DIY – Homemade butter in a jar

10/02/2012 12:02 pm · 14 comments

by Sarah A Thrifty Mom


How to make butterIt’s Matt. I made Butter in a Jar back when I was a kid as a youth activity. It was very easy and just took some time. So the other day at the store I grabbed some Heavy Whipping Cream and planned a night with the kids to make butter. It is really easy and will provide some tasty and easily home made butter!

home made butter in jar


  • Heavy Whipping Cream – any amount 6 cups makes about 1 pound of butter
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon per pound of butter- optional, used for preserving butter
  • Jar – with lid, any size, baby food jars are great for kids to make it with

home made butter heavy whipping creamDirections:

Pour Heavy Whipping Cream into jars no more then 3/4 the way full. It is best to leave room for the shaking and turning action. Next begin shaking! And Shake and Shake. Some music to shake too makes it fun for the kids and helps pass time. Something with a fun and quick beat. The best way I figured to shake the jar was to hold it length wise in my hands with the lid in my palms and the base of the jar wedge in my forearms.

It takes about 5 minutes before you notice a thickening forming in the jar. This heaviness is the beginning of the fat changing and sticking together. At this point you really just have a thick whip cream in the jar. Keep shaking. At this point the jar edges will look like:
home made butter foam


As another 5-10 minutes pass you will notice the jar filling with the foamy cream.  It feels as if there is no room in the jar as the thick Heavy Cream is aerated even more with the shaking, but keep shaking. It will look like this:

home made butter cream

Keep shaking and don’t stop you are almost done when it gets thick. I have heard some add a large marble to the thick foam. But I don’t think it really matters. Just the pressure of the shaking will continue the fat to congeal together. Don’t worry if you don’t think the foam is “churning” or rotating in the jar, gravity and pressure is still working to form the butter.
Before you know it you will see the foam separate and a thin liquid forms in the jar. That thin liquid is buttermilk! The butter is in the last few moments of shaking. Keep shaking until the butter or mass inside is a consistent size.
home made butter buttermilk
At this point you can separate the buttermilk out and save it for biscuits or pancakes and other fun recipes. Then you can add the 1/2 teaspoon salt which is optional. Some say the taste is different, but the main reason is to preserve the butter. Now with the remaining butter you can place it in a small container for refrigeration and easy of using it. So congrats you just made you own butter!  Enjoy your work!
home made butter bowl
As the butter sets you may see drips of buttermilk on the butter. Just let it drip off and drain.
home made butter
If you enjoyed making your own butter, then you will enjoy making your own cheese!
DIY Make your own Cheese


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Filed Under: A Thrifty Dad, Be Prepared, DIY, Thrifty Crafts for Kids, Toppings / Condiments

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I learned to make butter at a local sheep farm.  They taught me this same way, but they put a marble in the jar.  This helped it to set faster. 


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  13. […] a jar with a lid. [Here is a link to a page that will show you how to make butter with a jar:]  A big issue that you might run into when making butter this way is that you might get tired […]

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