What can i substitute for buttermilk

In this brief guide, we will address and answer the query, “What can I substitute for buttermilk?” and answer other related questions like “What is the best substitute that can be used as an alternative to buttermilk?”

What can I substitute for buttermilk?

There are many alternatives to choose from that can be used as a substitute for buttermilk.

A few of the commonly preferred alternatives are as follows:

Sour cream

Sour cream is a great dairy product made from regular cream through the process of bacterial fermentation. It can be used as a good alternative to buttermilk. Sour cream is normally used as a topping for baked potatoes. It also plays a key role in baking and is an important ingredient.

Sour cream can be made by mixing just two ingredients which are cream and yogurt. It is a commonly used ingredient in many nations. Especially in India. In India, sour cream is one of the most commonly relished household items and is consumed very frequently.

Sour cream is used as a base for various kinds of dips, chutneys,  curries, gravies, naan, etc. Sour cream can be easily made at home. It can also be readily bought from local grocery or dairy shops.


Yogurt is a dairy product that is made by the bacterial fermentation of milk and is a very popular item everywhere across the globe. Yogurt is the best substitute for buttermilk.  Especially, in baking, since it adds moisture that is needed for making baked recipes such as cake or bread and makes it gooey, and soft and helps enhance the texture.

The tangy, acidic flavor and thick texture of yogurt are similar to buttermilk. It can be diluted by adding a little amount of water. Plain yogurt makes for a good alternative to buttermilk.

Buttermilk powder

Buttermilk powder is a type of dry milk that can be stored for a long time. It is a good substitute for sour buttermilk. Again, in baking, it is a handy alternative. One usually has it at home and can make any baked good rich, creamy and flavourful. Just mix it in water as per the requirements of the recipe and keep churning till it turns into a creamier form.

Milk and Cream of Tartar

Another great way to substitute buttermilk is by using milk and cream of tartar. Cream of tartar is an acidic substance. Chemically, it is also known as potassium bi-tartrate. It is a type of fine white powder and is a by-product of making wine. It naturally has a neutral flavor.

When mixed with milk, cream of tartar tends to clump when stirred directly. It is always good practice to mix the cream of tartar with the other ingredients in a food recipe, before adding the required amount of milk.

Lactose-free Milk

Lactose-free milk is primarily a composition of fat and protein in water. Without the lactose content. It is a good option to make lactose free buttermilk by mixing it with lemon juice or vinegar. However, it adds a bit of a sweeter taste to the dishes. It is readily available in many grocery stores. It adds the same flavor and texture to the dishes.

Lactose-free milk is also a very versatile ingredient used in most desserts and even in some curry recipes. Such a type of milk is also used to produce a variety of dairy products.

Common grocery store food items such as yogurt, cheese, butter, etcetera, can all be made with the help of lactose-free milk. This is a healthy alternative for people with less tolerance for lactose. Especially, when it comes to growth, building, and maintaining strong bones. The nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of the body are all found in lactose-free milk.

Heavy cream

Heavy cream is also a good substitute for buttermilk in cooking and baking. Since it is semi-liquid and can be combined with milk and water to bring it to the consistency of buttermilk. As with itself, it is quite thick, by liquefying it, one can make any baked item taste good. Use half a cup of heavy cream and half a cup of milk and some water. Mix them well.

What is buttermilk?

Buttermilk is traditionally made using the leftover products while making butter. It is made by adding lactic acid bacteria to milk. Buttermilk has a salty and tangy flavor. It is thick and used for making biscuits, pancakes, waffles, muffins, cakes, etcetera.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “What can I substitute for buttermilk ” and answered other related questions like “What is the best substitute that can be used as an alternative to buttermilk?”



What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.