Easy Kitchen Tips – How to Make Buttermilk

I used to avoid recipes that had buttermilk in them because I thought buttermilk was too expensive. But then I learned a quick way to make my own buttermilk using 2 simple ingredients I always have on hand. Milk and vinegar.

So although this method is not new to me, I want to thank One Hundred Dollars a Month reader Kathy for reminding me of this easy kitchen tip.  Everyone should know about this, especially with baking season right around the corner.

How to Make Buttermilk


Milk {just under one cup}
1 Tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice {I always use white vinegar}


Place a  1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup, and add just enough milk to bring the liquid up to the one-cup line.

Let the mixture stand for five minutes. Then, use as much as your recipe calls for.  Store extra buttermilk in the refrigerator for later use.

*Thanks  Kathy for the reminder, you rock!


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  1. Kathy says

    I also make my own allspice. Not worth buying it because it’s not used often and would loose it’s oomph sitting in my spice cupboard.
    1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp clove makes 1 tsp allspice

  2. Lora says

    I’ve always called this “sour milk” – I grew up using it to make chocolate zucchini cake! I believe buttermilk, like yogurt is made with a culture.
    I use buttermilk, sour milk, and yogurt (watered down if needed) interchangeably in recipes – since it is the acidity that is most important. So, to answer Liz’s question, I think this would work fine with non dairy milk. I make tofu occasionally and soy milk reacts to acid much the way cow milk does. Liz, you could also use non-dairy yogurt which is widely available.

  3. Lindsey says

    I found it cheaper to buy a can of dried buttermilk, reconstituted with water, than to fuss with vinegar and water. Also, in home made salad dressing, it tastes better and thickens better than the milk and vinegar does. But I am with the other commentator—I use watered down yogurt for baking recipes that call for buttermilk.

  4. says

    I use this method too! I am wondering if you can also use whey in place of buttermilk? I make my own Greek yogurt and usually have more whey than I can use. I use it in place of milk, so I’m guessing it would be ok for buttermilk too.

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