Cooking with Kids: Making Butter with River Cottage

At the end of September I was lucky enough to spend a day at River Cottage with a gorgeous group of food bloggers and Foodies100. It was a marvellous day and you can read about it all here. But for me one of the highlights was making butter from scratch. It was something I did at school about 25 years ago, but this was quicker and much more fun. So it was one of the first things I wanted to try with the boy when I got home.

It was very easy, fun to do and with an educational element we can all get behind. By chance I’d spied some yellow stickered cream in my local supermarket and at 25p for a big carton, it had “make me into butter” written all over it.

making butter

The recipe is from the River Cottage team, it’s not mine so I won’t even try and claim it as my own. On the day we all picked a variety of herbs, chopped them up and incorporated them into the butter, or you could just salt it like we did at home (it’s hard to get green bits in butter past the rigorous quality control standards of a small child). It’s the kind of recipe you can adapt however you want. Tarragon butter? Garlic butter? Thyme butter? You choose!

Homemade Butter
Make your own creamy butter at home. It's so easy and a lovely fun thing to do with the kids.
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
590 calories
6 g
224 g
62 g
4 g
39 g
202 g
214 g
0 g
0 g
20 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 590
Calories from Fat 549
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 62g
Saturated Fat 39g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 18g
Cholesterol 224mg
Sodium 214mg
Total Carbohydrates 6g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 200ml double cream
  2. Pinch salt, optional
  1. Using an electric whisk, whip the cream until it looks like very stiff scrambled eggs. Keep mixing using a spatula until the mixture separates into butter and buttermilk. Set aside the buttermilk.
  2. Using your cold hands, squeeze the excess buttermilk from the butter. Rinse the butter in iced water, squeeze any further moisture out and pat dry.
  3. Put your butter on a piece of baking parchment and flatten into a rectangle and sprinkle with salt, adding any herbs if you are making a herb butter.
  4. Roll up like a swiss roll and put it in the fridge to chill. It is ready to use however you wish.
  1. You can save the buttermilk and use it in another recipe, maybe in scones or soda bread.
It’s pretty quick to make if you use an electric whisk, you could beat it by hand if you wanted, but it might take forever. The small boy loved helping to whisk the cream, insisted on trying it when it looked (but did not taste) like scrambled eggs and he enjoyed helping to pat it flat, like play-dough but all slippy. 

making butter

It’s a lovely thing to do with kids, I think it’s good to teach them where food comes from and how it is made. Cookery, maths and science go hand in hand. It’s edible education and I think we can all agree that’s a very good thing indeed!

2 responses to “Cooking with Kids: Making Butter with River Cottage

  1. I can remember making butter at school as well!
    We took in a small bottle filled with creamy milk and every time we passed the table with the bottles on throughout the day we had to give it a shake! My Mum then let my brother and I have sandwiches for tea that night so we could use the butter!

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