Baking is a science, and if you want your recipes to turn out correctly, you need to use the right ingredients. Buttermilk is a common ingredient in baking, but what do you do if you don’t have any on hand or don’t want to buy a whole carton? In this blog post, we will discuss 10 of the best substitutes for buttermilk!
What is buttermilk?
Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product made from the liquid left after churning butter. Its tangy flavor and creamy texture make it a popular ingredient in baked goods, sauces, dressings, and marinades.
Buttermilk is also used to tenderize meats and give them a rich flavor. It has been used for centuries as an aid to digestion and has a slightly lower fat content than regular milk.
Buttermilk is an excellent source of calcium and is rich in vitamins A, D, B12, riboflavin, phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium.
It can be substituted for regular milk when baking or cooking to add a unique flavor to dishes. In addition to its culinary uses, buttermilk has traditionally been used for medicinal purposes such as treating sore throats and skin irritations.
It is also reputed to be beneficial for maintaining gut health and reducing inflammation in the body. Buttermilk can be bought ready-made from stores or made at home by adding an acid (such as lemon juice or vinegar) to regular milk.
It can be consumed straight or used in a variety of recipes. Ultimately, buttermilk is an incredibly versatile ingredient with countless culinary and medicinal uses.
Dairy-Based Substitutes for Buttermilk.
Buttermilk is traditionally made from the liquid left over from churning butter. The high fat content gives buttermilk a creamy and thick texture that makes it ideal for use in baked goods and other recipes.
1. Apple cider vinegar and milk.
If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can make a simple substitution using apple cider vinegar and milk. To make this substitute, simply combine one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one cup of regular cow’s milk.
Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes before adding it to your recipe. The acidic nature of the vinegar will slightly curdle the milk, giving you a buttermilk-like consistency.
2. Buttermilk powder and water.
This combination is a great option for those that do not have access to fresh buttermilk, as it can be used in equal amounts for any recipe. However, the flavor profile of this option may differ slightly from what you would find with traditional buttermilk.
How to substitute.
To substitute for buttermilk in a recipe, combine 1 cup of cold water with 2 tablespoons of either dry buttermilk powder or nonfat dry milk. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes before adding it to your recipe.
3. Cream of tartar and milk.
This combination is a great alternative for buttermilk and can be used in just about any recipe calling for the real thing.
To make this substitute, mix ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar with one cup of cold milk and let it sit for 10 minutes before using in a recipe.
The acidity of the cream of tartar helps to create a thick and tangy buttermilk stand-in.
4. Lactose-free milk and acid.
For an easy dairy-free alternative to buttermilk, combine one cup of lactose-free milk with one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar.
Let the mixture sit for five minutes before using as you would regular buttermilk. This substitution works perfectly in pancakes and waffles.
5. Lemon juice and milk.
This is a simple two-ingredient substitution for buttermilk that you can make right at home. To make this substitute, simply add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and let it sit for 5 minutes before using.
The acidity of the lemon juice will curdle the milk and give your recipe a similar tangy flavor.
6. Plain kefir.
Kefir is a fermented dairy product that has a tangy flavor similar to buttermilk.
It can be used as a substitute for buttermilk in recipes, but keep in mind that it is much thinner than regular buttermilk and will not produce the same robust texture.
To make up for this difference when using kefir as a buttermilk substitute, add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the recipe.
7. Plain yogurt and water or milk.
When using yogurt as a substitute for buttermilk, the proportions of yogurt to liquid should remain the same. This works best in recipes that make use of baking soda or baking powder, as those ingredients help activate the leavening effects of the yogurt.
However, when making a recipe that doesn’t require any leavening agent, like pancakes or waffles, it’s best to use equal parts yogurt and water or milk.
For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of buttermilk, combine a half-cup of yogurt with a half-cup of liquid.
This mixture will provide just enough acidity to help activate the baking soda or powder in the recipe without making it overly tart.
