I tried making cultured butter using a very simple recipe: 500 ml of cream mixed with 30 ml of buttermilk, left on the counter for a couple of days. Then mix to separate, drain, dry, etc.

I don't own a stand mixer, so I used a hand mixer instead. At one point I noticed the buttermilk separating from the butter, but thought I had to keep going to extract more moisture out. Then the mixture suddenly homogenised again and I was left with a slightly sour, buttery mixture that was quite tasty but won't last long in the fridge (because of the lactic acid still present in the mix).

Most videos I watched mentioned keeping on mixing for a little while after the separation first took place. I didn't really hear anyone mention mixing it too long.

A few questions:

  • How does it homogenise again? I thought that these fat droplets separate because of breaking membranes.
  • Is there a name for the mixture I ended up with?
  • Is there any way to separate it again? I kept on mixing but nothing happened.
  • Is the hand mixer the right tool for this job?
  • 1
    What do you mean by "won't last long in the fridge (because of the lactic acid still present in the mix)"? If anything, the acid will help it last longer until noticeable spoilage sets in.
    – rumtscho
    Jul 12, 2018 at 16:46
  • As far as I know, butter still containing the ('live') buttermilk spoils quickly, but that must be because of the bacteria instead of the acid right?
    – Sherlock
    Jul 12, 2018 at 18:13
  • 1
    I have never heard of mixtures of butter and buttermilk, so I don't know if they spoil quickly or not. But if they do, this shouldn't be due to the live bacteria either - they are what prevents buttermilk from spoiling, together with (or by producing) the acid.
    – rumtscho
    Jul 12, 2018 at 18:15
  • 1
    I find this terminology quite complicated, but to get butter you extract moisture from the cream after fermentation. If you leave the moisture in, the cream spoils I think.
    – Sherlock
    Jul 12, 2018 at 18:29
  • 1
    If you are lucky, your buttermilk can live on for many weeks in the fridge. If you are unlucky, it can get moldy. It is much more difficult to get storebought butter to go moldy, but that's a matter of water activity, not of bacteria. I don't know what's the chance of homemade butter spoiling (by mold or something else) and if it is much lower than that of homemade buttermilk.
    – rumtscho
    Jul 12, 2018 at 18:33

2 Answers 2


How does it homogenise again?

I'm almost sure, the cream you used had some emulsifiers in it. Check the ingredients.


As mentioned above, almost all heavy creams (ie whipping creams) have emulsifiers (gums) that keep the cream from separating (ideal for making whipping cream).

I just made a batch of cultured heavy cream and found that my kitchenaid stand mixer was not able to churn the cream enough to separate it...It mixed and mixed and mixed without any separation...I decided to chill the mixture, same thing, no separation...I then decided to put my cultured heavy cream into my heavy duty blender and it separated within 15 seconds...

The lesson I learned here is that the condition of your heavy cream (brand, temp, level of fermentation, etc) will dictate how rigorous the required churning to separate the fat from the buttermilk...

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