Homemade Butter is so simple, you’ll wonder why you never made your own butter at home before. With only 4 ingredients, you’ll be “churning” every day!
Churn away, foodie friends!
What's In This Article
This Homemade Butter Recipe is ready in just 5 minutes using your blender, heavy cream, ice water, and salt. You’ll wonder why you never made butter at home before!
Seriously. Homemade butter is the bomb! And who can say they make their own butter? YOU! Now everyone, bust out their wooden butter churner. (I am 100% kidding.)
Butter is one of those things I just can’t get enough of. I’ve been known to hoard the butter dish at restaurants. Hubby knows to ask for two right when we sit down. If not, he isn’t getting any.
It truly is the most simple thing on the planet. It is simply milk or in this case, heavy cream, that is churned.
Making it at home means no additives and no preservatives. You have total control over everything including whether or not you are adding salt and how much. What is not to love?
Most of us are eating cow’s milk butter but you could make butter out of different kinds of milk if you wanted to try a different flavor. Think of it like eat a goat cheese or a sheep’s milk cheese instead of a traditional cow’s milk cheese.
What is the History of Butter?
It is believed that the first batch of butter was purely accidental. Someone was riding on a horse with milk and the agitation from riding “churned” the mixture making butter. Salt, a naturally occuring substance, was one of the few seasonings used and so salt was added for flavor, but also to help preserve the mixture.
Since then, it has been used for medicinal purposes, in religious ceremonies and of course, for cooking.
Butter can vary greatly depending on geographic location because they cows making the cream (highest fat content milk skimmed from the top after milking) are eating vastly different diets. You’ll see the most notable differences between American and European butters.
European butters are usually darker yellow, churned longer and have a higher butter fat between 82-86%. American style is a little paler and closer to 80% fat. You’ll also see differences in smoke point, texture and consistency. American butters are usually labeled AA, A and B butters. This also has to do with quality- AA is the best with a higher fat content, least amount of water and longest churn.
Cultured butter just means that the is is made with cream that has sat and cultured (like yogurt) and now has a tangy flavor.
Compound Butters (Flavored Butter)
It also means you can make your own compound butter. Compound butter is a butter with anything else added to it other than salt.
They are great for spreading on bread, topping your favorite steak, making garlic bread…the list goes on and on.
Add anything from fresh herbs or garlic to lemon or lime zest and/or spices. You can even throw in some dried fruit or nuts to your homemade butter and complement whatever you serve it with.
Okay, ready for some knowledge? When the cream is agitated (spun around in the machine,) it breaks the membranes around the fat granules.
These separate and then join together to form clumps. Those clumps are butter!
Are you having your “aha” moment yet? Homemade Butter is then seasoned with salt and ready to go. Simple as that.
I like to use cheese salt, but if you don’t have that on hand, use Kosher salt or fine sea salt. Or you can be like the fancy restaurants and just served unsalted butter with your choice of coarse salt on the side.
If you go the unsalted route, you can also use your homemade butter for all your baking needs as well.
The leftover liquid is homemade buttermilk.
Use the leftover buttermilk to make:
I’d give you a list of recipes that use butter as recommendations… but that would be most of my recipes.
I love butter. Real butter. Not margarine.
So get on the butter train and start “churning”!
Questions you might have about how to make homemade butter:
Can I freeze butter? Yes! Wrap tightly in aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place inside a heavy-duty freezer bag.
Frozen salted butter will keep at best quality for up to 12 months, unsalted butter will stay at best quality for about 6 months.
Also, the fresher the butter, the better is freezes.
How long does homemade butter last? The short answer is 2-3 weeks.
However, the shelf life depends on how well you extract the buttermilk. If a substantial amount of buttermilk remains, it will sour within a week, because it is, well, buttermilk.
Is homemade butter better? This really depends on the quality of the ingredients you use. Pay attention to the quality of cream you are using as well as the type of salt.
Is homemade butter cheaper? The honest answer is probably not. Large butter companies get cream at a cheaper price than you will at the store.
But it is so satisfying to make your own and it tastes great!
Can homemade butter go bad? Yes, unfortunately. Adding salt helps to preserve it some, but it is fresh cream so it can go rancid.
Can I leave homemade butter out? Just like store bought butter, the FDA doesn’t recommend leaving it out for longer than 2 hours.
Can you use homemade butter in baking? Yes! Why couldn’t you? Some even beleive that since it isn’t perfectly smooth (down on the molecular level) that is produces even better pastries.
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- Place heavy cream in food processor or blender. Hit blend and watch your appliance do the work. You will see the mixture changes in both consistency and color over about 2-3 minutes.
- Continue to mix until cream separates into butter and butterfat. Drain off butterfat. Discard or reserve for other recipes like White Chocolate and Raspberry Pancakes.
- Add 1/2 cup ice water and continue to blend for 30 seconds. Drain off water. Add additional 1/2 cup ice water and repeat. Drain.
- Remove from food processor or blender and fold in cheese salt by hand. Mix well or else you will get a mouth full of salt at some point. Add other flavors as well- fresh herbs, citrus zest, dried fruit bits or other spices.
- Refrigerate until ready to use in any recipe that requires butter!
- If you’ve tried this recipe, please come back and let us know how it was!