Buttermilk Substitute Recipe


I get asked so many questions about Buttermilk… I should set up a Buttermilk Hotline.

The number one question I answer is, “What can I use instead of buttermilk?” And of course, the Buttermilk Hotline knows a handy Buttermilk Substitute. You see, even those of us who always have a quart of Buttermilk in the fridge can run out, just when the craving for Top Secret Coffee Cake strikes.

Buttermilk Substitute Recipe

Ingredients for Buttermilk Substitute:
1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 cup (minus 1 Tablespoon) milk (regular, nonfat, almond or soy)

Buttermilk Substitute Recipe
NOTES: Makes one cup Buttermilk Substitute. Store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days. You can also substitute lemon juice for vinegar. Watch the How to Make Buttermilk Substitute Video, give it a thumbs up and please subscribe to my channel on YouTube.

Directions for Buttermilk Substitute:

1) In a one cup measuring cup, add vinegar (or lemon juice).
2) Fill measuring cup with milk to the one cup mark.
3) Stir and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
4) Use in recipes as you normally would buttermilk.

Buttermilk Substitute Recipe
For added instruction and entertainment, watch the How to Make a Buttermilk Substitute Video. For more great recipes using BUTTERMILK, check out the How to Make Buttermilk Substitute Video Page or SEARCH BUTTERMILK.

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11 Responses to “Buttermilk Substitute Recipe”

  1. Carol
    7/7/2012 at 8:49 am #

    I use the lemon juice (1/2) to 1 cup milk to make the substitute as I always have lemons in the fridge not always clear vinegar

  2. Average Betty
    7/10/2012 at 9:52 am #

    Hi Carol, I’m just the opposite – I always have a jug of white vinegar in the pantry… not always fresh lemons :)

    Isn’t it funny that that the expression, “When life gives you lemons, make buttermilk substitute.”

  3. Rijul
    7/22/2012 at 5:20 am #

    Hi Betty!
    I always use half cup milk and half cup water for 1cup buttermilk because I can’t get buttermilk.
    I think it always works.

  4. Cassie
    10/4/2012 at 4:15 pm #

    i always use lemon juice & milk for buttermilk. It works every time.

  5. Average Betty
    10/4/2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Thanks for the vote for lemon juice, Cassie!

  6. Carole
    10/13/2012 at 10:52 am #

    My neighborhood grocers sell buttermilk in quarts only. I freeze it in Zip-Lock bags in amts. of 1 c. ea. Easy to defrost in the bags, as needed. Freezes indefinitely and tastes like fresh when defrosted.

  7. Average Betty
    10/14/2012 at 8:08 am #

    Hi Carole, I’m so glad you left this comment! I have always wondered if you can freeze buttermilk and I should have done an experiment by now… thanks for sharing your wisdom with the community :)

  8. Anna
    4/10/2013 at 4:48 pm #

    I guess I thought buttermilk just had more butterfat in it – wouldn’t adding vinegar or lemon juice make more of a sour milk? My grandma used to drink buttermilk just because she liked it, so I didn’t think it would actually be sour.

    I have a recipe that calls for just 1 Tablespoon of buttermilk, so I don’t even want to make an entire cup like most substitute recipes do. What would you use in place of just 1 Tablespoon buttermilk?

  9. Average Betty
    4/10/2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Hi Anna,

    Elvis used to drink buttermilk too – but I don’t think you’d want to drink the substitute. You didn’t say what recipe you are trying to make but if you only need a TBSP you may try sour cream or plain yogurt.

    Hope this helps!

  10. Anna
    4/11/2013 at 2:12 am #

    Sorry, it’s a wheat-free bread recipe, you can find it here … Thanks for the suggestions.



  1. How to Make a Buttermilk Substitute Video | Average Betty - 7/5/2012

    […] asked all kinds of questions about Buttermilk. The number one inquiry being for a Buttermilk Substitute. And though I’ve given the advice many times, I’ve never actually tried it myself. But […]

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