Substitute for Buttermilk in Recipes

Category Substitutions
Most of us don't keep a supply of buttermilk in the fridge, so if a recipe calls for it, you may want to use a substitute. This is a page about substitute for buttermilk in recipes.


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Earlier in the week, I wanted to make some biscuits but noticed I was out of buttermilk, and didn't want to go to the store. I had an old buttermilk container in the fridge and decided I'd make my own.

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I wanted to remind everyone that substitutions can be made cheaply. I buy cans of evaporated milk. When a recipe calls for buttermilk, I pour a little into a cup of water to make milk, and then put a a teaspoon or so of vinegar. This makes it into buttermilk. My family doesn't drink buttermilk, so it is a waste to have a whole carton of it in the fridge. I really love doing this for pancakes.




Add evaporated milk and vinegar to water and mix with other ingredients. If the kids are really hungry I will secretly mix in about 1/4 cup of oatmeal to make it more filling. You might add more water if it needs it.

I let the batter sit about two minutes and then put it on a greased hot pan on my electric stove. I set the stove to 5 or a 4. After there are tons of bubbles at the top, I turn the pancakes over. When they looks cooked through, I put them on the plate, butter them, and top with a dollop of sugar-free orange marmalade jelly or sugar-free syrup.

The kids love it, and I like quick recipes. I have to double the recipe if there are more than two hungry kids since I make small amounts at a time.


The kids usually eat one the size of the small skillet I make them with and they are full. I like to make things that make them full and are good for their little bodies. As a matter of fact I was making pancakes last night for myself at three o'clock in the morning :)

By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN

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It is difficult to buy buttermilk where I live. What can I use as a substitute?

By Barbara from Calpe, Spain


March 14, 20100 found this helpful

Measure out milk and put in 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1 teaspoon vinegar if that's for baking; it wouldn't do for salad dressing or drinking.

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March 15, 20100 found this helpful

One recipe I have uses buttermilk. I always just add 2 Tbsp of vinegar to the milk.

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March 15, 20100 found this helpful

If for cooking or baking: 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup plain yogurt

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March 15, 20100 found this helpful

Take 1 cup of milk and 2-3 Tsp. of vinegar or lemon juice or cream of tartar after about 15 minutes it suppose to curdle.


Mix again and use.

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March 15, 20100 found this helpful

To make pretend buttermilk, add 1-3/4 tablespoons of cream of tartar to a cup of milk. Or add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a cup of milk and let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes. In many baking recipes, you can also just use plain yogurt or sour cream instead of buttermilk.

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March 15, 20100 found this helpful

There is powdered buttermilk sold in the baking section of the store. You might check to see if your store has it, if not there, ask the manager to stock it.

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March 17, 20100 found this helpful

Add 2 Tbsp. lemon juice or white vinegar to the milk and let stand for a while, bit more juice/vinegar can be added, it also serves as an extra rising agent.

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Answer this Question...

What can I substitute for buttermilk?

By Pat


June 3, 20170 found this helpful

To make one cup of buttermilk, add 1 Tablespoon of vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar) to almost a cup of milk. Let stand for a couple of minutes, then use in recipe.

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Answer this Question...

September 26, 2011

This page contains recipes for homemade buttermilk. Buttermilk is used in many recipes, when you don't have it handy, you can make your own.

Buttermilk in a metal cup.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 14, 2010

Can anyone tell me what I can substitute for buttermilk? I can't find it in my country.

Also, as it does not seem to exist in my country, can I use boric acid instead of borax to make my own laundry detergent? Many thanks.


Cettina from Malta, Europe


Good Substitute For Buttermilk or Borax

Boric acid is a slightly acidic form of borax. For cleaning purposes you can probably substitute. Make a small batch and see how that works.

Substitutes for buttermilk: into 1 cup of milk mix in one of the following and let stand for 5 minutes before using: 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar or 1 3/4 tablespoons cream of tarter. These are OK. An equal amount of plain yogurt or sour cream works much better.

By joan pecsek

Substitute For Buttermilk

I have recipes for cakes calling for buttermilk, but do not always have it so I pour 1 cup evaporated milk (or what ever amount you need) and add 1 tbs vinegar and let it set a bit and use it in place of sour cream. That is for cake batter I do not know about it working for other stuff. (09/04/2007)


By Mary Ann

Substitute For Buttermilk

Add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of milk and let it stand 5 minutes to thicken. I have used this for many years and it has always worked for me. (09/04/2007)

By Martha Ureke

Substitute For Buttermilk

Plain yogurt is great, adds that tang that you miss with the buttermilk. I also use the acid in milk trick, but find that vinegar makes for a funky taste, I've always used lemon juice, makes the same "chunky" milk, but adds a nice zip, as the lemon brings out the flavor of stuff without changing the flavor to lemon. (09/04/2007)

By Michawn

Substitute For Buttermilk

Be sure to put the vinegar, or whatever you decide to use, into the measuring cup first, and then add the milk up to the amount called for, otherwise, you might have too much liquid. (09/04/2007)

By Sallie

Substitute For Buttermilk

A good substitute is 1 c. of yogurt for 1 c. of buttermilk. Or 1 c. sour cream. Or 1 TBS lemon juice or vinegar in 1 c. milk. Hope this helps. (11/21/2007)

By Vicki

Substitute For Buttermilk

As far as yogurt/sour cream, I've found that substituting the amount called for in the recipe with 1/2 milk and 1/2 yogurt works best. If you need 1 cup buttermilk, then use 1/2 cup milk with 1/2 cup plain yogurt. (12/28/2008)

By Flbaldeagle

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