My favorite way to make butter is the Mongolian way.  Take milk (they use horse milk), put in a bottle that can be capped.  Tie the bottle to the breast collar of a horse, so that it wiggles, but doesn’t hang.  Ride the horse all day.  Strain in a dish towel, kneading in cold water, changing the water two or three times, and voila, you have butter.

Ride your way to fresh butter and buttermilk.


  • Heavy cream
  • A Jar with a lid


1. Fill a canning jar halfway with heavy cream and screw the lid on tight.

2. Tie the bottle onto the breast collar of a horse and ride for 10 minutes to all day, preferably in not too hot weather so as to spoil the milk.

3. Then, open the jar, and pour any remaining liquid into another container; this is the buttermilk. Everything else is butter.

4. Knead the butter under cold running water for several minutes to work out any remaining buttermilk (otherwise the butter will spoil quickly).

5. Knead in salt, if desired.

6. Refrigerate.



For those making at home instead of with a horse, try this version using cow’s cream which we adapted from Homemade Winter.

Beat 4 ½ c. (heavy whipping) cream for a long time, with a stand mixer or Vita-Mix blender, until it looks like scrambled eggs.

Pour the cream into a clean dish towel that you have placed over a strainer.  Collect the whey (the liquid) in a bowl; you can use it to make soda bread or reserve for another use.  Wring the butter as much as possible.

Knead it in a bowl of ice water, changing the water two or three times, until the water remains clear.  This step is important, because if there’s any whey left, the butter can quickly turn rancid.

Soak two wooden spatulas in another bowl of cold water.  Use them to shape the butter into a nice bar.  Wrap your butter in parchment paper and store in the fridge.  It will remain fresh for at least two weeks.  Yields about ¾ c. (300 g.) of butter.

Optional  – You can also mix in sea salt and a little lavender flowers, when shaping the butter.