Make Homemade Butter in a Mason Jar

The first factory in the United States dedicated exclusively to making butter was established in 1856 in Orange County, New York. It was owned by one R. W. Woodhull, and the butter maker’s name was George George. (So nice, he was named twice.)

Before then, butter churning was, primarily, a home-based enterprise. Although centuries have passed, the technique for making butter has changed little: put heavy cream in a container of some sort and whip the daylights out of it.

There’s science behind turning cream into butter that involves disrupting the position of fat molecules, but to the uninitiated, turning cream into butter seems like magic. Author JoAnn Moser makes it fun and easy with her recipe in Mason Jar Nation: The Jars that Changed America and 50 Clever Ways to Use Them Today.

make homemade butter in a mason jar
Mason Jar Nation

You Will Need

  • 1 quart-size Mason Jar, chilled
  • 1 band and lid to fit the Mason jar used
  • Strainer
  • Cool water
  • Large spoon
  • Plastic wrap
  • Heavy whipping cream

How to Make Butter in a Mason Jar

  1. Pour the cold whipping cream into the jar, put on the lid and band, and shake. And shake and shake some more. After 10 minutes, the cream will have expanded, and you will have made whipped cream. But that’s no time to stop.

jar of shaken cream

  1. Keep shaking! At 20 minutes, the whipped cream will start to compact and make butter, separating it from the butter’s milk. Yes, you’ve made buttermilk too.
  2. Strain the butter, but make sure to save the buttermilk to drink or use for cooking later. Rinse the clumps of butter with cool water.

straining homemade butter from buttermilk

  1. Knead the butter with the back of the spoon to force out more buttermilk; this will help keep the butter from souring too quickly. Rinse some more, knead some more, and then rinse one final time.

knead homemade butter with back of a spoon

  1. Put the clumps onto plastic wrap and shape them into a ball or buttery goodness.


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Learn how to make more than 50 Mason jar projects, including luminaries, planters, and upcycled art, in this eagerly anticipated book for DIYers!

Mason Jar Nation begins by exploring the Mason jar’s impact on America since its 1858 patent. Prior to the jar’s invention, settlers had no reliable and safe way to store food for the winter, which required them to travel great lengths in difficult conditions and obtain expensive canned goods in order to survive. With its hermetically sealable two-piece lid and thick glass sides, the Mason jar changed the way mid-nineteenth century Americans fed their families.

Although the popularity of the jars ebbed significantly from the 1950s until the turn of the century, interest in them has exploded in the past few years. Ball, the biggest brand name in Mason jars today, has seen its sales double since 2001. Younger generations, including Millenials, have adopted the iconic jars as emblems of a more sustainable time. The humble Mason jar has been “discovered” as a versatile and beautiful material for creating craft items such as chandeliers, luminaries, planters, containers, and upcycled art.

The second half of Mason Jar Nation features over 50 of these adaptations, shown with clear photography, all designed and photographed by author JoAnn Moser, the “DIY Maven.” Readers who appreciate American cultural history, making fun and affordable crafts, and Mason jars themselves will love this new book and its tall, narrow shape that’s based on the proportions of the classic Mason jar.

JoAnn Moser, writing as DIY Maven, is a featured contributor to, an on-trend DIY website that receives well in excess of one million visitors per month. Her designs and writing were featured in four books: Make It! Secondhand Chic, Make It! Hardware Store Decor, and Make It! Mid-century Modern, all published by Curbly Publications, as well as I Love Handicraft, published by China Light Industry Press.In addition to her not-so-secret crafting obsession, Moser is also an accomplished fiction writer and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine, among others. She resides in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where she and her husband design and build wood furnishings in their spare time. Her website is, and her Twitter handle is @DIY_Maven.