The following recipes work great as buttermilk substitutes for your cakes, cookies, marinades, fried chicken and more. But pay close attention to the ratios; to make a proper buttermilk substitute you will want to use the right proportions of each replacement ingredient. Just keep in mind that for dairy-based substitutes, you will need regular milk on hand, ideally 2 percent milk or whole milk.
In the following recipes, you will be combining the regular milk with a second ingredient, which will have the necessary acidity in it. Also included below are some excellent plant-based, non-dairy homemade buttermilk substitutes. Each of these substitutes for buttermilk, both dairy and non-dairy alike, you will generally be able to refrigerate in an airtight container for about a week before they start losing their freshness.
Plain Yogurt and Milk: A combination of plain yogurt and whole milk or two-percent milk is a great homemade buttermilk substitute. Just combine ¾ cup of plain yogurt with ¼ cup of milk.
Sour Cream and Milk: You can also use sour cream with milk to substitute for buttermilk. To make this recipe, combine ¾ cup of sour cream with ¼ cup of milk.
White Vinegar and Milk: Vinegar is also another ingredient you probably have at home that you can mix with milk and use instead of buttermilk. For this recipe, simply combine 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 1 cup of milk. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes before using it. This will allow the milk and vinegar to curdle and create the buttermilk substitute.
Lemon Juice and Milk: Another easy buttermilk substitute for your recipes is a combination of lemon juice and milk. For this recipe, just combine 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice with 1 cup of milk.
Cream of Tartar and Milk: For another superb homemade buttermilk substitute, you can mix milk with cream of tartar. The amount required for this recipe is ½ tablespoon of cream of tartar with 1 cup of milk.
Buttermilk Powder and Water: There is also the option of buying buttermilk powder at the supermarket. This powdered, dehydrated buttermilk is typically combined with water or milk. The product’s packaging will specify what ratio to use for your buttermilk substitute. But a common ratio will be to combine ¼ cup powdered buttermilk with 1 cup of water.
Lactose-Free Milk and Lemon Juice or Vinegar: Buttermilk isn’t as high as whole milk or two-percent milk in lactose, but here’s one way to create a completely lactose-free homemade buttermilk substitute: Stir 1 cup of lactose-free milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.
Coconut Milk and Vinegar or Lemon Juice: One excellent dairy-free buttermilk substitute is to combine coconut milk with an acid. This recipe calls for you to mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk.
Almond Milk and Vinegar or Lemon Juice: You can also mix an acid with almond milk to make a dairy-free substitute for buttermilk. To make this recipe, use 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk. You can also use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar as well.
Cashew Milk and Vinegar or Lemon Juice: Cashew milk can also be combined with an acid to make a great dairy-free buttermilk substitute. This recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice combined with 1 cup of unsweetened cashew milk.
Soy Milk and Vinegar or Lemon Juice: For a soy-based buttermilk substitute, you can use the same ratio as applied to other dairy and non-dairy recipes for buttermilk substitutes: 1 tablespoon of unsweetened soy milk combined with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.
Oat Milk and Vinegar or Lemon Juice: Another effective vegan buttermilk substitution is to combine oat milk with an acid. Just use the same ratio as you would with the other plant-based milks above: mix one cup oat milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice.
Vegan Sour Cream and Water: For this dairy-free recipe for a homemade buttermilk substitute, stir together ½ cup of vegan sour cream with ½ cup of water.
Tofu & Water with Lemon Juice or Vinegar: Combining soft, silken tofu and water with an acid is another plant-based recipe for an easy buttermilk substitute. In a blender, combine ¼ cup tofu with ¾ cup water along with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.
Whether you’re about to make fresh baked goods, a special sauce for your dinner entree, some delicious salad dressings, or some crispy homemade fried chicken, there are a whole variety of great replacements for buttermilk – dairy-based and otherwise – if you don’t have any buttermilk handy and buttermilk is required for your delicious recipes. And with just a few simple ingredients, you can make your own buttermilk substitute and enjoy the same creamy, slightly tangy flavor in your recipes without skipping a beat.