How to Make Butter from Powdered Milk
Making your own butter is an old-fashioned skill Ma Ingalls would be proud of, but making your own butter from powdered milk goes a step further when it comes to self-sufficiency skills!
The best part is, if you don’t have fresh cream on hand you can still use powdered milk from your food storage to make this homemade butter from scratch.
How to Make Butter from Powdered Milk
Note: This is a guest post submitted by a Little House Living Reader. I (Merissa) have not personally tried this recipe so your results may vary.
So the other morning I woke up thinking…if you can make butter from milk, why can’t I make butter from powered milk? It seems simple enough, right?
The problem is that most powdered milk is non-fat, which is not ideal for making butter (something that is notoriously high in fat). But then I discovered Nestle “Nido”-brand powdered whole milk, which has a higher fat content than other skimmed varieties. So I tried it with this, and it worked!
The recipe is pretty straight-forward. You can make it with a food processor (which is how I make it), or you can simply put all of the ingredients into a Mason jar and shake it until it thickens up to butter consistency.
Of course, this isn’t real butter, because it calls for vegetable oil of some kind as well as water. But it’s a great recipe to have on hand if you need to whip up some butter (quite literally) and you don’t have anything but your dried food stores on hand.
Here’s what you do…
How to Make Butter from Powdered Milk
- 3/4 c. powdered milk
- 1/3 c. water
- 1/4 c. oil (coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, etc.)
- Pinch of salt (for “salted butter”)
- Add the powdered milk to your food processor (or Mason jar). Then add the water, oil and salt.
- Blend (or shake) for a few minutes and then check to see if it’s starting to thicken. Keep blending until it starts getting really thick (remember, you’re aiming for butter consistency). Check on it ever couple minutes to see if it’s getting there.
- After a few minutes it should be pretty thick, like butter or margarine. It might not be as thick as you’re used to with butter or margarine, but that’s also what makes it extra spreadable!
Looks, smells, and tastes like butter. Yum!
This recipe will make about 3/4 cup of “butter.” It will store in the fridge for at least a week and you can use it in place of butter on toast, vegetables, buns, etc. I haven’t tried it in baking. I’m not sure if it would hold up when heated up to oven temperatures, but feel free to give it a try and let me know your results!
For more homemade butter recipes, check out this post on how to make Homemade Butter In The Blender.
Or for something a little different, try this Homemade Honey Butter.
Looking for some yummy homemade food to spread your butter on? How about these Blueberry Muffins, or these Buttermilk Biscuits, or maybe these Quick Pull Apart Rolls.
And if you’re looking for more pantry staples you can make from scratch with ingredients you probably already have on hand, check out these posts:
7 Pantry Staples to Start Making
Want to print this recipe for how to make butter from powdered milk? Grab it below!
How to Make Butter from Powdered Milk
- 3/4 c. powdered milk
- 1/3 c. water
- 1/4 c. oil coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, etc.
- Pinch of salt for "salted butter"
Add the powdered milk to your food processor (or Mason jar). Then add the water, oil and salt.
Blend (or shake) for a few minutes and then check to see if it's starting to thicken. Keep blending until it starts getting really thick (remember, you're aiming for butter consistency). Check on it ever couple minutes to see if it's getting there.
After a few minutes it should be pretty thick, like butter or margarine. It might not be as thick as you're used to with butter or margarine, but that's also what makes it extra spreadable!
This blog post on How to Make Butter from Powdered Milk was originally published on Little House Living in February 2011. It has been updated as of April 2019.
I am SO going to try this today!! Thanks for posting!
what about a recipe with ‘powdered butter’ …. thank you..
Tried this with Medallion milk powder and it did not work.
This seems to be a solution for that “fake” butter stuff that you buy?..I’ll bet it tastes a whole lot better & it has to be better for you!?…Thanks…I would have never thought of doing this!!!
Yes, I’m thinking this would taste like margarine but much better for you! No hydrogenated oils!
Just tried this for first time…I had bought a box of powdered milk and my kids did not like so been trying to find other uses for it…this is AMAZING, it taste great..the food processor did not work well, I just put it back in jar and shook til thick, then placed in fridge. Just used powdered milk , water, and vegetable oil with a dash of salt.
You can use your blender too thats what I do.
