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Making Butter

Making your own butter is fun and delicious. In this science experiment, kids can test different combinations to find out which method is easiest.

Continue reading "Making Butter"





Making Butter

science experiment to make butterMaterials

2 cups whipping cream
4 containers (jars with lids or ziploc bags)
/ yogurt (live bacteria)
stop watch or watch with seconds hand

  1. Take the cream out of the fridge.  Put 1 cup on the counter and put the second cup back in the fridge.  Wait about an hour until the cup on the counter is room temperature.
  2. Label the four containers (warm, cold, warm + yogurt, cold + yogurt).
  3. Put 1 tsp of yogurt in each of the containers labeled 'yogurt'.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of cream to the warm + yogurt container.  Put the lid on or seal the bag.  Check the time.  Start shaking.
  5. Continue until it thickens (whip cream stage), and then just a bit more.  Suddenly it will separate into butter and whey.  Write down the end time.  If you can't get it to separate, try gently stirring it with a fork or spoon.  As you push it against the side, the butter should clump together, separating from the whey.
  6. Repeat step 4 for the warm container.
  7. Take the cream out of the fridge and repeat step 4 for the cold + yogurt container.
  8. Repeat step 4 for the cold container.
  9. Compare the different times.

Record the Data

Container Start Time End Time Total Time
Cold + Yogurt      
Warm + Yogurt      


What to do next?

  • Strain the butter.  Save the whey to replace milk in baking, or to drink.  If you are having trouble separating the whey, put the container in the fridge for about 15 minutes and then try again.
  • Put the butter into very cold water to remove any remaining milk.  Stir or knead the butter in the cold water.  Replace the water if necessary.  When the water is clear, all the milk should be gone.
  • Taste the different types of butter.
  • Add salt to the butter and taste it again.


Weigh the cream to make sure each container has the same amount.  Compare the finished weights of the butter.  Think about why they might be different.  Weigh each of the whey containers to see if that answers your questions.

Find out more about the science of making butter.

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