How To Make Homemade Cultured Butter

cultured butter on unbleached wax paper

Homemade cultured butter is a unique, tangy butter that enhances the flavor and health benefits of almost anything. It’s made by fermenting heavy cream with cultured buttermilk. The result is a delicious tangy butter, perfect for smearing all over your favorite foods.

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • GUT-FRIENDLY – Cultured or fermented dairy products contain lactic acid-producing bacteria that help break down lactose and casein, which leads to better digestion.
  • HIGHLY ABSORBABLE VITAMINS AND MINERALS – Butter is a rich source of vitamins A, D, E, and K. It also contains trace minerals: Manganese, Zinc, Chromium, Selenium, and Iodine.
  • HIGHER QUALITY BUTTER – Making your own homemade butter means you can choose the quality of cream and “starter” culture you use. Grass-fed, Organic, Raw, or Local!

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homemade cultured butter on wax paper

What is Cultured Butter?

Cultured butter is made by culturing heavy cream. This is cream that has fermented and contains live and active cultures, much like yogurt, kefir, or sour cream.

What is the difference between regular butter and cultured butter?

Traditional butter is made using cream, while cultured butter is made using fermented cream.

It has a unique, tangy flavor, different than regular butter. The flavor enhances just about anything and can be used in both sweet and savory foods.

You may be able to find cultured butter in your local grocery store but making it yourself at home ensures that it is organic and grass-fed. You can also ferment it for a longer or shorter duration depending on how tangy you would like it to be!

What Are The Benefits of Cultured Butter?

By fermenting the cream you are using to make butter, you are adding many live cultures that promote gut health. Fermenting cream also increases the butterfat content which causes the butter to have a higher smoke-point.

This makes it the tastiest and healthiest butter to eat, as long as you use high quality cream. And when you make homemade cultured butter at home it is less expensive than store-bought cultured butter.

Watch How To Make Cultured Butter

Watch me make cultured butter here:
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Tools Needed:

  • Glass jar with lid
  • Fine-meshed sieve or nut milk bag
  • Stand mixer with whisk attachment (or food processor)
  • Unbleached wax paper for storage purposes

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Organic Heavy Cream – (not ultra-pasteurized) You want to make sure that it does not contain any added thickeners or gums, as this will cause issues in the culturing process.

100% grass-fed cream will give you the best cultured butter. If you can’t find that, opt for organic or local.

Cultured Buttermilk – You can also use unsweetened, plain yogurt with live and active cultures, cultured sour cream, or even cultured crème Fraiche.

Use whichever culturing agent you already have in the fridge because you only need to use it once! Future batches of butter can be made using the buttermilk left behind from the first batch.

How To Make Homemade Cultured Butter

Culture the cream

Combine the cream and cultured buttermilk (or other culturing agent). Stir and place a tight-fitted lid on.

Allow the cream mixture to ferment at room temperature (70-75 degrees F) for 24-48+ hours.

The mixture will thicken and have a stronger smell as it cultures. Once the cream is cultured and is very thickened and sour, place the cultured cream in the refrigerator to chill for 1+ hours.

That was the butterfat will stay cold and firm and not start to melt during the churning process, and to ensure that the butterfat separates more quickly from the buttermilk.

fermented buttermilk in cream in glass jar with staub spoon

Churn the butter

Pour the cold cream mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. You can also use a food processor fitted with a blade or whisk.

Cover the stand mixer with a clean tea towel or kitchen towel to keep the buttermilk from splattering all over. Whip the cream on medium-high speed until the cream has turned to whipped cream and has formed soft peaks. Reduce speed to low.

The cream will first become whipped cream and then the butter will completely separate from the milk, leaving only butter and buttermilk. It should look curdled!

Continue whipping the butter and buttermilk until the butter has formed a solid mass on the whisk.

churned cultured butter in stand mixer on a whisk attachment

Separate the butter from the buttermilk

Place a fine-meshed sieve over a large bowl or just hold a nut milk bag above a bowl and pour the liquid and butter from the stand-mixer bowl through it. Then lightly press the butter (or gently squeeze the butter if using a nut milk bag) to remove an excess liquid from the butter.

*Do not press the ball of butter through the sieve or nut milk bag.

The excess liquid is buttermilk that can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Use this liquid to culture your next batch of butter!

cultured buttermilk in sieve and glass nut milk maker

Wash the butter

Place the butter in a bowl and run cold water on it, gently squeezing the water out each time. Do this repeatedly until the water runs completely clear.

Squeeze the butter once more to release the rest of the water to get as much water out of the butter as possible.

washing the butter in an ice bath to remove buttermilk

Making salted butter

I prefer to cook with salted butter, but it is optional. To make the butter salted, simply sprinkle the salt over the butter and use a spatula to fold the butter, evenly distributing the salt throughout.

How to wrap and store the butter

Next, divide the butter into appropriate amounts and shape as desired. You could even use a butter mold or shape it and then cut it into sticks.

You can also use a digital scale to weigh out one stick worth of butter. But who’s counting…

Next wrap the butter portions in wax paper and fold. I like to use craft tape to secure it as well as label it.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or place wrapped butter in a freezer bag for later use ( butter will stay fresh for 3+ months in the freezer).

cultured butter on unbleached wax paper

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