Making Butter From Raw Milk

Share this post:

How to Make Butter from Raw Milk | RaisingArrows.netIt’s been a while since we’ve been able to get our hands on some quality raw milk with the cream on.  It was so fun to get back into the swing of making butter and I wanted to show all of you just how easy it is to do.

I bought 1/2 gallon wide-mouthed canning jars to get our milk in.  They are easy to handle and make creaming them easy as well.

I only take off the cream as I open a new jar, and I always leave a little on to mix in with the milk. (Just shake the jar good before pouring any out).  The milk “keeps” better if the cream is on it.

To scoop the cream out, I use a serving spoon with a bent handle and scoop it directly into a pint canning jar.

The cream jar stays in the refrigerator until it is full, which for this particular cow, is after about 2 gallons.

I didn’t have a lid handy, thus the reason for the plastic over top.

On Butter-Making Day, I pull the cream out and let it get to room temperature.

I pour the cream into my Bosch mixer with the whisk attachment on it. {some people use a blender and that works just as well, but I hate cleaning blenders!}

I run the mixer on medium for several minutes.  You’ll hear two “sound” changes in your mixing.

The first time you hear the mixer sound different, it is when your cream turns to whipped cream. If you want, you can stop here, add a bit of vanilla and sugar to taste and have homemade whipped cream for your strawberry shortcake!  However, this is a butter tutorial, so carry on…

The second sound change will be butter.  You’ll also be able to tell you’ve hit butter because the buttermilk will splash all over the mixer/blender.


I get the butter off the whisks and scrap down the bowl and pour off the buttermilk into another pint jar.

I REALLY need to find some jar lids!

This buttermilk can be used in recipes during the upcoming week.

Next, I transfer the butter from the mixer to a glass bowl.  Glass is just a preference of mine.  I also really like using a wooden spoon in this next step, but the last of my wooden spoons split in two the other day, so I had to use a new plastic paddle-type spoon I picked up the other day at the bulk food store.

Now, here’s the important step…
Take your butter bowl and pour cold water over it {not warm because your butter will be hard to handle if it’s all melted 😉 }  Smoosh your butter around in the water (it will look murky), use your spoon to hold the butter in place, and pour off the waterRepeat AT LEAST 4 times–water should be relatively clear by the time you are finished.

Why do you do this step?  Because if you don’t, you will have cow-y tasting butter.  I like cows and all, but not in my butter.

Finally, I transfer the butter to whatever I am using as a butter dish, cover and refrigerate.  You can leave it out for a time, but I tend to just keep it in the refrigerator to be on the safe side.

The finished product!

Oh, and if you like salted butter, just add in a bit to taste (I honestly don’t know how much because I don’t make salted butter).

And there you have your own incredibly easy, incredibly tasty homemade butter!  Yay for you!

Subscribe to Raising Arrows

37 Comments on Making Butter From Raw Milk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

37 thoughts on “Making Butter From Raw Milk

  1. I do this ALL the time, the same way you do, except I don’t have a food processor so I use my Vitamix. I only make my own butter now, I never buy it.

    I like to keep the cream in the raw milk usually (unless I’m making mozzarella cheese from it), so I don’t usually get to use raw cream to make butter. But there is a local dairy that sells low-temp pasteurized milk and it is grass-fed, not homogenized, not fed hormones or antibiotics, etc. I can buy a half gallon of cream from them for $8. This turns into 3 lbs. of butter! I put it in two 3-cup glass dishes and freeze one and keep the other in the fridge, which keeps us in butter for at least a month. It’s pretty awesome and VERY frugal. :)
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Happy Memorial Day! =-.

  2. we have been getting raw milk for about a month now. LOVE it. I make butter each time I open a 1/2 gal bottle (we get 4 bottles a week). I just put it in an old peanut butter jar and we all shake shake shake till it is done. not long at all. then I do the rest just like you. I prefer glass containers too. Your site has been very helpful for me with great ideas, especially homeschooling (we are newbies). keep up the great work. You are a blessing.

    • Sounds like fun! My husband did that one time with baby food jars when he was working at a day care during college. And thanks so much for your sweet compliment. :)

  3. I grew up on a farm and we had goats. We’d make our own butter too but we did it in a jar and would all take turns shaking it until we could hear the lump of butter go “ping!” against the lid with every shake. When I married my husband we bought some whipping cream and I had him shake it because he never had heard of making your own butter. He was so excited when he was done making (and tasting) his butter that he went to work (a ship- he was in the Navy) and told the guys there that he’d made butter. :) Then he invited his friend over so his friend could make some butter too. I guess I always thought it was really cool to make our own butter but it didn’t occur to me how much cooler it would be to city people who didn’t have the blessing of growing up on a farm. It was cool to see how excited these grown men got about it! :)
    .-= Mama Mirage´s last blog ..update =-.

    • That is a cute story about your husband. :) I didn’t grow up making butter either, so I get a kick out of turning cream into butter too!

  4. Yum! I’m about like Paula Deen when it comes to butter. It just makes everything better. Your tutorial on how to make it is wonderful!

    Thank you so much for linking up to Mingle Monday.

  5. I have been making butter from raw milk for several years now, but am still confused about the buttermilk. I have a freezerfull because I can’t find enough ways to use it. When using it to cook does it substitute for water, milk, buttermilk ? ? ? ? I really do want to use it. Thanks for your help.

    • Barbara,
      Honestly, if I don’t use it right away in place of milk in a recipe or in something like muffins that call for buttermilk, I don’t end up using it. I tend to make some sort of bread the same day or next after making butter. Hope that helps!

      • Buttermilk is great when making biscuits and makes them rise better and fluffy. Also buttermilk pancakes or waffles . There’s a host of things to use it for.

