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Make Homemade Buttermilk with just two ingredients you probably have on hand!

Homemade Buttermilk

We make a number of different recipes calling for buttermilk – but it always seems that we end up with more leftover buttermilk than what we needed for the recipe!

Sure – you can freeze buttermilk, and then thaw what you need. But here’s a better idea: Homemade Buttermilk!


Homemade Buttermilk

Chances are, you have both milk and lemons on hand – so why not make just enough Homemade Buttermilk for your recipe? No need to buy the quart (or larger) cartons at the supermarket.

How do you make Homemade Buttermilk?

It couldn’t be easier!

To make one cup of Homemade Buttermilk, start with one tablespoon of freshly-squeezed lemon juice in a measuring cup.

Pour milk in to the same measuring cup as the lemon juice – adding just enough milk to reach the 1-cup line. Whisk the milk and lemon juice together, then allow it to sit for five minutes.

After five minutes – you have Homemade Buttermilk that can be used in any recipe that calls for it.


Homemade Buttermilk

What kind of milk should I use to make Homemade Buttermilk?

We show this recipe made with whole milk, but you can make it with 1%, 2%, or even skim milk if you’d prefer, or if your recipe calls for buttermilk with a specific fat content.

Homemade Buttermilk

What if I don’t have any lemon juice to make homemade buttermilk?

Although we think the flavor of homemade buttermilk is best when you make it with lemon juice, in a pinch you can use white distilled vinegar in place of the lemon juice.

With this easy Homemade Buttermilk recipe, you can make as much – or as little – as you need. *We listed smaller quantities in the recipe notes below.

You might like these recipes made with Buttermilk:

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Homemade Buttermilk

Homemade Buttermilk

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup
  • Category: make your own
  • Method: stir
  • Cuisine: American


1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice**

1 cup whole milk (You can also use 1% or 2% milk fat)


Measure lemon juice into a one-cup measuring cup, then add milk to the 1-cup line. Whisk and let sit five minutes then use in any recipe that calls for buttermilk.

Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Freeze extra in a zipper seal bag for use in a later recipe.


*The proportions are 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to 1/3 cup of milk. Adjust up or down to suit your needs. Our recipe uses 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk)

**Distilled white vinegar can be used as the acid in place of lemon juice.

Keywords: Homemade Buttermilk


Homemade Buttermilk

Homemade Buttermilk


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  • Wendy wrote:

    I learned from my mother that buttermilk keeps long past the expiration date. She would keep it in a glass jar and shake it up (because it separates) when she wanted to use some.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Wendy!

  • Linda Jones wrote:

    Do you think store bought bottled lemon juice would be as affective if you don’t have fresh on hand?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Linda – I think so…although we’ve only made this with fresh lemon juice ourselves. But I do think the acid in bottled lemon juice should still work. Please let us know how it comes out if you try it!

  • Rose C Brown wrote:

    Hi Martha,
    Thank you for the tip on how to make buttermilk.

    I would usually throw away the excess milk.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re welcome Rose – hope you’ll give this a try the next time you need some buttermilk!

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