Make Butter in a Jar

The simplest things can be so much fun for kids, don’t you agree?! Recently my family found a way to make homemade butter and both of my kids were so excited to try it. Sure, you could go to the store and spend a few dollars for sticks of butter, but check out this easy, fun way for your kids to get involved! It’s like a little science experiment and you can make buttermilk pancakes with your freshly made butter and buttermilk you get as a result. I just love learning where our food comes from and making food from scratch!


What you need:

  • a clean marble
  • small jar
  • strainer
  • bowl
  • heavy cream, chilled
  • pinch of salt


  1. Place the jar, with marble inside, in the refrigerator for at least an hour. (You can do this step before you go to bed so it is chilled and ready for the next day.)
  2. Pour cream into the cold jar, about half full.
  3. Shake the jar until you stop hearing the marble and you can see lumps of butter in the liquid. (This step takes about 10-15 minutes, see note on the bottom.)
  4. Pour the liquid through a strainer to separate the solid butter from the liquid buttermilk and store the buttermilk in the refrigerator so you can use it later.
  5. Put the butter into a bowl and cover with cold water. Pour the water through the strainer and continue to add water and strain until you’ve washed all of the buttermilk off the butter. (If you leave the buttermilk on the surface of the butter, it will mold and spoil quickly.)
  6. Stir in salt if desired and put the butter into a butter saver, ramekin, or other container to store. If any liquid appears as you press the butter into a container, pour out and discard.
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Note: The larger the jar you use, the longer it will take to form butter. A baby food jar, or a jar of similar size works well for young children.

About the Author

Annie Tandy
Annie loves making great memories with her kids and started Kidlist in 2011 so she can help others do the same! Besides finding fun and exciting things to do, Annie, her husband, and their kids enjoy caring for their chickens and hanging out with them in the backyard. Click here to read about Annie's chickens and see pictures! She also finds joy in gardening, home improvement projects, knitting, soap making, and painting along with being active in her community, church, and as a board member of the Western Springs Business Association. Click here to follow Annie on Instagram.

4 Comments on "Make Butter in a Jar"

  1. I have read elsewhere that is better if the cream is NOT cold, but room temperature.

  2. What kind of strainer works best?

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