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Learn how to make butter in minutes with this easy and edible science experiment  for kids of all ages. All you need is heavy cream, a jar, and some elbow grease.


People 150 years ago had very little food that they bought at a store. They grew most of what they needed, hunted, fished, or gathered it. They milked cows skimmed the cream off the top. They then put it in a jar or jug and pounded at it, shaking it up until it stuck together and made butter. They did this in a butter churn (see photos on right). 

Churning butter was often the work of children. Rhymes were often said to the beat of the churning. Below is one of those rhymes, which you might want to teach your kids or students.

Butter Churning:

Come butter, come. 

Come butter, come.

Peter's waiting at the gate-

waiting for his butter cake.

Come butter, come.



1. Jar with a tight lid

2. Heavy Whipping Cream

3. Optional (Dash of Salt, Fresh Herbs, or Honey)

4. Bread, Crackers, or something to sample it on.



Step One: Fill your jar half way with cream.

Step Two: Put the lid on tightly and SHAKE it like crazy! (Length of time will vary, but its around 10 minutes.)

Step Three: After a minute or two, the cream will thicken, and you won’t hear liquid sloshing around anymore. KEEP SHAKING!!  Scientific Explanation Here

Step Four: After another minute, you are now at Whipped Cream. If you want you can take off the lid and taste.

Step Five: Pop the lid back on, and shake it until the butter has formed a solid mass. You will hear the liquid sloshing again and a solid mass bouncing around. If its not solid then keep shaking.


Step Six: Pour the buttermilk into a cup and taste! 

Step Seven: Take the Butter out and put it on bread or crackers. Enjoy! 

(If you plan on saving it to make it last longer, knead it a little and rinse before storing to remove the remainder of the buttermilk.) 

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