Make butter

Make butter

Tasty kitchen chemistry

The chemistry of butter...

Take a tub of cream...and get two very different foods!

What you need:

  • 300 ml double cream
  • Electric whisk
  • Mixing bowl
  • Clean jar with a lid (jam jars work well)
  • Clean marble (optional)

How to:

Ask an adult for help using the electric whisk.

  1. Make sure the cream is at room temperature.
  2. Put half the cream in the mixing bowl.
  3. Put the rest of the cream in the jar and put the lid on tightly.
  4. Use the electric whisk to whisk the cream. If you whisk it for long enough it will turn into whipped cream! Try eating it with fruit or cake.
  5. Shake the cream in the jar. You will have to shake it for around ten minutes, so ask an adult to help if your arms get tired! To make it easier, add the marble. It's good to do whilst watching TV or listening to music. If you shake it for long enough, a lump of butter will appear in the jar! You can spread it on bread, just like regular butter. Does it taste different to normal butter?

Compare the whipped cream to the butter. Which is bigger? Do the butter and whipped cream taste different?

What's happening?

When you whisk the cream you add in lots of air. This makes the cream puff up and become bigger.

Cream is a special mixture called a colloid. It is a mixture of fat globules suspended in a liquid.

The fat globules are a bit like water balloons. When you shake the cream, the fat globules crash into each other. They burst like water balloons and the fat clumps together to form a big lump of butter.

The butter might not taste the same as you get from the shop because it doesn't have any additives or preservatives.

The liquid left is called buttermilk. You can use buttermilk for baking. Ask an adult to help you make some buttermilk scones.

Curriculum information

  • Summary


    Curriculum key wordsOther web links
    • 5
    Science Curriculum Links
    National CurriculumCurriculum for excellenceNorthern Ireland Curriculum