How to Make Cultured Butter (Cultured Butter Recipe) - A Beautiful Plate (2024)

Learn how to make cultured butter (and real buttermilk) at home with thiseasyrecipe and how-to guide.

How to Make Cultured Butter (Cultured Butter Recipe) - A Beautiful Plate (1)

Look at that glorious butter slab!If you’ve stuck around here for any length of time, you know that I’m not one to shy away from butter.

Several years ago, I wrote a lengthy (there is no other word for it!)guide on how to make clarified butter, ghee, and brown butter at home. It seems only right to take it one step further.

Today I’m sharing how to make cultured butter! I absolutely love to share these types of recipes as the process is often so much easier and more enjoyable than people might realize.

If you’ve never tried or heard of cultured butter, you’re in for a treat! Both literally and figuratively.

I started making homemade cultured butter when I started my sourdough bread baking journey a year ago. After sharing some behind-the-scenes videos of the process on Instagram, I got so many requests to share a step-by-step guide and recipe. Let’s do this!

What is Cultured Butter?

Cultured butter is made from cultured cream. In other words, cream that contains live bacterial cultures and has fermented for a period of time.

Similar to yogurt, cultured butter has aslightly tangy flavor that sets it apart from regular butter.

It has a unique flavor that enhances just about everything. Keep it simple and slather cultured butter on sourdough bread (my personal favorite!) or use it in lieu of regular butter in your favorite baked goods or savory dishes.

While store-bought cultured butter is much easier to find these days, it is extremely easy and fun to make cultured butter at home! It’s significantly cheaper too.

How to Make Cultured Butter (Cultured Butter Recipe) - A Beautiful Plate (2)
How to Make Cultured Butter (Cultured Butter Recipe) - A Beautiful Plate (3)

To make cultured butter, you’ll need just twobasic ingredients.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • High-Quality Heavy Cream (*not ultra-pasteurized) – you can’t make butter without heavy cream! You’ll need heavy cream that is not ultra-pasteurized for this recipe. Ultra pasteurized cream andwhippingcreamsoften contain thickeners and gums, and can encounter issues during culturing. Since we’re going to the trouble of making butter from scratch, I highly recommend seeking out thebest quality cream that you can get your hands. 100% grass-fed will yield the best flavor, color, and nutritional profile.
  • Cultured Buttermilk –or Plain Unsweetened Yogurt with Cultures,Cultured Sour Cream, or Cultured Creme Fraiche – while traditional butter is made from cream, homemade cultured butter is made from cream that has added live bacterial cultures. Traditional cultured butter is made from heavy cream to which we have added cultured buttermilk (or cultured sour cream or creme fraiche). Plain unsweetened yogurt with live cultures works just as well. Use whatever you already have on hand or already buy regularly! Future batches of cultured butter can be made from any leftover homemade buttermilk.

Equipment:

  • tight-lidded container, fine-meshed sieve, mixing bowl, spatula, and stand mixer with whisk attachment (you can also use a food processoror even shake the cream by hand)
How to Make Cultured Butter (Cultured Butter Recipe) - A Beautiful Plate (4)
How to Make Cultured Butter (Cultured Butter Recipe) - A Beautiful Plate (5)

How to Make Cultured Butter

Culture the Cream:

Combine the cream and culturing agent (cultured buttermilk, plain unsweetened yogurt with live cultures, or cultured sour cream or creme fraiche) in a lidded container.

Allow mixture to sit at room temperature – roughly 70 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit – for at least 24 hours and up to 48+ hours. The mixture will thicken and have a stronger, more pronounced tangy flavor as it ferments. It will sour and become significantly thicker in texture.

Transfer the cream mixture to the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour. This will ensure that the butterfat will stay firm and not become greasy during churning.

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Churn in a Stand Mixer:

Place the chilled cream mixture in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.

