how to make buttermilk without vinegar or lemon juice

Making buttermilk without vinegar or lemon juice is easy and takes only a few minutes. To make your own, mix 1 cup of milk with 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes

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How to make buttermilk without vinegar or lemon juice

Here’s an easy tutorial for How to Make Buttermilk Substitute, and all you need are just 2 ingredients! This substitute for buttermilk is perfect for making tender, flavorful baked goods.

Buttermilk Substitute in a mason jar with text overlay for Pinterest

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Folks, I have a confession! Anytime a recipe calls for buttermilk, I ALWAYS make my own and I never buy it at the grocery store!


  1. This shortcut is just too easy!
  2. In most recipes, you only need a cup of buttermilk, at most, and the rest of the carton of buttermilk usually sits in the fridge and doesn’t get used. So, I’ve learned how to make my own over the years.

Buttermilk Substitute Recipe - Step 3

Common Buttermilk Substitute Questions Answered!

How do I make buttermilk?

It’s a very simple process! First, you fill a liquid measuring cup with a scant cup of milk. Then, add in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice and give the mixture a quick stir. Finally, let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to thicken and curdled.

Why use Buttermilk? Can’t I just use milk?

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Buttermilk does something to batters, baked goods, and even syrups (like my Buttermilk Syrup) that regular milk just can’t! Buttermilk makes for a tender crumb in baked goods and it lightens the batter. Plus it gives any baked good a flavor kick!

Won’t Buttermilk make my batter and baked goods sour?

Nope, thanks to chemistry! When the tangy buttermilk reacts with the baking powder or baking soda in a recipe it fizzes and cancels out the sour flavor of the buttermilk!

Can apple cider vinegar make buttermilk?

Yes! You can use either white vinegar (my personal preference) or apple cider vinegar to make a buttermilk substitute.

What is a substitute for buttermilk?

Well, there are a few other buttermilk substitutes besides the milk and vinegar or lemon juice mixture that is below. These other substitutes involve cream of tartar, sour cream, plain yogurt, and even soy milk for a vegan buttermilk substitute!

Buttermilk substitute in a mason jar

Other Buttermilk Substitutes:

BONUS! There are other ways to substitute buttermilk in a recipe! Here they are:

  1. Cream of Tarter – Simply whisk together 1 cup of milk with 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, or until the milk has curdled and thickened.
  2. Sour Cream – Whisk together 3/4 cup of sour cream and 1/4 cup of milk to thin the mixture out. Then, use the mixture as you would buttermilk.
  3. Plain Yogurt – Whisk together 3/4 cup of plain yogurt (anything but fat-free) and 1/4 cup of milk to thin the mixture out. Then, use the mixture as you would buttermilk.
  4. You can even make vegetarian or vegan buttermilk, too! Just use soy milk or almond milk in place of regular milk!

Delicious recipes to use this Buttermilk Substitute in:

  • Buttermilk Pie
  • Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
  • Apple Muffins
  • Buttermilk Syrup
  • Puff Pastry Cronuts with Buttermilk Glaze
  • Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins
  • Gingerbread Waffles

A mason jar of Buttermilk Substitute

Cook’s Note – Buttermilk Substitute:

  • This substitute for buttermilk will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

Cook’s Tools – Buttermilk Substitute:

Read more: Green Smoothie

liquid measuring cup Measuring spoons Plastic mixing spoon

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Buttermilk substitute collage with text overlay for Pinterest

This Buttermilk Substitute recipe first appeared on FFF on April 7, 2011. I recently updated the pictures (thank goodness!). You can see the original picture below.

Original Buttermilk Substitute recipe picture

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