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Homemade Buttermilk Alternative

With only two ingredients, that I’ll bet you already have on hand in your pantry and fridge, you can make a homemade buttermilk alternative in the blink of an eye!

A look at homemade buttermilk inside a measuring cup with a whisk with a lemon, vinegar, and a milk jug in the background.

You have my guarantee that using this homemade buttermilk substitute for all your recipes, both sweet and savory, will ensure deliciousness each and every time. Want to know more? Of course, you do! Read on…

**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Homemade Buttermilk Alternative is available near the end of this post, OR click on the “Jump to Recipe” tab (shown below) to be taken directly to the recipe.

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Overhead picture of buttermilk in a measuring cup with a whisk, measuring spoon, and wooden spoon in the foreground.

The dilemma:

Your recipe calls for buttermilk but you don’t have any on hand, and don’t want to run to the store!

The solution:

Homemade buttermilk alternative to the rescue!!

Only two ingredients:

  • Milk (full fat, reduced fat, or skim) (See below for dairy-free options)
  • Fresh Lemon Juice OR Apple Cider Vinegar (See below for more acidic suggestions)

Can White Vinegar be used in place of Apple Cider Vinegar?

Sure, but if you have raw, organic apple cider vinegar on hand (the one with the mother), then I suggest using it over white vinegar.

Raw apple cider vinegar has a multitude of health benefits that white vinegar does not.

Did you know that raw apple cider vinegar:

  • Helps lower blood sugar levels and fights diabetes.
  • Helps to reduce belly fat.
  • Lowers cholesterol and improves heart health.

Check out this article for additional information regarding all the health benefits of raw apple cider vinegar.

Can fresh lime juice be used in place of lemon juice?

Yes! Lime juice will also work in place of lemon juice or vinegar.

The key here is to use something acidic so the milk changes its structure to thicken and curdle slightly and be mildly tangy in flavor.

Can buttermilk alternative be made using dairy-free milk?

Yes! Go for it. Almond milk or even soy milk will work wonderfully well when using the same process.

Straight overhead shot of buttermilk in a glass measuring cup with a tan and black check napkin, a wooden spoon, whisk, and a measuring spoon.

For more sweet and savory dishes calling for buttermilk and/or this homemade buttermilk alternative:

Overhead picture of 23 muffins on a cooling rack with a blue background.

Sliced loaf of bread with melted butter.

Scone on a white plate with fresh blueberries and a lemon in the background.

Closeup picture of flaky fried fish on a brown plate with parsley and lemon slices.

Bundt cake with a thick white icing and orange zest on a white plate with a orange ribbon.

Orange Poppy Seed Bundt Cake with Orange Icing[/caption]

The super-easy instructions for making 1 cup of buttermilk alternative:

  • Assemble your equipment and ingredients. In this case, I’m using 2% milk and apple cider vinegar.
  • Add 1 cup of milk to a measuring cup along with one tablespoon apple cider vinegar.
  • Whisk or stir to completely combine.
  • Allow the mixture to sit at least 7-10 minutes until it becomes thicker in consistency and slightly curdled. Do not worry, this is what you’re looking for.
  • Use as you would regular buttermilk in any given recipe, sweet or savory.
How to make homemade buttermilk substitution.
How to make homemade buttermilk substitution.

Measurements for making specific amounts of buttermilk replacement:

  •  For 1 cup buttermilk  = 1 cup milk + 1 Tablespoon acid  
  •  For 3/4 cup buttermilk  = 3/4 cup milk + 2½ teaspoons acid 
  •  For 2/3 cup buttermilk  = 2/3 cup milk + 2 teaspoons acid 
  •  For 1/2 cup buttermilk  = 1/2 cup milk + 1½ teaspoons acid 
  •  For 1/4 cup buttermilk = 1/4 cup milk + 3/4 teaspoon acid 

How long will buttermilk alternative keep in the refrigerator?

  • Store this buttermilk replacement, well-sealed, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

**The following affiliate links are some suggested products I’ve chosen that will aid you in the making and serving of this recipe for Homemade Buttermilk Alternative if desired.

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By clicking on the item photo, you’ll be taken directly to if you’re interested in purchasing any of these products. You are in no way required to do so, and you will not be charged in any way unless you decide to purchase one of these products through  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For additional information please view my privacy policy.

Vertical image of a measuring cup with buttermilk, whisk, vinegar, lemon, and milk in the background.

Below is the printable recipe card along with the nutritional information for today’s Homemade Buttermilk Alternative

Buttermilk alternative inside a measuring cup with a lemon, apple cider, milk, spoons and a whisk surrounding it.

Homemade Buttermilk Alternative

Renee – Kudos Kitchen
This fast and easy buttermilk alternative will work perfectly for any time a recipe calls for buttermilk.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 1 min
resting time 9 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course ingredient
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cup
Calories 121 kcal


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


  • Whisk the ingredients together and allow to sit for 7-10 minutes before using as a buttermilk substitution in all your recipes.


Measurement calculations:
  • For 1 cup buttermilk  = 1 cup milk + 1 Tablespoon acid  
  •  For 3/4 cup buttermilk  = 3/4 cup milk + 2½ teaspoons acid 
  •  For 2/3 cup buttermilk  = 2/3 cup milk + 2 teaspoons acid 
  •  For 1/2 cup buttermilk  = 1/2 cup milk + 1½ teaspoons acid 
  •  For 1/4 cup buttermilk = 1/4 cup milk + 3/4 teaspoon acid 
Whole milk, reduced fat milk, skim milk, almond milk, soy milk may be used for the milk.
Lemon or lime juice, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar may be used as the acid.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 121kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 7gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 111mgPotassium: 330mgSugar: 12gVitamin A: 240IUCalcium: 283mg
Keyword buttermilk substitution, homemade buttermilk alternative
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Thank you so much for visiting me here today in my Kudos Kitchen!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s method for making homemade buttermilk alternative, plus all the recipes I’ve included to scratch your baking and cooking-with-buttermilk itch.

Closeup and overhead picture of homemade buttermilk in a measuring cup with a whisk, wooden spoon, and measuring spoon.

Should you have any questions or comments regarding this recipe or anything else you’ve seen on my site, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. It is always my distinct pleasure to get back with a reply just as soon as I possibly can!

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Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!

Kudos Kitchen by Renee Signature

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