How to Make Buttermilk

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings

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This easy buttermilk substitute requires just two ingredients and a few minutes! It adds so much flavor to pancakes, waffles and baked goods!

milk in two one cup measuring cups on a wooden cutting board with lemons and lemon juice in the background

If you’ve got a sudden hankering for a fluffy stack of pancakes, and you’re sitting there wondering how to make buttermilk, you’re not alone!

It’s pretty rare that I remember to buy buttermilk, I’ll admit.

Because I only use it in a few recipes, it’s not usually on the top of my mind!

And since these Whole Wheat Pancakes are a craving we have often, I usually find myself whipping up this quick buttermilk substitute.

It’s easy to make, and can make a world of difference in your pancakes, waffles and other baked goods!

Buttermilk is often called for in baked goods and marinades because the acidity tenderizes and also reacts with baking soda and baking powder to add height and fluffiness in cakes and muffins.

It also adds a ton of rich flavor and moisture, so it’s one of those things we don’t want to miss out on!

curdled milk in one cup glass measuring cup with lemons in the background

What is buttermilk?

The only difference between buttermilk and regular milk is the addition of acid.

Although buttermilk used to be the milk left over after making butter, today dairies sour fresh milk by adding lactic acid bacteria.

The end result is something thicker than regular milk, but not quite as thick as cream. It’s tangy and full of flavor!

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What is the best milk to use for this buttermilk substitute?

When I buy buttermilk at the store, it is always low fat and that is the most plentiful version.

Since the milk has been soured, it is thick and creamy and so you don’t really miss all of the extra fat.

Normally, the milk I have in my fridge is 1% fat, so that is what I use.

You can use anything from skim to 3%, but the creamier the milk, the creamier the buttermilk substitute will be.

homemade buttermilk recipe in glass measuring cup with metal spoon scooping some milk

Different ways to use this homemade buttermilk recipe:

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How to make buttermilk

5 from 1 vote
This easy buttermilk substitute requires just two ingredients and a few minutes! It adds so much flavor to pancakes, waffles and baked goods!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Cuisine American
Course How to
Servings 4 servings
Calories 38cal


  • 1 cup milk room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice


  • Stir together milk and vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Let sit for 10-15 minutes until quite chunky — this will happen quicker if your milk is room temperature or warm. (*Have instant homemade buttermilk by microwaving your milk and lemon juice for 45 seconds on high, then stir! No waiting)
  • Whisk the milk to smooth it — it should be thick and creamy once combined.
  • Use in your favorite recipes or refrigerate up to 1 week before using — shake or stir well before using!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 38cal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 81mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Calcium: 69mg
Keywords buttermilk recipe, how to make buttermilk

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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