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Simple Buttermilk Substitute

It happens to all of us. You start prepping everything to make a tasty meal for your family only to discover that you’re missing one key ingredient. for me, it happened yesterday, when I set out to make a batch of ranch dressing, only to find that I’d forgotten to grab buttermilk at the store. Luckily, there is a simple buttermilk substitute available to everyone, and it’s almost guaranteed that you have both of the ingredients on-hand in your kitchen.

Granted, it’s always better to use real buttermilk when you have the option, but in our case none of our local markets carry buttermilk. That means about an hour round trip on the bus to hit the BigScaryMegaMart, wait at the transfer station, and get home.  Not an option when you need the dressing ready by dinnertime. so, we get creative, and we prevail!

A super simple buttermilk substitute to add to your kitchen hack arsenal
Yield: 1 cup

Simple Buttermilk Substitute

Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

A quick, easy substitute for Buttermilk when you desperately need buttermilk right now.


  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1 cup (minus 2 Tablespoons) milk


  1. Pour 2 Tablespoons lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup. Stir and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. (It will start to curdle, this is normal and completely OK.)
  2. Stir vigorously. Use immediately in place of buttermilk or store in the fridge until needed.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 8Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

There is also a method to do this using cream of tartar, but I’m not a huge fan of that one. It’s got an aftertaste I’m not seriously fond of. If that’s all you’ve got, you can get the recipe for that hack (and a few more), at Joy the Baker.

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