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A girl shakes up a jar of butter while hula hooping.


How to Make Your Own Butter in 20 Minutes

Did you know you could make your own homemade butter in less than a half hour?

This DIY butter recipe is a great activity to do with kids to help them learn where their food comes from and experience making it themselves. Try making homemade butter at home as a rainy/snowy day activity, or consider visiting your local school classrooms during Farm to School Month in October and help the children shake up their own butter in a jar for an afternoon snack.

Kids shake up jars of butter from Organic Valley cream at an event.

Homemade Butter in a Jar

This is all you need:

Download printable recipe card

Here’s what you do:

Hint before beginning: The colder the cream, the longer it takes to make butter. Let the cream sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before beginning the activity.

  • Pour Organic Valley liquid heavy whipping cream into jar and close lid tightly.
  • Shake until the liquid turns to whipped cream. Sample the cream—it won’t be sweet. (If you want, you could stop here, whisk in powdered sugar a bit at a time until you reach your desired sweetness, then enjoy your homemade whipped cream on fresh fruit or chocolate dessert!)
  • Put the lid back on tightly and continue to SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE!
  • The butter is ready when you see two products in the jar—a ball of yellow butter and thin buttermilk.
  • Pour off the buttermilk. Sample if you like and use it for cooking or baking—delicious in pancakes!
  • Wash the ball of homemade butter under cold running water and squeeze into a solid form. This is a good time to knead other ingredients into the butter using a resealable plastic bag (see serving suggestions).
  • Spread on your favorite bread or cracker and taste the buttery delight.
Measuring out Organic Valley cream into jars for kids to shake up.

Serving Suggestions:

Refrigerate the buttermilk to use for cooking or baking—delicious in pancakes, or use it in recipes for muffins and biscuits.

For special meals, have kids or guests make the butter and form it into fun shapes for the table.

Create “compound” butters with added ingredients such as garlic, honey, dill, salt, chives, etc.

Find more recipes featuring butter.

Why and how can liquid transform into a solid?

When raw milk is left to stand, it separates into skim milk and cream. The cream has proteins and fats in it. When you shake the cream, the fat sticks together to form butter, leaving behind liquid buttermilk, which contains the proteins.

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