Making Butter At Home From Raw Milk

Ah, the goodness of butter from fresh milk. You rich, creamy goodness you…

Full of healthy, saturated fats, creaminess for days and a mild flavor that goes so well spread thick on  muffins or bread and even melted on a steak.

homemade butter
homemade butter

What would I do without your fluffy, yellow emulsion? It’s so easy to add herbs, cheese or even plain salt to you and you take it all in. You can even flavor coffee, gravies, and soups.

Oh, butter, is there anything you CAN’T do? I can’t imagine a world without butter, nor do I want to.

Fortunately, you CAN make your own butter, from the cream of the milk right at home.

With either raw milk cream from a local dairy, or cream you buy at the store. That is all it takes… cream from the milk. Maybe a bit of salt, if you like that. Or not. Your choice.

10 minutes, a pint or quart of cream, and you have a mound of creamy goodness that is equal to none.

A Quick History of Butter-Making

Raw milk, and processed milk butter have a long history, going back thousands of years to when our ancestors first became herdsmen.

Once called “cow cheese”, butter has been given as gifts for ensuring fertility, used as a beauty cream, and was considered so valuable that it was used in religious ceremonies. {source}

How to Make Butter from Raw Milk | Homemade Butter

Sometime in the late 1970s to early 1980s, butter (along with other types of dairy products, like fresh raw cream) was labeled evil. It was said that butter could cause heart disease, obesity and raise your cholesterol.

Margarine came onto the scene to “save us all” from that terrible fat. People ran away from a product that had been consumed for thousands of years in favor of a “healthier” food.

Fortunately, milk butter (dairy) is making a full comeback as the healthy food it has always been.

Now that people are starting to eat more and more butter, the demand for dairy has gone up.

Some farmers are turning to modern methods of farming such as adding more cows in less space (cafo), or feeding cows unnatural hormones to make the cows produce more milk and cream.

Having more cows in less space also means that there can be an overuse of antibiotics to keep them healthy.

Cream is fat, and most often, the toxins in a cow’s diet can be concentrated in the fat. Cream makes butter, so the butter gets the highest concentrations of toxins.

The cows must be well taken care of, get plenty of sunshine and grass, and be free of fever or other disease. With a healthy cow, comes healthy, raw milk.

Grass fed cows will produce the healthiest butter with the most beneficial bacteria and other health benefits.

Health Benefits of Raw Milk Butter

Butter made from raw milk is packed with nutrients that are essential for good health, including Vitamins A, D, E, and K2.

Unlike pasteurized milk, which can lose some of its nutrients during the heating process, raw milk retains all of its beneficial properties.

In addition, raw milk butter contains CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a type of fat that has been shown to boost immunity and help fight inflammation.

Can Butter Be Made from Raw Milk?

Yes, butter can be made from raw milk. In fact, this was the traditional method for making butter.

Raw milk is a key ingredient in butter because it contains cream fat, which is responsible for the rich flavor and creamy texture of butter.

This is also what allows butter to solidify at a lower temperature than other types of fats. To make butter from raw milk, cream is separated from the milk and then churned.

The churning process agitates the cream, causing the cream fat to clump together and form butterfat granules. These granules are then collected and pressed together to form a block of butter.

While modern consumers may be used to store-bought butter, there are still many people who prefer to make their own butter at home using raw milk.

This traditional method results in a delicious, fresh-tasting product that is perfect for spreading on bread or using in recipes.

How Much Butter Can You Get from a Gallon of Raw Milk?

A gallon of raw milk typically contains between 8 and 12 pounds of butterfat. This means that you can expect to yield between 2 and 3 pounds of butter from a gallon of raw milk.

Of course, the amount of butter you end up with will also depend on the method you use to separate the cream from the milk.

Can You Sell Butter Made from Raw Milk?

The short answer…it depends.

Raw milk can provide a number of benefits, including more enzymes and beneficial bacteria.

However, it’s important to note that raw milk can also harbor dangerous bacteria, which is why it’s important to take precautions if you choose to drink it. In many places, it’s legal to sell raw milk, but there are often strict regulations in place.

For example, in California, commercial dairies must test their cows for tuberculosis and brucellosis and must comply with sanitation standards.

If you’re interested in buying or selling butter made from raw milk, your best bet is to check local regulations to see what’s allowed in your area.

