How To Make Butter

How To Make Butter

Learning how to make butter is so easy, and even more rewarding!

I had the opportunity this week to visit a local farm stand and pick up some amazing local farm fare.  Sunday morning breakfast featured most of that fare with farm fresh eggs, milk, and local bacon. (It is so nice to have this farm stand down the road–especially right now!)

Besides a delicious breakfast, something I really enjoy making from this fresh farm milk is butter (and buttermilk as a by product!)  The taste is something you do not get in the stores. Plus, it is a great science or culinary arts lesson for kids who are at home!

Raw or Pasteurized?

So what kind of milk do you have to use?  Well, there is a big debate about the safety of raw milk, but I can tell you I have not had a problem with it over the years and have actually seen some benefits. If you are not comfortable with raw milk, the best alternative is lightly pasteurized milk or heavy cream. The Ultra pasteurized  and homogenized milk and cream will not make butter… you simply must have the milk with milk fat in it that has not been heated.  Also, since butter needs milk fat to form, 2% and skim will not work.. it must be whole milk.

How to Make Butter

I have been wanting a butter churn for a while now, and it has been sitting on my Amazon wish list calling my name for months.  The opportunity hasn’t presented itself to purchase it yet, but maybe soon. There is, however, a very low-tech and kid-friendly way to make your own butter.

Ready for this?? A canning jar and shaking. It takes about 30 minutes of shaking to finish the process (this is where your kids, spouse, roommate come in!), but it is worth every minute.  I typically will do this while I am sitting in front of the TV at night.

Milk after shaking for 10 ish minutes. See how the milk is starting to bind together on the sides of the jar?

The Butter Making Process

Start with a quart sized mason jar and fill it halfway with milk (use a smaller jar for small hands). Sit it on the counter to come to room temperature!–the warmer it is, the less shaking you have to do. Once warm, you begin shaking–but not too fast. The goal is to burst the milk molecules so they make a solid. Therefore, pace of one full shake every second does the trick…just make sure there is force up and down. (I’ve also seen people use their stand mixer for this!)

More binding…right now it is pea sized individual clumps.

After a while, the individual clumps of solids form a ball of butter which then means it is ready for the last 1 minute of shaking

Large Clump of butter

What is left from this process is butter (of course) and buttermilk! I usually use my buttermilk in pancakes or biscuits the next day to make sure it doesn’t go bad. The star of the show, however, is this butter that tastes so good it will not last long!

How to Store Butter

Once the buttermilk has been completely separated from the butter, and you have of course sampled the golden goodness before you, it is time to store this precious spreadable cargo for future use. Some people highly recommend storing butter in the refrigerator, some swear you can keep it covered on the counter. I, however, like a little of both approaches. Keep enough on the counter to make sure you have soft butter for spreading, but store the rest in the frig. (If you want to read more about storing butter, check out this butter producer’s take on the topic.) You can even mold your butter like little sticks you get from the store, or fun shapes for the family! Either way, I doubt it will last long.

Share the Fun!

After you have finished making this delicious treat for your kitchen, please share it with us! We would love to see your finished product! Tag us on Instagram @masonjarsandme or on Facebook!

If you enjoyed this recipe, subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss out on any of our future delights like this Perfect Eggs Benedict recipe!

Butter in a gowl on a wood cutting board

How to Make Butter

Yield: 1/2 Cup
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Additional Time: 40 minutes 20 seconds
Total Time: 42 minutes 20 seconds

Making butter is easy! Buttermilk is also a by-product of this process.


  • 1/2 Quart of Raw Milk, room temperature


  1. Fill your canning jar halfway with your milk and put the top on.
  2. Sit the jar out and let it warm to room temperature (but not to the point of spoiling). The warmer it is, the less you have to shake the jar.
  3. Once the milk is no longer cool, you can start shaking the jar.  This will take about 30 minutes, and you may start to think it is doing nothing until you start to see the small ball of butter starting to form.
  4. Continue shaking the jar until a ball of butter forms and is thumping against the top and bottom of the jar. Continue shaking for 1 minute.
  5. Pour the butter and buttermilk into a cheesecloth lined strainer and let the butter drain for 30 mins or so.
  6. At this point you can mix in some salt if you want, or just enjoy as is!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 31Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 32mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g
Some of the links in this article are "affiliate links", a link with a special tracking code. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers. By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our Website, and we genuinely appreciate your support.
Please follow and like us: