Homemade Cultured Butter has only 2 ingredients and is easy to make at home!

I’ve been off of refined sugars and carbs for about 9 days and I have to say I’m surprised at how sluggish I still feel. Well, I’m surprised and not surprised at the same time. Sugar is powerful stuff and it’s not shocking that it’s making a powerful statement as it works its way out of my body.

Staying away from sugar has caused me to get a bit more creative with my recipes recently. I’m still doing quite a bit of experimenting from one of my favorite cookbooks, The America’s Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook. Over the past few weeks I’ve been experimenting with homemade cultured butter. I always find it fascinating to make store bought staples at home and butter was no exception. 

Homemade Cultured Butter has only 2 ingredients and is easy to make at home!

This homemade cultured butter only has two ingredients, cream and yogurt. And it makes a butter that tastes equally as smooth and rich as anything I’ve ever bought from the store. It does have several involved steps but none of them are difficult and the results are just plain fun. There is something so immensely satisfying about holding a lumpy stick of butter in the air and proclaiming to the stars, “I made this!” Or maybe that’s just me…

Homemade Cultured Butter has only 2 ingredients and is easy to make at home!

Also, buttermilk. One of the byproducts from making homemade cultured butter is real, old fashioned buttermilk like grandma used to make on the farm. Not the curdled stuff you can make by adding vinegar to milk and letting it sit. Most likely not even the stuff you buy at the grocery store. Real buttermilk is a byproduct of butter creation. It’s liquid gold in your baked goods.

Homemade Cultured Butter has only 2 ingredients and is easy to make at home!

A very important note about the recipe: one of the final steps involves pressing and washing the butter in ice water to remove any traces of buttermilk. If you don’t wash the butter very thoroughly it has the potential to go rancid quickly. This happened to me the first time I experimented with making homemade butter. I rushed through the process and my gorgeous stick of butter began smelling sour after a week. If you wash the butter thoroughly it will last in the refrigerator up to a month or in the freezer for four months.

Homemade Cultured Butter has only 2 ingredients and is easy to make at home!

Homemade Cultured Butter
Serves: 12 ounces butter and 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 4 cups pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized or UHT) heavy cream, room temperature
  • ½ cup plain whole-milk yogurt, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt (optional)
  1. Combine cream and yogurt in a 2-quart jar or container with a tight-fitting lid, cover, and shake to combine. Remove lid, cover with a clean kitchen towel, butter muslin or triple layer of cheesecloth, securing in place with a rubber band. Place jar in a warm place, preferably 75 degrees F, and let sit until thickened to the consistency of yogurt, 18 to 48 hours. (If temperature dips much below 75 degrees, culture may take up to 60 hours). Once thickened, remove the kitchen towel, cover jar with lid, and transfer to refrigerator until mixture registers 60 degrees F, about 2 hours.
  2. Place 4 cups of ice water in the refrigerator. Line a fine-mesh strainer with a butter muslin or triple layer of cheesecloth and set it over a large bowl. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and covered with plastic wrap, whip cream on high speed until cream separates into buttermilk and small clumps of yellow butter, 2 to 5 minutes. Strain butter through prepared strainer for 1 minute. Gather edges of muslin and twist to squeeze butter until buttermilk no longer flows freely from pouch. Remove butter from muslin and transfer to a clean, large bowl; reserve buttermilk for another use.
  3. Pour about ⅓ cup ice water over the butter. With butter resting in water, use rubber spatula to fold the butter against the side of the bowl, letting water wash over the butter to rinse off any remaining buttermilk. Discard milky liquid, and repeat washing process until water remains clear, about 6 washes. After the final wash, discard any water in the bowl and continue folding butter to squeeze out any remaining liquid; discard liquid. If you want to really get in there, squeeze the butter with your hands at the end. Sprinkle butter with salt, if using, and fold into butter. Divide the butter in half, transfer to parchment paper, and roll into 2 logs or desired shape. Butter can be refrigerated for up to 1 month for frozen for at least 4 months.
Shared with permission from ‘The America’s Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook’ by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen


Tools I Used

(links go to my Amazon affiliate store)

KitchenAid Classic 4-1/2-Quart Stand Mixer
Cheesecloth 10 Yard Bundle 100% Cotton
Stainless-Steel Mixing Bowls
Rubbermaid High Heat Spatula

More Kitchen Staple Recipes

Savory Simple – Homemade Greek Yogurt
Savory Simple – Whole Wheat English Muffins
Savory Simple – Raw Almond Milk
The Lemon Bowl – Basil Pesto
King Arthur Flour – Classic Sandwich Bread
Food52 – Homemade Bagels

  • Jenni

    1)I’m impressed with the staying-away-from-sugar! I think I probably need to go on a sugar detox for awhile. I think I’ll have to work up to it, though!

