Say you're in the middle of a big baking project and suddenly realize you're fresh out of buttermilk...here are five homemade substitutes for buttermilk using ingredients you'll likely have on hand.

By Carl Hanson
Updated November 30, 2020
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If you find yourself without buttermilk in the middle of a baking project, you can't just skip it. You'll still need that acidic reaction and tangy flavor that only buttermilk provides.

When you can't jump in the car and drive to the grocery store — or if the store is out of buttermilk, which can happen in these days of COVID-19 — you'll be glad to know we have five easy ways to replicate buttermilk's effect and flavor in recipes.

With five options, chances are you may have at least some of these ingredients in your pantry and fridge. With luck, you'll have a little regular milk in your fridge. To make a vegan buttermilk substitute, replace the dairy milk in these recipes with almond milk or soy milk.

How to Make Buttermilk Substitutes

Each buttermilk substitute recipe below combines regular milk with an acidic ingredient like lemon juice or yogurt. Each substitute makes 1 cup.

To make each of these substitutes for buttermilk, stir the ingredients together and let them sit for about 10 minutes so the milk can "sour." Then go ahead, use it as a substitute for buttermilk in baking. One cup of real or substitute buttermilk = 1 cup of whole, skim, or non-fat milk.

1. White Vinegar + Milk

1 tablespoon white vinegar + enough milk to make 1 cup

2. Lemon Juice + Milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice + enough milk to make 1 cup

3. Cream of Tartar + Milk

1 ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar + 1 cup milk

4. Yogurt + Milk

¾ cup yogurt + ¼ cup milk

5. Sour Cream + Milk

¾ cup sour cream + ¼ cup milk

Related: Check out our collection of Recipes with Buttermilk.