If you’ve forgotten to buy buttermilk or it’s not available to you. There are replacements that can be used as a substitute for buttermilk in baking. You may already have some or all of these ingredients in your kitchen.
What is buttermilk?
Buttermilk is a by-product of butter making. It is creamy milky looking liquid that is leftover after churning full cream milk into butter. It is low in fat and is high in protein and naturally ferments into a thick, tangy cream.
How is buttermilk different from milk?
Buttermilk is curdled, lower in fat and slightly thicker than regular milk.
What is buttermilk used for?
Buttermilk is used in baking as well as cooking other foods. Buttermilk gives flavour, better rise and texture to baked goods when combined with baking soda. It can also be used as a marinade to tenderise meats.
6 Substitutes For Buttermilk In Baking
Listed below you will find out how to make a buttermilk substitute using whole milk and an acid and what to use instead of buttermilk. These replacements will all work if you need buttermilk for a baking recipe if you don’t have any on hand.
How To Make Buttermilk From Milk
You can mix vinegar or lemon (lime) juice or cream of tartar into whole milk and make a buttermilk substitute. The acids from these will cause the milk to curdle and create a product that will act similar to buttermilk.
1. How to make buttermilk using vinegar
Measure 1 tablespoon of white vinegar into a measuring cup, then fill the cup with cold milk. Stir, and allow to stand at room temperature for 10 – 15 minutes before using.
2. How to make buttermilk with lemon juice
Measure 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon or lime juice into a measuring cup. Fill the cup with cold milk, stir and allow to stand at room temperature for 10 – 15 minutes before using.
3. How to make buttermilk using cream of tartar
Cream of tartar is acidic and can be used in place of vinegar or lemon juice. Stir 1 ¾ teaspoons of cream of tartar into a cup of cold milk, allow to stand at room temperature for 10 – 15 minutes before using.
What To Use Instead Of Buttermilk
Plain yogurt, sour cream or kefir are also a great substitute for buttermilk. These dairy products are acidic and will also work in a similar way to buttermilk.
4. Use natural plain yogurt as a substitute for buttermilk
Use an unflavoured plain or Greek yogurt. Yogurt is naturally thicker in consistency compared to buttermilk and will need to be thinned down. Mix in just enough milk or water to thin the yogurt to a consistency similar to pouring cream.
5. Use sour cream as a buttermilk substitute
There are two types of sour cream, pouring sour cream and thick sour cream. If using pouring sour cream, use it as is. If using a thick sour cream thin it down with a little water or milk to make it a pouring cream consistency.
6. Substitute kefir for buttermilk
Plain unsweetened, unflavoured kefir can be used as it is.
Please note: These substitutes for buttermilk are perfect for baking where small amounts are needed. However, if you need buttermilk for meat marinades use real buttermilk or yogurt or kefir.
You might also like to read an article by King Arthur Flour. The page has comparisons on the different buttermilk substitutes.
Baking Recipes Using Buttermilk
- Soft and fluffy buttermilk scones (recipepocket.com)
- Sweet corn fritters (recipepocket.com)
- Cheese and bacon scones (recipepocket.com)
- Buttermilk banana bread (twopeasandtheirpod.com)
- Easy buttermilk butter crunch cake (thecafesucrefarnine)
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