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A (more) Perfect Union: Compound Butter

Updated: Nov 5, 2022

I've been making butter for a long time.

As a young mom I would watch Martha Stewart make butter in a jar and thought, what a fun thing to do with my toddler girls.

Heavy cream and elbow grease....that's about it.

It took what seemed hours...tiny little arms churning the butter. But the end result was so much fun to witness. The wow on their faces was priceless.

It's also became the easiest science excitement I've ever done.

Ask my girls.

They both did it for their 4th grade science fairs at their elementary school. Blending the cream right on site in the KitchenAid stand mixer, with a towel to cover the mixing bowl the on lookers listened carefully for the change in sounds. Serving the freshly made butter with Mancini bread (they always got a kick out of seeing their last name on the bag) and for sure, your science project has the most people around it. Who doesn't like buttered bread??

Heavy cream is whipped or churned or shaken until it goes from soft peak status to stiff and past the point of no return until the fat separates from liquid (buttermilk) and voila! You have butter in a semi solid state.

Take that soft butter and add other ingredients and my friends, you have compound butter.

Plunge the semi solid butter into an ice bath to remove any excess buttermilk and to begin to solidify the butter to its desired consistency.

Assemble it in a log form and wrap up in parchment, plastic wrap or in a glass jar and you have my favorite lipid of choice.

Compound butters are mixtures of butter and supplementary ingredients. Primarily, they are used to enhance flavor in various dishes, in a fashion similar to a sauce. Compound butters can be made at home or added to store bought butter. You can make is savory or sweet.


  • Bone Marrow Compound Butter*

  • Roasted Garlic Compound Butter*

  • Orange Honey Compound Butter

  • Maple Pecan Compound Butter

  • Blue Cheese Compound Butter

  • Chipotle Lime Compound Butter

  • Strawberry Compound Butter

  • Sun-Dried Tomato Compound Butter

  • Snickerdoodle Compund Butter (cinnamon/sugar)

The possibilities are endless

*I married the two together and made an "extra" compound butter.

Cooking Class with Carol

Your favorite store purchased butter is perfect for this "project"

If you decide to go the route of making your own butter the better-quality the heavy cream, the better your butter will be. I always thought adding salt to the butter will allow it to stay on the counter, but that's only half true. One reason you can leave butter out at room temperature and it doesn't go bad as quickly as other dairy products at room temperature is because it's low in carbohydrates and proteins, which are mold and bacteria's preferred food sources. Leave it well covered in an airtight container or in a butter jar that is sealed with water from the bottom, and you'll extend the "counter-life" even longer. Purchase a butter crock or butter bell. These storage containers submerge a small pot of butter in water to create an airtight seal.

Ingredients: Self-Churned Butter

  • Blender, food processer or jar with a lid

  • Heavy whipping cream – at least 30% fat

  • Salt (optional)

  • Ice water

What to do

  1. Fill your blender, processor or jar halfway with heavy whipping cream.

  2. Blend or shake the whipped cream. If you’re using a jar, put a marble in the cream to speed up the process.

  3. Halfway through, add a pinch of salt. As a general rule, try one pinch of salt per cup of cream (optional).

  4. Once the contents are solid, your butter is ready to go. Pour off excess butter milk and scoop the butter into a bowl.

  5. Pour ice water over the butter to remove any remaining butter milk. Repeat this process until you’re satisfied with the consistency of your butter.

Add compounding ingredients at this point and shape according to your preference.

Store Purchased Butter

purchase your favorite butter brand from your local store and allow to soften at room temperature

Compounding Butter

While the butter is softening, roast the bone marrow and garlic in a 425-degree oven.

in a parchment paper foil package, add bones, garlic that has been cut in half. Add 1-2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Mix softened butter in a bowl. Add roasted ingredients and "fold" into butter.

Put in glass container on counter for about 3 days or in refrigerator for up to one week.


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