My BIL once tried to whip cream in the blender…made butter! Bet it would work with this!
Valerie, did you get fat free powdered milk or whole milk powdered milk. Both are available. When I was little, my Mom tried giving us fat free milk made from powder and it was AWFUL!
I tried this twice; and each time it tasted awful, as well as a tough texture. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. I used Non-Fat dry milk from the LdS cannery, and olive oil. Any ideas?
Mine tasted great…but I only used powdered milk, water and vegetable oil with a dash of salt….did not like how food processor was working so I placed it back in jar and shook ( my family took turns shaking, LOL) for like 20 minutes then placed in fridge when it started to thicken.
How long does this last in the refrigerator?
I’m wondering if the olive oil gave your butter the awful taste. Maybe try it with a different oil.
Use light olive oil; not EVO. Virtually no flavor.
You have to use powered milk with a fat content…that’s why the post talks about whole milk
Non-fat is your problem. It clearly states you need full cream milk powder. I know this is years later, but anyone else who happens on this blog now might find this helpful 🙂
For this recipe I tried nonfat, though the brand of powdered milk, can determine difference in the flavor outcome. I am also using a kitchenaid mixer and icy filtered water to help thicken the butter.
Thanks! Very helpful advice.
Thanks for your comment and your thoughtfulness. 😉
Yes it did help & thank you
You can’t use non-fat powdered milk. The author clearly stated that, and she said she’d used full-fat powdered milk.
“I tried this twice; and each time it tasted awful, as well as a tough texture. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. I used Non-Fat dry milk from the LdS cannery, and olive oil. Any ideas?”
If you are using olive oil and a blender whatever you make will almost always taste bitter. Same thing happens if you try to make olive oil mayo. I read somewhere that the reason for this is that the blending breaks open the part of the olive oil molecule that is bitter, which is not tasted when intact. I don’t know how store bought “olive oil mayonaise” is manufactured to avoid this.
“Olive oil” Mayo sold on stores has barely any olive oil in it ;). They still use vegetable oil as their base and probably add the olive oil after emulsion. 🤦🏼♀️
It says use a whole milk version of powdered milk
She specifies not using non fat milk! Butter has to contain fat to taste like real butter.
it he article says nonfat dry milk wont work.
And olive oil has such a strong flavor. Thays why it tastes bad.
Use grapeseed oil or canola oil.
Due to recent discoveries regarding canola oil and it’s toxicity (actually, any seed based oil), personally, I will be using coconut oil when I try this recipe (and yes, I do know that coconuts are the seed of the palm tree).
You said you used nonfat milk. Butter is fat. Yes, the finished product would have some fat from the oils, but I suspect not enough. (When I make regular botter, I use heavy cream, not milk.) Also, avocado oil and olive oil are liquid. Coconut oil can congeal. I would think the oil used could influence the taste and look of the ‘butter.
Don’t use the olive oil, change to vegatable oil or corn oil. Better tasting and different textures
Use whole milk powder and a mix of avocado and coconut oil. And maybe a splash of coconut milk!
Olive oil affects the taste and most vegetable oils are not healthy.
Cold pressed Coconut oil is very healthy.
I enjoy trying “stuff” and had a whole lot of non-fat dry milk sitting around. First thing is I would never use olive oil, it’s just too strong. I use Coconut Oil. I happened to have some Heavy Cream powder from a well-known supplier and put that in with the non-fat milk. I also think that combining Imitation Butter flavoring with Olive Oil as in the picture might lead to problems so I didn’t use either one. To prepare I used a Kitchenaid with the whisk instead of a blender or shaker jar. Bottom line is (to me) this can make a decent homemade butter. You may have to mess with it a bit to get the results you like but it can be fun.
Same for me. We’re out of butter here at home, so I was REALLY hoping that this would work. But unfortunately it tasted awful and the texture is off… I’m debating on trying again, but I’d rather not waste valuable ingredients…
You must use WHOLE powdered milk, Nido brand.
I had the same results as Linda. It was awful. I would not try this again. It never thickened much and the taste was just terrible.
If you have used full fat milk powder and it still tasted awful you might have done one – or both – of the two following wrong:
1) You used a vegetable oil like canola, soy or any other oils with transfats that might have gone rancid, as they often are already rancid straight from the shop.
