How to Make Buttermilk with Vinegar

You’re staring at a recipe that calls for buttermilk. You don’t know the last time you bought buttermilk; in fact, you don’t know if you’ve ever bought buttermilk. Lucky for you, you have a simple solution available to you as a substitute. This substitute, which uses vinegar and milk, isn’t ideal for a recipe where buttermilk is the star, such as buttermilk pie. However, it’s perfect in recipes that rely on the acid in buttermilk to help create a light and fluffy texture, such as buttermilk pancakes or Irish soda bread.

  • How much vinegar do you add to milk to make buttermilk?
  • How do you make buttermilk from regular milk?
  • How do you make half a cup of buttermilk?
  • Can you make buttermilk with heavy cream?


Buttermilk from Milk and Vinegar

Servings: 1 cup

  • 1.5 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 1 scant cup of milk

Buttermilk Pancakes with Fruit

Servings: 4 to 6

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 cup fruit

Irish Soda Bread

Servings: 16

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk

Making Buttermilk from Milk and Vinegar

  1. Add the vinegar to 1-cup measuring cup. Place 1.5 tablespoons of white vinegar in a measuring cup.
    • Buttermilk is actually a soured form of milk. You’re achieving the same effect at home by adding acid to the milk. The acid curdles the milk slightly, thickening it. The acid is also what helps the baked goods to rise through a chemical reaction. When it mixes with baking soda (a base), the two of them together produce carbon dioxide, creating bubbles in your baked goods. This process achieves an airy texture.
    • In place of the white vinegar, you can substitute lemon juice. You can also use other types of vinegar, but that can affect the flavor of your finished product.
    • You can double this recipe, but you’ll need to use double the amount of vinegar or lemon juice, too.
  2. Add the milk. Pour in the milk until it reaches the one cup mark.
    • “Scant” refers to “slightly less” in cooking, so a scant cup of milk is slightly less than a cup of milk.
    • You can use 2 percent, whole milk, half-n-half, or cream.
  3. Stir the mixture. Mix up the milk and vinegar with a spoon.
  4. Leave the mixture alone. Let the mixture stand for at least 5 minutes. You may need to leave it for up to 15 minutes. You can leave it on the counter for this process.
  5. Stir the mixture. Make sure it has thickened slightly; it should lightly coat the back of a spoon. You should also see a few curdles in the milk. If you taste it, it should be lightly sour.
  6. Use the mixture as you would buttermilk. In recipes for baked goods that call for buttermilk, use this mixture in a one-to-one ratio.

Cooking Buttermilk Pancakes with Fruit

  1. Add the dry ingredients to a sifter. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 2 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 2 cups of flour to a sifter. If you don’t have a sifter, you can use a fine mesh strainer. Sift the ingredients into a bowl.
    • To sift with a strainer, lightly shake the strainer, or tap the edge to make the ingredients fall through the holes.
  2. Melt the butter. Add a 1/2 stick of butter to microwave bowl. Heat it in the microwave until it is melted.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to another bowl. Add the 2 eggs, the 2 cups of buttermilk, and the melted butter to the bowl. Use a whisk to thoroughly mix the ingredients.
  4. Mix the two bowls. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold the batter together gently.
    • Lumps are fine for this batter. If you over mix the batter, your pancakes will be dense.
  5. Prepare the skillet. In a skillet over medium heat, add a pat of butter. Let it melt.
  6. Pour in the batter. Add 1/3 cup of the batter to the skillet. Add a small smattering of fruit on top of the pancake.
    • You can use blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries, to name a few, in either fresh or frozen varieties. However, if you use larger fruits, such as strawberries, you should chop them smaller before adding them to the pancake. You can also try small chunks of bananas or chocolate chips.
  7. Let the batter cook. Each pancake should cook for a couple of minutes on each side. Look for small bubbles in the top of the batter. Those should start to pop before you flip the pancake.
  8. Finish cooking the batter. Keep adding a 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake, cooking them until the batter is gone. Add more butter as needed to the skillet. You can hold the pancakes in a warm oven until you are ready to serve them.

Baking Simple Irish Soda Bread

  1. Preheat the oven. Turn the oven to 350 °F (177 °C). Cut parchment paper for a baking sheet, and set it aside.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, add the 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup of whole-wheat flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
  3. Cut the butter. Using a sharp knife, cut the butter into smaller pieces.
  4. Combine the butter with the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender, two butter knives, or your clean hands, cut the butter into the flour mixture.
    • If you’re using table knives, criss-cross them across the batter, using the meeting points to cut large pieces of butter smaller. You want to reach a point where the mixture is crumbly with very small chunks of butter.
  5. Add any mix-ins. You can add seasonings and flavors such as dried cranberries, caraway seeds, raisins, dill, rosemary, or cheddar cheese.
    • For seasonings, add a tablespoon or two. For mix-ins such as cranberries, raisins, or cheddar cheese, you can add up to 1 cup. With the cheese, you can add it on top once you’ve formed the loaf but before you’ve baked it.
  6. Pour in the 2 cups of buttermilk. Mix the dough together. Stop mixing once the dough is combined.
  7. Sprinkle flour on a clean counter top or pastry mat. Turn the dough out onto the flour. Knead the dough.
    • To knead the dough, punch into it with your fists, and then fold it over. Repeat the process 8 or 10 times. The dough should be more thoroughly combined when you’re done.
  8. Make a round, flat ball. Form the dough into a ball, and flatten it down to a disc. It shouldn’t be thicker than 1 1/2 inches.
  9. Place the dough on the prepared sheet. Score the top of the dough with an “X,” going about halfway through the dough.
  10. Bake the bread. Place the bread in the oven, and leave it for an hour. Turn the pan around at 30 minutes. The bread is done with the outside is golden brown and crispy.



  • You can also substitute yogurt or sour cream for buttermilk. However, you need to thin them out with milk before using them.


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  2. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/blueberry-buttermilk-pancakes-recipe2.html
  3. http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/irish-soda-bread-recipe
  4. http://joythebaker.com/2009/10/the-best-buttermilk-substitutions/
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  6. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scant
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  12. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/blueberry-buttermilk-pancakes-recipe2.html
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  21. http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/irish-soda-bread-recipe
  22. http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/irish-soda-bread-recipe
  23. http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/irish-soda-bread-recipe
  24. http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/irish-soda-bread-recipe
  25. http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/irish-soda-bread-recipe
  26. http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/irish-soda-bread-recipe
  27. http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/irish-soda-bread-recipe
  28. http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/irish-soda-bread-recipe
  29. http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-a-quick-easy-buttermilk-substitute-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-185757

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