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Homemade Sweet Cream Butter

The only reason I attached one muscle to this recipe (considering all you really need is a good finger to turn on the food processor), is because you will need to really squeeze the butter, wrapped in a kitchen towel, to remove any excess liquid. This butter will, I trust, make you and yours very (very) happy… Enjoy. Oh, and to see a preview of me making fresh butter, click here.

Special Equipment:

Food processor or heavy-duty blender or mixer
Fine-mesh wire strainer
Decorating comb (optional)


  • 2 cups heavy cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt

1. To prepare butter: Place cream and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade (or use a blender or heavy mixer). Whip cream until the pure butterfat separates from the milky whey, 4 to 7 minutes (this will take longer if not using a food processor). It’s finished when the mixture sounds very slushy as the liquid splashes against the sides of the bowl. When you stop the machine, the butter will be a separate mass surrounded by a shallow pool of milky liquid. Pour this mixture into a fine-mesh strainer and shake until most of the liquid has drained out. Fold a clean, strong cotton or linen kitchen towel in half and dump the butter onto the center. Gather the ends of the towel and firmly squeeze to remove any excess buttermilk.

2. To store: Transfer butter to an attractive 1-cup crock or ramekin and, using the towel, pat off any remaining beads of liquid. Brush the top with a decorative comb or the tines of a fork and, if desired, sprinkle the top lightly with Kosher or sea salt. Either use the butter immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. For best consistency, always bring butter close to room temperature before serving as a spread.

Variation :
Transfer the finished butter into the cleaned and dried bowl of the food processor; add a few tablespoons of your favorite preserves, process until smooth and spread on fresh biscuits or plain toast. Or, add to the butter a combination of chopped fresh or crumbled dried herbs, minced garlic, minced green onion, strained fresh lemon juice and chopped drained capers; serve on top of broiled fresh fish, grilled steak or chicken.

General Rule: When using best quality aromatic dried herbs, they are about three times as potent as fresh. Use 1 teaspoon of a fragrant dried and crumbled herb to 1 rounded tablespoon minced fresh.


At-a-Glance Reminder of Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Kosher or sea salt (optional)

From the supermarket shelf:

  • Fine table salt
  • Kosher or sea salt (optional)

From the dairy case:

  • Heavy cream

Watch the Video.

Comments (4)


  1. Hi – I often make my own butter at home and it is truly a great treat and very easy to do. I would just like to make one comment – I have a couple of recipes for homemade butter and after the cream separates into butter and the buttermilk, I keep adding fresh very cold water to “wash” the butter until the water is clear. I knead the water into the butter and then pour off the water and do it again until clear. If you don’t wash the butter until all the milk is out of it, it is more likely to turn rancid. Just wanted to mention this. Thank you for a wonderful website!

    Comment by Elaine Van Gunst — August 5, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

  2. Hi Lauren,
    I can’t find pasteurized heavy cream anywhere, it’s all ultra pasteurized. Is that an absolute no no? What would happen?

    Comment by Sandy — February 8, 2012 @ 2:33 am

  3. Hi, Sandy. Thanks for your question. No, it’s not a “no-no”–not at all. It’s just that, when embarking on making “fresh butter”–it’s optimal to look for the freshest cream–with the best flavor. By definition, although heavy cream that’s “pasteurized” is fine–it’s also been heated to retard spoilage–which removes some of the the fresh flavor (not all of it, just some of it). Also, cream that’s been pasteurized, since it has a longer shelf life, you are not necessarily buying cream at it’s freshest…NOW,really fresh cream is also highly perishable so if not purchased from a place with a high turnover, you would be using an inferior product simply by it’s age. The point is to use what you have, being aware of the differences (some subtle, some overt) and to make your choices accordingly. Homemade butter (with whatever heavy cream you buy) is fun, it’s easy and it’s really delicious. So, have fun and don’t worry. Laur..

    Comment by Lauren — February 9, 2012 @ 1:20 am

  4. Thank you so much for your quick response!:)

    Comment by Sandy — February 9, 2012 @ 5:24 am

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