Food Processor Butter

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Simon Andrews

Transforming cream into butter is one of the most satisfying acts of kitchen alchemy you can perform, and it comes with the bonus of controlling exactly how your butter will taste. The food processor makes the process simple and mess-free way, and while you’re processing, you can add flavorings and seasonings to create a flavored butter to spread on toast or stir into hot pasta. Choose from cinnamon-orange, garlic-herb, or paprika-sesame, or invent a flavor entirely your own.

1/2 lb. (1 cup) butter
Active Time
30 minutes
Total Time
1 hour, 30 minutes


    • 2 cups heavy cream, preferably not ultra-pasteurized
    • 1 tsp. kosher salt (optional)
  1. For Cinnamon-Orange Butter:
    • 2 Tbsp. sugar
    • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  2. For Garlic-Herb Butter:
    • 1/4 cup parsley leaves with tender stems, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp. finely grated garlic
    • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  3. For Paprika-Sesame Butter:
    • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
    • 2 tsp. coarsely grated black pepper
    • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  4. Special Equipment:
    • Cheesecloth


    1. Process cream in a food processor until the butter solids have separated from the buttermilk and you see lots of little clumps of butter clinging together distinctly separated from thin milky liquid, 4–7 minutes (unpasteurized cream will separate more quickly). Carefully drain buttermilk; reserve for another use.
    2. Remove jar with blade still attached. Pour cold water over butter solids left in food processor jar, then drain. Repeat until water runs clear, 3–4 times. Pour off as much water as possible out of jar of food processor, using your hands to hold the butter solids in place while you pour. Continue to process until butter forms a solid ball, about 2 minutes. Pour off water again, then add salt (if using) and process to combine.
    3. If making compound butter, add ingredients for chosen flavor and process until fully incorporated.
    4. Transfer butter to a medium bowl lined with a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather cheesecloth up around butter and twist to squeeze until no more liquid runs out of butter. Transfer butter to a sheet of parchment or waxed paper and roll up into a log. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.
    5. Do Ahead: Butter can be made 5 days ahead. Keep chilled.

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