Cover the stand mixer with a clean kitchen towel (this will help absorb any splattering) and whip over medium-high speed until the mixture has thickened and has the texture of a soft whipped cream.

Note:If you don’t own a stand mixer, youcan use a large food processororuse your arm muscles and shake the cream in a large jar!

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Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and continue whipping until the liquid and butter fat just begin to separate and it looks curdled.

Reduce speed to low – be sure to cover the mixer as it can splatter considerably at this stage – and continue whipping until the butter comes together as a solid mass on the whisk attachment.

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Strain the Buttermilk:

Set a large fine-meshed sieve over a large mixing bowl. You can line the sieve with muslin, but I do not find this step necessary. Gently pour over the liquid (this is real buttermilk!)then transfer the mass of butter to the sieve. Using a spatula, gently press the butter against the sieve to release any additional liquid – without pushing the butter through the sieve.

Transfer the buttermilk to a covered container and refrigerate. Homemade buttermilk can be stored in the fridge for one to two weeks.

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Wash the Butter:

Meanwhile, transfer the mass of butter to the empty mixing bowl. At this step, we will wash the butter repeatedly with very cold water, pressing the butter to release any excess buttermilk. Strain, wash, repeat.

The cold water helps to firm up the butter and washing helps remove any excess buttermilk from the butter. This will prevent it from spoiling and extend its storage life.

Once the water runs clear and you have drained the liquid, press the butter once more to release any excess water. If you desire, you can use clean hands to do this but this isn’t required.

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How to Make Cultured Butter (Cultured Butter Recipe) - A Beautiful Plate (12)

Add Salt If Desired:

At this stage, you can choose to mix and stir in salt or other seasonings, if desired. I prefer not to salt my cultured butter (and sprinkle salt after using, etc.) as it can mask the delicious tangy flavor.

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Wrap and Store the Cultured Butter:

Divide the butter in half – this recipe makes roughly 12 ounces of cultured butter – shape as desired, wrapping the butter in wax paper. Store well-wrapped in the refrigerator for up to a month (or longer) or freeze for later use.

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How to Make Cultured Butter (Cultured Butter Recipe) - A Beautiful Plate (15)

Ways to Use Cultured Butter:

  • slather on homemade sourdough bread, waffles, pancakes, or my easy whole wheat biscuits
  • fold into my favorite Yukon gold mashed potatoes
  • make homemade culturedcompound butter infused with your favorite seasonings or herbs
  • use in lieu of traditional butter in your favorite baked goods
  • enhance and add a touch of tang to savory dishes or sauces

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An extra bonus of making cultured butter from scratch is that you’ll makereal buttermilk in the process! The flavor is unparalleled. Use it in buttermilk pancakes, waffles, or other dishes. Here are handful of my favorite recipes that use buttermilk.

Ways to Use Leftover Buttermilk:

  • Easy Blueberry Muffins
  • Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins
  • Easy Whole Wheat Biscuits
  • Irish Soda Bread Scones

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Homemade Cultured Butter

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Yield: 12 Ounces Cultured Butter; 2 Cups Buttermilk

Prep: 2 days days

Cook: 20 minutes minutes

Total: 2 days days 20 minutes minutes

Learn how to make cultured butter (and real buttermilk) at home with thiseasyrecipe and how-to guide. Cultured butter has a distinct tangy flavor and can be easily substituted for regular butter in your favorite recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 quart (4 cups; 960 mL) high quality heavy cream not ultra pasteurized; no stabilizers added
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) cultured buttermilk or plain unsweetened yogurt with live cultures, or even cultured sour cream or creme fraiche
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt optional

Instructions

  • Culture the Cream: Combine the cream and culturing agent (cultured buttermilk, plain unsweetened yogurt with live cultures, or cultured sour cream or creme fraiche) in a lidded container. Stir to combine.

  • Allow the cream mixture to sit at room temperature, between 70°F to 75°F (21°C-24°C), for at least 24 hours and up to 48+ hours. The mixture will thicken and have a stronger, more pronounced tangy flavor as it sits. It will sour and become significantly thicker in texture with time.

