We’ve all been there – you’re halfway into making a recipe that calls for buttermilk and realize there’s none in the fridge. Instead of ditching the whole recipe or making a last-minute trip to the store, you can make a DIY buttermilk substitute right at home.
You only need two ingredients and less than 10 minutes to make this simple buttermilk stand-in. We’ve got all the details on making a quick and easy DIY buttermilk substitute so you can continue making your favorite recipe.
What is buttermilk?
Buttermilk is a thick and tangy dairy liquid that contains active cultures. If you’re on a small dairy farm, buttermilk is the liquid that’s left in a churn after making homemade butter. Most of the buttermilk you buy in a store today is made by inoculating milk with cultures. Buttermilk tends to stay fresh longer than regular milk, and gives baked goods a moist texture, tender crumb and a hint of tangy flavor. Buttermilk also reacts with the baking soda in your recipe to help your baked goods rise.
What you need to make buttermilk substitute
You’ll need milk and an acid like white vinegar or lemon juice. We use a GoodCook® Clear Measuring Cup With Spout for this kitchen task. It’s so easy to get an eye level measurement with the GoodCook® Clear Measuring Cup to ensure you have the correct amount.
Steps to make DIY buttermilk
- Pour a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into a 1 cup measure.
- Fill the rest of the 1 cup measurer with milk.
- Gently stir the mixture and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. This will give the milk a slight curdle, giving it a buttermilk-like texture and taste.
If you don’t have vinegar or lemon juice
If you don’t have vinegar or lemon juice on hand, you can add 1 ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar to 1 cup of milk. Alternatively, 1 cup of plain yogurt works as a substitution for 1 cup of buttermilk.
Dairy free or vegan buttermilk substitution
If you have a dairy allergy or you are vegan, you can make a dairy-free or vegan version of buttermilk. Simply use coconut milk, almond milk or soy milk as a substitute for dairy milk in a 1:1 ratio. Add vinegar or lemon juice to a 1 cup measurer and fill the rest of the measuring cup with coconut, almond or soy milk. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes before using.
How long does DIY buttermilk last?
The DIY version lasts about 3 to 4 days in the fridge.
Recipes that use buttermilk
- Buttermilk pancakes
- Buttermilk waffles
- Buttermilk biscuits
- Buttermilk pound cake
- Any cake or cupcake recipe
It’s easy to make baking substitutions with the GoodCook® line of bakeware and kitchen accessories. You’ll need a GoodCook® Clear Measuring Cup for best results. Are you ready to make DIY buttermilk?
Make & Share
If you try this recipe at home, we’d love to see a photo of it! Snap a picture and upload to Instagram. Don’t forget to tag us @goodcookcom or #goodcook.
- 1 TBSP White Vinegar or Lemon Juice
- 1 Cup Milk
Step 1 – Pour the tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into a 1 cup measure.
Step 2 –Fill the rest of the 1 cup measurer with milk.
Step 3 – Gently stir the mixture and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. This will give the milk a slight curdle, giving it the buttermilk-like texture and taste.