2) I personally have found there’s a big difference in milk powder quality and flavour. Some taste lovely and milky fresh while others taste like burned milk. The non-fat ones tend to taste awful, period.
In short, it comes down to the quality of the individual ingredients you put in your “butter”. As the saying goes, GIGO…
If it doesn’t get thick then try blending it on a slower speed for either longer or not as long,remember not all blenders are the same, and if it doesn’t taste as well as you were hoping try adding more or less of the salt and butter flavoring.
yes, I had to add salt and did not like how food processor was doing so i put it back in jar and we took turns shaking…turned out GREAT !!
I noticed that there are two recipes for this. Is it 1/4 c powdered milk and 3/4 c oil or is it 3/4 c powdered milk and 1/4 c oil? I would love to try it, but coconut oil is very expensive and I don’t want to have to throw it away.
I saw the difference in the amount of milk and oil too. The recipe in the picture has a different amount than the recipe posted below it. Which one is it? 1/4 c powdered milk or 3/4 c. ? 1/4 c. oil or 3/4c ?That could be why a couple of other people posted that theirs did not turn out well. I plan on trying it, but not sure which recipe is correct.
looks like 1/4 milk and 3/4 oil by the picture
This idea looks awesome! have you tried it with the NIDO? I wish I could make fresh butter 🙁 working on getting the land. Right now we are living in a rv so a cow is not really an option lol. I would love to know if you tried the Nido if that works I will invest in a blender/food processor 🙂
Hi, I have tried it several times and it always turns out…I did try with the NIDO and it was still good…not like butter from the cow (we have made it that way too). But in a…I don’t want to go to the store and want butter kinda way. Or the world is coming to an end and I need butter!!! Hope you do try it again and tweek it for you. If coconut oil is too expensive, start with vegetable oil. I buy my coconut oil in 5 gallon buckets, so it is way cheaper! And it is the only oil I use…just use what is right for you!
where do you gget coconut oil in a 5 gallon bucket? What is the cost?
I know you can purchase it from Tropical Traditions in the 5 gallon bucket here: http://tinyurl.com/c36328r
“the world is coming to an end and I need butter!!!” Seven years after this comment was made, that is exactly what I’m doing here!
LOL, me too! Yep, in 2020 the world finally IS coming to an end and I will need butter for everything 🙂
Me too 🤣
Almost 2022..slowest apocalypse ever. But at least we won’t run out of butter when it finally gets here!
What’s wrong with just using real butter?
Nothing! This is just a way to make a substitute if you would absolutely have to.
I’m here from the future to say due to the Coronavirus outbreak, fresh food is in short supply in some places. I could see myself using this recipe in the near future.
Maleah–yep! Shortages due to Coronavirus!
my question is when do you use the butter flavoring pictured?
Crazy, isn’t it!!! That’s what I’m doing here too.
Have you tried this on toast…..
I’m wondering if the water content of the recipe will turn the toast soggy ? This is a problem I find with some of the commercial margarines (especially the one that claims to taste like real butter)
Mine is great on toast, that is the first thing i tried, did not make soggy, but I chilled for a while before using , also i only used shake method , did not like how thin food processor was making it.
Ahh never really thought about that being the reason behind the toast getting soggy! Thanks. I don’t use margarines anymore its been a long time.
I was just wondering if the butter flavoring available today is the same that was linked to cancer several years ago? I don’t recall if that was taken off the market or not. Can’t remember what exactly the chemical is called,but I think it was identified after many incidences of cancer showed up in people that came into contact with it at popcorn packaging factories.
Butter flavoring (like in the picture) and the stuff they flavor popcorn with are 2 different things. Plus those workers were exposed to massive amounts of the stuff. You can usually find this kind in the spice aisle or Wilton makes a butter flavoring that they sell with cake making supplies.
The chemical is Diacetyl is also known as the alpha-diketone, 2,3-butanedione, or by its Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number, 431-03-08. It is no longer used in popcorn.
How much salt do you use? Teaspoon? Tablespoon?
Do you think this would work with canned milk ? instead of the powder
Worth a try, right!
I just tried this recipe for making butter and it sure is yummy.I live in the Philippines and it is very hard to find cream ,that is why I tried this recipe .
This is something I have never heard of before, and find fascinating. I will indeed try it. I foresee many experiments to come with cooking with it.
