Skip to content

How to Make Buttermilk At Home With Just 2 Ingredients

Don’t worry, we’re not going to make you churn butter.
PIN Print

Let me guess: You're about to make some kind of recipe, and it calls for some buttermilk. Instead of throwing on your jacket and running to the store, you would rather be able to make homemade buttermilk instead, correct? Of course you do. And that's why you're looking for the answer to how to make buttermilk at home. (Guess what? We have it.)

Thanks to the power of science, you can make an easy buttermilk substitute that works perfectly for your pancakes, biscuits, ranch dressing, or whatever else you're whipping up in the kitchen. You just need two simple ingredients that you already have in your pantry.

Before we give you the low-down on how to make homemade buttermilk, let's start with a simple question: what exactly is buttermilk?

What is buttermilk?

Before buttermilk was a product you could buy at the store, making it actually came hand-in-hand with churning butter.

Buttermilk is the leftover liquid from churning butter, typically from cultured or fermented cream. It's a tangy, milky mixture that makes baked goods light and fluffy.

However, the buttermilk you buy in-store is actually produced a little differently. The carton you find at the grocery store is actually pasteurized milk with cultures that will turn it into the tangy liquid that we know and love today.

The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

How to make buttermilk: mix milk and lemon juice

While it would be awesome to have traditional buttermilk to work with, people aren't exactly churning butter anymore. Thankfully, making a buttermilk substitute is incredibly easy.

You can make an easy buttermilk substitute with milk and freshly squeezed lemon juice. It sounds strange, but this combination works well.

The acidity in the lemon juice will actually curdle the milk, giving it that thickened consistency that works very well in your recipes.

Our recipe calls for one tablespoon of lemon juice (the juice from half a lemon) for every cup of milk.

Don't have a lemon? Try vinegar

If you don't have a lemon lying around the kitchen, you can also use distilled white vinegar! The acidity in the vinegar will work similarly to the acidity in the lemon juice. Simply swap it out using the same measurement as the lemon.

Homemade Buttermilk Recipe

Here is an easy step-by-step tutorial for you to follow!


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice or distilled white vinegar

How to Make Buttermilk

  1. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze out all of the juice.
  2. Pour the lemon juice into the cup of milk. Mix with a spoon.
  3. Let the milk mixture sit for 10 minutes. Then it's ready!
  4. If you need more for your recipe, simply double or triple the recipe.
Homemade buttermilk pancakes with fruit for breakfast
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

3/5 (144 Reviews)
Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten
Filed Under