How To Make Buttermilk

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Ever wondered How To Make Buttermilk? This fail-proof method shows you how to whip up a homemade buttermilk substitute easily so that you end up with light and fluffy baked goods and delicious dishes like cakes, donuts, pancakes.  

close up of homemade buttermilk

Homemade Buttermilk Substitute

Ever reached into the fridge to grab some buttermilk to make yourself some lovely glazed donuts or crunchy cornbread and come up empty?

Well, worry not, this post shows you how to make buttermilk easily with two everyday ingredients so you always have some to hand.

And this awesome substitute for buttermilk is fail-proof which means I (and you, my friend) can bake and cook away like a pro.

But before we get into the recipe, let’s look at a few basic facts.

Related Link => How To Scald Milk.

A jar of homemade buttermilk on a table

What is buttermilk?

Traditionally, buttermilk was just that, the milk left after you’ve made butter. It would have fermented slightly, making it a little bit acidic.

Now people use carefully controlled microbial cultures to make the buttermilk you buy in the store. It still gives you the same product, but it has been standardized for supermarkets.

Why use buttermilk?

And the science bit, Bintu style…

The acidic nature of buttermilk reacts with baking soda, forming lots of lovely bubbles of carbon dioxide in whatever you are cooking or baking, helping it rise better than if you had no acid. Aka helloooooooooo light fluffy baked goods.

How To Make Buttermilk From Milk

  1. Add your milk into a mixing bowl or mason jar.
  2. Add in the lemon juice and stir.
  3. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for 10 minutes during which it will curdle.
  4. Give it another stir and your homemade buttermilk is ready.
adding lemon juice to milk to make buttermilk

Pro Recipe Tips

  • You can use lime juice instead of lemon juice
  • I usually use whole milk but reduced-fat milk works too if that is what your recipe calls for.
  • If heated too quickly buttermilk can curdle. Sometimes it is best to warm the buttermilk up a bit in a saucepan before adding to warm or hot dishes.

How To Make Buttermilk With Vinegar

This is super easy. Simply use some white or apple or cider vinegar instead of lemon juice.

Vegan Buttermilk Substitute

If you are dairy-free, you can use almond milk instead. You would simply mix 1 cup of almond milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar, stir, let stand for 10 minutes, stir again and use.

Buttermilk substitute in a jar with a teaspoon

Some FAQs

How Long Does It Last?

Good news, you can keep your homemade buttermilk in a mason jar or bottle in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks no problems at all.

Just make sure to label it, so you remember when you made it and give is a pretty good shake or stir before using.

Can you Freeze Buttermilk?

Oh yes, you can. That is the beauty of this recipe.

  • Portion the buttermilk into ice cube trays.
  • Once frozen, pop out the individual ice cubes of seasoning and then add them into a labeled Ziploc bag.
  • Store in your freezer for up to three months.

Note: a silicon ice cube tray will make your life much easier.

Freezing in smaller portions is good especially since for a lot of recipes you only need a small amount. However, you can also freeze bigger portions in Ziploc bags. Allow it to thaw overnight in a refrigerator before using.

empty cup of leftover buttermilk

More How To Posts

Recipes You Can Use Buttermilk In

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close up of homemade buttermilk
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5 from 7 votes

How To Make Buttermilk

Learn how to make buttermilk easily with 2 everyday ingredients
Prep Time10 minutes
Course: side
Cuisine: American, baking, Western
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 38kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk or dairy free milk like almond milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar

Instructions

  • Add your milk into a mixing bowl or mason jar.
  • Add in the lemon juice and stir.
  • Mix and let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature during which it will curdle.
  • Give it another stir and your homemade buttermilk is ready
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Video

Notes

  • You can use lime juice instead of lemon juice.
  • I usually use whole milk but reduced-fat milk works too if that is what your recipe calls for.
  • If heated too quickly buttermilk can curdle. Sometimes it is best to warm the buttermilk up a bit in a saucepan before adding to warm or hot dishes.

More How To Posts

Nutrition

Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 81mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 69mg

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5 from 7 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    What a great handy recipe to have ready to go!! I an see so many uses for the buttermilk. I have never made it from scratch but I can’t wait to try. Cheers

  2. 5 stars
    No more guessing on what’s best to make buttermilk – you’ve got it all covered. And I like how detailed the post is – fabulous job!

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks for the info in this post! I don’t get buttermilk where I live (Argentina) so I need to make my own. I like the idea of using lime juice, never thought of it.