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Substitute For Buttermilk

A Simple Substitution For Buttermilk

We've been there: you wake up one morning with an intense craving for waffles or pancakes, but uh, who has buttermilk lying around their fridge? Even if you don't have it, try these simple substitutions for buttermilk, made from ingredients you probably have stocked:

  1. Place a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to bring the liquid up to the one-cup line. Let stand for five minutes. Then use as much as your recipe calls for.
  2. Fill a liquid measuring cup with 1/4 cup water. Slowly whisk in 3/4 cup plain, unsweetened (nonfat, preferably) yogurt until thoroughly combined.
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Join The Conversation
LemonOut LemonOut 8 years
This is a great substitution - very useful.
sofi sofi 8 years
Spectra- thanks, I had no clue! Naive me saw 'butter' and thought 'fat'. :oops: :)
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Um, sofi, all buttermilk is nonfat. All the fat that's in it goes into the actual butter. That's why buttermilk is so good for's naturally fat free.
Advah Advah 8 years
WOW thanks for the trick! I never think of buying buttermilk but always stumble upon recipes that ask for it!
ashantixoxo ashantixoxo 8 years
If you want to obtain the consistency of shop bought buttermilk u could always add a little to your milk and lemon/vinegar or you could use yogurt. And I love drinking it, I just love that sour taste....very good if you have diaree, remakes your intestinal flora or Kefir is another option.
marie-lee marie-lee 8 years
Yup...I used to do this when I was baking when I was a child, not that long ago either. I lived in a small town and the shops didn't carry buttermilk so it was use lemon juice to sour the milk or find another recipe.
sofi sofi 8 years
I can never find buttermilk in the markets- just 'nonfat buttermilk' that doesn't seem right or would work well with my recipes. I have used both one TBS of vinegar or lemon juice with one cup of regular or 2% milk- works great!!!
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 8 years
I use this substitution frequently! I never seem to remember to buy buttermilk when I'm in town. Then I decide to make bread or bake a cake, and you get the idea.... :)
julieulie julieulie 8 years
FYI -- for all of you complaining that you just wind up wasting buttermilk when you buy it... why are you not saving all your buttermilk in the first place?!. Buttermilk freezes quite well. I always buy it by the half-gallon, and what I don't use immediately, I aliquot into half-cup containers and stash into the freezer. Just thaw beforehand in the fridge, and it bakes or cooks just as good as fresh buttermilk!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
In a pinch, I've used vinegar to make buttermilk, but it's definitely not quite the same as the real stuff.
ellenp1214 ellenp1214 8 years
i do this all the time, using lemon juice or vinegar, in certain recipes like chocolate cake. whenever possible i still prefer to buy the real thing, but in a recipe where the flavor isn't pronounced, it works in a pinch. i find that the flavor in pancakes isn't quite the same, but good nonetheless.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
Great point Flyingroo, I've heard that its good for you too. but i guess this is a great tip when you find yourself stuck.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Nope and I would of had no clue what to do.
flyingroo flyingroo 8 years
I cannot believe what I'm reading in some guys buy the buttermilk and use it just for cooking? Don't you know that it's nutritional value is similar to that of yogurt - enjoy a glass of buttermilk with those buttermilk pancakes! Your stomach will thank you, helps regulating it's flora. By curdling milk with lemon you might achieve the texture necessary for the pancakes, but certainly not the content of buttermilk - you need the specific lactic fermentation for that, involving enzymes and lactic bacteria.
nancita nancita 8 years
I had no idea; what a great trick. I agree, chiefdishwasher: I can rarely finish buttermilk when I buy it for a recipe.
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 8 years
No more wasting a cup or 2 of buttermilk and puring the lumpy mess down the drain several weeks later.
Peggasus Peggasus 8 years
This also works if you substitute plain white vinegar for the lemon juice. My mother taught me this AGES ago! I don't always have fresh lemons on hand.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 8 years
I have never done this, but I'm going to have to! I have a scone recipe that calls for buttermilk, but with this substitution, I can make them without having to go grocery shopping! And it's a great use for the lemon juice that hangs out in my fridge after being used once.
mscc mscc 8 years
Thanks! This is better than buying a whole carton of buttermilk I know I won't finish using.
doogirl doogirl 8 years
I have done this! For buttermilk waffles! Great minds think alike Yum!
ohkate ohkate 8 years
so you're pretty much curdling the milk to a certain extent? sounds like what you have to do for red velvet cake with milk and vinegar.
syako syako 8 years
Good to know. I needed this a couple of days ago...
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