1. Food

15-minute Homemade Butter


Got Butter?

Homemade butter in less than 20 minutes.

photo ©Kari Diehl, licensed on 12/18/2011 to About.com
Inspired by the 2011 butter shortage in Norway (as well as a life-long curiosity as to how one can actually make butter without a butter churn), I've learned just how easy it is to make decadently smooth and delicious homemade butter - and its accompanying buttermilk - in less time than it takes to drive to the grocery store. Beware, though - once you've tasted the difference between fresh butter and the grocery store's mass-produced variety, you may find yourself turning your kitchen into a home creamery! You can use either regular cream or heavy whipping cream to make butter - the richer the cream, of course, the richer the butter you'll have available to make melt-in-your mouth cookies like Berlinerkranser.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 quart chilled cream or whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)


Put on a bib apron if you own one (believe me, you'll thank me - especially if you omit the next step).

Tear a long, 4-inch thick length of alumnium foil to serve as a shield for the bowl of your stand-up mixer (even if it's already equipped with a splash guard).

Pour the cream into the mixer bowl, slide on the whip attachment, and fold the foil around the top rim of the bowl to make a shield (the foil should almost cover the top of the bowl, because the contents will fly out as the butter begins to separate from the buttermilk).

Start the mixer on its lowest setting, then gradually increase the speed as the cream begins to thicken.

Once the cream has been whipped to stiff peaks, increase the speed to "high" and let 'er rip. It should take about 10 minutes for the butter to separate from the buttermilk (it will look almost exactly like scrambled eggs).

Place a colander over a large bowl, pour in the contents of the mixer bowl, and allow the buttermilk to drain. Gently squeeze the butter to remove all excess buttermilk; refrigerate buttermilk for later use.

"Wash" the lump of butter by kneading it in a bowl of cold water, replacing the water until it remains clear when you knead.

Sprinkle the butter with the salt, if using, lightly kneading it two or three times to incorporate.

Wrap tightly and refrigerate until needed (Suggestion: For a very Norwegian presentation, spoon the fresh butter into sandbakkel tins as your "butter molds," seal in plastic bags, and refrigerate).

Per Serving (1 tablespoon unsalted butter): Calories 102, Calories from Fat 102, Total Fat 11.5g 18%, Saturated Fat 7.3g 36%, Cholesterol 31mg 10%, Sodium 82mg 3%, Total Carbohydrates 0.0g 0%, Protein 0.1g, Vitamin A 7%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 0%, Iron 0%

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