18 Substitutes for Buttermilk

Medically Reviewed on 8/2/2022
18 Substitutes for Buttermilk
The most straightforward buttermilk alternative is plain kefir, which is sour, drinkable yogurt and commonly used in smoothies.

Genuine buttermilk has a distinct taste and richness. In addition to baking, it is wonderful in sauces, marinades, pancakes and waffles, mashed potatoes, etc.

Because of its higher fat content, whole milk works better in milk replacements. If you must substitute, here are some suggestions.

Possible downsides of buttermilk

Due to its high salt content and potential to elicit an allergic reaction in some people, buttermilk may have a few downsides that prompt others to find a substitute.

These are the possible side effects of buttermilk:

  1. High in sodium
    • Dairy and milk products contain a high amount of sodium, which makes them a potential hazard to those needing to watch their salt intake.
    • Consuming high amounts of sodium is associated with a risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease.
    • High-sodium diets can end up damaging the heart, brain, kidneys, and blood vessels.
  2. Allergic reactions

18 buttermilk substitutes

  1. Acidified milk
    • Adding an acidic element to plain milk, such as lemon juice or vinegar, will impart a wonderful tang and curdle the milk, making it somewhat thicker.
    • Vinegar-infused milk is used in cakes and pancakes, and if the recipe calls for a small quantity of buttermilk, you may use apple cider vinegar.
    • To produce 1 cup of acidified milk, combine 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring cup with 1 cup of milk. Allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes after stirring and before using.
    • If you do not have any vinegar or lemon juice on hand, go for some cream of tartar.
    • Nondairy milk can be used. Try to choose one that is the same thickness as needed for your recipe.
    • Make necessary adjustments to ensure that your final product has the desired texture.
  2. Plain yogurt or sour cream with water or milk
    • Yogurt is a sour, acidic dairy product, thus it stands to reason that it may be used in place of buttermilk.
    • Whisk it in water or milk until the appropriate consistency is achieved.
    • Sour cream operates in the same way as yogurt does. To get the desired consistency, whisk in water or milk.
  3. Heavy cream plus vinegar
    • Heavy cream is high in fat but adds fantastic flavor and texture to baked and fried savory foods.
    • Consider adding a tablespoon or more vinegar to the heavy cream to get a buttermilk-like taste.
    • Heavy cream is a great addition to any batter. Whether you want to make fried chicken, waffles, or any other fried item, this substitution works nicely.
    • If you do not like the flavor of vinegar, substitute it with lemon juice.
  4. Kefir
    • The most straightforward buttermilk alternative is plain kefir, which is sour, drinkable yogurt and commonly used in smoothies.
    • In any recipe that calls for buttermilk, substitute it 1:1.
    • Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that has the consistency of thin yogurt. Plain kefir has a texture that is very similar to buttermilk and is good for baking.
    • Kefir may be substituted for buttermilk in recipes that ask for it, and it works especially well in biscuit recipes because it makes fine crumbs and allows great browning.
  5. Tofu
    • In a blender, combine ¼ cup of silken tofu, a teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice, and ½ a cup of water to make 1 cup of buttermilk substitute.
    • Add water tablespoon by tablespoon (up to 3 tablespoons) and blend until smooth, then set aside for 10 minutes before using.
  6. Homemade nut cream
    • Soak raw, unsalted nuts (such as cashews or macadamia nuts) in water for 1 hour, then drain and purée in a blender with 1 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar for every cup of nuts.
  7. Whole or 2 percent milk
    • You might try replacing buttermilk with regular milk. You may still feel some flavor and texture differences, but it is generally recommended as a fast fix.
  8. Buttermilk powder
    • In recipes, powdered buttermilk can be used as a replacement. While it cannot be simply reconstituted, you will need to add water to the mix for it to function.
    • The powder box may provide instructions on how to utilize it according to different cooking styles.
  9. Milk powder
    • To make a combination, combine a ¼ portion of milk powder with 1 cup of water. When making soup, you can use this combination in place of buttermilk powder.
    • If this is not possible, you can combine 1 cup of water, 1/3 of a cup of dry milk powder, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.
  10. Applesauce
    • Use an equivalent quantity of applesauce for buttermilk. In most circumstances, no additional changes are required.
  11. Soy or almond milk with lemon juice or vinegar
    • Fill a measuring cup halfway with lemon juice or white vinegar. Fill the rest of the measuring cup with soy or almond milk.
    • Stir, let aside, and then substitute one-to-one. The flavor is not quite the same, but it is near enough for baking.
  12. Rice or oat milk
    • Because rice and oat milk have relatively neutral flavors, they will not interfere with the flavor of your food.
    • Unsweetened rice milk is not as creamy. If a rich creaminess is required for the recipe, go for other options.
  13. Coconut milk
    • Coconut products will certainly affect the flavor of your recipe.
    • Although coconut milk is preferred, if you only have coconut cream, you may use that or dilute it as a replacement.
    • Add 15 mL vinegar or lemon juice per cup of liquid as your acid component.
    • This is vegan and paleo-friendly.
  14. Lactose-free milk and vinegar or lemon juice
    • Lactose-free milk could be slightly sweet.
    • Combine 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of lemon juice or vinegar with a cup (240 mL) of lactose-free milk.
  15. Milk with ranch dressing
    • This could be used to make savory foods, such as fried chicken, pickles, or zucchini.
    • Ranch flavors blend nicely with milk and fried dishes.
    • Combine ¾ cup of milk and ¼ cup of ranch dressing.
    • If you do not like the flavor, add more milk, less ranch dressing, and a dash of lemon juice. Ranch dressing is widely available these days, making it an inexpensive and convenient option.
  16. Cream cheese
    • This is a good option for those who want to make cake frosting with buttermilk powder.
    • Combine softened cream cheese (3 ounces), ½ teaspoon of vanilla, and ¼ cup of melted margarine with 1 cup of powdered sugar.
  17. Whey
    • Whey does not have the same appearance as buttermilk, but the flavor and nutrients are the same.
    • Pour 1 cup of milk into a jar and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Allow it to stand for 30 minutes after stirring. It is now ready to use.
    • You may alternatively boil the milk and then, add lemon or vinegar to it.
    • The whey will separate, and you will be able to filter it. You may use the remaining cottage cheese in your recipes.
  18. Frozen buttermilk
    • If you have excess buttermilk, consider freezing it.
    • Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons onto an ice tray and freeze until firm, and then, keep the cubes in the freezer in a sealable plastic bag.
    • When you need buttermilk, thaw a cube or two.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 8/2/2022
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Best buttermilk substitute: we test 6 options. https://thekitchencommunity.org/substitute-for-buttermilk/

What are the substitute for Buttermilk? https://www.diabetesasia.org/magazine/what-are-the-substitute-for-buttermilk/

How To Make Dairy-Free Buttermilk (And Why It Will Make Your Baked Goods Better). https://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/how-to-make-dairy-free-buttermilk/