Homemade Cultured Butter

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Homemade butter! I’m still in SHOCK over how easy this is to make and why we’ve lost the art of making this at home. Before I became a locavore (local foodie), I had assumed that we no longer made butter because it was a long and tedious task. In my head were thoughts of woman hunched over laboring over a churn to have butter at the table ready for breakfast. That and the decieving notion that butter is bad for us led me to buying chemical induced margarine. Hey, I thought it was healthier. Isn’t that what they told us?

It turns out that butter is excellent source of vitamins, anti-tumerogenic fatty acids, anti-microbial fatty acids, and dietary cholesterol. Cream has the same properties as butter, but butter is like concentrated cream – with all the health benefits, plus it cooks up real nice and lends wonderful flavors that can’t be duplicated no matter how much companies try to mimic the flavor with margarine.
For more technical information – Visit a butter post on, Cooking for Engineers.

When I received my Mother Earth News magazine in the mail, it had a beautiful article on how to make butter and cultured butter. (Online version of the article) I knew it was time!! The article showed how easy it is to make, so I called a sweet woman in town who gave me some wonderful FRESH cream to make cultured butter.

What is cultured butter? Cultured butter is “fresh” cream that is left out at room temperature to ferment. Because “fresh” cream is naturally full of benign bacteria, “fresh” cream ferments and sours on it’s own, without the addition of a bacterial culture. Fermentation by lactobacillus bacteria changes the chemistry of cream, making it’s flavors more complex. Culturing brings depth of flavor to butter and really does create a fine line between butter and cheese.

Mother Earth News also explained that the best time to make butter is during the Spring and early summer when cows are out to pasture and eat grass high in beta carotene.

Note* Make sure to buy local cream. When buying local, you know that the cows have been pasture raised and are hormone/chemical free. If you are going to be making butter from pasteurized milk, the best and sweetest butter is from Jersey Cows! Conventional dairies do not use Jersey cows, however, our local Picket Fence Creamery does!! Their cream is AWESOME!

Homemade Cultured Butter


  • “Fresh” cream or Picket Fence Creamery Cream
  • 1/4 tsp, per 4 oz butter, kosher/sea salt

Culturing the cream

  1. Let cream ferment at preferably 60 degrees (basement) from 8 hours to 1 week.
  2. After fermenting at 60 degree temp, you can further develop flavor by leaving the cultured cream in the refrigerator for days, or even a week or two.

If using pasteurized milk, you will need to use a commercial culture. Purchase a culture for creme fraiche, sour cream or buttermilk. If you make filmjolk or kefir, you can also use that.

Making your butter

  1. Once you’ve cultured your butter, you can use a food processor or stand mixer with the whisk attachment.

I used a mini food processor which inevitably made it a longer process. I had to make it in batches. If I were to have a normal sized processor or stand mixer, it would only take one batch.

  • Pour your cream into the processor or mixer. During this time, watch as the cream goes through 3 phases. It will turn to cream, get grainy and lastly break into chunks of butter swishing in the buttermilk.
  • Drain the buttermilk to reserve for baking and place the butter into a large bowl. You will now drain the excess buttermilk from the butter by keeping it on the side of the bowl and turning it over onto itself. Repeat this until you get as much buttermilk out of the butter as you can.
  • Wash the butter. Once you have drained as much buttermilk out of the butter, place the butter on the bottom of the bowl and cover with water. Continue to fold the butter over itself draining out more buttermilk. Change water as needed and continue until the water runs clear.
  • Remove the rest of the water by again placing the butter on the side of the bowl and folding it over until no more water remains in the butter. At this time you can add salt to the butter. 1/4 tsp per 4 oz of butter and mix through.
  • You’re done!! It’s really that easy. I recommend at this time to either toast some bread, get out a muffin or croissant and eat it! It’s so smooth, silky and deliciously creamy! There is nothing like it.
  • To preserve, wrap it in parchment paper and keep in the fridge. I’m sure it won’t last very long!


11 Responses to "Homemade Cultured Butter"
  1. desmoinesdem says:

    Can you really leave cream out at 60 degrees for a week? Won't mold grow all over it?

    I am fascinated by this recipe. I also love the Picket Fence products–we try not to miss their "sample Sundays" when the weather is nice:


  2. Lori Lynn says:

    Oh how interesting. I am a huge butter fan. had pure white goats milk butter at Alinea in Chicago, craving it ever since.

    Please stop by Taste With The Eyes late Sunday night for the MLLA round-up. And thank you so much for your participation.
    Lori Lynn

  3. Diana Bauman says:

    desmoinesdem, Thanks for commenting. You would think that it would mold. We're so used to drinking pasteurized milk from the fridge. Here's the easiest way for me to explain.

    From the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon,

    Without pasteurization (RAW milk) or refrigeration, milk sours and separates spontaneously. This is due to the process of lacto-fermentation during which lactic-acid-producing bacteria begin digesting or breaking down both milk sugar (lactose) and milk protein (casein). When these friendly bacteria have produced enough lactic acid to inactivate all putrefying bacteria, the milk is effectively preserved from spoilage for several days or weeks and in the case of cheese, which undergoes further fermentation of a different type, for several years.

    Please remember this is only for RAW milk. If using pasteurized milk, you will need to purchase a culture and follow those directions.

    Also, to make butter, you do NOT need to culture. You can purchase local cream and churn right away. You'll still get tasty butter, just not the full deep flavor of culturing.

  4. Keith Garrick says:

    All I can say is wow, I am going to try this. It seems almost to easy. Time consuming, yes but worth the wait.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It was rather interesting for me to read the blog. Thanx for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It was certainly interesting for me to read the blog. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything connected to them. I would like to read more on that blog soon.

  7. Amy D. says:

    Are there any other options when it comes to culturing? I don’t have a place that stays at 60 degrees. The best I can do is my garage, and it doesn’t stay at a constant temp. Thanks!

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Amy, that’s tough. You just don’t want your culture getting too warm or humid. A good option if you’re going to be culturing regularly is to maybe think about buying a wine fridge that you can control the temp. Just an option ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Jane Morrisson says:

    Holy mackerel! The butter took 5 minutes in my old Cuisinart with the plastic blade, plus another 5-10 minutes of squeezing out the buttermilk, etc. I used heavy cream that comes from a local dairy that uses low-heat pasteurization. I put the pint of cream in my basement for 2 days.

    The closest place to us to get raw milk is a 40-mile round trip, so it is rather inconvenient, although I would like to have it. I really love milk, but I stumbled upon this site and now it’s great to know I can use my cream if it starts to turn or I have extra.

  9. 4HungryBunnies says:

    I’ve never heard of cultured butter before. To make homemade butter my aunt taught me to put some heavy whipping cream in a jar with a pinch of salt and just put the lid on tightly and shake it until you have butter. We did the one Christmas at her house, all taking turns before dinner. It was fun that we all got to participate.

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