    How to Make Cultured Butter (Cultured Butter Recipe) - A Beautiful Plate (18)

  • Transfer the cream mixture to the refrigerator and chill for at least one hour. This will ensure that the butter fat will stay firm and not become greasy during churning.

  • Churn: Place the chilled cream mixture in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (note: you can also use a large food processor or even shake the cream by hand if you're up to it!). Cover the stand mixer with a clean kitchen towel (this will help prevent any splattering) and whip over medium-high speed until the mixture has thickened and has the texture of a soft whipped cream.

    How to Make Cultured Butter (Cultured Butter Recipe) - A Beautiful Plate (19)

  • Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and continue whipping until the liquid and butter fat just begin to separate and it looks curdled. Reduce speed to low - be sure to cover the mixer as it can splatter considerably at this stage - and continue whipping until the butter comes together as a solid mass on the whisk attachment.

    How to Make Cultured Butter (Cultured Butter Recipe) - A Beautiful Plate (20)

  • Strain: Set a large fine-meshed sieve over a large mixing bowl. You can line the sieve with muslin, but I do not find this step necessary. Gently pour over the liquid (this is real buttermilk)then transfer the mass of butter to the sieve. Using a spatula, gently press the butter against the sieve to release any additional liquid - without pushing the butter through the sieve. Transfer the homemade buttermilk to a covered container and refrigerate. The buttermilk can be stored in the fridge for one to two weeks.

  • Wash: Meanwhile, transfer the mass of butter to the now empty mixing bowl. At this step, we will wash the butter repeatedly with very cold water, pressing the butter to release any excess buttermilk. Strain, wash, repeat. The cold water helps to firm up the butter and washing helps press out any excess buttermilk from the butter, which will extend it's storage life in the fridge.

    How to Make Cultured Butter (Cultured Butter Recipe) - A Beautiful Plate (21)

  • Pour 1 cup (240 mL) of very cold water over the butter and using the back of a spatula (or spoon), press the butter repeatedly against the edge of the bowl. Drain, discarding any liquid, and repeat until the water runs clear. This will take anywhere from 4 to 6 washes. Be sure to err on the side of overwashing. Once the water runs clear and you have drained the liquid, press the butter once more to release any excess water. If you desire, you can use clean hands to do this - but it isn't necessary or required.

  • Add Salt If Desired: At this stage, you can choose to mix and stir in salt or other seasonings, if desired. I prefer not to salt my cultured butter (and sprinkle salt after using, etc.) as it can mask the tangy flavor.

  • Store: Divide the butter in half - this recipe yields roughly 12 ounces of cultured butter - shape as desired, wrapping the butter in wax paper. Store well-wrapped in the refrigerator for up to a month (or longer) or freeze for later use.

Storage Tips:

  • Cultured butter can be wrapped well and stored in the refrigetator for up to a month (or longer) and can also be frozen and thawed for later use.

Inspired by Brod & Taylor.

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 274kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 108mg, Sodium: 82mg, Potassium: 64mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1165IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 56mg, Iron: 1mg

Author: Laura // A Beautiful Plate

Course: Cooking Technique Guides

Cuisine: American

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you. Please read my privacy policy for more information.

How to Make Cultured Butter (Cultured Butter Recipe) - A Beautiful Plate (2024)

FAQs

How to make butter step by step? ›

Directions
  1. Pour heavy cream into a food processor or blender. Process on high until butter separates, about 10 minutes. Dotdash Meredith Food Studios.
  2. Strain off liquid, then press butter into a small bowl with the back of a spoon to further remove liquid. Season with salt. ...
  3. Enjoy! DOTDASH MEREDITH FOOD STUDIOS.
Feb 13, 2023

How long can you keep homemade cultured butter? ›

– Cultured butter typically lasts for 10 days in the refrigerator.

