How to Make Buttermilk Substitute
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Two quick and easy ways to make buttermilk substitute with just 2 ingredients or less! Learn the best uses for each method.
Table of Contents
- What is Buttermilk? What can I use instead of Buttermilk if I have none?
- How to make Buttermilk Substitute
- DIY Buttermilk: How to make Buttermilk with Vinegar or Lemon Juice
- Sub for Buttermilk: How to make Buttermilk Substitute with Sour Cream or Yogurt
- Recipes that work with Buttermilk Replacement
- How to store Buttermilk Substitute
- Buttermilk FAQs
- Buttermilk Replacement Recipe
What is Buttermilk? What can I use instead of Buttermilk if I have none?
Buttermilk is a dairy product made by adding acid bacteria to milk. The bacteria causes the milk to ferment, thickening it and giving it a slightly sour flavor. Buttermilk is often used in baking as an ingredient, like in these red velvet cupcakes or buttermilk pancakes, or for marinating meat.
If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a substitute by combining one cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes before using it in your recipe. This can be used as an alternative to buttermilk in most recipes.
How to make Buttermilk Substitute
Buttermilk is a staple in my fridge, but I know it’s a foreign ingredient for many.
If you ever find yourself with a recipe that calls for buttermilk, but none on hand, don’t fret. There’re multiple ways you can make a buttermilk substitute!
DIY Buttermilk: How to make Buttermilk with Vinegar or Lemon Juice
This is the most common buttermilk substitute and it works great for most baking recipes.
- Simply stir in acid into milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. The mixture will curdle and thicken.
- 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon liquid acid, such as white vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 cup milk + 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
I love it for making red velvet cupcakes, for example. But I find that it isn’t the best for buttermilk pancakes!
Sub for Buttermilk: How to make Buttermilk Substitute with Sour Cream or Yogurt
This method is my favorite especially for making buttermilk pancakes, because it turns out thicker than the method #1 and doesn’t make the batter too runny.
- Whisk sour cream, or plain yogurt with some water or milk until smooth.
- 3/4 cup sour cream/yogurt + 1/4 cup milk/water
This buttermilk substitute works perfectly for pancakes and breading chicken, like these chicken fingers.
Recipes that work with Buttermilk Replacement
Buttermilk substitutes can be used in many recipes, such as pancakes, cakes, donuts, scones, fried chicken, and other baked goods. Try using your buttermilk substitute to make fluffy buttermilk waffles or moist red velvet cupcakes. You can also use it for marinating meat to give it a more tender texture.
How to store Buttermilk Substitute
How long does buttermilk replacement stay fresh?
A buttermilk replacement made with milk and vinegar or lemon juice will stay fresh for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. It is best not to make too much at once, as it can quickly become sour and unusable.
Can you freeze buttermilk?
Absolutely yes! You can freeze buttermilk in ice cube trays, but I find them to be too small.
- Instead, I like these 1/2-cup silicone molds to freeze buttermilk.
- Or, you can also pour the desired amount of buttermilk in freezer bags. Place them on a cooking sheet in a flat position and freeze until solid. They store so neatly this way!
Yes, you can use milk as a substitute for buttermilk in most recipes. To make a buttermilk replacement with milk, simply combine one cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for 10 minutes before using. This can be used in many recipes instead of traditional buttermilk.
- 1 cup milk Note 1
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar, or lemon juice Note 2
- 3/4 cup sour cream, or plain yogurt Note 3
- 1/4 cup milk, or water
- Stir in vinegar, or lemon juice into the milk. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. The milk will curdle and thicken, and that means it's ready to be used.
- Combine sour cream, or yogurt with milk, or water, until well combined. And it's ready to be used for your recipe.
Tips & Notes
You can freeze buttermilk in ice cube trays, or these 1/2-cup silicone molds, or pour the desired amount of buttermilk in freezer bags. Place them on a cooking sheet in a flat position and freeze until solid. They store so neatly this way