  6. I found your post when searching for “making butter from raw milk”! :) Excited to peek around your site a bit!

    Quick question, how long does it take you to fill your cream jar? Is there a point at which your raw cream is too sour or has clabbered too much to use it for butter making?


    • How quickly you fill your cream jar depends entirely on the butter fat content of the milk you are using. If you are using Jersey milk, it won’t take much time at all, but other breeds may take longer. The longest I’ve waited to make butter is 2wks (I think) and seen no problem. Cream lasts a goodly amount of time and you should be able to tell by smell (don’t go by thickness of cream). Hope that helps! :)

  7. I am trying to make butter from my raw milk, I leave it out to sour for about 12 hours or so. It whips and creams but will not turn to butter. I tried putting it in the refrigerator yet still it just whips. I am beside myself, what am I doing wrong? I could easily make butter from organic cream but this cream is from my cow. I am very troubled.

    • I’ve never left it out to sour, so I don’t know if that is a contributing factor, but I’ve never had any trouble. It does take a while to get to the butter stage. What are using to whip it?

  8. I have made sweet butter (without souring), sour butter (by leaving on counter 24-48 hrs) and cultured butter (by using a culture to sour). In all cases it should be cold when you actually whip it. The only other thing I can think of is how much you are trying to whip at one time. My daughter tried to make butter from a large amount (I a not sure the exact amount, but it completely filled her bowl when it was whipping) and it seemed like it wasn’t going to make butter. Because it was filling the bowl, she wasn’t whipping on high (to avoid it flowing over). I encouraged her to keep whipping and it finally did, but it was a very long time. We decided it was the amount of cream she was working with. I would say, for me, about a quart of cream at a time works best. However, Kate says she does 1/2 gal at a time. I don’t really know, but I do know that if it whips it should eventually turn to butter.

      • Thanks for commenting, I did check back for a response then I got very busy. I have always tried small quantities. I am using my kitchenaid with the whip attachment. I have tried everything, cold, warm, I must have whipped for over an hour off and on.
        I have stopped milking Fannie since she is due to calf mid to late July. I read somewhere that this might be a factor as well.
        I pulled out my last cream from her which is about 4 days old, I will put it back into the refrigerator tonight.
        But you say if it whips it will turn…I truly hope so.
        Whipping it for an hour seems crazy, but you say if it whips it will eventually turn. I do not want to give up so onward I will go.
        Thanks for your support.

          • Yes, it is extreme, but it has happened to me. I also note that if my cream is not cold then more of the butterfat stays in the milk after it makes butter. Since I want all the butter I can get, I always have mine as cold as I can.

  9. Let me know if you are successful. You may be right about something related to when she will calf . . . I don’t have any experience in that regard!

  10. I am so glad I stumbled onto your blog! I have been trying to make butter from the cream we get from our raw milk but my success has only been hit or miss. I mean, I always get butter-ish results but the quality of it is iffy – I can never seem to get all the buttermilk out!!! My results are not consistent. Sometimes my butter is hard; sometimes it’s very, very soft…aargh! I’m always trying to watch for the soft peaks, hard peaks, separation, how long do you let the butter spin around before you stop it, etc…etc…etc; but I just didn’t GET it. You are the only one (I’ve found) to describe listening for the two SOUND changes in the mixer. Voila! You have fixed me and set me on the straight and narrow path of “perfect butter”! I just made my first beautiful batch of butter AND my first batch of perfectly whipped cream for my fresh strawberries tonight! I am forever grateful to you. Also, I no longer have to stand there and stare hard at the whole process – so you may have just saved my eyesight. You are my “dairy hero”. Congratulations! Hahaha.

  11. I make butter from a Jersy cow and have made it in 1 hour and as much as 4 hours. I start with about a quart at 12 hours of room temp sitting. Heard 63 degrees was optimum temp.

  12. I plan on trying my first butter soon. I am curious about filtering the raw milk first. I saw that on a site and I don’t know what that means. Also do you pasteurize the milk at all? Thank you so much! I don’t want to sicken my family!

    • I never did pasteurize the milk first b/c I was sure of the source. I have yet to find a good quality source where I am now ( at a price I feel I can afford). You would only need to filter if there was foreign material in the milk and if that’s the case, then I would question the source in general.

      • I love getting raw milk from a Jersey Cow, and am very excited to try to make butter for the first time. How long do you let the milk sit before the cream separates?

        One of the beauties of raw milk is the significantly higher nutrition. When the milk is pasteurized and homogenized, the calcium lactate(very bioavailable, and only takes your body two steps to convert to useable calcium) to calcium carbonate(this takes your body 13 steps to convert to usable calcium…and I hope you are eliminating before this happens). Enjoy your wonderful raw milk, and all of the great products that can be made from it!

        • The milk and cream will separate within the day. The cream simply rises to the top. If you are going to drink it without skimming it, all you do is shake the cream back in.

  13. I realize you posted this a few years back but was wondering if the steps are available without the pictures? I work best from a print out and want to print just the steps. Thanks!

    Also, about how long does it keep?

    Have you ever frozen butter? If so, any ideas if that alters the nutritional benefits?

    • Hi Kris! I’m sorry, I do not have a version with the photos removed. The butter keeps as long as regular butter and depends on the weather and where you are storing it. I freeze butter all the time and I don’t think it causes a break down in nutrition.

      • Hi Amy,
        Thanks so much for the info! I just bought some small mason jars for freezer storage–in case I don’t get enough of the buttermilk out, which I understand can shorten the life of the butter. Still being raw, I imagine the worst that would happen with old butter would be souring, not “going bad” per say.
        Again, thank you for the reply and wonderfully helpful post!

  14. My dad had me make butter and I never made butter before mom always did it but she pass away 8 month ago but I had to find out how to can and a lots a lhing I never done before