1 hour


20 minutes


½ c fresh butter



Mason Jar Marvels: Making Butter

Heavy cream, a lidded mason jar, and some serious elbow grease are all you need to make fresh butter at home.
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • lidded mason jar
  • salt to taste
  • small bowl
  • spoon

Cheat Sheet

Using a mason jar to make butter is pretty brag-worthy, but not entirely necessary if you have the proper tools. Butter can be made sans the elbow grease using a mixer with a whip attachment. Joy the Baker shows us how.


Mason jars are downright ubiquitous these days, and have certainly earned their reputation as eye-roll generators (if we see another “25 Cupcakes in a Jar” roundup, we are going to start breaking things). That said, we got pretty excited by the fact that you can use a simple jar to make butter, everybody’s favorite condiment. Better than boxed, the spread is pretty damn delicious when fresh (see: restaurants that serve the fresh-off-the-farm stuff with warm bread). Added bonus: you’ll find out exactly how buttermilk got its unfortunate moniker in the process. Butter. Milk. Boom. Let’s go.

Lesson Plan

  1. Bring the whipping cream to room temperature by leaving it on the counter for a couple of hours, which will get the cream-to-butter process moving and minimize the amount of shaking you’ll need to do.
  2. Fill the mason jar halfway with heavy whipping cream.
  3. Shake the jar vigorously until the cream turns into whey and a lump of butter. Really go to town here: bring in friends and family to take over if needed. This should take roughly 10-15 minutes total. (Bonus: arm workout.)
  4. Drain the buttermilk from the jar and either discard or reserve for baking. Remove the chunk of butter and set it in a bowl, mashing it with a spoon to eliminate any excess whey.
  5. Pro tip: After you get a good amount of the excess buttermilk out, rinse the butter in ice water, kneading it as you rinse. Doing so will make the butter last longer in the fridge and prevent a sour dairy smell from creeping up.
  6. Continue to mash the butter and rinse it with ice water until all of the buttermilk is gone. You’ll know it’s fully rinsed when the water starts to runs clear.
  7. Now you officially have butter, and you can flavor it to your liking. Start with a pinch of salt, taste, and continue to salt until you achieve the flavor you're after. After getting down with some warm bread, wrap your butter in wax paper or plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for storage, where it will last for up to a week.