Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Home Made Butter & Buttermilk

If you are a regular follower of UK food blogs, you cannot fail to have seen lots of descriptions of how to make butter recently. It seems lots of very lucky bloggers got invited to a blog camp down at River Cottage a couple of weeks ago at which they learnt how to make butter. Sadly, I was not one of those bloggers........ but hey! I can still make the butter!!

On reading the descriptions of people's butter-making experiences, I was instantly fascinated by how incredibly simple the process was. We love butter in our house, so the prospect of knowing how to make our own was more excitement than we could hang on to.

After our recent foray into the scientific world of making honeycomb, the thought of making butter presented the opportunity for another food science lesson which sounded both entertaining and educational. And all it involved was a large pot of double cream, a bowl and whisk and some other basic kitchen equipment.

We are having a pretty stressy time at home at the moment. We are unfortunate enough to live in a part of the country where children are put through the 11+ to decide whether they qualify for a possible grammar school place. Whilst we may opt not to go down the grammar route even if a pass is achieved, if the test is not taken, the options become seriously limited. Having been sat in early September, the results are now due....... Needless to say, there has been lots of worry and tantrums on the child-front alongside hours of researching and visiting possible secondary schools. It all feels quite harsh...... By the end of October, our choices would have been submitted, but with no guarantee of getting the school we choose, I fear the stress may continue for a while.

In the midst of all this, butter-making feels quite therapeutic...... and frankly a lot more straight forward than choosing a secondary school place!

As promised by the wisdom of others, turning cream into butter was amazingly uncomplicated. It was literally a case of whisking until the butter separated from the buttermilk and then bringing the butter together in a block and washing through. If you have a really good mixer (I am lucky enough to own a Kitchen Aid), then it is speedy quick...... turn up the dial and watch...... cream..... whipped cream..... sort of scrambled-egg blobs....... butter...... done!

We worked out that it was cheaper than buying a block of butter too. From 600 ml double cream we got 11 oz (310g) pure butter and 250 ml buttermilk. That's all for £1.00 (your average 250g block of butter costs anywhere between £1.30 and £1.70 and you can add an extra 50p for the buttermilk)!

Add a little salt to the process if you want salted butter, but if you use the buttermilk (and let's face it, you wouldn't want to waste it), just remember to remove any added salt from your chosen recipe or add the salt after the churning process to keep pure. I used mine to make some amazing gluten free buttermilk scones, which I think were the best gluten free scones I have ever tasted. I will post them shortly as they are simply too good to keep to myself.

And the butter? Perfect! Yellow...... creamy....... natural..... delicious! If you have never tried making your own, this should definitely be on your list of 'must do's'. It may not be something I will have time to make every week, but for special occasions like Christmas, we will be pushing the boat out for certain!

I am sharing this simple method for which I can thank my fellow bloggers who inspired me to try it with  :

Credit Crunch Munch over at Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours.

Home-Made Butter & Buttermilk


600 ml double cream
½ teaspoon fine sea salt (optional)


  1. Pour the cream into a large chilled spotlessly clean (and preferably sterilised) mixing bowl. You can add the salt now if using, or wait until the butter has separated from the buttermilk to keep the buttermilk unsalted.
  2. Beat the cream with a balloon whisk until it thickens. Keep whisking. It will reach firm peaks before it begins to separate into butterfat globules. Continue to whisk and the buttermilk will completely separate and the butter will become firm and hard and slosh around in the bowl.
  3. Pour the contents of the bowl through a clean (preferably sterilised) sieve to collect the buttermilk in a jug, leaving the butter in the sieve.
  4. Save the buttermilk in the fridge to use later.
  5. Fill a jug with iced water and rinse out the butter bowl.
  6. With clean hands, bring the butter together and squeeze to force out as much remaining buttermilk as possible. Place in the bowl and cover with the iced water to rinse. 
  7. Remove from the water and squeeze again. Empty the bowl and re-rinse with fresh iced water.
  8. Repeat the squeezing and rinsing process one more time until the water is clear.
  9. Mould the butter into a slab. wrap in cling film and chill for a couple of hours before transferring to a butter dish.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated


  1. I recently tried this with leftover cream donated to our food WasteCafe. I tried todo a large quantity all at once,very messy! So your quantity is just right as I found out on second attempt. You can rinse in salted water instead of adding salt at the beginning, salt helps it keep a little longer.

    1. Thanks Jan. That's helpful to know. I will do that next time!

  2. So glad you had a go at this! It's fun isn't it? Just a shame Roo and I can't eat butter! Sorry to hear you are having a rough time. We're thinking of you...

    1. Thanks for your support Vicki. Results came and she passed!!! Gives us some reasonable options so fingers crossed we make the right choice x

  3. Ahhh, just been listening to all the grammar school talk up your way on R4 this morning. I hope you get things sorted out soon - really life should not be made so stressful for children. As for the butter, you know I was one of the lucky ones who went to RC. I've made butter plenty of times before, but I'd never added flowers before, so that was interesting. Also useful was that if you want salted butter, you add the salt after you've separated the buttermilk, so you don't have to have salty buttermilk. jAs a child, it was one of my jobs to shake the jersey milk in a jar until the butter was made. I think I prefer the KitchenAid method ;-)

    1. Thanks for the advice Choclette. I will do that next time..... I think I was just trying to avoid any extra processes, because I couldn't be bothered. Personally, I prefer unsalted butter anyway, but my daughter insisted on a bit of salt, so we threw some in!!
      I remember the shake the jar method.... It always seemed a lot of work for little reward!

  4. I've made buttermilk but never butter - it's on my to do list! Your block of butter looks lovely, so that may be the motivation I need!

    1. Thanks CC. It is so cools eating your own butter! I would try it xx

  5. Love this idea of getting 2 ingredients for the price of one and them being much cheaper, great idea. Thanks for entering #CreditCrunchMunch;-)

    1. Thanks Camilla. Amazing that you can make it cheaper at home and something I will definitely be doing again soon!

  6. I learned to make butter from my grandmother. We would get fresh milk from the own cows in the stable, leave it overnight in the cellar and in the morning we would collect the thick cream on top.
    Grandma would put it in a special pear shaped bottle and shake it for a while (hard work by hand!) until the cream would solidify and become butter.. it was delicious.
    Your butter looks so good!!!

    1. Wow. That's so cool Alida. It sounds as though you had some amazing experiences as a child.... I think your flair for food is in the blood!


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