8. Sour cream and water or milk.
Sour cream can be used as an alternative to buttermilk. Simply mix 1/2 cup of sour cream with 1/2 cup of water or milk, stirring until the mixture is smooth. The combination is closest to a light buttermilk and can be used in recipes that call for larger amounts of liquid instead.
9. White vinegar and milk.
This is one of the most commonly used substitutes for buttermilk. To make it, simply mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 1 cup of milk.
You can also use lemon juice and milk in place of white vinegar.
Simply add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and let sit for 5 minutes until thickened. This substitute works great in baking recipes such as pancakes, muffins, and cakes.
Dairy-free and Vegan Substitutes for Buttermilk.
Buttermilk is a common ingredient in recipes, but it can be difficult to find dairy-free and vegan substitutes. Fortunately, there are several alternatives that can be used.
Applesauce is a very versatile vegan substitute for buttermilk that works especially well in baking. To replace 1 cup of buttermilk, mix ¾ cup applesauce with ¼ cup water.
2. Tofu, water, and vinegar.
This combination is a great vegan-friendly and dairy-free substitute for buttermilk. Simply combine equal parts tofu, water, and vinegar in a blender or food processor until smooth.
This mixture can be used as a direct replacement for buttermilk in recipes such as pancakes, waffles, biscuits, muffins, cakes, and more!
How to substitute.
Replace 1 cup buttermilk with 1/2 cup tofu, 1/2 cup water, and 1 tablespoon vinegar blended together.
3. Unsweetened almond milk and acid.
For this dairy-free buttermilk substitute, mix 1 cup (240 ml) of unsweetened almond milk with 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of lemon juice or white vinegar. You can also use other nut milks, such as cashew milk, in place of the almond milk.
4. Unsweetened cashew milk and acid.
One of the most commonly used dairy-free and vegan substitutes for buttermilk is unsweetened cashew milk mixed with an acid.
Simply whisk together 1 cup of unsweetened cashew milk and 1 tablespoon of either apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
Allow it to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before using as a substitute in your recipe.
5. Unsweetened coconut milk and acid.
For a dairy-free and vegan alternative to buttermilk that is also low in fat, try unsweetened coconut milk combined with an acidic ingredient such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
Simply mix 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk with 1 tablespoon of either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, stir it together and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
This combination provides a great vegan substitute for buttermilk that can be used in baking and cooking recipes calling for the traditional dairy version.
6. Unsweetened soy milk and lemon juice.
Soy milk can be used as a buttermilk substitute because it is thick and creamy. To make buttermilk out of unsweetened soy milk, simply add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of soy milk and let it sit for 5 minutes before using.
7. Unsweetened soy milk and vinegar.
Mix 1 cup of unsweetened soy milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice and let it stand for 5 minutes until it curdles.
This is one of the most popular dairy-free substitutes for buttermilk as it has a similar consistency and can be used in baking, dressings, pancakes, etc.
8. Vegan sour cream and water.
Make a vegan buttermilk substitute by combining equal parts vegan sour cream and water. You can use this in place of traditional buttermilk in recipes, such as pancakes or muffin batters.
The consistency is slightly thicker than regular buttermilk, so it’s best for recipes that don’t require a lot of liquid.
How to substitute.
To replace 1 cup (240mL) of buttermilk, combine ½ cup (120 mL) vegan sour cream with ½ cup (120 mL) water. If the recipe calls for less than a full cup of buttermilk, reduce the amounts proportionately.
Substitutes for buttermilk in fried chicken.
If you’re in a pinch and don’t have any buttermilk on hand, there’s no need to worry. There are several easy substitutions that can provide the same flavor and texture as buttermilk when making fried chicken.
One of the most popular substitutes is yogurt. All-natural, plain yogurt will do the trick. Simply mix the yogurt with an equal amount of cold water and you have a buttermilk substitute that is almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
If you don’t have any yogurt on hand, another great option is to combine cream of tartar and milk. To make this substitute, combine 1 cup of 2% or whole milk with 1 3/4 teaspoons of cream of tartar. Stir the mixture well and let it sit for 10 minutes before using.
