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How To Make Buttermilk

How to Make Buttermilk! All you need are two things: milk and acid. Perfect for needing buttermilk in a snap for all your cooking and baking needs!

Squeezed lemons next to a bowl of buttermilk.

Buttermilk is a common ingredient in baking and cooking. However, it’s not common to always keep a jug of buttermilk on hand. Good news! You can turn two common kitchen staples into a homemade buttermilk substitute to get you baking and cooking in no time. All you need is milk and acid.

Watch How To Make Buttermilk:


Step 1: Pour one cup of fresh milk into a liquid measuring cup.

Pouring milk into glass.Step 2: Choose your acid. This method works equally well with both white vinegar or lemon juice.

Milk and lemon juice.Step 3: Measure one Tablespoon of your chosen acid and add to the milk.

Pouring lemon juice into milk.Step 4: Give it a quick stir.

Mixing lemon juice and milk.Step 5: Let milk and acid mixture sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. After this time, the milk will have curdled.

Milk and lemon juice curdled.Step 6: Give the milk a brisk stir to combine and it’s done!

Mixing buttermilk.Use your homemade buttermilk in any recipe that calls for buttermilk.

Mixed buttermilk.

How Long Does Homemade Buttermilk Last?

Homemade buttermilk can be used right away or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks. Check the expiration date on the milk used to make it for a more solid guideline on how long to keep your homemade buttermilk. Give the container a shake or stir the homemade buttermilk before adding it to your recipe.

What Is The Best Kind Of Milk To Use For Homemade Buttermilk?

Any kind of milk will work with this method of making buttermilk. It’s best to use fresh milk with a further out expiration date. Use whole milk for a richer, creamier buttermilk. Use a reduced fat milk for lighter recipes.

Want To Use Your Buttermilk? You’ll Love These Recipes!

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A sandwich with fried chicken.

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Oatmeal Flax Blueberry Muffins

Whole Wheat Pancakes for Two

whole wheat pancakes for two

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32 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    If you want exactly one cup of buttermilk for your recipe, it’s a better idea to put in the vinegar/lemon juice first, then fill it up to the one-cup line with the milk.

    Also, buttermilk powder is a great convenience for use in baked goods. (Not so much in a dressing.) I always have a can of SaCo Cultured Buttermilk Blend on hand–they sell it in the baking goods aisle at the grocery store. It keeps forever in the fridge. You just mix in the powder (1 T. per 1/4 cup of buttermilk called for) with your dry ingredients and then add water in the appropriate amount with your wet ingredients. Works great!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        As I say, not so good for dressings, as it tends to be lumpy and thin when mixed with water by itself. Wanted to give you a pic but couldn’t get copy/paste to work.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kelly C.

    I love that you shared this recipe. My Great Great Aunt Mary taught me this decades ago when we were making her Orange Drop cookies and we didn’t have any buttermilk. Thanks for bringing back a great childhood memory for me!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Barbara Gallagher

    Flavored vinegars i. e., raspberry vinegar are great for buttermilk pancakes. It gives a subtle fruit flavor.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Awesome post! I used to have my students do this when I taught high school Family and Consumer Sciences. Only I always measure the acid (lemon juice or vinegar) first and put it in the measuring cup then add milk to get a level 1 cup so that I don’t have an extra T. of liquid. It probably doesn’t make a whole lot of difference, just how we always did it. I do buy real buttermilk for cooking on occasion and freeze any leftover buttermilk for future use in recipes. One of our favorite recipes we often make that calls for buttermilk are these delicious coconut oil waffles. https://www.homeecathome.com/the-home-economist/coconut-oil-buttermilk-waffles

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Lauren Townshend

    Have you tried using home made almond milk to make buttermilk? I would like to have a vegan option 🙂 and was wondering if this would work.

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Bec

    Yes this really works – and there is absolutely no taste of the lemon juice or vinegar at all! Really useful!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Oli

    Been around here for years now, 1st comment. Buttermelk? Homemade? Why not! Great idea, thank you! I would love to see more of those really easy helping things like this! Thank you again for all the amazing stuff I had cooked with ideas from your site. Greetings from Hamburg.

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sophie Burger

    Thank you for the tip! As a french girl it’s almost impossible to find buttermilk so it’s good to know !

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I can’t wait to try this menu. it’s a pleasure that your site explains very well how it is prepared for buttermilk. Thanks for Emily Caruso it’s well! Thank You So Much. I really love it.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I had no idea I could make my own buttermilk! How similar does it taste to the buttermilk from the store?

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Buttermilk powder is great! To be honest, I’m not good at cooking but I like them, they give me joy and excitement every time I finish the dishes, which is a great thing. With your recipe, I just need to follow the instructions and the rest is simple. Thanks for sharing

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I always wonder how buttermilk is made and this recipe finally answered my question. And what surprised me more is I only need milk and acid and that’s it! Now I can transform my chicken, my pie and my favorite pancake.

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love your site- wonderful recipes and fresh ideas! I will look forward
    to following your blog! I love to cook, too- I’m always trying something new!