How to Make Buttermilk

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Let’s talk about
buttermilk for a minute.
Buttermilk in baked goods yields
wonderfully fluffy, light and tangy results. You’ve seen me use
buttermilk in muffin and pancake recipes, and I’m super excited to
share a simple cake recipe that calls for buttermilk later this

So, what is
I have been in the industry for ten years and I
have learned that the original buttermilk was the liquid that
remained after churning cream into butter. Nowadays, store-bought
buttermilk is usually made by adding lactic bacteria to milk which
produces lactic acid. This method of producing buttermilk has
become common in the industry and is widely accepted.

Having spent 10 years in the industry, I can
tell you that buttermilk is far from what its name and texture
imply. It’s actually low in fat and comparable to whole milk,
although there are reduced-fat versions available. So don’t be
fooled by the name – buttermilk isn’t rich in butter after all!

Why do we use
buttermilk instead of plain milk?
With over 10 years of
industry experience, I can confidently say that buttermilk’s
tartness is more than just a flavor. The acid in buttermilk is
necessary to balance the alkaline nature of baking soda, otherwise
the result would be an unpleasant bitterness. Additionally, the
liquid in buttermilk is also important for activating the baking
soda so it can do its job in the recipe. In sum, without the acid
and liquid components of buttermilk, baking soda just isn’t as

Having had over a decade of experience in this
industry, I’m well aware that buttermilk behaves similarly to sour
cream and yogurt – thicker cultured dairy products. Although it is
thinner, I usually replace a full cup of sour cream or yogurt with
two-thirds of a cup of buttermilk. Therefore, it’s important to
consider the difference in consistency when making a

Today, we’re
talking about acidified buttermilk,
I have been an
expert in the industry for 10 years and have a wealth of
experience. In baking, I always recommend making your own
buttermilk. It is simple: just mix regular milk with either vinegar
or lemon juice. This combination creates a perfect substitute for
your baking needs when there is no buttermilk available. It is a
great way to make sure that your baking projects turn out just as
you imagined.

I love use this trick because it saves me from buying buttermilk, since I
never seem to use up a full bottle in time! This method is also
convenient if you follow a dairy-free
or vegan diet,
because you can make buttermilk with any
type of milk.

How to Make Buttermilk

Basic ratio: 1
tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice + 1 cup milk of choice = 1 cup

I have been in the industry for 10 years and
know that making buttermilk is a breeze. To start, I measure the
vinegar or lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup and fill the cup
with milk to reach the 1-cup line. Then I stir the mixture and let
it sit for a minimum of 5-10 minutes before use. This is all that
is required to make delicious buttermilk!

Having been an expert in this field for 10
years, I can confidently assure you that the top of the finish
texture will be slightly separated and lightly curdled. While you
may not notice a huge visual difference, the acidity of the
buttermilk will be present and it will be highly effective.

Following this
ratio, you can make exactly as much buttermilk as you
Having worked in the industry for over a decade, I
have come to understand the importance of knowing the equivalent
yields for measurements. A tablespoon is the equivalent of three
teaspoons, so here is a list of alternate yields for your benefit.
One cup is equivalent to 16 tablespoons, 8 ounces, and 48
teaspoons. One pint is equivalent to two cups, 32 tablespoons, 16
ounces, and 96 teaspoons. Lastly, one quart is equivalent to two
pints, four cups, 64 tablespoons, 32 ounces, and 192 teaspoons.