You can also use lemon juice or white vinegar as a substitute for buttermilk in fried chicken recipes. Just add 1 tablespoon of either to 1 cup of 2% or whole milk, stir, and allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes before using.
Finally, you can mix together 1 cup of 2% or whole milk with 1 tablespoon of melted butter and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Whisk the ingredients until they are well combined and then let them sit for 15 minutes before using in a fried chicken recipe.
Substitutes for buttermilk in pancakes.
If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, there are several easy substitutes that can be used in pancake recipes.
Plain yogurt is one of the most popular substitutes; use a cup of plain yogurt to replace one cup of buttermilk. Sour cream is another viable substitute; just use a cup of sour cream for each cup of buttermilk.
Another option is to combine regular milk with either lemon juice or vinegar; add one tablespoon of either ingredient for every cup of milk, stir it together and let it sit for about five minutes before using it in the recipe.
If you don’t have either of these ingredients on hand, use a combination of water and powdered buttermilk; add one tablespoon of powdered buttermilk for each cup of water and stir it until it is dissolved.
Substitutes for buttermilk in biscuits.
If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, there are a variety of other ingredients that can be used as substitutes in biscuit recipes. Plain yogurt is one option, and can be used in the same quantity as buttermilk.
Sour cream is another common substitute for buttermilk, though it will make the biscuits slightly richer. Milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar added can also be used, although this will make the biscuits slightly tangier than using buttermilk.
You can also use carbonated water in place of buttermilk for lighter, flakier biscuits. Be sure to substitute only one ingredient for the other; if you are short on milk, don’t just add extra sour cream or yogurt without cutting down on the other ingredients. This will affect the texture and flavor of your biscuits.
Substitutes for buttermilk in muffins.
There are various substitutes for buttermilk in muffins. One of the most common replacements is plain yogurt, as it contains lactic acid which acts similarly to the active cultures in buttermilk.
Greek yogurt can also be used for a thicker consistency and richer flavor. Sour cream is another option and can help to add moisture to your muffins.
You can also use a “sour milk” made by adding vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk. This creates a creamier batter and helps give muffins the desired light and fluffy texture.
Coconut milk is another great substitute for buttermilk, as it adds moisture and richness to your muffin mix.
For vegan baking, almond milk or soy milk can be used as well. However, if you don’t have any of these ingredients on hand, you could always substitute water for the buttermilk and add in a little extra baking powder to help your muffins rise.
How to make buttermilk substitute.
Making a buttermilk substitute is simple and requires ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen. You’ll need one cup of milk, one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar, and a pinch of salt (optional).
To make the buttermilk substitute, pour the teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar into a liquid measuring cup and then add the one cup of milk. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes until it begins to curdle, then mix in a pinch of salt if desired.
Once the buttermilk substitute is ready to use, you can use it as a direct replacement in any recipe that calls for buttermilk. The substitute can be stored for up to five days in the refrigerator. To make larger quantities, simply increase the amount of milk and lemon juice or vinegar proportionally.
Can I use milk instead of buttermilk?
Yes, you can use regular milk instead of buttermilk. You could substitute the same amount of whole or low-fat milk for equal parts buttermilk, and add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to the mixture.
This will give your recipe a similar texture and flavor as you would get with buttermilk. However, keep in mind that buttermilk is thicker and has a slightly tangier flavor, so the end result may not be quite the same.
If you’re looking for an even closer match, try using a combination of plain yogurt or sour cream along with milk instead. This will produce a richer texture and also add more of that distinctive tartness.
What happens if you use milk instead of buttermilk?
It may seem like an easy substitution since milk is a common pantry staple, but it won’t produce the same results.
Buttermilk is thicker and more acidic than regular milk, which helps to tenderize baked goods and give them a richer flavor.
