Buttermilk Substitutes

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Buttermilk is creamy and tangy making it great for baking, but not something I tend to have on hand. Buttermilk is not as common in most kitchens as it once used to be. When a recipe calls for buttermilk, I usually end up making a buttermilk substitute instead of running to the store. A buttermilk substitute can be made in just a few minutes, it’s so easy and only requires 1 or 2 ingredients.

Yogurt or Sour Cream – Buttermilk has a similar tangy taste to yogurt or sour cream. It is also highly acidic, so plain yogurt or sour cream are great options as substitutes. They can both be sub’d straight across, if your recipe calls for one cup of buttermilk sub with one cup of plain yogurt or sour cream. Yogurt and sour cream are both thicker than buttermilk, it shouldn’t matter when baking with it. When using for something such as fried chicken or salad dressing you will want it to be a little thinner. For a consistency closer to buttermilk you can sub a little milk or water for some of the yogurt or sour cream. Use a measurement of ¾ cup yogurt or sour cream plus ¼ cup milk to equal 1 cup of buttermilk.

Milk and White Vinegar – This is the method I use most often when making a buttermilk substitute. I generally use 2% or whole milk when making this buttermilk substitute. The mixture will not become as thick as buttermilk, but it will work in a similar fashion. For a non-dairy version this method can be made with coconut, almond, cashew, soy, or rice milk.

Buttermilk Substitute with Vinegar

Course: Sauces
Servings: 1
Calories: 152kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 cup milk, minus 1 Tbsp

Instructions

  • Pour 1 tablespoon of vinegar into a 1 cup measuring cup. 
  • Fill the rest of the measuring cup with milk. 
  • Gently stir and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the milk to slightly curdle, giving it a buttermilk-like texture and taste.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 322mg | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Calcium: 277mg | Iron: 1mg

Milk and Lemon Juice – Either fresh or bottled lemon juice will work in this substitute. Although not as thick as buttermilk, it can be sub’d straight across for buttermilk in most recipes. While I typically use 2% or Whole milk, half and half would make a richer, thicker buttermilk in both the vinegar and lemon juice recipes. This method also works with non-dairy milks such as coconut, almond, cashew, soy, and rice milk.

Buttermilk Substitute with Lemon Juice

Course: Sauces
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 152kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup milk, minus 1 Tbsp

Instructions

  • Pour 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into a 1 cup measuring cup. 
  • Fill the rest of the measuring cup with milk.
  • Gently stir and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the milk to slightly curdle, giving it a buttermilk-like texture and taste.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 338mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 396IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 277mg | Iron: 1mg

Milk and Cream of Tartar – Cream of tartar is a good substitute for buttermilk due to its acidic nature. This method will give similar results to both the vinegar and lemon juice versions. It should also work with non-dairy milks such as coconut, almond, cashew, soy, and rice milk for vegan or non-dairy versions.

Buttermilk Substitute with Cream of Tartar

Course: Sauces
Servings: 1
Calories: 162kcal

Ingredients

  • tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  • Pour 1 Tbsp Cream of Tartar in a 1 cup measuring cup. Add 1 cup milk.
  • Whisk together and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the milk to slightly curdle, giving it a buttermilk-like texture and taste.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 1188mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Calcium: 276mg | Iron: 1mg

One cup of buttermilk substitute is equal to one cup of buttermilk in a recipe, ½ cup for ½ cup and so on. Buttermilk substitutes can be used in quick breads, muffins, biscuits, pancakes, waffles, cakes, salad dressings, fried chicken and many other delicious recipes.


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