How to Make Your Own Butter – Step by Step

Ingredients Needed

All you need to make this homemade butter is a pint or quart of raw milk (depending, of course, on how much butter you want to make). You may also need some cold water and some salt to taste.

Materials Needed

As for materials you’ll need, all you need to make a gallon of milk is a fine mesh strainer, some assorted dishes for processing the milk, a jar with a lid (like a mason jar), and a stand mixer.

You may find that other equipment like a food processor or blender come in handy, too, but these aren’t really necessary. Just the mixer and the jar are the two really important components! No old-fashioned butter churns required.


1. Pour the Milk

Use a ladle to skim the cream that has settled on top of your raw milk. SPoon the cream out into a glass measuring cup. You should be able to get about one to two cups of cream from a gallon of raw milk.

Put the cream into a jar and then in an insulated cooler. Add warm water so that it comes halfway up the side of the jar, then leave the cream until it’s reached 75 degrees. This will allow it to “ripen.”

Then you’re ready to work with it!

2. Prepare to Whip

Set the whipping attachment and turn on low. The whipping process will turn it into whipped cream. Don’t turn on high right away, or the cream can “fly” out of the bowl.

whipped cream
whipped cream

3. Keep Whipping – or Not

After approximately 2 minutes, the cream will become whipped cream. At this point, you need to grab a spoon and spoon some of this goodness onto some berries. Or just eat.

For butter, continue to whip the cream, turning the speed up a notch.

cream separating from butter
cream separating from butter

After approximately 2 more minutes, the cream will start to separate. You will start to see chunks of butter that are a dark yellow.

5. Wait for the Cream to “Turn”

Continue to whip until all the cream has turned. You’ll notice that the buttermilk and butter are completely separated and all the cream is turned.

6. Filter the Butter

pouring mixture into cheesecloth
pouring mixture into cheesecloth

Carefully pour the butter into a filter covered with cheesecloth. You want to save all the buttermilk for pancakes or even drinking plain.

Gently squeeze the butter to remove as much buttermilk as you can:

squeezing the butter
squeezing the butter

7. Rinse and Repeat

Rinse the butter in cool running water, spreading it out a bit with a wooden spoon. Gently squeeze the buttermilk out as you rinse. It’s at this point I use clean hands to get the job done.

rinsing the butter
rinsing the butter

Continue to rinse and squeeze until all the liquid that comes off the butter is clear. You want to be sure to remove ALL the buttermilk you can to prevent quick spoilage.

8. Salt the Butter

Salt with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix in well, if desired. You can pay into a butter mold if you desire, or just form into a freestyle shape.

9. Enjoy!

Enjoy your butter, and store covered. I put mine in the fridge, but you CAN leave this on the counter.

Like this recipe? Be sure to pin it for later!

11 thoughts on “Making Butter At Home From Raw Milk”

    1. I use cheesecloth to strain all the buttermilk out, draw the corners up and twist then duck in clean water repeatedly, mash around, duck more and squeeze out all the buttermilk and water to get it all out. You want to make sure to get all of the buttermilk you can to keep it from going rancid sooner.

  1. Charlotte Anderson

    This is awesome. As a child, I watched my granny churn butter. I even helped her sometimes. However, she sure didn’t have an electric mixer with attachments but she would have loved them!

  2. After you have squeezed out all the buttermilk and began to rinse with water you throw the watered down buttermilk away? I know I sound silly, but you wouldn’t save the watered down part would you?

  3. When l was a little girl, my grandma made her own butter. I got to churn not for long, l thought it was really hard work. She sold her butter to make a little extra money. Boy, those are wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing your recipe.???

    1. I miss my Grandmother and those days of watching her churn butter by hand. How simple life was back then, right? I am so happy you have such happy memories, too!

  4. Our kids were raised on milk straight from the cow and we made butter all the time. Now, I make it w/cream bought from the store b/c no cow. A fun thing for the kids is to put the cream in a quart jar and make sure the lid is secured. Let the kiddo’s shake the jar back and forth and they can take turns. Will take longer than in the mixer, but not long. When they hear the “thunk, thunk, thunk” in the jar, it’s ready to pour off the butter milk and start rinsing it w/cold water. The kids love making the butter and it give them the satisfaction of contributing to the food pantry. 🙂 My kids were always so proud of their butter. 🙂

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