Make Your Own Butter (Without a Cow)

When I was a girl, my mother was a saint. I was one of those children who talked contantly (Never saw that one coming, huh) and was always right up on her with questions and endless conversation. I can’t ever remember a time, even now, when I haven’t been trying to figure the world out, finding some new angle almost daily to view it through and gain a better understanding of the whys and what-fors of any given situation.

I was one to question, examine, and then declare my findings. Again, much how I do now. But folks, I can tell ya, My poor mama needed a break from time to time and she always came up with wonderful ways to keep me busy while giving me something else to figure out.

Most of these actiities have become habit for me now, ways I busy myself in the odd need to be doing multiple tasks in order to focus. My friend, Jyl is night and day different from me in this respect. She actually focuses on one thing at a time, just like my husband. Mama is like that, too, so I’m really surrounded by people who stand in place doing one appointed task while I buzz around them talking away with the speed of my thoughts. I imagine it leaves us both a little tired.

Recently I was on the phone with Jyl talking over some things I have coming up with Southern Plate and while talking to her, I walked into the kitchen and got all of the fixin’s out to make a little butter. I poured my cream into a mason jar, screwed the lid on good and began shaking away. ~swish swish swish~

After a few minutes of talking while I swished in the background Jyl asked, “What are you doing?”

“I’m making butter.” I declared, as I continued swishing while I walked around the house talking on the phone.

Did you know I can’t stand still or sit while I talk on the phone? Doing only one thing at a time is very difficult for me and always has been. Of course it’s ADHD but it is certainly not a disorder, it’s a gift, a talent, and a blessing. The only reason it is called a “disorder” is because other folks beat us to the punch in declaring themselves normal and us abnormal. If we wouldn’t have been so busy up and leaving Europe and creating an entirely new country based on an entirely new governmental concept, we could have gotten to declare the rest of the world “OTATD” or “O-Tats” for short, One Thing At A Time Disorder. ~grins and giggles~ But that is a post for another day so back to what I was saying about butter..

Jyl sounded incredulous “You’re doing what?”

“I’m making butter, I’m going to spread it on some saltines.”

“Are you talking about actually churning butter?”

“Yeah, but in a mason jar. Haven’t you ever made butter?”

This is when it occured to me that Jyl, being the quiet person that she is, most likely never annoyed her mother like I did and therefore was never given the fascinating task of making butter in a mason jar. Since I can’t see her ever being able to annoy people to the extent that I do, I guess it is up to me to take the initiative and show her how it’s done so this post was born.

Tomorrow begins National Dairy Month and this is a great post to help us kick that off so yesterday, me and the kids made butter. This is a GREAT activity to do with kids, or to let them do on their own to buy you a few minutes of quiet in the kitchen while you cook. Even adults enjoy the “neatness” factor of making your own butter with just some whipping cream and a mason jar!

All you’ll need is: Heavy Whipping Cream and a jar or two.

I usually use the larger jars but these little eight ounce ones are easier for little hands to hold and do just fine.

Fill your jar 1/2 to 3/4 full, but no more than that. Your cream needs space to shake around a bit.

Put the lid on well and then start shaking!

This will take anywhere from ten to thirty minutes, but your butter will most likely be ready in twenty minutes or so. It all depends on how much you shake it. Little hands will take frequent breaks 🙂

Now let me tell you what is gonna happen here so you don’t think you’re shaking your arms off for nothing:

First, the liquid is going to completely coat the jar as you shake and you’ll hear it just a shaking back and forth

Then, the liquid is going to get really thick, still coating the jar, but as you shake you won’t really hear it shaking anymore and you’ll begin to doubt me. Hang in there, I promise there will be butter soon enough, just keep shaking on faith :). You can open the lid if you want and see that your cream is just really, really thick. Then…

After about fifteen or twenty minutes, you’ll notice the sides are no longer coated and it pulls away from the sides a bit.

You’re almost done!

A few minutes later you’ll feel solids shaking around in there and the liquid and solids will separate completely. Now your butter is ready.

When you open it up you’ll see this.

Pour that out into a strainer or colander so the liquid can drain out the bottom.

