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What Can I Use As A Substitute For Buttermilk?

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If you bake regularly at home, you presumably already know what buttermilk is and have a bottle or two in your refrigerator, but if you only bake on rare occasions, you may not have buttermilk and are likely caught in the midst of a recipe that requires it.

If you’re in this situation, you probably don’t want to go to the grocery store, so the next best choice is to use a replacement to replace buttermilk in your recipe. Another reason to purchase a buttermilk alternative is that it is a dairy product, which may not be appreciated by everyone, particularly those who are lactose intolerant.

Continue reading to learn what buttermilk is, how to use it in recipes, and how to substitute it when it is unavailable.

ButtermilkNutrition Facts

What Can I Use As A Substitute For Buttermilk?

What is Buttermilk? 

What Can I Use As A Substitute For Buttermilk?

Traditional buttermilk is still available in nations such as India, Nepal, and Pakistan, and it is often created from the residual liquid obtained after churning milk into butter.

However, buttermilk in Western nations is solely composed of water, casein (milk protein), and lactose.

Buttermilk is sour due to the presence of lactic acid. So, lactic acid doesn’t simply fall from the sky, does it? Buttermilk is cultured throughout the manufacturing process, which means bacteria are introduced to pasteurized and homogenized milk, and these bacteria are responsible for the lactic acid in buttermilk.

This wonderful material was invented in 1920, but it did not get widespread notice until after World War II.

Uses of Buttermilk in Recipes 

Buttermilk may be eaten on its own or combined with other ingredients. It has a somewhat sour and tangy taste that is comparable to yogurt and may be used in biscuits and other baked products. Buttermilk is also used to tenderize meats, fish, and vegetables because to its acidic composition.

Buttermilk activates baking soda in baking recipes, acting as a leavening agent to give those pancakes more fluff.

You don’t see many recipes that include buttermilk, but when you do, you realize how wonderful this ingredient is.

Here are some wonderful dishes to use up any leftover buttermilk in your fridge.

  • Cranberry buttermilk breakfast cake
  • Buttermilk banana bread
  • Buttermilk coleslaw
  • Dulce de Leche buttermilk cheesecake
  • Easy buttermilk brioche buns
  • Snickerdoodle buttermilk pie
  • Buttermilk pecan fudge
  • Buttermilk blueberry muffins
  • Buttermilk biscuits
  • Easy basil buttermilk dressing
  • Buttermilk brownies with peanut butter frosting
  • Buttermilk tarts
  • Buttermilk strawberry sherbet
  • Buttermilk fried chicken
  • Classic buttermilk waffles

Substitutes for Buttermilk  

Buttermilk is a great ingredient to add into recipes, but if you can’t have it due to dietary constraints, or if you ran out in the midst of a recipe, you may want to look for a replacement for this acidic milk.

The acidity of buttermilk is the major reason it is used in recipes instead of ordinary milk, therefore a key to finding a decent buttermilk alternative is to seek for one with a comparable sour taste and enough acidity to create a response.

There are various buttermilk alternatives available, and the most of them need milk, so if you are vegan or lactose sensitive, use a bottle of your favorite non-dairy milk instead.

Milk + Vinegar  

Because buttermilk is acidified milk, combining milk with an acid-like vinegar would produce a similar outcome. Distilled white vinegar is the best vinegar for this endeavor since it has a clear consistency that will not impact the color of your food.

Add one tablespoon of white distilled vinegar to three-quarters of a cup of milk (use nondairy milk if you don’t eat dairy), stir thoroughly, and set aside for ten minutes to allow the milk to curdle before substituting an equal amount of this mixture wherever buttermilk is called for.

Milk + Cream Of Tartar 

I’m sure you got the point by now. A sour, partly fermented buttermilk replacement may be made by combining milk with a harmless acidic chemical.

Cream of tartar is another safe acid to consume. Cream of tartar, also known as potassium bitartrate, is a byproduct of winemaking and hence rather safe to consume.

You may have seen this item before but have no idea what it is for. To begin with, it is not as creamy as the name implies; rather, it is a white powder comparable to baking soda that carries an acidic punch that may quickly make ordinary milk sour.

