Making homemade butter – a great project with kids

While my kids are out of school for the summer, we’ve decided to keep learning new things with Try It Tuesdays.  Our first project today was homemade butter and buttermilk.

Homemade butter - a great project with kids -

My daughter had actually tried this at school in her third grade class while they were learning about Colonial times.  She was so excited about it and couldn’t wait to bring home the butter she had made.

Unfortunately, she forgot about the butter in her backpack the day she brought it home.  By the time I found the small baby food jar of butter in there, I decided it wasn’t safe to try it – since she didn’t remember how long it had been there.  Bummer!  To ease her sadness over throwing away the butter she had made, I promised we would try to make it again at home.

Today we followed through and made our own homemade butter.

This was a fun, quick activity that got the kids involved in the kitchen.  It takes just one ingredient, a container with a lid, and a willingness to get a good arm workout to create the butter by shaking rather than churning.

How to make homemade butter – and buttermilk

  • Pour heavy whipping cream into a container with a secure lid.  You can use whatever amount you choose.  We used a pint of heavy cream, divided into three small mason jars.

Ingredients for homemade butter -

  • Shake vigorously.  It will go from heavy cream consistency to whipped cream consistency and then separate into butter and buttermilk.

Making homemade butter with kids -

My kids had fun with this part!

Homemade butter in progress -

  • Stop shaking when the butter separates from the buttermilk.  The butter will have that familiar light yellow color.

Making homemade butter -

  • Drain the buttermilk from the butter.  I read about a couple of ways to do this.  One said to strain the buttermilk through a cheesecloth to a separate container.  Another said to just use cold hands to squeeze out the buttermilk from the butter.  Since I didn’t have cheesecloth handy, I squeezed the butter by hand.  This worked pretty well.

Homemade butter and buttermilk -

  • Store in separate containers in the refrigerator.

That’s it!  Making homemade butter is so simple!

It took about 15-25 minutes of shaking to get from the cream to the butter stage.  Our observation from this experiment was that smaller portions of heavy cream speed up the process.

We used a pint of heavy whipping cream, divided into three mason jars.  I poured the cream into the first two jars and gave them to my younger kids to start shaking.  When I poured the remainder of the pint into the last jar for my oldest son, I realized it was a larger portion.  The shaking process took longer for his container.

It would be easy to add in salt to taste or create other flavored butters, since the homemade butter is soft while separating it from the buttermilk.

Our homemade butter turned out great, and the kids had fun making it!  Now we’ll have to choose a great recipe to use up that buttermilk.

This project is linked at some of these link parties.

2 thoughts on “Making homemade butter – a great project with kids

  1. Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

    I used to make homemade butter with my preschool class. We would pass the jar around and shake it… we called it “Friendship Butter” because we all worked together to make it.

    I would love to do this with my kids… alas my oldest has an anaphylaxis milk allergy. It’s got me thinking though if I could attempt an alternative.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the SHINE Blog Hop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.

    1. LisaLisa Post author

      That’s such a fun idea for preschoolers – perfect for little ones to share the work, since it takes a good amount of shaking to get to the butter stage!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *