PBS KidsZOOM Home Back to Activity
Science Rocks!



your results

Sent in by:
Nicholas of MI

Can you make butter in a jar?

Materials Needed

  • heavy cream
  • a jar with a lid



  1. Check with a grown-up before you begin.
  2. Nicholas of Michigan sent us directions for how to turn cream into two parts, a solid, butter, and a liquid, buttermilk.
  3. All you do is put some heavy cream into a jar with a lid.
  4. Screw the lid on tight and begin to shake it.
  5. The cream has little globs of fat and protein. When you shake the jar, you get the fat and the protein that are moving around in the cream to stick together.
  6. Keep shaking the cream back and forth until it thickens. In about 10 minutes, it will turn to butter.
  7. When you shake the jar, the little fat and protein globs in the cream hit each other and stick together, forming a larger and larger glob.
  8. The glob is butter! The liquid that's leftover is buttermilk.

So, you know that cream can be separated into two parts, but can you put them back together? Experiment with this and send your discoveries to ZOOM!

Some of your Results

Andrew of Wylie, TX wrote:
After about 30 minutes with alot of shaking heavy cream and a little sea salt in a jar with several helpers taking turns we got butter! Yummy it was good on homemade cinnamon bread and Popcorn!

Macey, age 7 of Cabot, AR wrote:
We skimmed cream from the top of milk from a farm. We let it set out for 3 hours at room temperature and then we shook it for about 8 minutes and suddenly, there was blob of butter in there. It tastes great!

Class 6, age 10 of Isle Of Wight, UK wrote:
We made butter in class. It didn't work the first time because we shook it too much and it turned back to thick cream. We think this happened because: the room was really warm and our hands were too hot so the fat and protein molecules could not stick together. We did learn that it's a reversible change though! We ate our butter with crackers- it was really nice!

Riya, age 8 of San Francisco, CA wrote:
It became whipped cream.

Haley, age 13 of Pompano Beach, FL wrote:
it did not work I shook and shook for 3 hours! my mom and dad tried too and it did not work!!!

Jasmin, age 8 of Spring Hill wrote:
it came out as a creamy butter and it tast sooo good

Yusuf, age 4 of Philadelphia, PA wrote:
It turned into oily

Skylar, age 7 of Washington, D.C. wrote:
I turned into butter.

Eric, age 5 of Winchester, MA wrote:
My mom and I tried the cream cheese from the fridger. We microwave it for 15 seconds to make it warm and soft. And we add a table spoonful of water in the jar too. After shaking it for a while, we only got white liquid at the bottom of the jar looks pretty much like milk. There was some globby things sticks to the wall of the jar, but I don't think thar's butter.

Faith of Hawkinsville, GA wrote:
That was the most fun and delicious thing I have done with food in a long time! Right after we finished making the butter we had whole grain toast with the butter. It was SPECTACULAR! Highly recommended!

Sid of Long Beach, CA wrote:
I remembered this experiment back when I was in the 2nd grade. I had some bagels I wanted to eat but I had no butter or spread! So I remembered the milk shaking experiment and tried it out. in about 10 minutes I got butter! I also added sugar and salt for more taste. It was great:)

Katy, age 10 of White Water, WI wrote:
i made butter for my class as a demenstration speech and they all loved it. the first time I did it the butter didnt get thick enogh so I tried it again it worked!

Mallory, age 9 of Colorado Springs, CO wrote:
i did this in class and the butter was good.

Sam, age 10 of FL wrote:
The thing that happen was the butter was not good to eat becaese I forgot to put somethine of mine.

Tessa, age 11 of Falmouth, ME wrote:
I loved it and it was fun. The shaking took a little extra time, but it was awesome. I didn't really think it would work.

Claire, age 6 of Hollis, NH wrote:
Our milk came from grass-fed cows at the farm. We skimmed the cream off the top and then shook it and rolled it in a jar for less than ten minutes. Before it turned globby, we added a little sea salt. We've decided to do this every Friday (milk pick-up day) and each week add a different ingredient (honey, herbs, etc...). Thanks for the idea!

ZOOM Fan, age 9 of Jersey City, NJ wrote:
it actually worked! I did it when I was in kindergarten and it tasted great!

Felicia, age 4 of Schenectady, NY wrote:
when I excperimented on butter it melted into oil.

Charles, age 8 of Dallas, TX wrote:
I shook it for a while and it clumpped togather and made butter.

Maci, age 10 of Folsom, PA wrote:
it turned into butter. when I went to school we did the experiments and it was fun!

Alisa of Clinton, IN wrote:
The cream needs to be at room temperature.

Mikayla, age 10 of Independence, MO wrote:
first it was out. next it was all melted. last it was butter water.

Cheyanne, age 10 of Ashland City, TN wrote:
the butter did nothing.

Danielle, age 9 of Salisbury, MD wrote:
We shook the jar and it only took 5 minutes and VALAAA!!! Butter! It was so tasty that we ate the whole jar!

Jacynth, age 8 of Victoria, TX wrote:
It melt down when its hotter.

Keegan, age 6 of Dahlonega, GA wrote:
We shook the jar and then rolled it on the floor to each other when we got tired. It turned in to butter and we added a little salt and made toast. IT WAS AWESOME!

Isabel, age 9 of Austin, MN wrote:
it was cool I never new that you could do butter in a jar.

Taylor, age 11 of Greenville, SC wrote:
IT was very hard to do it for me so mke some more easer things to do

Lilli, age 8 of Dayton, OH wrote:
I shook it and rolled the jar around on the floor and it really worked! My mom made home made bread and we put my butter on it and it was YUMMY!

not yet implemented