    2)It’s not just you. =)

    3)I love that you made this! And so simple! I’m going to have to give it a shot and then maybe turn my butter into croissants! Yay!

  • http://www.onesmallpot.com Deepa@onesmallpot

    This is so exciting……..I want to try it NOW! Gorgeous pics as well.
    Just a word of advice about the sugar thing. I found that the first time I quit it was just the processed foods and I still felt sluggish. The second time I quit all sugars including fruit (temporarily), sauces, juice etc and after about 2-3 weeks I felt amazing. So maybe you still have some hidden sugars in your diet that you are missing?

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/FruitofPhalanges?ref=si_shop Alisha Scites

    YUM, that looks delicious! And you aren’t the only one, I love making Kombucha at home. It’s fun and so much cheaper!

    cheers! :)

  • http://tutti-dolci.com Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Gorgeous, I want to make this for croissants!

  • http://www.bake-online.co.uk Jenny @ BAKE

    wow this is amazing! I have never considered making my own butter! I might have to have a go one of these days!

  • http://shikhalamode.com Shikha @ Shikha la mode

    Can I say this is the coolest thing to me? I can’t believe you’re going no sugar and carbs though, that sounds so difficult!!

  • http://www.happyvalleychow.com/blog Happy Valley Chow

    This is sooo awesome! Totally trying this when I get a chance. Bookmarked and pinned!

  • http://pinchmysalt.com Nicole

    I love that cookbook and I love cultured butter! For extra energy while taking a break from sugar, try adding extra coconut oil to your diet by adding a tablespoon to a smoothie or cup of tea. It really does work give me increased energy.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks for the tip! I’ve been using coconut oil in date & nut bites. I also just bought some coconut butter and it’s soooo good. I’m hoping that has the same effect because I can just eat a spoonful plain.

  • Carolyn

    As I said on your FB post, it can take 2-3 weeks to detox from sugar/carbs. Hang in there kid. I am full of energy (except when my kids suck all the oxygen out of the room…) :)

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      It’s encouraging to hear people say that. Just getting this post live was like walking through molasses. But I feel a little more like me today. I will prevail!

  • http://www.bakeaholicmama.com carrie@bakeaholicmama

    Kudos to you for staying away from sugar. I am not completely cutting it out, but for the last 5 days have cut it way back. It’s hard!

    No for this butter, I want to try making it over the weekend!

  • http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic

    I’ve never made my own butter but wow this looks gorgeous! I love really good butter on a warm piece of bread, mmm-mmm!

  • http://www.blendwithspices.com Hari Chandana

    Very beautiful clicks!!

  • Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

    Fist pump for your amazing efforts! I salute you with a low carb baguette, you can do it!!

  • http://scrumptiousgruel.wordpress.com Ellen

    Wow, I don’t know if I could do without sugar like you! On the other hand, if it meant I got to eat more butter….;)

  • http://www.foodfaithfitness.com Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

    I haven’t made my own butter since a project in 3rd grade! You have inspired me to give it a go. Butter is always delish and everything is better home made right? Plus, those pics are so simple and gorgeous! I didn’t a blob of butter could be so dang purdy!

  • http://thecreeksidecook.com Donalyn@The Creekside Cook

    Very cool Jenn- I have gotten out of the habit of making butter and I should do it again. We can get raw milk from a farmer neighbor and I used to just let the cream from that culture by itself on the counter for a few days. Your way is faster and I have read that it actually increases the yield a little bit.

  • http://www.arthur-in-the-garden.com Arthur in the Garden!

    Lovely! I love homemade butter!

  • http://www.thelemonbowl.com Liz @ The Lemon Bowl

    I am drooling over this recipe and the photo with the huge chunk of bread!!!!!

  • http://tworedbowls.com cynthia

    Hahaha, that is EXACTLY how I felt the first time I made butter! (Holding it to the stars and proclaiming, YES, I MADE THIS!) I made it pretty much by accident, though, in that I just overwhipped my whipped cream and decided to keep going and make butter — so I’m excited to try this version with yogurt. It looks gorgeous — thanks for posting!

