Homemade Butter and Buttermilk Biscuits

September 10, 2013

I have wanted to try making my own butter for such a long time, but just never got around to it. Then a recipe I saw in the latest issue of Grit magazine inspired me to finally give it a try ... and it couldn't be easier - using your stand mixer!

Whoever said that chickens are the 'gateway drug' to homesteading sure wasn't kidding!

Since raising chickens and having an unending supply of fresh eggs, I have been yearning for a cow, so I can make my own fresh milk, cheeses and soaps.

My husband however, hasn't agreed that we need a cow, so I had started looking around trying to find some fresh milk to buy to turn into all kinds of homemade dairy products.

Well, it turns out it's illegal to buy raw milk in Virginia. Instead, farms sell 'shares' of a cow which entitles each shareholder to a receive a set amount of milk each week.

Since technically you own the cow, that falls within the state law. I figured I could actually get away with buying a 'cow share' since that would not result in an actual cow in our backyard that my husband would be sure to notice...but somehow I really wanted to get to know the cow supplying us milk....and like our horses, watching a cow grazing in the back pasture just seemed right to me.

So there my dreams of fresh milk, cream and cheese had sort of stalled - until the latest issue of Grit came out. There is an article about making homemade butter from store bought cream!

I don't need a cow after all!  And because I was going to use store bought cream, I could skip the first two whole pages of instructions. How easy was this going to be! I kept reading....

The article offers four methods of churning the butter: using a stand mixer, food processor, by hand, or by jar shaking. Clearly 'by hand' and 'jar shaking' sounded a bit labor-intensive, so I decided to go with the stand mixer method.

Cautioned it may take a bit longer, I was fine with that since the mixer was going to be doing all the work. So here's what I did:

Homemade Butter
(yields the equivalent of one stick of butter and one cup of buttermilk)

Chill your mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for at least an hour before starting.

Then pour a pint of cold heavy cream into the chilled bowl and beat on medium in your stand mixer until the cream completely disintegrates and the buttermilk is sloshing around in the bottom of the bowl.

Drain the buttermilk and beat for another minute to release a bit more liquid. Drain again, reserving the buttermilk.  This whole process should take about 15 minutes. 

Move your butter into a clean bowl and cover with cold water, then knead with your fingers to release more liquid, and drain.

Repeat the process two more times, until the water runs clear. Pat the butter dry with paper towels, and add a scant 1/8 teaspoon of salt.

(At this point you can also add some herbs or other seasonings, if you wish.)

Form into a stick or log, or spoon into a ramekin. The butter will last refrigerated for two to three weeks.

~Pour the chilled cream into your chilled bowl and beat on medium with the chilled whisk attachment~
~At this point the technique is the same as making whipped cream~
~You'll get to the soft peak stage, then the stiff peak stage...  just keep going~
~Eventually the cream will clump and turn yellow, looking like scrambled eggs, then the buttermilk will start sloshing around~
~Strain out the buttermilk, then cover your butter with clean water and knead out the remaining liquid~
~Almost done now~
~Pat the butter dry and knead in a bit of salt to taste~

~Form the butter into a stick or log and wrap in parchment, or pat into a ramekin~
It seemed a shame not to put the resultant cup of fresh buttermilk to good use, so I went ahead and made a batch of buttermilk biscuits to enjoy with our fresh butter.

Buttermilk Biscuits

(makes 8)
2 Cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 Cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then using a pastry cutter, incorporate the butter and then pour in the buttermilk and mix until dough is just moistened.

The dough will be wet. Using an ice cream scoop, portion out the biscuits and arrange on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden.

~Mix the dry ingredients then cut in your chilled butter~
~Add your fresh buttermilk and mix until just combined~
~Scoop out biscuits with an ice cream scoop and place on greased baking sheet~
~Bake until golden brown~
Just like baking with our fresh eggs yields far superior results than using store bought eggs, making butter and biscuits with fresh ingredients proved no different.

The butter is light and creamy. It tastes so pure and fresh.

Rich and so light, it was pure heaven to spread the homemade butter on biscuits warm from the oven.

I only wish I had made a second batch of butter to use in the biscuits along with the buttermilk .... but there's always next time.

I am definitely going to continue to make my own butter, and my resolve to get a cow (or two) has been renewed. After all, I talked my husband into chickens, ducks and a corgi, so how hard can it be to convince him that we now need a cow?

It's those chickens, I'm telling you ... they ARE the gateway drug!


  1. Ooh, as a Southern expat, I am definitely drooling over these photos! Thanks for the sweet and simple recipe. :)

    1. I found your blog from Danielle's Poor & Gluten Free Blog!

    2. Oh welcome! I'm a Northern expat who really is digging sweet tea!

  2. Lovely. Haven't made butter since we finished home schooling. Get a jersey for the best dairy ever. And I've also heard that Gurnsey milk actually has some serious medicinal properties.

  3. Yum Lisa. I am off gluten right now but I have gluten free flour. Hmm I may have to try it with these as I just love biscuits.

  4. Bluebird Pottery makes awesome butter keeper ;)

  5. Looks fantastic! I make butter in a quart-sized jar (or a gallon sized jar if I have lots of cream) and it is *so* good. I have made it in the blender, too, and it is so quick. Your biscuits look so good! Farm living is sure tasty. :)

  6. Awesome. That's great. Would love to find cow shares here.

  7. wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. I featured you on facebook♥

  8. Butter from store-bought cream! Wow!I have got to learn how to do that. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I know...of course I would rather have used fresh milk from a cow, but hey, it's STILL better than store bought butter and a girl's got to work with what she has!

  9. Butter from store-bought cream! Wow!I have got to learn how to do that. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thank you for sharing at Back to the Basics for Tuesdays with a Twist!
    Have a wonderful week!


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