Bring on the classic science and let’s make homemade butter with kids! This must be one of the simplest science projects, with no waste because it’s completely edible! It can be so gratifying for young kids to be able to see and taste the final product of their hard work. You might also want some warm fresh bread on hand for taste testing. We love simple kitchen science experiments that provide a wonderful end result!

Make Your Own Butter

Sink your teeth into this buttery science experiment! Kids love science they can eat, and this quick and easy science activity is a no-brainer if you want to get the kiddos into the kitchen. Even younger scientists can help out!

This is the perfect science experiment for you to add to your Thanksgiving theme lessons or for when the kids want to help out in the kitchen with you.

Homemade butter goes great with warm pumpkin bread, fresh bread, and blueberry muffins. Butter always reminds me of baking goodies, and this science activity is perfect for getting kids in the kitchen!

Perfect to pair with our Bread In A Bag Recipe!

The Science of Making Butter

Our homemade butter in a jar below is made with heavy cream. Heavy cream has a good deal of fat in it. That’s why it can make such delicious items!

By shaking the cream, the fat molecules begin to separate from the liquid. The more the cream is shaken, the more these fat molecules clump together, forming a solid, which is the butter.

The leftover liquid, after the solid has formed, is called buttermilk. Once you reach the stage where you have both a solid clump and liquid, you know you’ve got butter!

Click here for your FREE printable Edible Science Guide

Butter In A Jar Recipe


  • Glassware with lid {mason jar}
  • Heavy whipping cream

That’s it – only one ingredient! You might even have the supplies on hand already. You are only a short while away from enjoying your own homemade butter!

butter supplies include heavy cream and a glass jarPin


STEP 1. Fill your glass jar about halfway with cream, you need room to shake the cream!

STEP 2. Make sure the lid of the jar is tight and shake.

Making butter requires a bit of arm strength, so you might be trading off with your kids unless you have a house full or classroom full of them!

STEP 3. Check your homemade butter every 5 minutes to see the changes.

After the first 5 minutes, there was no real visible change. At the 10-minute check-in mark, we had whipped cream. There’s no reason you can’t sneak a taste at this point just so they can see what’s happening!

MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT: Magical Dancing Corn Experiment!


We put the lid back on and kept shaking. After another couple of minutes, my son observed that he couldn’t hear the liquid inside very well.

This is also the perfect Dr. Seuss science activity to go along with The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss!


We stopped and checked and there it was, the makings of delicious homemade butter. I put the lid back on and finished out the rest of the 15 minutes. Yum!

Smooth, creamy, delicious homemade butter all from shaking cream in a jar! How cool is that for kids?

Actual butter and buttercream separated in jarPin

Now we have a great jar full of whipped homemade butter we can use all week long.

Next, you may want to make a batch of homemade bread in a bag or microwave popcorn in a bag to go with the butter! We made butter in a jar as part of our Thanksgiving Activities!

Kitchen science is the coolest and sometimes the tastiest! You can also shake up your own awesome homemade ice cream from just a few simple ingredients.

lump of butter on plate Pin

Printable Thanksgiving STEM Activities Pack

STEMS-Giving Pack! A full menu of Thanksgiving dinner science activities, secret codes, and more!

What’s Included:

  • STEMS-Giving! A feast of science and STEM with simple experiments and projects for home or classroom!
  • Even More Thanksgiving theme STEM activities with printable sheets, instructions, and useful information all using easy-to-source materials and perfect for limited time needs. Includes a Thanksgiving theme engineering pack with fun, problem-based challenges for kids to solve!
  • Got STEAM? Try a turkey in a disguise challenge with writing prompts and more! Also color by code turkeys in disguise!
  • Try your hand at building shapes with cranberry structure challenge cards.
  • Discover Thanksgiving brick-building challenges perfect for early finishers, quiet time, hands-on math, or family time.


  1. Making butter is fabulous! It’s just like magic, I’m so glad you had fun 🙂

    Just so you know, I noticed that in your pictures you still had whipped cream not quite butter. If you had kept going a little longer it would have looked like scrambled eggs, then separated right out into butter and buttermilk (uncultured, it looks like skimmed milk). The butter is solid, yellow and looks like butter you would buy. It’s also delicious! And you can use the buttermilk to bake some bread to serve it on. 🙂

    It can be difficult to do that last bit in a jar if the cream all sticks to the sides. Adding a marble to the jar can help, or dump the cream in a bowl and stick your hand in – great sensory experience that way too.

  2. Thank you. We did have solid butter. There wasn’t any liquid left in ours just tasty butter. I am sorry if my pictures appeared that way.

  3. I think what the original commenter meant was that, when you are done, you are SUPPOSED to have liquid (buttermilk) and a chunk of solid butter. I’ve done this experiment dozens of times in my classroom and the last couple minutes are the hardest. What you had in your jar at the end was butter mixed up with whipped cream.

  4. Ah yes. I do see in our excitement we didn’t go far enough. Thank you! I will have to try it again with a few more helpers.

  5. I did actually note that in my science section of the post. We definitely had more of a whipped butter!

  6. Have been ”aking butter’ for years with my children, grand children, and now the greats! However, no shaking in my method….sit the children on the floor and have them roll the jar back and forth! Works well with just two, or several.

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