So if you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, your best option is to make your own by combining one cup of whole milk with one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice.
Let the mixture stand for five minutes before using in place of buttermilk. It won’t give you the exact same results, but it will still help improve texture and flavor.
Can I skip buttermilk in a recipe?
Yes, it is possible to skip buttermilk when making a recipe. However, substituting another liquid in place of the buttermilk can affect the texture, taste and consistency of your final product.
If you do not want to use buttermilk as an ingredient in a recipe, there are several options available to you for replacing it.
Generally speaking, it is best to replace the buttermilk with an equal amount of a dairy or non-dairy liquid that has a similar acidity.
If you are using a baking recipe which calls for buttermilk, try substituting plain yogurt or sour cream in its place instead.
For non-baking recipes that call for buttermilk, try replacing it with equal parts of milk and lemon juice or white vinegar.
You can also make a buttermilk substitute by combining 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Whichever option you choose, be sure to let it sit for 5 minutes before using in your recipe.
What can I use my buttermilk for?
Buttermilk is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. It has a slightly tangy and sour taste, making it ideal for baking recipes such as muffins, cakes and biscuits.
You can also use buttermilk to make pancakes and waffles or add it to soups and sauces for a creamy texture.
Buttermilk is also a great substitute for milk in baking recipes, and it can be used to tenderize meat or vegetables when marinating.
If you are looking for a healthier alternative to cream or milk, try using buttermilk instead. It has fewer calories and fat than most dairy products, while still providing the same creamy texture and flavor.
What does buttermilk do in cooking?
Buttermilk is a versatile ingredient in cooking and baking. It adds moisture to cakes and other baked goods, helps thicken sauces and dressings, enhances the flavor of fried foods, and tenderizes meats.
Buttermilk also has a mild tangy flavor that can add depth to recipes. In addition, buttermilk is an excellent source of probiotics, making it a healthy choice for cooking and baking.
The lactic acid in buttermilk gives food an unmistakable tangy flavor that can be used to great effect in some dishes. Its creamy texture makes it ideal for use in sauces, dressings, marinades, and smoothies.
And its high protein content adds extra nutrition to recipes. Buttermilk is also a great choice for tenderizing meats, as its acids help break down the proteins in meat, adding depth of flavor and juiciness to your dishes.
What taste does buttermilk add to cooking?
Buttermilk is a slightly acidic ingredient that adds depth and tanginess to many dishes. It has a slightly sour, almost tart flavor that gives a unique dimension to recipes.
It can be used in both sweet and savory recipes, adding richness and complexity of flavor.
Examples include pancakes with buttermilk for added fluffiness, cake batters for an extra moist texture and flavor, soups and stews for a creamy richness, salad dressings for an added tangy zing, and marinades for added depth.
Buttermilk is also commonly used in breads, biscuits and other baked goods to enhance the flavor and texture. When baking with buttermilk, it should be noted that the acid content can react with other ingredients, such as baking soda or powder.
This reaction is beneficial to baked goods because it gives them a light and fluffy texture. Buttermilk can also be used as an alternative to dairy in cooking and baking recipes, providing a lactose-free option for those who are lactose intolerant.
Best Buttermilk Substitute
This buttermilk substitute recipe is ideal for baking and cooking when you don't have access to buttermilk. It's easy to make and doesn't require any special ingredients.
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice
- In a bowl, combine the milk and the vinegar or lemon juice. Stir to combine.
- Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes until curdled.
- Use immediately in your recipe.
This buttermilk substitute can be used in any recipe that calls for regular buttermilk. For best results, it is important to add the vinegar or lemon juice at the same time as the milk and give the mixture a few minutes to curdle before using. If you are using it for baking, your baked goods may not rise as much as they would with regular buttermilk. However, this recipe will still help to tenderize and add flavor to your dishes.
You can also use a non-dairy milk alternative such as almond, soy or coconut for this recipe. If you find that the mixture is not curdling enough, add an additional teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice.