You can learn how to make buttermilk from milk and lemon juice at home. This easy recipe will save you a trip to the grocery store.
What is buttermilk? It is the leftover liquid from churning cream into butter.
But, who has time to churn their own butter, or even time to run to get the store bought version?
This is a tried and true substitute. I use it in a variety of recipes with no noticeable difference in quality.
Why this recipe works
- The acid in the lemon juice gives the milk a tangy, creamy feeling similar to the real buttermilk.
- This easy substitute only takes two common, cost-effective ingredients instead of purchasing expensive buttermilk.
This DIY buttermilk recipe is perfect for all of your baking needs. It'll be our little secret that you didn't use the real thing!
What you need
This buttermilk substitute is so quick and easy to make with kitchen basics. Let’s discuss just a few of the key ingredients:
This is a short overview of the ingredients I used and why I chose them. The full recipe can be found at the bottom of the post!
- Whole milk: I prefer whole milk, but you could use any milk, including dairy-free, for this DIY buttermilk recipe.
- Lemon juice or white vinegar: You will also need an acid to make the milk become sour. I recommend fresh lemon juice over bottled. I also prefer lemon over vinegar for this recipe.
How to make buttermilk from milk
1. Start with lemon juice
Fresh squeezed lemon juice works wonders to curdle the milk for this buttermilk substitute.
- Add the 1 tablespoon lemon juice to a 1 cup liquid measuring cup.
2. Add milk
You'll add the milk into the lemon juice.
- You'll pour enough milk into the cup to equal 1 full cup.
3. Mix and let sit
The recipe calls for mixing the ingredients. Let the mixture sit until it appears curdled.
- Stir the ingredients well.
- Let sit for about 5 minutes
- The buttermilk substitute is ready for use when it looks curdled.
- Use immediately in your recipe for best results.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! I have an entire post on how to freeze buttermilk. I highly suggest reading it.
However, the homemade variety is best the day it is made.
Unfortunately, this substitute won't last as long as the real thing. Use it within 4 days.
Other methods for substituting buttermilk
- Cream of tartar: Mix 1 ¾ teaspoons cream of tartar into 1 cup whole milk for every 1 cup needed.
- Yogurt: Use ¾ cup plain yogurt plus ¼ cup water for every 1 cup needed.
- Sour cream: Use ¾ cup sour cream plus ¼ cup water for every 1 cup needed.
- Kefir: Use an equal amount of kefir to replace it in any recipe.
Tasty ways to use it
I find that this substitute works well in almost any recipe. These are some of my favorites to use it in.