how to make butter – simple steps to make butter at home

by dassana amit updated September 24, 2013

Homemade Butter Recipe - How to make White Butter - Makhan at Home, Butter Recipe

How to make butter at home – Pure butter without any additives, coloring agents or preservatives in it. Many north indian families make butter at home and it taste better than the butter you get outside.

I know making butter at home sounds cumbersome. But trust me it is not. Making butter at home is very simple and does not take much of your time. Thanks to electronic mixers or food processors:-)

I make butter from the malai or cream that we get from whole milk. This is how i make the butter or makhan (as we call it in India) at home. I learnt this from my mom and mom-in-law. Some people also make butter from curd, but I have always made both butter and ghee (clarified butter) from whole milk cream.

butter recipe

Simple Steps for making Butter at home:

1. To make butter at home you need 2 or 3 cups of cream. You can buy ready made full cream from the grocery store. Or else you can use cream from the milk that you use everyday. However, this fresh cream or malai from the milk has to be collected everyday for 10-15 days. You could also collect it for a month.

Remember to store this collected cream in the freezer. This cream is collected everyday and stored in a container in the freezer.

After you have collected 2 or 3 cups of cream, then you can easily convert it into butter. Defrost the cream. You can defrost it in microwave or keep it out till it comes to room temperature.

malai cream for butter recipe

2. In a mixer jar, or in a food processor add the cream. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of water. Turn on the mixer or food processor.

malai cream in food processor for butter

3. Initially, the cream will begun to smoothen and you will get smooth whipped cream. Continue the mixer, until you see buttermilk and the thick butter getting separated. You will see lumps of butter floating in the buttermilk or whey as I call it.

butter floating in whey buttermilk

4. Your beautiful homemade white butter is ready. With a spoon or spatula collect the white butter in an air-tight container and store the butter in the refrigerator.

butter recipe

5. You could also strain the butter from the buttermilk through a fine strainer. Some people use hands to completely squeeze out the buttermilk from the butter and then store it. I do not press or squeeze the butter with hands as I find that too untidy. Keep the butter in the refrigerator.

removed homemade butter

As a variation, you could also add salt or pepper powder to the butter and mix it well with the butter. I just prefer to store the butter unsalted in the refrigerator.

This white butter also called Makhan in India, can be used on Breads, Rotis, Parathas, Sandwiches. I often use this freshly made butter to make Paneer Butter MasalaDal Makhani, Rajma Masala, Mah ki dal, Makki di roti and Palak Saag. I also serve the butter with parathas like Mooli Paratha, Dal Paratha, Gobhi Paratha, Aloo Paratha….. almost all kind of stuffed parathas and also to make Pav bBaji.

This Butter can also be used in making biscuits and cakes. If you are not on any calorie control diet, then you can also use the butter in dals, vegetables etc. You could also use this fresh butter to make ghee (clarified butter) at home. And yes….. i also apply the makhan on bread just to get the simple bliss of having bread butter with tea or coffee. My most simple and beautiful breakfast.

home made butter or makhan recipe

The only trouble after making butter at home are the greasy mixer or food processors jars and spoons and spatula. especially if you wash your own dishes and utensils. But nevertheless you get the joy of making fresh butter at home and cleaning the dishes look very small as compared to this joy…… :-)

More How to Recipes:
1. How to make Paneer
2. How to make Curd or Dahi
3. How to make Coconut Milk
4. How to make Almond Milk
5. How to make Cashew Yogurt

Leave a Comment

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Shweta March 10, 2014 1

I live in the US. I collected cream for two weeks at home and kept it in the fridge. I added some yogurt to it. My buttermilk which was left tasted bitter. Why is it so?


dassana amit March 10, 2014 2

i think, the cream or the yogurt, one of them has got spoiled and hence the bitter taste. otherwise the butter does not taste bitter at all.


zainy February 22, 2014 3

Can we make fresh cream from malai..I mean cream that can be use for.decorating cakes…if so pls do tell the method as I have lots of freezed malai and we don’t eat butter.
Pls do reply


dassana amit February 23, 2014 4

use chilled malai. in a blender or food processor with whipping blade, add the chilled cream along with icing sugar. beat till the cream gets stiff peaks. them use it for frosting the cake. i have made this way and you will get very good cream for icing.


Suzanne Desai February 10, 2014 5

I visit India each year ( from USA) and have been making butter as you described. I have also saved the malai in the freezer and was worried that was not the proper thing to do.

I use a blender. Has anyone tried an electric wand. Would that work?

You should add the next step of making ghee from the butter to your presentation. That is also, easy to,do, yuumy and cost effective.

I do my own cleanup and indeed that is problematic, especially with no hot water.
I may try boiling some water to use in the cleanup process

Thank You Again


dassana amit February 11, 2014 6

thanks suzanne. i have not tried with electric wand. but i think a blender or food processor is faster. i know i should have added ghee to. but will update it in future. you can just heat the water on a stove top and then clean the jars.


sandesh January 18, 2014 7

Hi …

1. Use blender instead of mixer, less messy and more suitable, they have a special round blade for butter churning only.

2. The color is defined by
Yellow – for cow’s milk
White – buffalo’s milk


dassana amit January 18, 2014 8

blender also works well. even food processors have this blade. thanks for the bit on the colors.


Godswill Ben December 20, 2013 9

Give a concise ways of making youghurt, ice cream and butter.


dassana amit December 20, 2013 10

Thanks Ben


Mithra November 22, 2013 11

Hi there,

Thank you soooo much for this recipe! I tried it this morning, and it came out beautifully! Going to make some brownies with my homemade butter, methinks! I was wondering, how many days would this butter last in the refrigerator?


dassana November 22, 2013 12

it will last for more than a month in the refrigerator.


Robert November 13, 2013 13

Namaste Dassana

I am Robert from Australia. Thank you for your food blog. I am the cook in our house and have much to learn about the vegetarian cusine of South Asia. Your recipes help.
Butter (makhan) is a beautiful natural food best made at home. So I write to share a makhan making tip I learned from my Dad, who worked as a cheesemaker. An easy way to remove the water from the makhan (and keep the hands clean) is to press a few spoonfulls between two flat pieces of wood (like small bats) over a bowl – flat kitchen spatulars would do for a small quantity. Just keep working the makhan until it glistens.
Thank you for the care you take in preparing and posting so many inspiring recipes. Thank you also for the effort you make to write in English language. I trust my tip is helpful.
best wishes,


dassana November 28, 2013 14

thanks robert. also thanks for sharing the tip that you have learned from your dad. your suggestion is surely helpful.


Rajani September 20, 2013 15

Useful receips. Thankyou.


priya kunche August 4, 2013 16

hi, i made it today. but it is in white color. where as urs is in lite yellow? how can i get dat color?


dassana August 5, 2013 17

hi priya. its the quality of milk that imparts the color. does not matter. when i used to make, sometimes i would get white color and sometimes light yellow.


Neha August 4, 2013 18

In te US, I don’t get malai on milk ( the full cream one).. I tried from full cream curd also, but nothing. Then , I used the market cream but it is not as good. Can you tell how to make it out of curd or which milk you use to get malai if you are in the states


dassana August 5, 2013 19

hi neha. i don’t live in the states. you need to have a full cream or milk or atleast 80% fat cream or milk to get butter. for making out of curd, also you need a full fat curd. you can even use whipping cream to make butter.

for making butter from curd – add some water just to help the curd blend. blend the curd in a mixer or blender till you see the butter milk separating and the butter also separating. collect the butter in a bowl or container.


Shilpa October 25, 2012 20

Dear Dassana,

Landed on your page (courtesy: google) as my mum wanted to dish out homemade butter for us. I loved the way you have given the step by step uncomplicated instructions to prepare gharka delicious makkhan in minutes. Gr8 going Dassana!!

Thank You.



dassana October 25, 2012 21

thanks shilpa :-)


Pavithra June 28, 2012 22

A Google search for how to make homemade butter brought me here. Followed your instructions and now i have a katori of beautiful golden homemade ghee in front of me.
Thank you for the lucid instructions and step by step photos. I found them extremely helpful.


dassana June 29, 2012 23

thanks pavithra…. its been long i hv made butter or ghee at home…. your comment reminds me i hv some requests to post how to make ghee.
even when i visit other blogs i find step by step photos very helpful…..


