Substitutes for Buttermilk

Why is buttermilk important in baking?

Buttermilk is something that isn’t used often in most kitchens, and then only for the purpose of baking in items like buttermilk pancakes and biscuits. As buttermilk is an unfamiliar ingredient some people will ask “what are substitutes for buttermilk”. Why is buttermilk called for when baking? It’s because buttermilk adds to the tenderness and rise of baked goods. Continue reading to find easy substitutes for buttermilk.

What is buttermilk?

In simple terms buttermilk is fermented milk. The fermented liquid is high in protein and low in fat. Most buttermilk found in stores today is “cultured” in the same way that yogurt is made.

Before I open the container of buttermilk I always give it a good shake, and be aware that fermentation makes it thicker than conventional milk.

Where can I find buttermilk?

I have found over the past few years that buttermilk isn’t always easy to find, most likely because as my birthday is in December it makes it even harder to find as the holidays are a time when a lot of people are baking. This makes something that is not stocked in large volume on a regular basis even harder to find. Last year I had to visit three different stores before I found it and truthfully I was worried I wouldn’t find it.

What can I substitute for buttermilk –

Luckily it’s easy to make substitutes for buttermilk and you will most likely have at least one of these ingredient substitutes in your pantry!

White Vinegar – 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and milk to equal 1 cup.

Lemon Juice – 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and milk to equal 1 cup.

Cream of tartar – 1 3/4 tsp cream of tartar and one cup of milk.

Let any of these choices sit for at least five minutes before using. Don’t be upset if you see the milk curdling, it means your substitute is working!

When do I use buttermilk?

I use buttermilk once a year to make myself a Red Velvet Cake for myself for my birthday.

A Red Velvet Cake is something that was very special to me and my siblings. My first memories go back to the early 1960’s. We lived in New York and our grandparents in Maryland. We knew when we were going to visit that our MomMom would have a Red Velvet Cake waiting for us. Actually, my brother was the most excited about it. And I am talking about an AUTHENTIC Red Velvet Cake with the AUTHENTIC cooked flour frosting. I will be sharing the recipe in another post.

Don’t forget to check out my recipe page for MomMom’s Red Velvet cake, it’s the perfect recipe to try any one of these substitute ingredients to make buttermilk!

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