How to make butter


How to make butter

by Great British Chefs11 May 2015

How to make butter

Home-made butter is incredibly easy to make but sounds rather impressive. Butter begins by over-whipping cream which can be done with an electric mixer. Making your own butter allows you to add any flavouring you desire, so get creative.

Unsalted butter should be eaten within a few days while adding salt to your butter (which acts as a preservative) allows it to be stored for around 2–3 weeks.


Place 500ml of double cream in a chilled electric mixer and whisk – initially it will turn to whipped cream with stiff peaks but after a while, it will break down and separate into butterfat and milk. Pour everything into a piece of muslin cloth and set over a colander
Allow the buttermilk to drain off and reserve it in the fridge for later use
When most of the buttermilk has drained off, tightly squeeze the muslin to make sure all the excess has drained out. A good way of checking that all of the buttermilk has been drained is to squeeze the muslin while submerged in a bowl of ice-cold water. At first, the water will turn cloudy – pour away the cloudy water and repeat 2– 3 times until the water remains clear. This is important step, as residual buttermilk will cause the flavour of the butter to be sour and cause it to spoil more quickly
Spread the butter out onto a piece of baking paper. Using the paper as an aid, roll the butter into a neat cylinder
Place the cylinder in the fridge to firm up until ready to use. Alternatively, you can freeze it


You can use any amount of cream – you will get about half the amount of butter compared to the amount of cream initially used.

For ways to use up the buttermilk, see our guide to cooking with buttermilk. For Example, you can use it to make Shaun Hill’s buttermilk pudding, Greg Malouf’s buttermilk panna cotta or Adam Bennett’s wholemeal soda bread.


Home-made butter can also be flavoured with a range of ingredients, such as tarragon and parsley, brandy, cider salt and lemon. Once you find your favourite flavouring, you can easily portion the butter and freeze it to use as a quick addition to Sunday roasts or other meals.

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