homemade buttermilk in a glass bowl on a white cutting board
Side Dishes

Homemade Buttermilk

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If you are like me whenever you buy buttermilk you don’t wind up using it all before it goes bad. Maybe you aren’t like me but that happens to me all the time. Or maybe you live in a country where buttermilk is not readily available? There is an easy solution. You can make a homemade buttermilk substitute. This buttermilk recipe is not exactly like the process buttermilk that you get from the store but it definitely will do the trick. It works great in bread, pancakes, waffles, muffins, pretty much any time you need buttermilk you can use this homemade version. It is super easy to make if I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get started!

Why use buttermilk in baking?

Buttermilk is slightly acidic which helps baked goods become more moist and tender by breaking down the gluten.

Step 1: Gather the tools and ingredients

Tools and ingredients to make homemade buttermilk. Lemon, milk, cutting board.

In order to make homemade buttermilk, we need just a few ingredients and tools. Brace yourself it only requires 2 ingredients! You will need the following:

  • Milk – I generally will use whole milk, but 2%, 1%, and skim will work as well. The whole milk will result in even thicker buttermilk.
  • Lemon Juice – Lemon juice or you can use white vinegar is needed to create the chemical reaction that thickens up the milk and sours it.


  • Knife
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Measuring spoons
  • Citrus press (optional)

Step 2: How to make homemade buttermilk

First, take a small to medium-sized bowl and add your milk to it. Next, cut your lemon in half and squeeze out enough juice to get 2 Tbsp. Add the lemon juice or white vinegar to the milk. I always use my handy dandy manual citrus press but you can just use your hand to squeeze the lemon juice from the lemon. I did a kitchen product review video on that juice press that you can watch here if you like.

Step 3: Stir and let it sit

Now comes the really hard part. After pouring in the lemon juice or vinegar you need to stir it in with your spoon. Then let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes until it thickens up. You can do that right? Easy! After that, it will be ready to use. There you go a super easy homemade buttermilk substitute that you can use in all of your baking needs.

How to store homemade buttermilk?

Store your homemade buttermilk in a jar and put a lid on it. Place in your refrigerator where it will last a few days. Most of the time with this time of buttermilk you will use it right away and not have any leftover.

Is this a true cultured buttermilk?

No this is not true cultured buttermilk but an acidified buttermilk. So it works perfectly whenever you need something acidic to react with your baking soda or baking powder. For example in biscuits, pancakes, waffles, muffins, etc. This is a substitute only not “True” buttermilk.

How can I make cultured buttermilk closer to what is found in the store?

You can follow this same exact recipe but use about 1/4 cup of cultured buttermilk, instead of vinegar, and then mix that in with normal whole milk. Place it in a jar with a lid. then let it sit in on the counter for 12 to 24 hours until it thickens. This will turn into cultured buttermilk instead of the acidic one created in this article.

homemade buttermilk in a glass bowl on a white cutting board
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5 from 2 votes

Homemade Buttermilk (Substitute) 2 Ingredients!

Do you ever run out of buttermilk? Or maybe you buy too much and it goes bad? The solution is to make this easy homemade buttermilk substitute. It only requires 2 ingredients! You can use it in your baked goods just like you would normal buttermilk.
Prep Time2 minutes
Resting Time30 minutes
Total Time32 minutes
Course: Ingredient, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butter, milk, sour
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 156kcal


  • Knife
  • Bowl
  • spoon
  • Measuring spoons
  • Citrus press (optional)


  • 1 cup milk whole milk, 2%, 1%, etc. (250ml)
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice or white vinegar 15 to 30ml


  • Add the milk to a bowl. Pour in 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice. About half of a medium lemon.
  • Stir the milk and lemon juice together. If you don't have lemon juice you can use white vinegar.
  • Allow the milk to sit for about 30 minutes until it thickens up. Then it is ready to use in all of your baking needs. Enjoy!


How to Make Buttermilk | Easy Homemade Buttermilk Substitute Recipe


nutritional facts for homemade buttermilk
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!


Calories: 156kcal

Do you like the recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

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Easy Homemade Sour Cream

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  1. Krissy Allori

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe. It worked great and saved me a trip to the store when I wanted buttermilk pancakes!

  2. 5 stars
    Using this homemade buttermilk to make biscuits and pancakes … delicious!

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