Allow 4 teaspoon of it to soak in 1 cup of milk for approximately ten minutes before using it in any baking recipe that calls for buttermilk.Simply multiply 1 3 by

Yogurt + Milk 

Yogurt and buttermilk have similar taste profiles, so you may easily substitute yogurt for buttermilk in your recipes. Yogurt has a thicker consistency than buttermilk, so add additional milk to make a creamier combination.

Yes, milk has a creamy texture and flavor that complements the sour taste of yogurt and helps to soften its thick consistency; you may also combine yogurt with water for a thinner consistency.

Simply combine six ounces of yogurt with a quarter cup of milk or water, carefully mix, and use equal proportions anywhere buttermilk is required.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

Can I use kefir to substitute buttermilk?

If you reside in Europe, you may have difficulty finding pasteurized buttermilk, therefore I propose kefir. It’s a flavored version of buttermilk. Unlike buttermilk, it is unpasteurized, so all of the tastes are preserved.

Can lemon juice substitute buttermilk? 

Lemon juice may be used in place of buttermilk, but not on its own. Lemon juice, like vinegar, has a moderate degree of acidity, so add approximately a tablespoon to your chosen milk. If you don’t have buttermilk, you may substitute this mixture.

How long can you preserve buttermilk? 

An opened can of buttermilk last for about two weeks in the refrigerator, while an unopened can would last a little longer than the predicted expiry date, if you freeze it, however, it would last for about three months.


Buttermilk began as a byproduct of milk churning, but it is slowly becoming a star in certain dishes. However, since not everyone has a bottle of this sour milk on hand, preparing a recipe that calls for buttermilk may be challenging. If you cant rush to the grocery store to get some buttermilk, you can easily make your own at home with just two ingredients.


What happens if you use milk instead of buttermilk?

It is not suggested to substitute buttermilk in recipes that call for it with plain milk since the lack of acid will generate a different outcome. However, combining an acidic component with plain milk results in a replacement with qualities similar to buttermilk.

What is a substitute for 1 2 cup of buttermilk?

Fill 14 cup line with vinegar and milk.Fill to the 12-cup line with vinegar and milk. 14 cup buttermilk equals 34 teaspoon lemon juice12 cup buttermilk equals 12 teaspoon lemon juice

How to make buttermilk quickly?

How to Make Buttermilk in 10 Minutes
Make use of milk: Fill a liquid measuring cup halfway with 1 cup whole or 2% milk.
Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar for every 1 cup of milk.
Ready to go: The acid will gently curdle the milk.

Can I substitute heavy cream for buttermilk?

Most milk products will or may be used as a substrate for buttermilk alternatives. When producing my buttermilk substitutes at home, heavy cream is my favourite base milk product. My heavy cream and lemon juice approach produces the greatest creamy texture with a tangy taste.

Is milk with vinegar as good as buttermilk?

Lemon Juice + Milk

It’s sometimes stated that a small cup of milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice, vinegar, or cream of tartar is a good alternative for buttermilk, but let’s be honest: when it comes to taste, such substitutes will always fall short.

What does buttermilk do in baking?

Buttermilk is made up of a range of acids that are produced during the fermentation process and provide advantages to baked foods. For starters, the acidity adds a sour taste to many types of sweet baked delicacies. Second, it activates baking soda, resulting in the production of the gas that causes dough or batter to rise.

Can I use 2 percent milk instead of buttermilk?

To produce a buttermilk alternative in baking recipes, combine milk with white vinegar or lemon juice. I usually use 2% or whole milk and fresh lemon juice, although bottled would suffice.

Can I use evaporated milk instead of buttermilk?

When you don’t have buttermilk on hand, this is a perfect substitute to give your dishes the needed tang.

Is it better to bake with milk or buttermilk?

Regular milk will provide a slight flavor to the cake, but buttermilk will add much more taste. But be cautious not to swap them without taking into account the other elements. Because buttermilk is acidic, most recipes that call for it also ask for baking soda.

How did they make buttermilk in the old days?

Buttermilk developed as a byproduct of the production of butter.

Originally, all buttermilk was a byproduct of the buttermaking process. The fat separates from the liquid when cream is churned. The liquid that was left behind was known as buttermilk.

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