This is Brady and Katy’s jar both emptied.

Now adding a little salt is optional but I like to.

This is just a little kosher salt that I’m going to stir in.

You will need to add this to taste so start small.

Stir in salt, if adding it.

Spoon butter into small ramekin, cover, and refrigerate.

It will harden as it gets cold.

Enjoy!

Doesn’t this look good? I love it on Saltines!

Making Butter At Home (Fun activity for all ages!)

  • Whipping Cream
  • Mason Jar
  • Salt (optional)

Fill jar 1/2 to 3/4 full with cream. Place lid on tightly. Shake for ten to thirty minutes, or until you hear solids shaking around and can see through the glass that the solids have separated from liquid (read up in post for more details of what the shaking stages will be like). Pour into colander to separate liquid from butter. Place butter in a ramekin or bowl and stir in salt, if desired. Refrigerate until hardened. Enjoy!

Did your Mama have creative ways to keep you busy as a child?

My Mama Reed used to have her grandkids shuck corn and snap beans on the front porch. They loved feeling needed!

I’d love to hear what your parentsand grandparents did in the comments section below!


We had a WONDERFUL time this past weekend when we got our own private tour of a working dairy farm in Alabama.

Stay tuned to my next post for details and photos!

Subscribe by email so you don’t miss a single post. It’s free and you won’t ever get an email from anyone other than me. Click here to subscribe.


What you DO speaks loudly, I can’t hear what you say.

~A quote Nick Saban used in his book, How Good Do You Want To Be?

Submitted by JoAnn. We have a great collection of positive and uplifting quotes which I’d love for you to read through and enjoy, or add your own! Submit your quote by clicking here!

Similar Posts

222 Comments

  1. When I was a little girl, we had a Jersey cow and mom would take the “top” milk and put it in a gallon jar and I would shake and shake and make butter. Now I always was a bit of a talker, in fact they bought a book about this doll that talked so much she wore her tongue out and they used to try and tell me that it was gonna happen to me if I didn’t shush some! LOL! It didn’t work – I still talked a mile a minute and could ask 1,001 questions! Thanks to you, now I know why I was a “butter shaker”!

  2. I remember those days of churning butter in the jar, do you wash yours with ice water after you drain the liquid (buttermilk) off? We always did and i still do. But now i churn it in the food processor. I like drinking the liquid (buttermilk) but do not like what one can buy in the grocery store. Have a wonderful day!

  3. I remember doing this in kindergarten. The teacher filled a jar with whipping cream and then each child took turns shaking the jar. When it was done, the teacher spread it on saltines so that everyone could have a taste. We thought it was magic!

  4. When I was 3 or 4 I remember helping my grandmother churn butter in a crock. That was 60+ years ago. I cherish that memory because we moved from Kentucky (my birthplace) when I was 4 & I only saw my only grandparent once a year. She died when I was 19. I feel I lost a lot by not living closer to “Mamaw”, as I called her, but I have the butter memory & a few others. The next time my two grandchildren (5 & 8) visit I’m going to let them make butter using your recipe. Love your blog & recipes, Christy.

  5. My grandmother taught me how to make butter just like this when I was little. One of my favorite things growing up was cooking and baking with her. 🙂

  6. I remember my Mom making butter in a gallon jug. She would sit and shake it in her lap. She let me try it a few times but I mostly couldn’t sit still long enough. The pint jar would have worked for me though. A great idea! Your Mom is a smart woman!
    I did all the usual canning things that you mentioned. I snapped beans, shelled peas, shucked corn but mostly I remember shredding cabbage in that big ceramic jar for sourkraut. Lots and lots of sourkraut. I would shread a while, then put in some canning salt. On the top Mom would put grape leaves and put a clean rock on top to hold it down, then tie a cloth over the top.
    I really had fun as a child but back then I just thought it was work. Precious Memories! Thanks for reminding me!

  7. Just made this with my granddaughter when they were here last week….we put 2 marbles in with the cream. Shake till you don’t hear the marbles…then continue shaking till you hear them again, and…you have butter!! Tired arms, but fun!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *