Science Behind Making Butter

Hello friends and especially to all the super mom’s out there!!!

Today we have come up with another simple and easy science experiment but this time not only science we can call it as ‘Edible Science Experiment’. Yes!! Today I am going to post “How to make Homemade Butter”. Try this activity with your kids. It’s really fun and will fascinate all ages of children.

DIY Homemade butter - Edible Science for Kids

What tastes better than a homemade butter!!? Whether you spread it on a bread or roll it on a roti for dinner, taste of butter by our hands is always top the line. Show this old fashioned fun activity for kids and they will really enjoy churning your own butter at home. Children of any age can understand and more than watching kids enjoy doing this activity.

Homemade butter is made in a variety of different ways and today we are going to learn or make homemade butter using basic household supplies. Let us see what they are!!

Making Homemade Butter

One traditional and classic butter making process is by using a bit of muscle. Hahaha!! Confused!? Yes, we are going to make butter in a jar by shaking it using your muscle strength. It is so simple, fun and easily accessible activity for kids and also improves your child’s motor skills.

Who is it for
This is a cool science activity that is suitable for primary school kids (5-6 year olds) or kindergarteners (3-4 year olds). But that shouldn’t stop you if you have older kids. It is an Yummy activity that can be done by kids of all ages.

Things you need to make tasty Butter

Things We Need for making butter

  • One cup of heavy and fresh whipping cream
  • Clean and tight sealed glass jar with lid. Baby food jars (that have lid) work best if you are preferring to do with the small batches. Whereas a canning jar with a lid, seal and ring works great for larger batches. A different size glass jars could be used for the purpose but the amount of fresh whipping cream should be adjusted accordingly.
  • A clean glass bowl
  • A strainer

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  • Take one cup of fresh cream into a cup or glass bowl. Let it settle to the room temperature (suggested to leave it for five hours in the bowl).
  • Make sure all the glass containers we are going to in the activity are clean and clear.

Steps to Making Butter from Fresh Cream

1) Once the fresh cream is settled for five hours, pour it directly into a clean glass jar. Put the lid on the jar and screw it on tightly.

pour fresh cream to the bottle

2) For the next step, you may want to get a helping hand ready for shaking the jar. My daughters helped me while shaking and they both took turns to shake it. This is the only step where we need to put little efforts to take out butter. It will take several minutes of vigorous shaking to make butter from the cream! Shake it until the sloshing sound stops.

close and shake the bottle to get butter

3) After few minutes, the fresh cream will thicken and the sloshing sound stops too.

4) About the half way through, you may stop shaking and open the lid to show your kids what’s happening inside the jar.

Make your own butter

5) The fresh in the jar has just turned into a whipped cream. My younger couldn’t control herself from tasting it.

6) Place the lid back on and keep shaking until the sloshing sound stops again. This sloshing sound is because of the butter milk separating from the butter.

7) Almost we are done, shake the jar for few more minutes and take the lid off. You can see the solid mass inside the jar which is nothing but our yummy and tasty homemade butter.

8) Pour off the butter milk out of the jar using a strainer into an empty cup.

making butter experiment for kids

9) Here we go!! The most awaited homemade light and fluffy butter is ready to slather on your toast, bread etc. Flavour your butter with a pinch of salt and chopped herbs to make your toast tastier.


Before you start shaking, note down the time or put your stop watch on to take note on how long does it take to make butter out of fresh cream.

Now we jump into our second easy way of making butter at home as I already promised you in the beginning that I will tell you the three different methods.

Using Hand Beater

Were your hands paining? Let’s make the activity little more simpler.   We are going to replace our bottle movement with a beater. 



Do the preparation same as we did in the first method of making homemade butter. (Bringing the fresh cream to room temparature).

pour cream to the bowl


Take a cup of fresh cream into the jar and beat it with your hands. That is the reason I said ‘you need to invest your energy to make tasty homemade butter. 🙂

beat the cream to get butter

Beat the butter using beater until the liquid separates out and a solid mass is formed. The solid mass is nothing but our yummy butter. Nothing can beat the taste of homemade butter in this world.

Separating butter from milk

This recipe is for unsalted butter. If you want salted butter, you can add required salt to the fresh cream itself before you start beating it.

filter buttermilk from butter

Separate the butter from the glass jar and knead it for some time so that you can save the butter from getting rancid.

Now it’s time for our third method – Let’s use motorized beater. 

This method saves your energy while making homemade butter. Hahaha!! Yes, in this recipe you can use electronic beater to whip the cream.


    1) Pour a cup of fresh cream into a clean and clear glass jar and start beating it. This time you can beat the cream using electronic beater.

    2) Beat the cream until the sloshing sound made by the separating liquid stops.

    Making Butter Kitchen Science For Kids

    3) After sometime you can see butter separating from the butter milk in the glass bowl.

    4) Take out our fluffy butter from glass bowl into a cup and keep it under cold water in order to remove excess water from the butter.

    How to make delicious homemade butter buttermilk edible food science activity for kids

    Now our fresh homemade butter is ready to consume. It is very easy to make and saves your money than buying expensive butter from the stores.

    How long can you store the homemade butter?

    You can store homemade butter for 3-5 days at certain room temperature and 7-10 days if refrigerated. Make sure to store it with the lid on. The liquid that is formed while making butter is also can be stored in the fridge for 5-8 days.

    TIP: If you want to speed up the churning process, add some marbles to your glass jar before beating the cream. This works as an agitator and help churn the butter a bit faster.

    I suggest you to give a try to this activity which helps your young kids to watch and taste the wonderful final product.

    Making butter and buttermilk from cream

    Science Facts Behind Butter Making

    What is the science behind making butter?

    When shaking the fresh cream, the fat molecules in the cream get shaken out of position and clump together. Eventually, after enough agitation, the fat molecules that are clumped so much forms butter. During this process, the fat molecules gets separated from the liquid in the cream, and this liquid is called buttermilk and can be removed.

    Why does shaking cream make butter?

    Cream is nothing but the milk fat, a complex mixture of lipids gets stabilized by its own fat molecules. When the cream is stirred up, the fat molecules all together forms a clump leaving the water molecules since fat hates water. 

    Does heavy cream turn to butter?

    Yes, heavy cream absolutely turn into butter. When the cream is agitated, the fat molecules get shaken out of position and clump together forming butter.

    Can you turn half and half into butter?

    Unfortunately, half and half won’t work as a substitute since it contains very less content of fat to whip. 

    How much cream does it take to make a pound of butter?

    We will get about half as much butter as the amount of cream used (when shaking). For example: One quart (32 ounces) of Heavy Cream will yield 1 pound (16 ounces) butter plus about 2 cups buttermilk.

    Can you turn butter into cream?

    Yes, the butter can be turned into cream. Butter should be melted and mixed with the butter milk again to make cream. We can also turn butter into cream by mixing butter with whole milk. 

    What is the difference between butter and whipped cream?

    Both cream and butter are dairy products (means they are derived from the cow’s milk) and closely related. Cream is high source of butter fat where as butter is a semi solid form of cream. However, butter is higher in fat than cream.  

    Is making butter a chemical change?

    Yes, the cream goes through a physical change when it is churned into butter. The fat molecules clumped together while stirring or shaking causing the liquid (water molecules) to be squeezed out of the solid mass (butter). This physical change is absolutely reversible. The butter can be melted and mixed with buttermilk to make cream again.

    If you enjoyed this butter activity, you could try our whole set of activities in our edible science page

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    How To Make Tasty ButterMaking-Homemade Butter with Kids

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