Science with Shields – Homemade Butter

Science with Shields

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to make homemade butter.

What you need:

  • Pint of heavy whipping cream
  • Bowls
  • Jar with a lid
  • Paper towels


This experiment can get a bit messy, so make sure the paper towels are handy. First, you will want to pour a cup of heavy whipping cream into the jar. Tightly put the lid onto the jar and start shaking.

Depending on the temperatures of your whipping cream, it could take from 5 to 20 minutes for your heavy whipping cream to turn into butter. Check it as you go, you’ll see it will turn into a cool whip consistency, and then after a few minutes more, it will start to separate the milk from the butter.

Once you get to the point it is separating, take the bowl and pour the milk into the bowl, then return to shaking. Keep doing this until no more milk leaves the jar.

After that, take your butter and put it into a different bowl. Run cool water over it and wash the butter. Next you can use the butter or stick it in the fridge to use later.


Cream is made up of fats and liquids, so when it is shaken, the solids will break apart from the liquids. When it is separated, you’re left with butter (fat) and buttermilk (milk). Butter will last a lot longer compared to milk, even at room temperature. When fat molecules are heated, they will move faster, because they have more energy. This is why room-temperature cream will make butter faster.

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