Homemade Buttermilk Recipes

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


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Sometimes a baking recipe will call for a small amount of buttermilk. Not only do I never have that on hand, I don't feel like spending $4 or more on a carton when all I need is 1 cup. I found this nifty tip in one of my cookbooks years ago and haven't bought buttermilk since. I can't taste the difference with the end results, either. Tastes just as good!
This has saved me $, and I always have the ingredients on hand to make this.

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 cup

Source: Better Homes and Garden Cookbook


  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar
  • about 1 cup milk or plain yogurt


  1. Put either 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or distilled white vinegar into a 1 cup measure.
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  3. Add either milk or plain yogurt to fill measure to the 1 cup mark.
  4. Let sit 5 minutes before using.
  5. Voila! Buttermilk! Happy baking.:)
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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. I know you can make sour milk by adding vinegar or lemon juice to milk in a pinch, but I wanted the real deal.

I grabbed a carton of sour cream, the old container, and milk. I put about 3 tablespoons of the sour cream into the container, then poured just enough milk to be able to shake the container and mix the sour cream into the milk really well. Then I filled the container up with milk. I put the container onto my hot water heater overnight. I kept a check on it and kept it shaken well. The next morning, the milk was perfect! It smelled just like the butter milk you buy in the stores and was very rich and creamy. I made biscuits this morning and they were delicious!


By Michelle Landreth from Lanett, AL

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September 18, 2008

Though many people have an aversion to buttermilk, this tasty, cultured dairy staple has a place in every frugal household. Apart from being a delicious, nutritious drink, it is also used in making many a tasty treat such as biscuits, pancakes, waffles - but also in pies, cakes, breads, and even soups and ice cream. In a pinch, it also makes a super substitute for sour cream on a baked potato, and can be used in making dressings and dips. It isn't hard to make your own buttermilk, and good to have on hand for many frugal recipes. You must start with a little of the "store-bought" kind, but after that, you can keep a supply going indefinitely for only pennies.


The supplies for making one's own buttermilk are few - all you need is a few pint jars, a bit of powdered milk, a small amount of the "store-bought" stuff, a dash of salt, and 24 hours. It's as easy as this:

Mix up a quantity of about a pint of dry milk - a thrifty staple in all frugal households. Having it at room temperature works slightly better than chilled; Sterilize a pint jar in the dishwasher, or with boiling water, and fill halfway with your mixed dry milk. I find that a mayonnaise jar is just the right size for me. Fill the other half with the store-bought buttermilk - you must have this for the "culture" that's in it. It works the same way as yogurt, sour cream, and sourdough or "friendship" bread. Add a dash of salt, give it a good shake, and leave it on your kitchen counter for 24 hours to "clabber". Oddly enough, it does not spoil. After the 24 hours, refrigerate it, and it's all ready to drink, or to use in biscuit recipes, and a plethora of others.


When you've used half, simply add more mixed dry milk (or the regular kind) and leave to clabber another batch. I use it so often that I keep two jars going at once. That's all there is to it! Think of the money you can save mixing up your own buttermilk for all sorts of wonderful baking recipes - all for the cost of one pint of cultured buttermilk, and a little powdered milk mix. Enjoy!

By Savannah from The Deep South

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 8, 2012

Somewhere I have read recipe for always having buttermilk by using an amount of buttermilk to make your own. Does anyone know how I can do this?


December 10, 20120 found this helpful

1 Tbsp. white vinegar in measuring cup. Add milk to 1 cup line. Stir then let sit for 5 min.

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December 10, 20120 found this helpful

**If you want the real thing the ratio is 1 to 3:

1 cup of "cultured" buttermilk (available at health food stores)


3 cups of "whole" milk
1 large lidded glass jar

Pour the buttermilk into the jar, add the milk, shake well and let it sit in a relatively warm place for 24 hours. When ready the thickened new batch of buttermilk will coat your glass. You can then place it in the refrigerator and it will last for weeks.

**If you simply want a general substitute for cooking or baking:

Place 4 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar or fresh lemon juice in a glass measuring cup and add enough milk to make 1 cup total liquid. Stir to combine and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes for the mixture to begin to curdle.

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December 10, 20120 found this helpful

Type this in search bar. She has all kinds of substitutes and make from scratch. Erin Huffstetler

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December 11, 20120 found this helpful


Does this mean any normal carton of buttermilk that we find in the supermarkets?
I am not sure whether the word'cultured' is on the carton in my part of the world.

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December 11, 20120 found this helpful

PL Leong,

The carton most likely will say something like cultured pasteurized (produced under artificial conditions using cultured bacteria) on the package because there are two types of buttermilk. Buttermilk has a super long shelf life so even if the first type you try isn't the one and doesn't work you can still use it and then at least you'll know the other one will be what you need to make your own at home instead.

I suggested a health food store because (if I was told correctly) what they sell is made with whole milk and is more potent than what the grocery market sells which is made with 2% milk (at least that is so here in the U.S.).

Please let me know what you find in your neck of the woods that works for you :-)

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December 12, 20120 found this helpful

Here you go. Hope this helps!

How to Make Buttermilk from Milk

1. Add a bacterial starter of 6 to 8 ounces of active fresh cultured buttermilk to a clean quart jar. Use 6 ounces if you are certain of the freshness of the starter. When in doubt, use a full cup of buttermilk as starter.

2. Fill the rest of the jar with fresh milk. Fill the rest of the jar with fresh milk.

3. Screw the lid on on securely and shake thoroughly to mix. Screw the lid on on securely and shake thoroughly to mix. Label it with the date.

4. Let it sit out in a warm part of the room until thickened, which should take about 24 hours. Let it sit out in a warm part of the room until thickened, which should take about 24 hours. If you find it takes longer than 36 hours, the starter was no longer active (the bacteria had died). The buttermilk may or may not be tasty if it takes longer than 36 hours but it can still be used for baking.

5. Check to make sure the thickened buttermilk coats the glass. This happens because the bacteria have fermented the milk, and the lactic acid is causing the milk proteins to thicken. Refrigerate immediately.

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April 11, 2011


  • 1 cup powdered milk
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt


Blend until milk is dissolved. Chill; keep in covered container in refrigerator.

By Chell

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