Have you ever had a need for buttermilk but forgot to buy it or ran out?
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With my 11 Buttermilk Substitute Options, I can demonstrate how to make simple buttermilk substitutions using ingredients you most likely already have on hand!
Your delectable recipes will still have that wonderful, tangy buttermilk flavor!
WHAT IS BUTTERMILK?
Buttermilk is popular among bakers. It imparts a delicate, moist feel to muffins, pancakes, and biscuits.
If you like a cake because it’s light and fluffy, buttermilk is probably to blame. In terms of flavor, it’s tangy. This is because it is acidic.
You might be put off by the concept of acidic cakes, but acid reacts with baking soda, causing the cakes to raise like Hermione Granger’s hand when house points are at stake.
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Alternative Homemade Buttermilk video recipe:
WHEN CAN’T YOU SWAP HEAVY CREAM AND BUTTERMILK?
While buttermilk and heavy cream can be substituted for one other, some recipes require them for unique attributes that the other does not have.
Buttermilk cannot be whipped. If the recipe calls for heavy cream because of its whippability, buttermilk is out.
Buttermilk has a low fat content. Because of its 30 to 40% fat content, heavy cream may be called for in a recipe. In that situation, buttermilk is simply too light for the purpose.
Baking soda has no effect on heavy cream. Buttermilk is acidic, and when it reacts with baking soda, it causes whatever you’re cooking to rise.
In the realm of cakes and baking, getting the rise just right is critical. An unrisen cake is not a cake; it is a shambles.
Heavy cream will not work if your recipe calls for buttermilk as a leavening agent.
The flavor of buttermilk is sour. Because of its distinct sour flavor, bakers occasionally include buttermilk in their recipes.
This is especially true in the case of biscuits and scones. Heavy cream, which lacks sourness, is insufficient for this task.
Both have unique textures. As a general rule, buttermilk is light and fluffy, while heavy cream is thick and rich.
If a recipe requires one of these attributes, replacing them is unlikely to work.
HOW TO MAKE A BUTTERMILK SUBSTITUTE?
The first three options are all variations on sour milk,’ in which acid is added to milk to produce the tangy buttermilk flavor.
These acids work together to convert the lactose sugars in milk into lactic acid, which is the distinctive flavor of buttermilk that we all know and love!
If your recipe calls for full-fat buttermilk (which most do), using higher fat substitute ingredients will yield the best results.
Full fat whole milk, heavy whipping cream, full fat yogurt, full fat sour cream, and whole-milk Greek yogurt are all suggested.
1. LEMON JUICE AND MILK (SOUR MILK)
1 tablespoon lemon juice, measured in a liquid measuring cup to complete the 1 cup total measurement, add whole milk (or heavy whipping cream for best results, but 2 percent milk will also work).
Allow to sour’ or ‘curdle’ at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes after thoroughly mixing.
- Both fresh and bottled lemon juice can be used to make this buttermilk substitution.
- Lactose-free milk can be used in the same amounts as regular milk. The end result will be slightly sweeter than regular buttermilk.
2. WHITE VINEGAR AND MILK (SOUR MILK)
1 tablespoon white vinegar, measured in a liquid measuring cup To complete the 1 cup total measurement, add whole milk (or heavy whipping cream for best results, but 2 percent milk will also work).
Allow to sour or ‘curdle’ at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes after thoroughly mixing.
3. MILK AND CREAM OF TARTAR (SOUR MILK)
With each 1 cup of milk, use 1 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, added directly to the dry ingredients (because cream of tartar clumps when added to liquids) ( whole or 2 percent milk ).
If you have enough time, you can also shake the cream of tartar and milk mixture until the cream of tartar dissolves completely.
4. PLAIN YOGURT
Depending on the recipe, plain yogurt can be substituted for buttermilk in a 1:1 ratio. See the measurements below if you require more moisture.
Use 34 cup plain yogurt and 14 cup whole milk or 2 percent milk. Blend until smooth.
In general, with either yogurt or Greek yogurt, add enough milk (or even water) to achieve a heavy cream consistency.
CAN I USE GREEK YOGURT INSTEAD OF BUTTERMILK?
