How to Make Butter Out of Cream and Why It Works

Bonus: This project makes a GREAT hostess or holiday gift! My Leaf Lantern Jars make a great packaging idea. Instead of using leaves for a Fall theme, try cutting paper into snowflakes for a Winter feel or dried flowers for Spring!

You’ll Need

Jar
Heavy/Whipping Cream (room temperature)

Tip: Reuse pickle and jelly jars for this project!

You’ll Do

Pour your room temperature heavy cream into the jar. Close it tight and get to shakin’! You’ll need to shake vigorously for between 5 and 20 minutes. Me and King shook for about 10 minutes to get our result. BUTTER! You can add a pinch of salt or leave it as is for sweet cream. Keep this experiment in the fridge or it’ll melt.

Mad Science Explanation

I am sure someone has told you that oil and water don’t mix – but it does! Well, sort of. You see, milk and cream are what’s known as an emulsion. Milk is basically water with about 5%-10% protein and fat globules. Cream is milk with 15-25% Fat globules. A “globule” is a super tiny membrane filled with fat molecules – think of a microscopic water balloon. Now, because these globules are so small and fat is lighter than water it floats! This forms a “stable suspension,” a colloid! The bigger the globules, the slower it moves, the thicker the milk or cream.

When shaken around, the membranes smash against each other and break apart. The fat then spills out and clumps together with its neighbor, separating from the water. When enough of this happens it forms two new substances: a solid (butter) and a liquid (buttermilk)!

Keywords and Concepts to Explore
Globules
Emulsion
Membrane
Fat

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