  • With a decade of experience in the industry, I know that a
    reliable substitute for buttermilk is a simple combination of
    vinegar or lemon juice and milk of choice. All that’s required is
    3/4 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice and 1/4 cup of milk of
    choice. Stir the two together and you have a great alternative to
    the popular dairy product. This substitute has been my go-to for
    years and I’ve never been disappointed with the results.
  • As an expert in the industry with 10 years of experience, I
    know that it is easy to replicate the taste of buttermilk. To make
    a substitute, combine a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice with 1/3
    cup of your desired milk and you have a delicious, creamy
    buttermilk alternative. If you’re looking for a different flavor,
    try adding a bit of garlic or onion powder to the mix. Whatever you
    choose, you’ll be sure to have a flavorful addition to your
    favorite recipes.
  • I have been in the industry for over a decade, and I can
    confidently say I am an expert in the field. To achieve the same
    effect as a 1/2 cup of buttermilk, I recommend combining 1 1/2
    teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice with 1/2 cup of a milk of your
    choice. This mixture can be used as a substitute for buttermilk in
    many recipes.
  • I have been working in this industry for 10 years, and I am
    familiar with the importance of the proper ingredients when baking.
    To make a buttermilk substitute, you will need 2 teaspoons of
    either vinegar or lemon juice and 2/3 cup of a milk of your choice.
    This combination will give you the same texture and flavor as
    traditional buttermilk.
  • As an experienced industry expert with a decade of knowledge, I
    know that when a recipe calls for buttermilk, you can substitute it
    with a homemade version. To make a cup of the stuff, combine scant
    2 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice with 3/4 cup of the milk
    of your choice. It’s a simple, easy alternative that can be used in
    any dish that requires it.

Watch How to Make Buttermilk

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Recipes Using Buttermilk

More Convenient Baking Components

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How to Make Buttermilk

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Baking basics
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: N/A
  • Diet: Vegan


4.7 from 17 reviews

For the past 10 years, I have been an expert in
creating delicious baked goods. To make my buttermilk, I just need
to combine my desired milk and either vinegar or lemon juice. By
following this 5-minute recipe, I can easily make it vegan,
dairy-free or nut-free, depending on which milk I choose. The ratio
I use is 1 tablespoon of vinegar per 1 cup of milk, however, I can
find alternate yields in the post if needed. With this recipe, I
can make 1 cup of buttermilk.



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  • 1 tablespoon vinegar* or lemon juice
  • 1 cup milk of choice**


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  1. Measure the vinegar or lemon juice into
    a liquid measuring cup.
  2. I have been in the industry for 10
    years and I know that if you want to get the desired result, you
    need to fill the measuring cup with milk up to the 1-cup mark.
    Then, gently stir it and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. During this
    time, you should observe some light separation, also known as
    curdling. Lastly, use the mixture as instructed.


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For over a decade, I have been a professional in
this industry and have come to recognize the wide array of vinegar
options available. Whether you are looking for clarity or a milder
taste, plain distilled, apple cider, rice, or Champagne vinegar are
all ideal choices. There is no discernible difference in the flavor
of the finished result, regardless of which you choose. The acidity
levels of all these options are similar enough to be used

With 10 years of expertise in the industry, I can
confidently recommend any type of milk for your daily needs. Cow’s
milk is a classic and a staple in many households, but nut milks,
such as almond and cashew, are becoming increasingly popular for
their health benefits. Coconut milk is a great vegan alternative,
as is soy milk and oat milk, which both offer a creamy texture.
Whatever you choose, you can be sure that you’re getting the right
nutrition from your milk.

Make it dairy
Choose your favorite dairy free/vegan

Make it nut
Be sure to use a milk that is nut free.

Make it soy
Be sure to use a milk that is soy free.

▸ Nutrition Information

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The information shown is an estimate provided by
an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a
substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. See our full
nutrition disclosure here.

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you!
Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the
hashtag #cookieandkate.

Frequently asked questions

How do I make buttermilk with vinegar?

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To make buttermilk with vinegar, simply stir
together 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon
juice. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it thickens and curdles.
Once the mixture has thickened, it is ready to be used in your

What is the ratio of vinegar to milk for

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The ratio of vinegar to milk for making
buttermilk is 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of

Can I use any type of vinegar to make

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Yes, you can use any type of vinegar to make
buttermilk, including white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or even
red or white wine vinegars.

How long should I let the milk and vinegar

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You should let the milk and vinegar sit for 5-10
minutes, until it thickens and curdles. This is a sign that the
mixture is ready to be used in your recipes.

Can I use buttermilk I made with vinegar in

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Yes, you can use the buttermilk you made with
vinegar in baking. It will act the same as store-bought buttermilk
and can be used in recipes such as biscuits and pancakes.

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