Did you ever get ready to make a recipe that calls for buttermilk  to find that you don’t have any on hand?   Here is a handy tip on how to make a substitute for buttermilk in a recipe. Many of you probably already know this but each time I post a recipe that calls for buttermilk, I always get asked what can be substituted.

Combine 1 tablespoon white vinegar or 1 tablespoon lemon juice with enough milk to make 1 cup.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  This makes 1 cup buttermilk for use in recipes.

If you love biscuits you may also love these delicious Honey Buttermilk Biscuits. They are easy to make and a family favorite!


Don’t Forget to Pin this substitute for buttermilk tip!

Follow us on Instagram! 

© The Southern Lady Cooks photos and text – All rights reserved. No copying, posting on other sites, or other uses allowed without written permission of the copyright holder.

Feel free to “share” by clicking on the Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter buttons below.  You can print by clicking the green printer icon below.





5 Secrets to Old-Fashioned
Southern Cooking

Tips, tricks & recipes to cook Southern food just like Grandma used to!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Caldonia S. says:

    Dumb question ‍♀️ would the lemon juice (or white vinegar) trick work if I used powdered milk & water??5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I have not tried it but if you mix up the milk first and then add the vinegar it may work for you.

  2. Caldonia S. says:

    Before my buttermilk goes bad I freeze in ice cube tray and then transfer to a freezer bag
    I cant wait to try the cinnamon bread AND cinnamon chips recipes. So excited! Happy Fall

  3. Nita Grillot says:

    My mom taught me the vinegar sub many years ago when I was young, but I didn’t know about using lemon juice. These days, I keep buttermilk powder on hand. But this works quite well if you don’t have that either.

  4. Can you refrigerate the leftovers? How long will it last in the fridge?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Yes, you could Amanda and I think how long it kept would probably be determined by the date on your milk.

  5. maudie fortenberry says:

    Thank u for this tip. I have thrown buttermilk away before because my recipe didn’t call for much. Luv this.

  6. I have used this recipe to substitute for buttermilk and it works very well. But I don’t always have lemon juice or vinegar around because of a citrus allergy. I improvised using plain yogurt (1/3 cup yogurt) into about 2/3 cup of any milk, mix well. If you can let it sit overnight, it will be thick like buttermilk. I did have an unusual response to my yogurt milk, my kids liked to drink it. LOL Yes, they still like plain Greek style yogurt with milk as a beverage.

  7. ruth pappamihiel says:

    I look forward to your comments and recipe every day even tho I don`t do much cooking anymore. Thanks for all you are doing for the young mothers out there. And I just love your southern saying, you`re the best.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Thank you so much Ruth. Happy you enjoy the site and happy to have you.

  8. Linda Cornett says:

    I have always used this for buttermilk no matter the type of milk I have you cannot tell the taste difference in recipes. I sure do like a lot of your recipes they are really very good

  9. Does it matter if the milk is whole or 2% or whole milk? I almost never have whole milk in the fridge unless I am specifically using it for a recipe.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I have used both Sandy and it does not seem to matter.

  10. i was wondering if the taste is the same without useing actuall butter milk.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I don’t think you will be able to tell the difference, Judi. I have used this in a pinch and no one ever said anything about the taste. Of course, I prefer real buttermilk.

  11. Gloria Ward says:

    My LaRue’s came to Arkansas from Kentucky.It is a beautiful state.

  12. Gloria Ward says:

    Does it need to be whole milk? I always have fat free.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      No, it doesn’t need to be whole milk Gloria.