How much butter flavoring is used in this recipe?
I made i and added the butter flavor sxtract and salt still taste like powdered milk and you can’t melt it only spread it on bread etc. any idea’s? . don’t know if you are suppose to keep on the counter or refig?
Is there a homemade butter flavoring? Cause I can’t find it anywhere
I know this is an old comment but just in case someone has the same question in the future: I use butter emulsion that I get from a cake supply store. They are usually homemade in smaller batches from small companies that supply cake supply stores. They measure about the same and really help to punch up the butter flavor.
Can you find out from your friend what type of Nido by Nestle milk you use to make butter? Is it whole powdered milk. What type of milk do I use
there is so many different types. Carol
Hello, Can you tell me what milk to buy from Nestles for making butter there are so many do I buy is it Whole milk? Carol
How much oil did you use? the picture says 3/4 c oil and you have written 1/4 c oil. Would like to make it but that’s a big difference in oil. Thanks!
I just found a pin on how to dry milk. The recipe used half and half. My question is, would you still use the oil?
I would think so, because if it were regular butter, you’d use heavy cream, and half and half has less fat than heavy cream.
I made this is fantastic nobody notice it I made cheesecake all from my food storage I made my sweet condensed milk and evaporated milk from powdered milk and my cream cheese from my yogurt that I made from powered milk so delish.
I am not buying butter again ever thank you so much for sharing the recipe.
What if you don’t have a food processor? What if you don’t have electricity?
One poster said put ingredients in a jar and shake.
Do what the Amish do, shake it in a jar or use a churn. There you go, you now have butter!
Can you use this ‘butter’ recipe for making brownies or cookies??
Instead of butter flavoring, salt and coloring …I had some butter popcorn flavoring shaker powder (found in the chip and snack row at grocery store) it worked perfectly! The taste of the butter was outstanding. We now use it on everything. We even bake with it. Example cookies, breads and cakes. The only thing that did not work well with was a butter based recipe for pie pastry. (I am not referring to the graham crumb type but the type for fruit pies.) Tried it several times by seasoned pie makers and same results. But… considering that everything else worked…. I am pleased with the results.
I wanted to know if the cream you used is the same cream that can be collected after boiling milk. A heavy layer that settles on top after it boils and cools down.
Great post!! Really you share a impressive blog with us.
Good post. It is really help to us. Its give us lots of interest and pleasure. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. Its really a good article. It gives me lots of pleasure and interest!
What is the butter flavoring.
It may be flavour of the butter. For example: peanut butter or the regular one. Although I had the same question but even I’m not confirmed abt the same.
I noticed several comments that the texture was grainy and awful tasting. This may help. Not all milk powders are the same. Low temperature powders such as those from Honeyville Grain for example, will not work. High temperature powders such as Carnation will work. Additionally, high temperature processed powder used for bread making wont work for drinking, butter or cheese making. Yes, it’s different yet again. High temperature processed is not the same as high temperature powder. If any one knows exactly all these difference, I hope they will share. I’m still trying to get my head around it myself.
Where there is a will there is a way! But consuming free oil is detrimental to health. I suggest spreading bread and other things with avocado.
That’s a good idea if you have avocado.
And what if you have no avocados and no way to get any??
This is a great idea at least for those times when nothing
else is available; although some comments said they’d be
using only this recipe in the future.
Avocados cost an arm and a leg up here. I can’t afford to use them as toast spread…
Avocados cost 78 cents apiece here in southern Utah. Sure wish we still had the avocado tree that we had back in SoCal. they were huge not the small ones you see in the stores now.
Thanks a lot.
Please can this butter be used in making cakes?
I made this recepie, it is not that soft like in the picture, to soften more do I need to add more water? Or oil?
the post shows butter flavoring and yellow food dye but NO mention of them in recipe~~~what gives ???
My grandmother used to make mayo without the egg. It was good she used mustard a little and did the rest of ingredients.
I have two questions about making this butter:
1. Does this butter need the butter flavoring? Or does it taste just as good without it?
2. I only have vegetable and olive oils on hand. Do either of these types of oils taste good in this recipe? What oils do you prefer?
Thanks for being so patient with us and answering the same questions over and over again! I’ll try it and add powdered sugar and flavourings to see if it makes a good cup cake topping. Thanks again, great post!
