(Easy) How to Make Buttermilk at Home

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Whether a recipe calls for buttermilk and you don’t have it or you’re in a country where buttermilk isn’t readily sold, it’s time to learn how to make buttermilk from milk!

The process is incredibly easy and takes about 10 minutes, so it’s not one of those buttermilk substitute recipes where you need to wait around and the process can happen while you’re getting the other ingredients together.

All you need is an acid (we’ll talk about options in a minute) to add to some milk to cause the curdling process, as that’s all buttermilk is: curdled milk!

buttermilk in bowl
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What You Need to Make Buttermilk from Scratch

To make buttermilk with milk, you’ll need:

  • whole or 2% milk (if you have 1%, you can still try this, it just won’t be as accurate)
  • lemon juice OR white distilled vinegar – I prefer this brand of lemon juice

That’s it! See? Easy!

lemon juice and milk in bowl
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What is Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product.

It used to be the liquid that was left over after churning butter, but today buttermilk is cultured to give you the same effect.

Can I Substitute Milk for Buttermilk?

Can you?

Yes, sure, you can try if you literally have no other option and want to forge ahead with the recipe, but it’s not recommended.

The acid in the buttermilk is going to be a big player in creating new flavors and chemical reactions in your baking, which will not be possible if you just put in plain milk.

How to Make Buttermilk

For every one cup of buttermilk you need, you simply will add one tablespoon of the lemon juice or distilled vinegar and add it to one cup of milk.

milk in bowl and lemon
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Mix it around and let this sit for about 10 minutes, and wallah!

Buttermilk, ready to use in your baking.

ingredients for joanna gaines biscuits
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What Kinds of Recipes Use Buttermilk?

Popular recipes that you could use homemade buttermilk in are things like buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk biscuits, and creamy things like salad dressing.

joanna gaines biscuit in a stack
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Yield: 1 cup

Homemade Buttermilk

buttermilk in bowl

This homemade buttermilk recipe is easy and quick, allowing you to have homemade buttermilk with only 2 ingredients.

Prep Time 1 minute
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes


  • 1 cup whole or 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice OR white distilled vinegar


  1. Add the lemon juice or white distilled vinegar to the cup of milk.
  2. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Allow to stand for 10 minutes.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 119mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 8g

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