Yes! But not in the same 1:1 replacement ratio as plain yogurt ( above ). To make a buttermilk substitute with Greek yogurt, combine 34 cup Greek yogurt and 14 cup milk.
OR make this Greek yogurt substitution by combining equal parts Greek yogurt and milk. It will be determined by your recipe and the amount of moisture required!
5. BUTTERMILK POWDER AND WATER
Use 14 cup buttermilk powder and 1 cup water. Blend until smooth.
6. SOUR CREAM AND MILK
14 cup sour cream combined with 14 cup whole milk, 2% milk, skim milk, or water Blend until smooth.
For this buttermilk substitute, use light or full-fat sour cream. The desired results will not be obtained with fat-free sour cream.
Kefir is a liquid yogurt drink that works well as a buttermilk substitute. To replace buttermilk, use plain unsweetened kefir in a 1:1 ratio.
DAIRY-FREE BUTTERMILK SUBSTITUTE
Here are some excellent dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, and vegan buttermilk alternatives! My personal favorite is almond milk, but they all turn out fantastic!
8. UNSWEETENED ALMOND MILK
1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar in a liquid measuring cup, followed by 1 cup unsweetened almond milk for a total of 1 cup buttermilk substitute
The flavor of buttermilk can be replicated with unsweetened almond milk and lemon juice, but not the consistency.
If you need a thickened buttermilk substitute, look no further than the coconut milk, soy milk, or tofu options below.
9. COCONUT MILK
1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar in a liquid measuring cup, followed by 1 cup coconut milk for a total of 1 cup buttermilk substitute.
Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes, or until it’s sour or ‘curdles.’
10. SOY MILK
1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar in a liquid measuring cup, followed by 1 cup soy milk for a total of 1 cup buttermilk substitute.
Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes, or until it sours or ‘curdles.’
11. SILKEN TOFU
Combine 12 cup water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar, and a pinch of salt with pureed silken tofu. Mix until smooth and use as a buttermilk substitute in a 1:1 ratio.
PRO TIP: STORING BUTTERMILK POWDER
If opened cans of buttermilk powder are stored in the cupboard or pantry, they will dry and clump, making them difficult to use.
Keep your buttermilk powder in the fridge so it’s easy to scoop when you need it!Print
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I use if I don’t have buttermilk?
To make a dairy-based buttermilk substitute, combine milk with an acidic substance, such as lemon juice, vinegar, or cream of tartar. You can also use plain yogurt, sour cream, kefir, or buttermilk powder in place of the buttermilk powder.
Is buttermilk also heavy cream?
Buttermilk and whipping cream are two different types of milk. Buttermilk, which contains no butter, is created after the milk is churned. The remaining milk is referred to as buttermilk. Whipping cream, also known as heavy cream, has a shelf life of 60 days and is ultra-pasteurized.
Can you use heavy cream instead of buttermilk for biscuits?
So, if you’re baking cakes, cupcakes, or biscuits and want it to taste even more like real buttermilk, use heavy cream or half heavy cream and half milk until it’s as thick as buttermilk, then add the vinegar. Regardless of the type of milk you use, all will work well in a variety of recipes.
What happens if I use regular milk instead of buttermilk?
It is not recommended to replace buttermilk in recipes that call for it with plain milk because the lack of acid will produce a different result. However, combining an acidic ingredient with plain milk results in a substitute with properties similar to buttermilk.
Best recipes using Buttermilk!
Easy Farmhouse Buttermilk Cake
This moist, delicious buttermilk cake with a fabulous pecan topping and crisp, candy-glazed edges is a hit with everyone. They beg for the recipe after the first bite. They can’t believe how simple it is!
This traditional strawberry shortcake dessert heralds the arrival of summer! When I can make this with fresh, field-picked strawberries, I know summer has arrived!
Layers of citrus-flavored shortcake, fluffy homemade whipped cream, and sweetened strawberries make this simple dessert a summertime favorite!
Strawberry Buttermilk Crepe
Who doesn’t enjoy a delicious crepe breakfast, especially when it’s accompanied by fresh fruit, as the crepes in this delicious Strawberry Buttermilk Crepes Recipe are?
OTHER BUTTERMILK RECIPES