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Learn how to make Homemade Butter 2 different ways in this fun old fashioned activity for kids and adults alike! It’s easy to churn your own butter and make your own buttermilk!

fresh bread with homemade butter

Growing up in the Western United States, there’s a lot of celebration of the heritage of the American West and the pioneer heritage that populated and developed the area into what it is today. One of the activities that we seemed to always do in pioneer celebrations in the community and at school was to make our own butter.

Homemade butter can be made a variety of different ways. A mason jar makes a fun, and accessible activity for people of any age and skill level. All you need is a jar and some heavy cream. For less of an arm workout, you can also use a hand or stand mixer. 

  • Jar size for shaken method:

    You can use any size of jar you want. Baby food jars are a bit easier for little hands to work with, so consider using them if you are doing this activity with smaller children. The recipe is altered depending on the size of jar you use. You only want to fill the jar half-way with heavy cream. You need space in the jar for the cream to be able to churn into butter.

  • Salt Options:

    As written, the recipe is for unsalted butter. Want salted butter? Add a bit of salt to the cream before shaking or mixing (up to 1/4 teaspoon salt per 1 cup cream). Once your butter is churned you can also add in herbs, honey, and other flavorings for some gourmet butter options.

  • Honey Butter:

    We know you really came here to make honey butter, so this recipe is just for you. Once your butter is made, you can add honey in a to it in a 2:1 ratio. This recipe should make approximately 1/2 cup of butter, so you will want to add 1/4 cup of honey. Have an insanely sweet tooth? Go ahead and use a 1:1 ratio and add the full 1/2 cup to your 1/2 cup prepared butter. 

  • How should I store my homemade butter? How long will it last?

    The butter will stay good for 3-5 days at room temperature, and about 7-10 days refrigerated. How long it will last depends on the age of your cream and how well you were able to rinse away the buttermilk. The idea behind homemade butter is that it is eaten fresh, within a few days. Store wrapped or in an airtight container. The liquid left over after the butter forms is buttermilk. You can also store this in the fridge for about a week for later use. I highly recommend using it in my Chocolate Cake recipe.

Learn how to make Homemade Butter in a Mason Jar in this fun pioneer activity for kids and adults alike! It's easy to churn your own butter and make your own buttermilk!

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these delicious bread recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

homemade butter on a wooden board
Learn how to make Homemade Butter 2 different ways in this fun old fashioned activity for kids and adults alike! It's easy to churn your own butter and make your own buttermilk!
Prep Time 12 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
  • 1 cup heavy cream 38% fat content
  • cold water

Mixer Instructions

  • Pour cream into the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, or use a mixing bowl and hand mixer. Begin beating the cream on a low speed, and gradually increase the speed as the mixture thickens.
  • After several minutes, whipped cream will form. Continue mixing. The whipped cream will start to yellow. After several minutes more the fat solids will separate from the liquids and you'll see clumps of butter fat quickly form, leaving the sloshing liquid buttermilk in the bottom of the bowl.

Mason Jar Instructions

  • Pour heavy cream into the mason jar, filling it half-way full. Do not overfill past the half-way mark. Screw the lid on tightly so there are no leaks.
  • Shake mason jar for approximately 5-7 minutes. After a few minutes, whipped cream will form. Keep shaking until you hear that a lump has formed inside, and shake an additional 30-60 seconds after that. You should clearly see that the fat solids have separated from the liquids. The amount of time it takes will depend on how vigorously you are able to shake the jar.

Rinsing, Flavoring, and Storing

  • Strain the fat solids from the buttermilk using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. You can reserve the buttermilk and save it for later use in recipes.
  • Pour cold water over the butter. Discard water and repeat rinsing 2 times more. Shape into a ball or any other shape (you can purchase butter molds for interesting designs).
  • At this point you have butter. You can add in things like salt, honey, and herbs to create flavored butters, or serve in its pure form as is.


Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 45mg | Potassium: 89mg | Vitamin A: 1750IU | Calcium: 77mg
Course: Side
Keyword: Homemade Butter
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June 20, 2020 11:50 pm

We did this with our grandsons,oh it was so fun to watch their little faces and answer their questions and we added the salt a friend of ours gave us some French bread so we put it on that they were so excited to eat butter they made

September 6, 2020 4:23 pm

It is great to know how to make home made butter. I remember learning how to make it in a mason jar when I was in the first grade that was awesome. I’m going to try it again 74 years later.
Thank you for this posting. BJRobles

November 27, 2019 5:18 pm

5 stars
8oz jar, filled halfway. Took more like 20 minutes because I didn’t use a marble or anything. Seasoned it after.. butter is soft and honestly delicious. Gonna use it on the turkey.

August 22, 2019 1:28 pm

Oh my goodness it worked!!! I’m so excited to try it on my homemade bread!

July 24, 2020 7:38 am

5 stars
It works!!! When I was a child one of my favorite things to do when I was at my Granny’s house was to sit on a high stool and churn butter. Their churn held 3 gallons of cream and took awhile but being a child I loved it. Would I today? I really think I would. This is a GREAT project. Thank you!!!

June 21, 2020 12:49 am

5 stars
Should the heavy cream when first put in the mason jar be cold? Or room temperature?

July 14, 2020 2:35 pm
Reply to  Elizabeth

I have always used cold cream. The colder the better.

Ede Bennett Pearson
July 27, 2020 1:29 am
Reply to  Elizabeth


Letty Salas
July 12, 2020 12:44 pm

I give 5 starts it was fun and I don’t have to buy unsalted butter thank you God bless

April 2, 2020 6:44 pm

5 stars
Why is the butter only good for 7-10 days refrigerated?

May 4, 2020 6:46 am
Reply to  Cindy curry

No preservatives

August 23, 2019 7:52 pm

Can it be frozen?

August 27, 2019 11:38 am
Reply to  Bonnie

Yup (:

Colleen Campbell
August 21, 2020 2:21 pm

How long can I freeze it for?

August 25, 2020 9:44 am

So long as the cream used to make butter was very fresh, your butter can be frozen for up to 4 months.

Cailey Wood
August 9, 2019 12:09 pm

I haven’t tried this yet but I am excited to! I just have one quick question, does the cream have to be a specific temperature? I’ve seen some recipes say that it had to be left out at room temp. for an hour before starting and some that say it should come right from the fridge.

James welker
May 21, 2020 3:17 pm
Reply to  Cailey Wood

I just did this for the first time since I was a child. Mine came right out of the fridge and I believe that is why it took about three times the time and effort. But the experience for our fosters was invaluable. They absolutely loved it.

August 23, 2020 2:20 pm

5 stars
I grew up on a farm and we made butter every week. This is a great butter recipe with great instructions! So creamy and delicious. Thanks for sharing!

August 18, 2020 5:20 pm

I just made butter! Thanks! Brought back memories of when I was growing up and had to churn butter. Millie Holmes

March 22, 2020 7:46 pm

I honestly never knew it was this easy to make butter at home. Thanks for sharing!

February 12, 2020 11:15 pm

5 stars
What a fun way to make your own butter! Plus the arm exercise from all that shaking of the jar! ??

Deborh Franks
September 23, 2019 5:23 pm

Fun for your kids too make.

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