Making Butter

I learned how to make butter at Syd’s Waldorf school.  The adults would pass around the jar of cream to shake while the kids explored.  It was so fresh and sweet I knew I had to try it at home…so we have…and will continue to do so.  It’s so easy – it’s a shame I didn’t learn before now!

First, start with good quality heavy whipping cream. We get ours from our dairy, so we know the moo-cows are grass-fed and happy. Pour the cream into a glass jar big enough so you have room to shake; I like my jar about half full of cream.


Second, shake. Shake shake shake til you think you can’t shake anymore.  Shake it high, shake it low, give it to a kid to shake, or a husband.  You will shake, in total for about 15-30 mins.  The cream will go through stages that you will feel while you shake.  First is the cream stage, it’s how it feels right when you start shaking.  The second stage things will get a little thicker.


The thick stage

Then it will get so thick you will think there isn’t anything going on in that jar and that you should stop shaking — but don’t! — cause if you keep shaking miraculously things will separate and lead you to the fourth and final stage.  The final stage is when you sorta hear the butter slop and splash with the buttermilk.  THIS is when you are done.


The final stage

At this point you can pour out the buttermilk into your vessel of choice using a funnel or as I have done here, a mesh colander.  Then with a spoon or spatula or other flat device, work the rest of the buttermilk out of the butter. I do this first in the colander.


and then I use some cheesecloth to squeeze the rest.


Viola!  Butter!


If you want you can work in some salt at this point or keep it unsalted — whatever your pleasure.  Other herb infusions would be fun too!


With a pint of cream I can get a good-sized ramiken of butter (maybe 1.5 sticks?…next time I’ll weigh it), and about 1.25-1.5 cups of buttermilk which is just enough for buttermilk pancakes, fancy that! Now go find some good bread and enjoy!


  1. I’m totally trying this when we get home!


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