Just put a lemon in milk! I no longer shop in stores. Only 2 ingredients.

How many times have you wanted biscuits in the Southern manner badly but didn’t have the necessary buttermilk in the refrigerator? Alternatively, let’s say you have a strong need for Nashville hot chicken but are hesitant to purchase a whole carton of buttermilk when you just need a cup.

I have a solution for both scenarios: in less than ten minutes, you can quickly prepare a buttermilk alternative. Milk combined with a teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar is the closest thing to buttermilk.

In any case, why do we need buttermilk?

Buttermilk is used to lighten and give tenderness to batter in practically all baking recipes, whether they are for pancakes or fast breads.

A huge fizz-fest occurs when the baking powder or baking soda in the batter comes into touch with the acids in the buttermilk.

The sourness of the buttermilk is neutralized by the reaction with the baking soda (or powder), leaving our baked items incredibly light, soft, and delicious.

Creating a Buttermilk Alternative

If we don’t have buttermilk in the refrigerator, milk with a teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar works fairly well as a substitute, as does any other dairy product with a little acidity added.

Although it won’t get as thick and creamy as buttermilk, this mixture will still work perfectly in the batter. As an aside, yogurt or sour cream thinned with milk (or just water, if necessary) also does admirably as a replacement for buttermilk.

I’m glad there are alternatives to buttermilk since one should never have to deny a nice pancake hunger.


  • 1 scant cup whole or 2% milk, or heavy cream
    1 tablespoon freshlyl squeezed lemon juice or distilled white vinegar


  1. Combine the milk or cream and acid. Stir 1 scant cup of milk or cream and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar together in a measuring cup.

    Depiction of the instructions in Instructions step 1
  2. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. When it is ready, the milk will be slightly thickened and you will see small curdled bits. This substitute will not become as thick as regular buttermilk, but you will also not notice the curdled bits in your finished recipe.

    Depiction of the instructions in Instructions step 2
  3. Use the buttermilk. Use this substitute (including curdled bits) as you would buttermilk in your recipe.