At home science – How to make butter – ExpeRimental #19

Make your own butter and whipped cream from double cream in this fun science experiment for children.
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Catherine shows her Brownie group how to make butter and whipped cream from double cream. They explore how doing different things to cream results in different products, learning about how physical actions can affect the consistency of a substance. To make butter, they shake a jar of double cream that has been left out overnight. As they shake, they feel a change in consistency, and are soon left with a solid lump of butter and a little buttermilk. Whipped cream is made by simply whisking cold cream until it becomes foamy.

The girls learn that milk and cream are composed mainly of water and fat. The shaking and whisking causes fat globules to interact with each other. When making butter, the fat molecules break free from their globules, and join together to form butter. Whisking adds air to cream, breaking apart the fat globules. It forms protective bubbles around tiny pockets of air and changes the consistency of the cream.

This series of ExpeRimental is supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

This is the second of three special ExpeRimental films released in British Science Week.

ExpeRimental, brought to you by the Royal Institution of Great Britain, is a series of free short films that make it fun, easy and cheap to do science at home with children aged 4 to 10. Our films give you lots of ideas for kids’ activities that will help you explore the world around you, question and experiment together. We’ll show you how to do the activity and how to make sure adults and children get the most out of it. Why not have a go and then tell us what you think on our Facebook page?

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  1. To make whipped cream, the bowl and cream need to be really cold. Then you will get whipped cream using this method. A bit of confectioners sugar will give it the sweetness you get from canned whip cream. enjoy.

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