Monday, June 14, 2010

Homemade Buttermilk Substitute from the pig pen

I love to bake, but finding time to bake is often difficult which is why I love to make a homemade dessert if I need to take a dessert to something.  This is why I will be baking 8 dozen of cookies later this week for our two oldest children to take to Vacation Bible School even if the kids would probably be happier with some Oreos.

Any way, it seems like I have a lot of recipes that call for buttermilk:  my Grandmother's Red Velvet Cake, my go-to white cake, and my son's favorite banana cake to name a few.  I have always known that there was a way to make a buttermilk substitute, but it always made me nervous to try since the buttermilk was a key ingredient in my mind.  So I have always bought the buttermilk and watched half of the container go to waste because I ran out of time to make something else with the buttermilk.  (I realize buttermilk is a form of sour milk so the "use by" date might be a little facetious, but  I have always faithfully followed it. )

A couple of months ago, I found out at 4pm that we were going to a friend's house for dinner at 6:30pm and I was in charge of dessert.  After looking through my pantry and fridge, I realized I had everything to make banana cake, even the ripe bananas, except for buttermilk; however, I did have milk and vinegar so I decided to try making a homemade buttermilk substitute AKA sour milk.

For each 1 cup of sour milk, put 1 Tablespoon of vinegar in a glass measuring cup.  Then add enough milk to make 1 cup of total liquid.  Stir and let stand for at least 5 minutes before using.  Use the same amount of sour milk as you would buttermilk. 

(Always measure liquid ingredients at eye level and in a measuring cup made for liquids.)

I was a little nervous in making the sour milk, but the cake got rave reviews and I have used the sour milk as a buttermilk substitute in every recipe calling for buttermilk since and I even used skim milk to make it. 

So now my son just waits for our bananas to ripen or in his mind rot so we can make his favorite banana cake.


The Girl Creative


  1. That is sooooo smart, Heather! I have that same problem! Now I know how to fix it! You are rockin', girl! :)

  2. I wish I could take the credit for thinking this one up, but I am nowhere near that creative. I just wanted to share that I was finally brave enough to try it so maybe others would too. :-)

  3. That is a great tip!!! I hate buying ingredients that I know will go rotten.

    I bet that lace canopy was gorgeous. The bedding was a full size, and we no longer have a full size bed, so I've had no where to use it, but I refused to get rid of it! Now I'm glad I still have it!

  4. Another way to make buttermilk is to use lemon juice instead of the vinegar. I have come to prefer the taste much more. I make my own ranch dressing using the lemon juice recipe and think it tastes much closer to the real deal.

  5. Great tip! I have tons of buttermilk recipes and hate when I want to make them and don't have the goods.

  6. I am right there with you on wasting the remainder of the buttermilk. I hate it, but it always happens! This is a great solution.

  7. I'm always searching for substitutes for various things. Thanks for sharing this one.

  8. I've done that before! My husband's mom told me about it and it seemed to work just fine. I can't for the life of me remember what I used it for though....

  9. Thanks for the suggestion. I'm guessing the consistency isn't the same as buttermilk though, right?

  10. You are correct. It isn't as thick as regular buttermilk, but I have yet to be able to taste a difference to my amazement.


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