With this Buttermilk Substitute recipe you can turn any milk into buttermilk with just seconds of effort. Use this recipe in all your baked goods that call for buttermilk!
Buttermilk is the key to the moisture and texture in many of my favorite recipes. While you can buy buttermilk from the grocery store, you might not need as much as a whole carton at one time! Buttermilk Substitute is so easy to make and is just as effective as “true” buttermilk.
What is Buttermilk?
You’ve heard of buttermilk. You’ve eaten muffins made with buttermilk and stacks of fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes. And if you’re anything like me, there’s not much you wouldn’t do for a Buttermilk Biscuit. But do you actually know what it is?
In short hand, buttermilk is cultured milk. Once, it was the liquid leftover after milk was churned into butter. It would develop cultures after sitting at room temperature for a while that fermented the milk and meant it kept for longer at room temperature. Back before refrigeration, this made buttermilk perfect for baking.
These days, dairies make buttermilk by adding live cultures to fresh milk making it sour and thick. We can replicate that process at home by adding acid to milk to curdle it!
In most cases, the buttermilk replacement you make in your own kitchen works just as well as the store bought kind.
Remember that buttermilk is chemically different than plain old milk. The acid in buttermilk reacts with the baking soda in the recipe to give your baked goods a fluffy rise. The thicker texture also helps add moisture!
How to Make Buttermilk
You only need two ingredients to make buttermilk substitute: milk and vinegar or lemon juice.
- For every 1 cup of buttermilk called for in your recipe, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to the measuring cup. Then add enough milk to reach the 1 cup mark.
- Whisk the vinegar/lemon juice and milk together. Let the milk stand for 5 minutes or until it begins to look thick and curdled.
This method for making buttermilk substitute will work with most varieties of milk from whole milk to non-fat milk. It’ll even work with many plant based milks for dairy-free buttermilk! I’ve often used Ripple Milk (a milk made from peas) with this recipe and it’s worked beautifully. That said, I can’t speak for every variety of plant based milk out there. You may want to do a test batch with your favorite dairy free milk first to make sure it curdles right before using it.
White vinegar is really my top choice for this homemade buttermilk recipe, I’ve found. Lemon juice works, and I’ve even heard of some people using apple cider vinegar with success. That said, if you have the choice, go with white vinegar.
If you do a lot of baking, you may want the convenience of buttermilk powder as a substitute. When added to water, this powder creates a replica of traditional thinner styles of buttermilk. If you don’t typically keep milk on hand in your fridge, buttermilk powder may be a worthwhile purchase. It comes in shelf stable tins that will keep for quite a while in the pantry.
With this homemade Buttermilk Substitute you’ll be ready to make all kinds of delicious baked goods!
Try this DIY Buttermilk in these recipes:
- Betty Crocker Banana Bread
- Kentucky Butter Cake
- Buttermilk Brownies
- Blueberry Buttermilk Streusel Muffins
- Homemade Ranch Salad Dressing
- KFC Coleslaw
Homemade Buttermilk Substitute
- 1 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 cup minus one tablespoon milk
- Pour one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice into a measuring cup. Add in milk to reach one cup volume. Gently stir then let sit for five minutes. Use as you would buttermilk in recipes.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.