Homemade Buttermilk

Out of buttermilk? No problem! This easy homemade buttermilk is super easy to make and only requires two ingredients!

This easy substitute is perfect for all of your buttermilk baking needs. Now to try out some tasty recipes like The BEST Buttermilk Waffles, The BEST Buttermilk Cornbread, and Mom’s Buttermilk Banana Bread. 

Homemade buttermilk in a measuring cup

No Buttermilk? No Problem!

I don’t know how many times I’ve had a hankering for buttermilk pancakes or biscuits only to discover I’m out of buttermilk. Oh, the agony.

But really there is nothing to worry about at all! Making a buttermilk substitute is as easy as one, two…well really that’s it!

All you really need to do is mix it up and wait a few minutes. Then you are ready to make those tasty buttermilk scones. Can you tell I love buttermilk anything! Now grab some vinegar or lemon juice and let’s do this thing.

What does buttermilk do in baking? Buttermilk makes tender and moist baked goods. It is also acidic and reacts well with baking soda to create even more rise. Overall, buttermilk is a great addition to baked goods because it forms a moist crumb.

Ingredients for buttermilk substitute

How to Make Homemade Buttermilk

STIR & STAND. In a small glass measuring cup add the milk. Pour the lemon juice or vinegar over top. Gently stir, then let stand for 5 minutes.

USE! Use the curdled milk in place of cultured buttermilk.

There are three different options for creating a buttermilk substitute:

  • Fresh lemon or lemon juice: fresh lemon would be best because it hasn’t lost any of its acidity through storage.
  • White vinegar: 1 tablespoon of vinegar and enough milk to make it a full cup.
  • Cream of tartar: add ¾ teaspoon of cream of tartar to 1 cup of milk.

How to make homemade buttermilk

Buttermilk Substitute FAQ

How long does it need to sit? After mixing your lemon juice or vinegar into your milk you should let it sit for 5-10 minutes before using it in your recipe.

What kind of milk can you use? You can even use non-dairy milk to make buttermilk. I recommend using an unflavored option, not vanilla or coconut, these flavors would be very overwhelming. Try using unsweetened almond or soy milk.

How to store You need to keep any leftover buttermilk in the fridge for 3 days in a sealed container. If there is any air, it will cause unwanted bacteria formation.

Can you freeze homemade buttermilk? If you keep buttermilk in a sealed container, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Or you can freeze buttermilk in an ice cube tray to make it into easy 1 tablespoon portions.

Homemade buttermilk recipe in a measuring cup

Use homemade buttermilk in any of these recipes:

Homemade Buttermilk Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Recipes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 min
Rest Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 6 mins
Servings: 1
Calories: 152kcal
Print Recipe


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice - or white vinegar


  • In a small glass measuring cup add the milk. Pour the lemon juice or vinegar over top. Gently stir, then let stand for 5 minutes. Use the curdled milk in place of cultured buttermilk.


Homemade buttermilk must be used within an hour of making!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 322mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 276mg

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