1. For the most delicious sweet cream butter, start with high-quality cream. To find a local dairy near you, check the state-by-state listings at Eat Wild.
2. Whip the cream by any means necessary. You can sit down at an old-fashioned butter churn or simply switch on your KitchenAid or hand mixer. As you mix, the cream will transform into whipped cream. But don’t stop there unless there’s an ice-cream sundae nearby! Keep going, and you’ll see that the fluffy cream begins to get a bit yellow and grainy. Keep going, and the butterfat will eventually separate out of the cream.
3. Drain off the liquid and use this low-fat buttermilk in your next baked goods, smoothie or a bowl of oatmeal (it will keep in the fridge for a few days). Continue mixing and draining until you no longer see trails of white buttermilk seeping out of your butter. Add some cold water and beat a little bit more until all the water weeps out.
4. Add salt if you like, to taste, and refrigerate. Voila—homemade butter! Homemade sweet cream butter stays good refrigerated for about a week.
If you want to get a little fancier with your homemade butter, try culturing the milk first for a tangy European-style butter, or shape the rendered butter into molds. Learn more in How to Make Butter and Buttermilk.
Old-fashioned cooking allows you to use real ingredients and savor deeper flavors. Find out more in our Old-Fashioned Cooking Guide.