What is the best cream for making butter? ›

Always buy heavy cream or whipping cream for churning butter. Any brand will do. You need the higher fat content. Heavy cream is approximately 40% butterfat and 60% milk solids and water.

How do you make butter step by step with pictures? ›

All you need is some heavy whipping cream, a few tools, and some elbow grease!
  1. Step 1: Supplies. one pint of heavy whipping cream. ...
  2. Step 2: Pour It! Fill the mason jar half way with heavy whipping cream. ...
  3. Step 3: Shake It! Now comes the magic.... ...
  4. Step 4: Strain It! ...
  5. Step 5: Spread & Enjoy!

What happens if you churn butter too long? ›

This is the most important step in making butter. Excessive churning after the butter has separated will make it greasy and hard to shape. Too little churning will cause the butter spoil quickly due the trapped buttermilk it still contains.

How to make butter like a pioneer? ›

During pioneer days making butter was primarily a child's job. They would milk the family's cow and let the milk sit in a shallow pan overnight in order for the cream to rise to the top. The next morning they skim the cream layer with a wooden ladle and leave it out to sour.

What is the best way to make butter at home? ›

Here's the bottom line: Butter is simply heavy or whipping cream that's been whipped beyond its comfort zone and broken down into solid butter and liquid buttermilk. So however you make whipped cream, do it — and keep on going until the cream separates.

How to make butter from scratch at home? ›

Homemade butter is one step past whipped cream. To get butter, you have to agitate, whip or mix the cream long enough for the fat molecules to begin to clump together. After enough time mixing and shaking, the fat molecules clump together into butter, leaving the liquid and butterfat behind.

What is the best milk for making butter? ›

The cream from Jersey cows produces the best butter because of its higher fat content milk, plus the fact that their fat is dispersed in larger globules than milk from other types of cows and tends to churn into butter more easily.

Who makes the best butter in the world? ›

Cabot Creamery's Extra Creamy Butter Named Best Butter

Cabot's butter beat out dozens of other butters from around the world. Most notably, however, it outranked France's Isigny Sainte Mère Salted Butter by half a point, which goes to show you don't have to spend $7 on butter to get the best.

Is cultured butter worth it? ›

Where It Shines Best. Keep in mind that the price point for cultured butter is higher than regular butter, so while it can be used for everyday applications, we like to save it for recipes that are butter-forward, like shortbread cookies and traditional beurre blanc. Cultured butter will make these dishes even better.

Can you add salt to cream before making butter? ›

Easy, too: Just whirl heavy cream in a stand mixer (or go old-school and shake it in a lidded jar) until the solids separate, press out all the liquid and add salt (or not) to taste. Make butter with local Snowville cream, and you'll wind up with a product that's truly seasonal.

Is making butter cheaper than buying? ›

Butter isn't that expensive — it's about $3 per pound at the wholesale level. Cream costs roughly $3.50 for 16 ounces, or less if you buy a larger carton. That means the price of making your own butter isn't much more than buying it in the store, and often you can get organic cream cheaper than organic butter.

How much butter can you get from a gallon of cream? ›

Butter yields vary depending on the skill and experience of the butter maker. 1 gallon of milk will usually yield 1 to 1.5 pint of cream. The cream will churn to approx. 1/3 to ½ lb of butter.

How do you make butter at home? ›

Here's the bottom line: Butter is simply heavy or whipping cream that's been whipped beyond its comfort zone and broken down into solid butter and liquid buttermilk. So however you make whipped cream, do it — and keep on going until the cream separates.

What are the ingredients in butter? ›

Butter has been a staple for thousands of years with a simple process: separate cream from milk, churn the cream, then add salt. Butter contains at least 80% milk fat, around 16% water, 1.5–2.0% salt and 2% other milk solids. The fat in butter is approximately 67% saturated, 29% monounsaturated and 4% polyunsaturated.

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