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How to Make Buttermilk

Many recipes call for buttermilk, and there is no doubt that buttermilk deepens the flavor and richness of the recipes that call for it. This is the best Buttermilk Substitute you’ll need.

Add lemon juice to milk to create a buttermilk substitute.

What is buttermilk?

Traditionally buttermilk is the stuff leftover from making butter. However, nowadays buttermilk is usually made using a mix of lactic acid bacteria and regular pasturized milk.

If you do buy buttermilk and it expires, don’t throw it away! Buttermilk can last for 1-2 weeks beyond the date on the carton and, if used in cooking or baking, can even be used beyond that point.

How many times have you decided to make a recipe that included buttermilk in its ingredients and you didn’t have any on hand?

Buttermilk pancakes and buttermilk brownies are two of my most popular recipes! Don’t be caught unprepared!

What can I use in replace of buttermilk?

Did you know even though you didn’t have buttermilk, you probably had the ingredients to make some?

In order to make buttermilk, you just need a couple of simple ingredients.

How to make homemade buttermilk with lemon juice and milk.
Homemade buttermilk substitute in a glass bowl with a spoon showing it curdled.

Milk and Lemon Juice

  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 C T 2% milk or whole milk

In a measuring cup, add one cup of regular milk and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir and let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes.

At the end of that time, you will see the milk begin to curdle.

Use in any recipe as you would buttermilk.

Milk and Vinegar

  • 1 T white vinegar or cider vinegar.
  • 1 C 2% milk or whole milk

Stir vinegar and milk together and let sit for 10 minutes. Use as you would buttermilk.

How to make homemade buttermilk ingredients.

More Substitution Options

For one cup of buttermilk:

  • Substitute 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream plus enough water to equal 1 cup
  • 1 cup milk with 1 3/4 tsp cream of tartar. Whisk and let stand until curdled.
  • Powdered buttermilk. I keep a canister of this in my refrigerator at all times.

Recipes using Buttermilk

Yield: 1 cup

How to Make Buttermilk

Prep Time 1 minute
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes

Many recipes call for buttermilk, and there is no doubt that buttermilk deepens the flavor and richness of the recipes that call for it. This is the best Buttermilk Substitute you'll need.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (or white vinegar)

Instructions

    1. In a measuring cup, add one cup of regular milk and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar.  Stir and let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes. 
    2. At the end of that time, you will see the milk begin to curdle. Use in recipes calling for buttermilk.
    3. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or frozen for up to three months.

Notes

What are some other buttermilk substitutes? (these are for 1 cup)

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • ¾ cup sour cream and enough water to make 1 cup
  • 1 cup milk with 1 ¾ teaspoons cream of tartar.  Let stand until curdled.
  • Powdered buttermilk (see canister instructions for mixing directions and equivalents.)

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1 Tbsp

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 8Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Aimee

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on August 17, 2020

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