Mamta's Kitchen

Make Butter From Double Cream At Home

Making Butter from Double Cream

Mamta Gupta

In India, home-made butter is valued and loved. Most families make at least part of what they need at home. In old days, people made it by churning the full cream yoghurt or dahi, using a hand held ‘Muthani or Mathani’ or 'Ghotni'. Muthani is a wooden whisk, with a star shaped ‘churning end' on a thick stalk. Small Mathaniess are rolled between palms. Larger ones can have a piece of thin rope attached to aid the churning process. This was the traditional instrument used for making butter in India during my childhoom. My mother used to make it when we were kids.

These days, most families use an electric whisk, which makes making butter very easy. I have discovered that if you freeze the cream for a day or longer and then defrost it for making butter, butter separately much faster, with very little churning.

I don’t usually add salt to butter, even buy the unsalted one. This however means that it lasts only 3-4 days in the fridge before it loses its freshness. Home-made butter can be frozen in small portions and will last for 3-4 months in freezer, if wrapped well or kept in airtight containers. You will also need a good hand or electric blender or a large jar with a close fitting lid & a couple of marbles, depending upon the method you use. By product of this method is uncultured buttermilk.


  • A carton of fresh, not pasteurised, double cream. If you have a pot of cream that has gone past it best before date but smells good, try making butter from it.

  • A whisk; I use a hand or electric whisk. Double cream does not need much whisking.

  • Fresh cold water to wash butter.

  • Salt-optional


  1. Leave the cream at room temperature for 24 hours (less in hot countries. I have found that if you leave the cream at room temperature, the butter separates very quickly.

  2. Place cream in a deep...ish bowl. This stops the cream from splashing everywhere.

  3. Whisk for a couple of minutes, until it separates into butter and butter milk. This takes only a minute or two or less.

  4. Drain off the butter milk, collecting the liquid in a bowl. This butter milk can be cultured to make either buttermilk (chaach or mattha or for making paneer.

  5. Wash the butter in cold water, gently pressing with your fingers to release any remaining buttermilk inside it, until the water runs clear. It is this trapped buttermilk that makes the butter go off quickly if not washed off properly.

  6. Glass jar method: this method takes too long for my liking, but I haven’t yet tried it with frozen and then defrosted cream, which might work faster.

  7. Pour the cream into a large jar, to half full. Add a marble to it. Close the lid tightly.

  8. Now shake the jar vigorously. After a while, and this can take up to 20 minutes, marble will start collecting butter on its surface and you will not see or hear it. Butter will then stick to the jar and liquid will stay in the centre. After some more shaking, the butter will form lumps and float in the clear…ish liquid. Pour it into a bowl. Scrape off any butter stuck to the jar or marbles.

  9. Wash the butter in cold water, pressing it all over, to remove any buttermilk left inside, until water runs clear. In the West, butter is pressed with a wooden spatula or bats over and over, until all water is released and the butter forms a cake. In India, we just wash it, gently pressing it with fingers, and keep it relatively soft and fluffy in a bowl to eat it fresh, or boil it to make Clarified Butter or Ghee..

  10. Add salt, if needed, and store. I don't usually add salt to my butter.

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