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.

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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)
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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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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

4.9 stars (26 ratings)

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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.

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  • 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 long does cultured butter last? ›

– Cultured butter typically lasts for 10 days in the refrigerator. – Butter easily absorbs other odors so make sure it is tightly-sealed. – You can also freeze butter – it will last for several months.

What is the best heavy cream 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.

What is European style cultured butter? ›

Cultured Butter is a European-style butter with cow's milk heavy cream, (salt), and cultures. Our butter, like our cheese, is made the old fashioned way. We slow culture cream for a week which turns it into beautiful crème fraiche, or sour cream.

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.

How can you tell if cultured butter is bad? ›

The first clue that your butter has gone bad will be the smell. Any sour or off-putting smell means it's a goner. Same goes for taste: If it tastes sour or off, toss it out. 5 And don't worry, a small taste of rancid butter won't hurt you.

Is cultured butter healthier than regular butter? ›

Cultured butters contain probiotics, live microbes with proven health benefits. Standard butters, known as 'sweet butter', do not. Cultured butters taste AMAZING! Most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate butter because it contains only trace amounts of lactose (<0.7g/100g).

Is it cheaper to buy heavy cream and make your own butter? ›

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.

Is whipping cream or double cream better for making butter? ›

Heavy cream, whipping cream, or heavy whipping cream are all suitable choices for making homemade butter. Heavy cream, with the highest percentage of butterfat, will yield the most butter; lower-fat whipping cream will yield less.

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.

Who makes the best butter in the world? ›

Cabot Extra Creamy barely edged out the salted butter by Isigny Sainte-Mère, a storied brand out of Normandy, France. That butter scored 99.6 from the judges. Nevertheless, please note: A half-pound of Cabot Extra Creamy Sea Salted butter rings up at about $4.

What is French cultured butter? ›

French butter is indeed higher in fat than American butter – about 82 percent minimum, as opposed to the 80 percent required in the U.S. But in addition to being higher in fat, French butter is also cultured, a process whereby live active cultures are added to the cream before the butter is churned.

Why does butter taste better in Europe? ›

The higher butterfat percentage in European butter is one of the main reasons why many consider butters from across the pond to be superior to those produced in the US. It's better for baking, but it also creates a richer flavor and texture even if all you're doing is smearing your butter on bread.

How is Amish butter made? ›

Amish butter typically only has two ingredients: pasteurized cream and salt. However, it can be found in both salted and unsalted varieties, just like stick butter. Its slow-churning method creates a creamy and rich flavor. Amish butter is low on carbs, vegetarian, and gluten-free.

What is the best milk to make butter with? ›

The best option would be fresh, raw cream from pastured Jersey cows. Milk from Jersey cows has the highest fat content, which is why they are primarily dairy cattle. In addition, the fat in their milk has larger globules in it which makes it perfect for churning butter.

How long does cultured butter last once opened? ›

The founder of the cultured butter company Pepe Saya, Pierre Issa, told Delicious that in warmer climates like Australia, "you can only leave it out for around two to three days in summer and five to seven days in winter. After that, it's gone.

Does cultured butter need to be refrigerated? ›

At the end of the day, cultured butter is fine to keep at room temperature, just not for too long. The solution is to eat more butter, more often -- or to put only the amount of butter you know you'll use in a few days in your butter dish.

Does plant based butter go bad? ›

Unlike salted butter, unsalted butter is more susceptible to spoilage due to its lack of salt as a natural preservative so it is best to store it in the refrigerator. Whipped butter, margarine, compound butter, and vegan butter are more prone to spoilage and should always be refrigerated.

What is the longest shelf life of butter? ›

Refrigerated butter should last up to a month past the printed date if it's unopened. If the butter has been opened, it can last up to two weeks past that printed date. If you're storing the butter longer term, unopened butter stored in the freezer can last anywhere from nine months to a year past the date.

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