Buttermilk substitute in cakes

Buttermilk substitute in cakes

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Have you ever noticed how every wonderful cake recipe you discover asks for buttermilk? It’s not that odd. Buttermilk is the secret ingredient that can immediately convert your cake from mediocre to spectacular.

That being said, it’s not every day that you’ll have buttermilk on hand. These, like other dairy products, have a rather limited shelf life and are usually used in baking rather than being sipped as a beverage. But what happens when you don’t have any?

I’m Angie, a self-taught baker with over ten years of expertise, and I just launched my own little cake company. Since buttermilk is difficult to come by where I reside, I’ve long depended on replacements.

In this post, I’ll share with you all of the numerous buttermilk alternatives I’ve tried so you don’t have to.

Continue reading to see what they are!

What is Buttermilk?

Buttermilk, according to Southern Living, is still cultured milk. It is a byproduct of butter production. When the fat and milk solids in milk are removed and made into butter, the remaining tart liquid is what we call buttermilk.

Buttermilk has an unique fermented, somewhat sour flavor. It is white in color but has a thicker consistency than milk and a thinner consistency than yogurt.

What Does Buttermilk Do in Cakes?

Apart from adding a mild tangy taste to cakes, buttermilk’s acidity helps to break down gluten and make your cake or baked goods more delicate and soft. It also provides a lot of moisture to your cakes.

5 Buttermilk Replacements in Cakes

The good news is that buttermilk is not difficult to substitute. You may easily make your own alternative by following the steps outlined below!

1. Milk + Acid

When you look at the ingredients of buttermilk, you’ll see that it’s mostly acidic milk. You can simply make this using things you probably already have in your home.


This is my favorite alternative, and I use it practically every week since it is so simple!

To produce one cup of homemade buttermilk, combine one cup of milk with one tablespoon of vinegar and let aside for five minutes, or until the milk begins to curdle and split.

While distilled white vinegar is preferable since it does not change the color of your milk, I’ve used apple cider vinegar in the past with good results.

Cream of Tartar

If you’re a baker, you’re likely to have cream of tartar in your pantry.

Cream of tartar contains a significant amount of acid. When I make meringue, I typically add it to the egg whites to help it keep its structure.

Add roughly one and a half tablespoons of cream of tartar to each cup of buttermilk. Wait a few minutes, or until your milk thickens.

Lemon Juice

If you don’t have vinegar or cream of tartar, use lemon juice instead! If possible, use freshly squeezed juice. Lemon juice, like vinegar, is acidic enough to make milk sour.

A cup of milk and a spoonful of lemon juice are all you need. After your milk has curdled, combine the two and use.

2. Watered Down Sour Cream/Yogurt 

Although buttermilk is thicker than plain milk, it is on the watery side when compared to sour cream and yogurt. They are comparable in terms of component and acidity. Thus just diluting your sour cream or yogurt will provide an exact alternative for buttermilk.

To make a cup of buttermilk, combine a cup of sour cream or plain yogurt with a cup of water. You may also substitute milk for water for a little fuller taste.

3. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented yogurt-like drink made from dairy. It tastes sour and has a similar consistency to buttermilk, making it an excellent alternative.

To substitute kefir for buttermilk, just use the same quantity of kefir as buttermilk. Easy-peasy.

5. Plant-based Milk + Acid

If you are on a dairy-free or plant-based diet and cannot consume buttermilk, don’t panic; you can still produce your own plant-based buttermilk.

2 teaspoon vinegar. Mix it everything together and let it aside for at least five minutes before using. 14 cup plant-based yogurt, 4 cup nut or rice milk You will need three


Here are some solutions to frequently asked buttermilk questions.

What does baking soda do to buttermilk?

Baking soda is a fundamental ingredient. When a base mixes with an acidic substance, such as buttermilk, a chemical reaction occurs, producing carbon dioxide. The air bubbles formed aid in the expansion of your baked products, making them more fluffy and voluminous.

Is sour cream or buttermilk better in a cake?

This is ultimately determined by the kind of cake you are preparing as well as your own preferences. Since it neutralizes the acidity of baking soda, buttermilk works best in a cake containing baking soda. Sour cream, on the other hand, has fat and will add moisture and suppleness to your cake.

Is buttermilk better than milk for baking?

Again, this is dependent on the recipe and your preferences. Cakes cooked with buttermilk are often moister and more tender.

Final Thoughts

Buttermilk adds moisture and flavor to baked products. But don’t worry if you don’t have any on hand; you can simply create your own, even if you’re vegan!

Have you tried any of these alternatives? Or do you have your own that I’m not aware of? If so, please leave a comment below and tell us what it is.

Angie’s Bio


What can be used instead of buttermilk?

These are several dairy-based buttermilk alternatives.
Vinegar with milk. When vinegar is added to milk, it becomes acidic, similar to buttermilk.
Milk with lemon juice…. Milk with cream of tartar…. Lactose-free milk with acid…. Sour cream with water or milk.
Plain yogurt with water or milk… Kefir with water or milk…
Water and buttermilk powder.
Feb 4, 2019

What happens if you use milk instead of buttermilk in baking?

It is not suggested to substitute buttermilk in recipes that call for it with plain milk since the lack of acid will generate a different outcome. Yet, combining an acidic component with plain milk results in a replacement with qualities similar to buttermilk.

What is a substitute for 1 2 cup of buttermilk?

3 cup milk of choice. 3 cup of buttermilk 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice + 22 cup milk of choice. 12 cup buttermilk + 22 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice: 1 11

Can you substitute water for buttermilk in cake?

Alternatives to buttermilk include:

1 cup buttermilk is 34 cup sour cream plus 14 cup water or milk. 1 cup buttermilk is equal to 1 cup milk plus 14 tablespoons cream of tartar. 1 cup buttermilk is equal to 1 cup water and 14 cup buttermilk powder.

What does buttermilk do in baking?

Buttermilk is made up of a range of acids that are produced during the fermentation process and provide advantages to baked foods. For starters, the acidity adds a sour taste to many types of sweet baked delicacies. Second, it activates baking soda, resulting in the production of the gas that causes dough or batter to rise.

What is a healthier substitute for buttermilk?

Yogurt works best when used as a 1:1 substitution for buttermilk. That instance, if a recipe asks for 1 cup buttermilk, just substitute 1 cup plain yogurt. Just be sure to use a liquid measuring cup.

Can I use baking soda instead of buttermilk?

2 teaspoon of baking soda. When using buttermilk instead of milk, replace some or all of the baking powder with baking soda to achieve the desired result. Reduce the amount of baking powder by 2 teaspoons for each cup of buttermilk substituted for sweet milk.

Does buttermilk make a difference in baking?

Buttermilk is an essential ingredient in baking. A baker’s dream is acidic milk coupled with baking soda in a recipe. It contributes to the lightness and softness of baked goods. When baking soda is mixed with buttermilk’s lactic acids, the acid neutralizes the metallic taste of sodium carbonate.

How to make buttermilk without buttermilk?

To make buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar into a 1 cup measuring cup and then fill the remainder of the measuring cup with milk. Next, carefully whisk the mixture and let aside for 5 minutes. If you don’t have vinegar on hand, lemon juice and cream of tartar work well as buttermilk substitutes.

What can I substitute for 1.5 cups of buttermilk?

To thin, use 4 cup plain water. Use in the same way that you would buttermilk. To thin, combine 4 cup sour cream and 14 cup water. Use in the same way that you would buttermilk. The sour cream: Mix 34 cup plain yogurt plus 1Yogurt: Combine 3

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