Butter is fantastic, but homemade butter is magical. This recipe for homemade butter requires about 10 minutes and the use of a stand mixer (like this KitchenAid). For unsalted butter the only ingredient needed is some heavy cream. However, if you want to get a little extravagant you can throw in some salt and fresh herbs (and maybe some roasted garlic). Best served on some delicious fresh baked bread.
Making Butter in a Stand Mixer
To begin making your butter pour about two cups of heavy cream into the stand mixer with the whip attachment. If you want salted butter, you can add a generous pinch of salt at this point. Turn the mixer on to the lowest setting while gradually increasing the speed to the fastest setting as it thickens. Using a splash guard is recommended if you have one.
After a few minutes the fat from the cream should begin to separate from the liquid (buttermilk), continue whipping until it’s completely separated and looks like this:
At this point use a spatula to combine all the butter and make it one big mound (reference photo below) and then drain out as much of the liquid as you can. Add some ice-cold water to the mixer with the butter mound and turn the mixer back on to a medium speed.
Drain and repeat 2 or 3 times. The more buttermilk you are able to extract the longer the butter will last, so cleaning the butter well is essential. A cheesecloth or strainer can also be used to rinse the butter.
At this point you can add some fun flavors to your butter if desired. Otherwise you can wrap the butter in some plastic wrap, or use a butter mold for interesting designs!
Butter that has been thoroughly cleaned should last about 2-3 weeks in the fridge, however if you haven’t successfully extracted all the buttermilk it may spoil sooner.
Homemade Butter Variations
This recipe is for a basic unsalted butter, which is a fantastic blank canvas for even more greatness. Once you’re done making your butter simply fold the additional ingredients into it before shaping and chilling. Other than adding salt, the recipe won’t work if you add extra ingredients prior to the butter being fully formed and washed. Here are some of our recommendations:
Salted Butter: Simple, but fantastic on some bread. All you need to do is add a pinch of salt to the cream prior to whipping.
Garlic Herb Butter: Any fresh herbs will be a fantastic addition, really. We love to do some chopped parsley with roasted garlic and some salt.
Lemon Herb Butter: About a tablespoon or two of lemon juice, some lemon zest, and parsley (or any fresh herbs you have) and you have a deliciously bright and tangy butter. Great for roasting a chicken, or rubbing on some corn.
Cinnamon Honey Butter: Now this one’s delicious. Add some good quality honey, vanilla extract, a dash of cinnamon, and a sprinkle of salt. This one’s best served on pancakes, biscuits, or anything warm and fluffy.
Spicy Honey Butter: Honey and butter are a match made in heaven. Add some honey, your favorite hot sauce, and a good pinch of salt. Best served as a glaze for fried chicken.
The options are endless when you have some great plain butter. Let us know in the comments what custom butter you came up with!
More Simple Recipe Guides and Tutorials
How to Make Homemade Butter
- Stand Mixer
- 2 cups Heavy Cream
- Ice Cold Water
- Pour two cups of heavy cream into a stand mixer with the whip attachment. A splash guard is recommended if you have one.
- Turn the mixer onto the lowest setting and gradually increase the speed as the cream thickens. Once the cream has become the consistency of whipped cream the mixer should be at the highest speed setting.
- After 8-10 minutes the fat will be completely seperated from the liquid (buttermilk).
- Use a spatula or spoon to press all the butter into one ball and drain out the liquid.
- Add ½ cup of iced water and turn the stand mixer on to the lowest setting. Drain and repeat this process 1 or 2 more times to thoroughly extract all the buttermilk from the butter.
- Butter can be rolled and stored in plastic wrap, or shaped by hand and stored in an airtight container. There are also butter molds for creating fun designs.
- Chill and enjoy! Best served on some freshly baked bread.