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Buttermilk Substitute

This is a buttermilk substitute or alternative recipe, also called “sour milk.” It’s perfect for adding to cakes, cupcakes, cornbread, pancakes, fried chicken batter, and more!

Buttermilk Substitute

Have you ever started a recipe and realized you’re out of buttermilk? This recipe helps you substitute with only two ingredients!

Ingredients for Buttermilk Substitute

  • Milk
  • White Vinegar or Lemon Juice

What is Buttermilk?

Believe it or not, it does not contain butter! It is fermented, “sour milk” that separates after churning butter and has very little fat in it.

It’s also safe to drink because it has been pasteurized!

Measuring Cup with Buttermilk Substitute

What Does it Do For Cooking and Baking?

It’s slightly acidic and adds a bit of tang to your baking recipes.

It also helps things like breads and cakes rise and remain moist, especially if your recipe calls for baking soda (sodium carbonate) as well!

Buttermilk chicken, anyone? If you have heard of this delicious sounding meal you might be wondering what it’s doing for the chicken.

The acid in it helps tenderize your chicken.

Because of this, it’s also used as brine or marinade for all kinds of meats and not just chicken.

How long does buttermilk last?

According to the USDA, buttermilk can last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Because we are recreating it using milk, the USDA recommends keeping milk in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Can buttermilk be frozen?

Yes, both real buttermilk and buttermilk substitute using milk can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container.

To thaw, place it in the refrigerator overnight.

What Buttermilk is Used For:

Buttermilk Substitute

Buttermilk Substitute

Yield: 1 Cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This is a substitute buttermilk (or "sour milk") recipe to add to baking cakes, cupcakes, pancakes, and more! It's the perfect replacement when you are fresh out of buttermilk.


  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tbsp White Vinegar or Lemon Juice


  1. Add a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup and fill to 1 cup with milk. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 1 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 128Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 20mgSodium 129mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 9g

Nutrition is not always accurate and products used in the recipe may differ from local ingredients available to you.

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