound butter! There are so many things to do with it!

How To Make Butter

homemade butter on toast

Learn how to make butter the easy way! Who knew churning butter could be so fun, and it's a great life skill to learn! Plus... it tastes so good!

Ingredients

  • Heavy Cream
  • Mason Jar
  • Marbles

Instructions

  1. Fill the mason jar with 3/4 heavy cream.
  2. Put the lid on tightly and shake vigorously.
  3. Keep shaking even the the heavy cream goes quiet. It's heavy whipping cream. Keep shaking the cream.
  4. Shake until the butter begins to form. It'll look grainy at first. Keep shaking.
  5. Once the butter is done, the butter will be together and there will be buttermilk in the jar.
  6. Fill a bowl with ice water and rinse your butter off.
  7. Do this three times until most of the buttermilk is rinsed off.
  8. Keep in an airtight container.

Notes

If you want flavored butter, flavor it after step 7.

More Delicious Recipes To Try From Kids Activities Blog

How did your homemade butter turn out? Did your kids like learning how to make butter?

13 Comments

  1. We love making butter as part of our farm breakfast during farm week.

  2. Back in the day, when I had an after school restaurant job – I used to make fresh butter for the house made sourdough buns. I can taste them right now.
    I think my young niece and nephew would appreciate this recipe. Their dad owns a few restaurants and they definitely have the foodie bug in them.

  3. HappyCampers says:

    We just made butter this week! Reese LOVED the fact that it was his creation…we pressed our butter into mini-cookie cutters so his was a bird-shaped pat of butter!

  4. This is one of my favorite things to do with kids (right up there with making ice cream by rolling the ball-shaped ice cream maker around). But I have to say, your story about the fat globules bumping up against each other and making friends is genius! I’ll definitely be incorporating that the next time I make butter with kids.

  5. For a not-as-fun-but-equally-yummy way of making butter: Throw cream in a food processor, turn it on, set timer for 15 minutes, make some biscuits, come back when timer is finished, slather said biscuits with fresh sweet cream butter. Delish!

  6. Homemade butter is on my to do list. I can’t wait to be able to go to the farm to get some raw milk and separate the cream to use that for the butter. I can taste it!

  7. I love it! I still remember doing this in the 3rd grade when we read the Laura Engles Wilder (sp.?) series. Super fun, thanks for reminding me of a great family activity to do together! Just stopping by from the Sundae Scoop link up and I’m glad to share on Twitter! 🙂

  8. Your little one is just adorable. This is a great activity for a child, and a lot of fun for adults as well! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  9. When my oldest was in 1st grade, they made butter with the whole class taking turns shaking, as part of their Thanksgiving feast. That was when I learned what buttermilk is. Lol I think I’ll have to try this with my kids, they’d love it.

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  12. What a great idea! I remember my kids did this in preschool science class right before Thanksgiving – each child got to take home a little baby food jar of butter. Now that I’m the preschool science teacher, I’d like to do that with my students, too — just not sure I’m allowed to — so many regulations now (sigh!). But I’ll check it out. If we’re not allowed to do it in class, I’ll add it to my pre-Thanksgiving newsletter as a suggested family activity. I’d love to do with this with my own extended family on Thanksgiving Day – have everybody take part in making butter for the feast!

    Thanks for the inspiration, and the great fat globule party explanation!

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