I’ve seen this go back and forth a bit but am not certain of a definitive answer. What are the correct proportions of powdered Milk and oil? TIA
All of the amounts of ingredients are listed in the recipe above.
I tried this today. I used non instant powdered milk, used coconut oil, 1/4 tsp salt and a couple drops of yellow food colouring. After I whirled it around in the food processor it was a bit runny, but I refrigerated it and it came out perfectly spreadable. It tastes good. Even my husband liked it. A good substitute.
I’ve been working on this recipe for an hour and still liquid. My food processor is getting hot so I don’t want to burn it up. I used powdered cream and vegetable oil. Does it have to be coconut oil to make it firm up?
Very frustrated. I need butter and do not want to step foot in any grocery store with this virus going around. And suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.
What are all the changes you’ve made to this recipe? The only way we’ve tested this recipe is exactly as it’s printed above.
It will not firm up in mixing like normal cream to butter. It I’d like a sticky thick consistency. I put in mild and into freezer then it hardens.
Do you store it in the fridge or the cupboard and how long does it keep please
The recipe does not call for McCormick imitation butter flavoring but the McCormick box is shown in the picture of ingredients used. Did you use the imitation butter flavoring in the recipe?
My husband and I used Nido whole milk powder, vegetable oil and added 1/2 top. Of butter extract to recipe. Three minutes later we had our butter. Thank you so much for this recipe.
I would like your news letters. Thank you for the butter recipe I’m trying it this weekend
Added just a dash of pasteurized milk. It came together beautifully. It mostly tastes like the milk powder I used (NZMP wholesale wholemilk powder, from Fonterra), but salted and super creamy. Used canola oil for neutral taste. Considering this powder is way cheaper than a block of Anchor butter, and the milk solids come from the same manufacturer, I think I can cut down on the Anchor. Thanks!
I was making a chocolate spread which asked for a cup of butter.
So I decided to give it a shoot.
I wouldn’t say it was firm, as the recipe said it wouldn’t be – it was runny. But it was the best butter I ever had.
All I used was powder milk, coconut oil & water. This was so awesome!
My chocolate spread too turned out great! I kept some of the original white butter in two small cups in the fridge, to see how they turn out.
Thank you so much for this awesome recipe!
Have just found this post and have been reading it. I am going to try it! But what’s the deal with yellow food coloring? If you want it yellow like butter from the store, just add a pinch of turmeric to the mix.
This is an old guest post and that is what the writer used in her recipe. Tumeric should work fine as well or you don’t have to add any color at all and it will be the same of course.
We can’t have dairy. I’m wondering if anyone has tried this with powederd coconut milk?
I (hate the taste of coconut, but it’s the only one available.)
I found something amazing that may make this butter out of powdered milk even better! Did you know you can bottle heavy whipping cream? That changes everything! Below is a video showing you how. I tried it and it worked. I even opened it up later and made it into whipped cream. It took a little longer to whip, but once the peaks were made, it never turned back into cream or whey as it sat in my fridge as we ate it over the next 3 days. Surely this would make a better powdered milk to drink and butter to make from powdered milk!
You can use Powdered goat milk instrad. It’s already higher in fat content and goat milk and products are better anyway
I use Meyenberg Powdered Goat Milk Powder since the mid 90s my own rdvipe for helping my German Shepherds weaning pups making goatilk recipe I have had since 1995 or 1996
You should try making the butter with powdered goat milk
I love these comments from the future who knew we would be like this with food shortages
I tried it! I tested it out on a piece of bread and I let my niece try it. She liked it and she said it tasted like butter. I messed up the measurements some, so the texture was a little different from butter. Tasted like butter, but it had the texture of cheese kinda. I also tried melting it, but it wouldn’t melt. All in all I think it’s a great spread, and I would try it again. Butter is getting more expensive, so this is a great option for toast or a bagel.
Sorry I meant processed cheese.
I grew up canning but never have made butter this way. Can’t wait to try it out.
Can you freeze it?
Hi I made this using extra virgin olive oil. It firmed up well but was very sweet, reminded me more of a sweet creamy cheese spread. Wondering if should have mixed longer, will add more salt next time to combat sweetness.
Hmmm, I have some just expired powdered heavy cream, think I am going to try making this with it!