  • http://bluejellybeans.wordpress.com Giovanna

    How wonderful! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Jennifer

    I love this so much! Started making it today, but I’m having issues finding anywhere in my house that might be 75 degrees and up. :| The only place seems to be one of my 1/2 baths, but ewwwwww? I’m not sure I like the idea of culturing my butter with bathroom bacteria. How did you manage? Electric blanket? :D

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      I just left it out on the kitchen counter and figured it would take longer. I think it took 3 days to reach a yogurt consistency.

      • Jennifer

        Ok, I guess I was showing my impatience. :) I’ll just expect to wait a bit longer.

        • Jennifer

          I finished this up today. Super easy and super yummy! I used local grass-fed heavy cream and brown cow whole yogurt. The final product was comparable in quality to the Kerrygold Irish butter I bought last week. So happy I can now make it myself. Thanks for sharing. :)

  • http://theculinarycucumber.com/steel-cut-oats-cinnamon-honey-pears/-palm-heart-salad/ Sylvia

    This may not be a recipe that I would make often, but I’m ready to try it. I think I’d double the recipe just so I’d have more in the freezer. I hate to spend the $ for organic butter and who knows how healthy that other butter is? It’s so hard to eat “pure” foods today, but you’re on the right path. I’m not as well behaved when it comes to eating, but I try. Ha!

  • http://www.cookingactress.com/ Kayle (The Cooking Actress)

    that looks like the best butter in the history of everrr! I so want to try!!

  • http://www.kitchenbelleicious.com Kitchen Belleicious

    did you really just say you made butter? You are amazing! I would love to give this a try

  • http://www.kgrecipes.com KgReciPes

    If I don’t wanna use cream then what I can use alternative of cream?

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      There is no alternative, this is a recipe for butter. If you don’t want cream, just buy “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” or margarine and don’t try making it from scratch.

      • http://www.kgrecipes.com KgReciPes

        Thanks for your replay. so I must need cream for this?

        • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley


  • http://www.passthecocoa.com/ Caroline @ Pass the Cocoa

    Wow, your butter looks so good, Jennifer! I love the unique flavor of cultured butter. When you’re washing the butter, do you keep it in the cheesecloth?

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks! I take it our of the cheesecloth first and just press on it right in the water.

  • http://tramplingrose.com Rachel

    I wonder if my yogurt maker would be too warm to culture the cream? Hmmm……

  • http://www.galonamission.com/ Chelsea @ Gal on a Mission

    I tried once at making homemade butter – fail. I do not think I got all of the buttermilk out of the butter, like you stated. Will have to give it another try. Looks simple enough and the photos are absolutely gorgeous. :)

  • http://Www.deenakakaya.com Deena Kakaya

    I love how simple this is, I infuse my home-made butter with whole spices after toasting them x

  • http://infinebalance.com Trish @infinebalance

    Recipes like this make me want to run into the kitchen and give it try! How exciting to make your own butter.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks Trish! On a separate note, did you run into any issues commenting? I’ve noticed several comments listed twice in the moderation queue recently and can’t tell if something is weird with the site or if people are making more than one attempt due to an error message or timeout.

      • http://infinebalance.com Trish @infinebalance

        Thanks Jen. Sorry – I think it was just my impatience. When I first hit submit nothing happened so I clicked it again. I should have just waited a second… :p

  • http://arhubarbrhapsody.blogspot.com.au/ Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody)

    I am so excited to try this. Honestly, I haven’t been this excited about a recipe in ages. Going to stock up on cream this weekend and give it a go. I love butter, my husband was raised on skim milk and margarine and I was raised on full fat dairy all the time, I think I’ve converted him now. Good quality butter is something I can’t leave alone and it doesn’t last long. I’ve been wanting to try some “hand-made cultured butter” which is available from my local gourmet store but they charge $10 for 250g (8.80z) so I might just give it a go myself!

  • Holly @ Holly’s Helpings

    I’ve made butter before by just whipping cream (no yogurt) in a mixer for a while. What is the benefit of adding the yogurt to make it cultured butter? Does it behave differently in baked goods or in any other preparation?

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Slightly different taste and a longer shelf life.

  • Elizabeth

    I am gradually moving to homemade staples and cannot wait to try this.

  • Cinda Brown

    your butter looks fabulous. I must try making my own.

  • Kristin

    Can’t wait to try this recipe

  • http://baltimorefoodiebaby.wordpress.com Colleen

    Gave this a try and served it at Mother’s Day brunch. That was my test-run. I’m going into my daughter’s school (preschool) this week to make butter with them. We’re going to use the buttermilk to make scones and then they’ll have buttered scones for an after nap snack.
    I love to help kids learn where their food comes from and this is a great one they probably wouldn’t know otherwise.