{Do-It-Yourself} Homemade Buttermilk

You know how sometimes you just don’t feel like getting into the car and driving all the way to the store just to buy a single missing ingredient, like say, buttermilk? Well my excuse is different. I don’t think we actually get any liquid buttermilk here. As you might know, aside from sour cream and yogurt, buttermilk is a staple in most quick bread, cupcake or muffin recipes, because it helps in creating a moist cake. And at some point I got sick of skipping over recipes I really wanted to try but had the word buttermilk in them. So in the spirit of experimentation, I made my own buttermilk. I don’t know what I was expecting to happen, avoiding this moment for so long. In hindsight, I’m not even sure why I was so worried at all!

Homemade Buttermilk
Homemade buttermilk

Making buttermilk is actually very easy, and chances are the things you need to make it are readily available in your home. It doesn’t call for any butter, despite its name, and it’s actually a lot healthier than I perceived it to be (again, probably because of its name). Basically, it’s a thicker version of milk. At first I had my doubts, because I have nothing to compare homemade buttermilk to. I have never seen nor tasted real buttermilk before (though they say it tastes a bit like yogurt), and using buttermilk powder just doesn’t feel right for me. But after two successful recipes using this concoction, I can tell you this is a pretty safe trick to do. 

What you'll need

For every cup of buttermilk you need, take a cup of regular milk (or low-fat milk if your recipe calls for low-fat buttermilk), and add to it a tablespoon of white vinegar. If you really want an exact measurement then you can lessen your cup of milk by a tablespoon, as you will be adding a tablespoon of vinegar to compensate anyway. You can also substitute the same amount of lemon juice for the vinegar, but I hear the latter works better.

Curdled
Curdled milk


You can just leave the mixture at room temperature for 10 to 15, or even 30 minutes. During this stage, the milk will start to curdle. After this period you can give the mixture a little stir, and voila! You can use it immediately, or you can refrigerate it for future use in an airtight container. Just remember to shake it a little before use as the vinegar and milk tend to separate when left alone. Homemade buttermilk can last up to several weeks, but to be sure, see the expiration date on the milk carton you used to estimate how long your buttermilk may last.

If you’re fine with using powdered buttermilk, just mix 4 tablespoons of the powder into 1 cup of water. Here are some other buttermilk substitutes you might want to use when you bake:

1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup buttermilk = 1/2 cup plain yogurt plus 1/2 cup plain milk plus 1/2 teaspoon vinegar/lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk = 1/4 cup milk plus 3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup milk plus 1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar

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Sources: Home Cooking, Life123

12 Comments

  1. nekkochak
    30 December, 2012

    is it really buttermilk because you didnt abb butter in it

    Reply
    1. Clarisse Shaina
      30 December, 2012

      It’s not the traditional sort, but the acidified version. You can read about it here!

      Reply
  2. Carla
    9 July, 2013

    Do you use fresh milk or full cream milk?

    Reply
    1. Cla Panuelos
      9 July, 2013

      I have used both but usually I just use fresh milk since it’s what I see in our fridge. 🙂

      Reply
  3. mommy nicquee
    26 August, 2013

    Hi,

    Did you store it in your refrigerator? How long does it last?

    Reply
    1. Cla Panuelos
      26 August, 2013

      Hi, sorry I haven’t tried storing this for long. I usually whip this up only when I need to use buttermilk for a recipe, literally about 10 to 20 minutes before.

      Reply
  4. Lena
    2 October, 2016

    Hi can i use evaporated milk?

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      3 October, 2016

      Oh I’m not sure if the effect will be the same since I’ve never tried it.

      Reply
  5. The Truth
    22 July, 2018

    This isn’t real buttermilk. Real buttermilk is a by product of cultured butter. This is a fast, “tastes like buttermilk”, recipe.

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      22 July, 2018

      This is a buttermilk substitute 🙂

      Reply
  6. Jes
    5 September, 2018

    Ok, this is a knock off buttermilk..
    buttermilk is a bi-product of butter production.. if you truly want the good home made stuff.. true butter milk, 600 ml of thickened cream and whip until it separates depending on the ‘ripeness’ of your cream depends how long it takes to split.

    This will make about 300g of butter and 300g buttermilk, more or less ratio depending on cream again. You need to wash your butter etc.. but that’s butter making not buttermilk.

    Just squeeze the butter and strain the liquid.. the liquid left is butter milk at first it will be the consistency of milk.. pop her in the fridge over night and it coagulates and goes like the stuff you buy from the shop however cooking with it is better than anything you’ve ever tasted!!

    The first recipe here is literally curdling milk to get the same tangy flavour of buttermilk..

    If you’re going to do it, go the hurdle and make your own butter and he bi-product is priceless!

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      5 September, 2018

      Thanks for this very informative comment! 🙂

      Reply

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