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Homemade Fermented Butter | 5 Steps To Succeed

Fermented butter

Homemade fermented butter is rich, silky, creamy, with a slightly tangy twist. Cultured butter has similar uses as standard butter, it just has more character. Fermented butter contains lots of good bacteria.

Fermented cream

I sometimes order raw cream from a trusted farmer and by the time I receive it the cream has already started to fermented naturally. This can be seen from the thickness of the cream.

Butter from unfermented cream is sometimes called “sweet cream butter” i.e. it has not be allowed to sour or ferment.

Raw cream naturally ferments

Raw cream (unpasteurized) naturally contains bacteria that convert milk sugars into lactic acid and other compounds. After a day or two at room temperature, raw cream turns thick and becomes similar to crème fraiche. It’s like a thick, fresh, tangy, soured cream.

The fermentation process produces several aroma compounds like diacetyl, thus creating a full-flavored and more “buttery” taste. What if you can’t get raw cream? You can easily ferment cream from the grocery store.

Using standard cream from the grocery store

You can buy a culture starter containing bacteria you add to commercial cream. This allows the cream to ferment during 12-24 hours.

Many culture starters includes Lactococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria strains, though other bacteria are often also included.

Homemade fermented butter

Here I used 3 quarts (3 liters) of cultured cream. The yield was 3 pounds (1.5 kg) of fermented butter. So you get about half the amount of butter compared to the amount of cream used.


Time to prepare: A batch usually takes 30 minutes until the butter is ready and packed in jars.

1. Churning fermented cream

Churning fermented cream

What about the claim that the temperature of the cream determines how long it takes until butter forms?

I decided to test this with a few batches of fermented cream. Though not a scientific study, the result gives a hint.

1. Cold cream: When the cream was taken from the fridge, I t took 22 minutes in the food processor until it finally turned into butter.

2. Cool cream: After about two hours in room temperature, it took only 3 minutes until butter had formed.

3. Room temperature: When I left the fermented cream at room temperature during the night, it took only 1 minute and 15 seconds until butter was formed!

  • Conclusion: The fastest way to prepare butter is to use fermented cream at room temperature!

When the cream thickens, slow down the food processor. The butter is heavy and you might end up splashing buttermilk all around the kitchen (happened to me a few times).

2. Remove the buttermilk

Buttermilk leftover

Buttermilk is a low-fat leftover product, great to use in baking . Use a strainer to separate the butter still left in the buttermilk.

Pour the buttermilk into another bowl to deal with it later. You’re not done yet with the butter.

There’s still some buttermilk left in the butter and this must be removed. The less liquid that remains in the butter the better. Buttermilk adds an unwanted taste and spoils faster than butter so remove as much as you can. How?

By kneading and rinsing!

3. Wash the butter

Squeezing butter in cloth
Rinsing in cold water
The butter is clean

Knead the butter under cold water for a few minutes to work out the remaining buttermilk. This is important as it makes butter taste better, stay fresh longer, and have a nicer texture. Remove as much buttermilk residue as possible. You can also put the butter in a cloth and squeeze out the buttermilk.

Fermented butter with coriander leaves

4. Adding taste and color

Add salt. How much is a matter of taste. I mostly use sea salt. Fermented butter has a full, buttery taste and it great just by itself. However, you can also add flavor.

Try adding curry, red, hot peppers, cinnamon, lemon, or even bacon. Here I added fresh coriander leaves. The butter can still be frozen with the flavoring.

5. Storing fermented butter

Try making butter rolls in wax paper which can be stored in the fridge. Or use air-tight jars. The butter can be stored for a few weeks in a fridge.

In a freezer the butter can be saved for months. Take it out from the freezer and put in in the fridge a few hours before you need it.

Butter ready for the freezer


For those on a keto diet or doing intermittent fasting, cultured butter is an excellent source of good fats.

In any case, homemade fermented butter is addictive.

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