Zhao shuang May 23, 2012 24

Namaste Dassana !!
I am ms Shuang from Qingdao, China. my husband is from Mumbai, India, I love Indian food to eat & cook too ;-) . Last month I found your website coincidently & seems really very useful. In china getting milk products like cream,butter,paneer is very troublesome & expensive but thanks to you that now I can make some of em @ home & I tried your butter recipe too with good results but I am still wondering how my butter didn’t get yellow color like your one :-( can you please explain ?
One more request do you know how to make milk powder ? if then can you please upload it to your website ?
Once again thank you very much & hats off for your appreciable hard work. :-)
one day I would like to meet you personally ;-)
till goodbye


dassana May 24, 2012 25

namaste ms shuang

my pleasure to know you. it feels good.

the yellow color is due to the quality of milk. even i don’t get the same yellow color at all times when i make butter at home.

i do not know how to make milk powder. but i do know how to make evaporated milk. it is called as khoya/mava in india and used in making indian sweets. for the milk powder i will have to check and then may be try at home.

you can also check out making yogurt and paneer at home on this link, since getting these is so troublesome:

homemade paneer
homeade yogurt


priya August 28, 2011 26

by using mixie, it didnot turn up well. the cream becomes smooth in texture, i keep on turning mixie, but it does not turn into butter, pls help me, where i went wrong. (i had collected cream at home daily and kept in freezer)


dassana August 28, 2011 27

just add some warm water to the cream – malai and keep on churning it in the mixie. the butter will separate…. keep on churning churning churning the butter till the whey separates out.

the cream first softens and becomes smooth but continue to whip it in the mixie and you will get butter. patience and more patience is what one needs even while cooking and preparing butter at home :-)

this usually happens in cold temperatures hence we need to add some warm water to the frozen malai. its always better to completely bring down the temperature of the cream to room temperature and then churn it in the mixie.


priya August 29, 2011 28

hi, thanks for your reply, will try again.i have a doubt does blade in the mixie makes some difference, what type of blade are u using in your processor?(is it a whipping blade?) can u show me your blade of your food processor used here.
approximately how much time will it take for soothing cream to turn into butter?
thanks in advance.


dassana August 29, 2011 29

blades in the mixie won’t make much difference. or how could the ladies in the past make butter in the matkas without any modern equipments like mixers or food processors.

i have made butter both in the food processor and in the mixer grinder.
for the food processor i used a whipping blade.
for the mixer grinder its the wet grinding blade.

i had this problem you faced only once in the cold winters of delhi. i was churning the butter on and on and on and on in a mixer grinder and all i could get was soft soft peaks of cream…. no butter in sight.

i asked my mil about the issue and she told me it usually happens in the cold seasons. she asked me to add some water to the cream and then churn it.

i did and then i could see the butter getting separated from the cream…..

the time depends upon the quantity of cream you have added in the food processor or wet grinder. for 2 cups of cream with 1/2 cup water approx 5 minutes would be enough unless the cream is still cold and not at room temperature.


priya September 3, 2011 30

thank you so much for helping me out. will try and feedback the results


dassana September 3, 2011 31

you are welcome priya… do let me know…


Navya February 25, 2011 32

First of all the pictures are mouth-watering! Who would not love home-made butter and the left-over butter-milk(smelling of butter) after the butter has been extracted? I think I might as well try this – this weekend. Thanks!

I strongly believe that home-made stuff is better than store-bought because of the lack of preservatives. However, I make only ghee at home from store bought butter because I usually don’t have enough cream(malai) to get enough home-made butter that would eventually give out enough home-made ghee.

But thanks for the idea of using store-bought cream. And also, the idea of storing/accumulating cream from milk everyday in the freezer for one month( that should give me sufficient quantity). and thanks for showing me via pictures that this can be done in a food processor.. Can I use a mixi with similar results?


dassana February 25, 2011 33

thank you navya. yes… homemade products are much better than buying outside. yes u could use your mixie with the same results.