Mason Jar Butter

What You'll Need

  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • a pinch of salt if desired

There is nothing in this world like freshly made butter. It’s simple and rich and hearty and decadent, all at once.

There’s several ways to make butter, all of which rely on different methods to separate the cream from the whey. Some butter is cultured; the action of bacteria acidify the cream enough to separate out some of the whey, and give the butter a tangier flavor. Sweet cream butter like we are making here, however, is nothing but pure, fresh cream, shaken (and shaken, and shaken.) All at once, after all that shakin', as if by some earthy farm spell, the butter solidifies, leaving a wash of milky whey surrounding the soft, fresh butter. Yes sure, a butter churn does the same thing, but the action is one of stirring, or cranking, instead of shaking. (We think we know which one James Bond would prefer.)

Yep, butter is cream. Shaken, not stirred, in this case.

Add a pinch of salt if you want salted butter.
Takes about 20 minutes.


1) Add cream to your mason jar

Pour 1 pint of fresh cream into a quart size mason jar; you’ll want to have plenty of air space in the jar to slosh the cream around. Add the salt at this time if desired.
make your own butter

2) Shake it.

Place the lid on the jar and secure tightly. Then...

Shake it.
Shake it.
Shake it.

As you shake, the texture will thicken slightly, becoming full of bubbles.

Keep shaking.

mason jar butter

3) Pour off the whey and continue shaking

The butter will begin to solidify; the liquid in the jar will become clearer than the cream was, and the butter will have a texture similar to firm yogurt. Pour off the whey, if you like, and keep shaking. At this stage, scraping a spoon through the young butter will result in beads of whey forming on the surface. Shake just a little bit more, until the butter is firmer, and does not ooze whey as readily.
homemade butter

4) Refrigerate and store

Pour off any remaining whey from the butter; whey will cause the butter to spoil in storage.

The butter will be soft until it is chilled in the fridge for a few hours. Press it into shaped molds, or store it in all it’s lumpy, delicious glory in a mason jar.

At the end of all that shaking, your arm is going to be tired. (This is a good task to pass around a group of hungry friends!) Sit back and relax. Spread some of that butter on a slice of cornbread. It was all worth it. And you just burned a whole bunch of calories…