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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bustled into my kitchen to make a recipe I’m totally jazzed about and I realize with sudden dawning horror…I’ve forgotten to buy buttermilk! It’s happened to you too, right? It got me thinking, how do you make buttermilk when you don’t have buttermilk? Well, you make it of course! This buttermilk recipe ensures you’ll always know how to make buttermilk with just 2 simple ingredients!

Best Buttermilk Recipe

Sure, you could run out and buy it, but the best buttermilk recipe is the fresh kind you make at home. And it’s super-likely that you have just what you need to make it in your fridge right now!

Easy Buttermilk Recipe

Save time and money on running to the store and just grab 2 ingredients from your kitchen and make your own buttermilk at home. Then just 5 minutes later, your buttermilk will be ready to go.

Buttermilk Ingredients

  • Whole milk – The “milk” in this recipe, of course, is necessary to make buttermilk at home.
  • White vinegar – Sorry, not butter, though the traditional way to get buttermilk was from the liquid remaining after churning butter from cultured cream. This is just our modern-day shortcut!

How do you Make Buttermilk from Scratch

Making buttermilk from scratch simply requires pouring white vinegar into whole milk. After 5 minutes, you can stir it up and see how it’s changed in texture. You can taste it too! Making buttermilk from milk is super easy.

Got buttermilk?

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Buttermilk Every Time

  • Use whole milk. You want the fattiness from the milk to help make that cultured texture.
  • You can use apple cider vinegar. When making buttermilk with vinegar, you have options. If you don’t have white vinegar, another vinegar should do the trick. Except malt. I wouldn’t use that!
  • Be patient. It takes about 5 minutes for the reaction to occur with the cultures. Staring at it will make it feel like forever.

How do you make buttermilk from regular milk?

To turn regular milk into butter milk, you’ll add one tablespoon of white vinegar per every cup of milk. This is the ratio to uphold no matter how much buttermilk you want to make.

How long does it take to turn milk into buttermilk?

For this recipe, using vinegar it only takes about 5 minutes to turn milk into buttermilk.

Is homemade buttermilk as good as store bought?

Homemade buttermilk comes out thinner than its commercial counterparts. It also reveals vinegary notes in the taste. It’s a great replacement for the cultured buttermilk from the store when you need it in recipes.

Is lemon juice or vinegar better for making buttermilk?

Either one will serve the purpose of making buttermilk. Since lemon juice and vinegar are both acidic, it helps the milk curdle. It’s really a matter of preference, or what you have on hand at home.

Can you substitute milk and lemon juice for buttermilk?

Yes, you can! Milk and lemon juice is also a suitable buttermilk replacement.

What are the benefits of drinking buttermilk?

When you drink buttermilk, you get lots of protein that helps your bones, muscles, and skin stay healthy. If you buy it commercially, it also has extra vitamins and minerals added to it to make it even more nutritious.

Should buttermilk be thick?

Buttermilk is thicker than regular milk, so expect the texture to look different. However, homemade buttermilk will be thinner than what you’ll make with whole milk and vinegar.

How does vinegar turn milk into buttermilk?

The acidity of the vinegar turns the milk into buttermilk. Essentially, it sours it which will serve its purpose in recipes that call for buttermilk to be used.

Is buttermilk and milk interchangeable?

No, they’re not interchangeable because while using regular milk in making homemade ranch dressing won’t be problematic, in baking it is. Buttermilk will require adjustments in baking soda and baking powder when added in place of milk due to the higher acid content.

How do I make 1/2 cup of buttermilk with milk?

When you make buttermilk substitute, to measure a ½ cup, you will measure a ½ cup of milk and then add 1 ½ teaspoons of vinegar.

What is a substitute for buttermilk?

Nothing tastes quite like buttermilk. If you don’t have it, it’s easy to make using this recipe to avoid a trip to the store. Real buttermilk has the most wonderful taste of all, but in recipes, this buttermilk substitute will do nicely.

What to Use Buttermilk For

Some people love drinking buttermilk as-is. In my house, it’s something I love to use in everything from pancakes to biscuits and ranch dressing to fried chicken. Honestly, it’s better to make it when you need it anyway. When you do buy it ready-made at the store, you have to remember to use it all before it goes bad.

How to Store Buttermilk

Buttermilk will taste the best and uphold its quality if you put it in a glass container in your fridge. This will make it easy to see how much is left when you go to use it up.

How Long Does Buttermilk Last?

Your homemade buttermilk will last when stored properly in that container in your fridge for as long as 2 weeks. Ideally, you’ll finish it off before then.

Can You Freeze Buttermilk?

Freezing buttermilk is a brilliant idea. It’s something I’ve started doing myself so that I automatically just pop a storage bag of it out the day before I’m going to use it. It will be good for about 3 months so planning ahead with buttermilk is never a bad idea.

How to Thaw Buttermilk?

Just take it out the night before and put it in your fridge. It will be ready to work with the next day.

Watch How To Make Buttermilk (Video)

How to make Buttermilk

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Calories 152
This easy Buttermilk recipe tutorial is the perfect guide to teach you how to make buttermilk from scratch.


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar


  • Pour the vinegar into the whole milk and gently stir to combine. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes so the milk will curdle and achieve a buttermilk texture and taste.
Calories: 152kcal
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American


Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 322mg | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Calcium: 277mg | Iron: 1mg

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Author Megan Miller

I’m a mom of two, food and wine lover, and recipe creation enthusiast. Good food brings families together. Which is why I’m devoted to sharing my best recipes that are simple enough for even the beginner cook that your family will love!

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