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How to Make Butter with Heavy Whipping Cream

Learn how to make butter with heavy whipping cream and just a pinch of salt (optional).

A dish of butter.

Nothing beats the taste of fresh, homemade butter on warm fluffy biscuits or crusty no knead Dutch oven artisan bread.

All you need to make the best butter ever is heavy whipping cream and a pinch of salt.

The salt is optional. Some people like to bake with unsalted butter.

Personally, I always use salted butter, even when a recipe calls for unsalted. I just think it tastes better.

A bowl of heavy cream next to a small bowl of salt on distressed wooden backdrop.

Beat the heavy whipping cream

You'll also need something to beat the cream with. This can be done with numerous different items such as the following.

  • Electric beaters and a bowl
  • Stand mixer with the whipping attachment
  • Food processor with chopping blade
  • Any standard blender
  • A jar with lid

Pour the heavy cream and salt (optional) into the blender or food processor.

Turn to medium high speed.

The cream will go through 3 obvious phases:

  1. First, it will mix and start to look frothy.
  2. Then, it will become a whipped cream.
  3. Finally, it will begin to separate into solid butter and a whitish liquid.
4 photo collage showing the stages of whipping cream into butter.

Strain the liquid

Once the solid butter has formed and separated from the liquid, you must drain the liquid away from the solid.

The list below shows examples of things that can be used to strain the butter after it's formed.

  • Cheesecloth
  • Thin muslin cloth
  • Fine mesh strainer
Butter solids in a piece of cheesecloth being strained over a glass bowl.

With most of the liquid strained away, squeeze the remaining liquid off.

Gather the straining cloth together and squeeze until the remaining liquid comes out.

Squeezing butter in a cheesecloth to separate the buttermilk.

Unravel the cloth, and give the butter a quick rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.

How to store homemade butter

Homemade butter is not as shelf stable as store bought butter, and go rancid much more quickly.

The butter will last longer if no buttermilk is left behind during the straining process.

If some of the buttermilk doesn't fully get removed from the butter, it will cause the butter to spoil much more quickly.

Homemade butter can be stored at room temperature for 1-3 days, depending on how well the buttermilk liquid was drained away from the butter. The butter can be stored in the refrigerator for up 3 weeks.

Can you shake heavy whipping cream into butter?

You can use a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid to shake the heavy cream, (with or without salt) until it forms a solid lump of butter. Remove the solid and strain away the liquid.

How long does it take to shake heavy whipping cream into butter?

It will take about 10-20 minutes of shaking.

Is it cheaper to make your own butter?

While it's typically not more cost effective to make butter homemade due to the price of heavy cream, some people opt for homemade for special occasions because of it's superior taste.

You can use your homemade butter to create amazing compound butters filled with herbs like rosemary, dill or chive as well as roasted garlic.

Or, keep it simple. Bread and butter is always a winner. Enjoy your homemade butter simply on any of these bread recipes below.

If you tried this homemade butter recipe, leave a rating using the stars in the recipe card.

Leave a comment and share with other readers how you enjoyed your homemade butter!

📖 Recipe

Beige ramekin full of butter next to rustic butter knife.

Homemade Butter

Creamy, delicious homemade butter from heavy whipping cream.
5 from 33 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Butter, homemade, whipping cream
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 50 servings
Calories: 49kcal
Author: Erin
Cost: $4


  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Pour heavy whipping cream and salt into a mixer.
  • Blend on medium high to high speed until butter solids separate from liquid (buttermilk). It will go through a whipped cream looking phase first--keep going until the separation occurs.
  • Drain the solids away from the liquid using two layers of cheese cloth, a fine mesh strainer, or something similar.
  • Rinse the butter in cold water to remove excess buttermilk.
  • Store butter in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.


  • Use a high fat heavy cream for best results- over 30%
  • Homemade butter does not store at room temperature as well as store bought butter; it can go rancid within days, so store it in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 52mg | Potassium: 11mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 210IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @TheFrozenBiscuit or tag #thefrozenbiscuit!
Recipe Rating


Sunday 6th of August 2023

What do you do with the leftover “milk”?


Wednesday 10th of April 2024

@Sarah, Pancakes and some cake recipes made with buttermilk typically turn out better. That would be a couple great ways to use it.


Friday 11th of August 2023

@Sarah, You can use it for baking and other recipes! I used to work at a place that sold buttermilk and the local bakeries always would come in ahead of time for shipments of it. It does really good in cupcake recipes and butter cakes!

Terri Lynn

Sunday 23rd of July 2023

Omg so easy! I will never buy butter again. I feel like it took closer to 30 minutes for it to separate from the liquid using a standing mixer. Definitely worth it.


Wednesday 3rd of January 2024

@Maria, gotta let it reach room temp first, it'll separate quicker.


Wednesday 29th of November 2023

@Terri Lynn, It took longer for me too. Right around 30 min


Thursday 22nd of June 2023

Can I use a food processor or a stand mixer?


Thursday 6th of July 2023

@Donna, stand mixer. Pace your speed to reduce splashing


Friday 2nd of June 2023

I haven't done this yet, but the heavy whipping cream I bought that I didn't need will make me some butter!

As much butter as I go through this is perfect.

I never knew!

Thanks can't wait to try.


Friday 29th of December 2023

@Laurette, this is exactly what I did! Only needed a little heavy whipping cream for a recipe. Used the rest for butter. It will only last about 10 days in the fridge though.


Saturday 27th of August 2022

Amazing!! Reminds me of growing up, how my Mom and grandma used to have us churning in the churn for hours seemed like but for us kids it was heaven to help make butter and buttermilk. Thanks for the memories.