How to Make Buttermilk with Lemon Juice

Have you ever found yourself craving a recipe that calls for buttermilk, only to realize you don’t have any on hand?

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

Buttermilk is a key ingredient in many delicious dishes, from pancakes to fried chicken.

Thankfully, there’s a simple solution – making your own buttermilk using lemon juice.

In this guide, we’ll show you just how easy it is to make buttermilk with lemon juice, providing you with a handy go-to recipe that will save the day in your kitchen adventures.

So let’s dive in and unlock the secrets of homemade buttermilk!

What is Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a versatile ingredient that has been used in various cuisines for centuries.

Traditionally, buttermilk is the residual liquid left behind after churning butter.

It has a tangy and slightly sour taste, which makes it a popular choice in baking.

Buttermilk is often used in recipes for cakes, muffins, and pancakes to create a tender and moist texture.

In addition to baking, buttermilk is also commonly used in dressings, marinades, and soups to add creaminess and depth of flavor.

With its acidic properties, buttermilk can also be used as a natural tenderizer for meat.

Overall, buttermilk is a valuable ingredient that adds a unique flavor and texture to various dishes.

How to Make Buttermilk Substitute with Lemon Juice

Making a buttermilk substitute with lemon juice is a quick and easy process that can save you a trip to the grocery store.

To make this tangy and creamy substitute, you will need 1 cup of regular milk and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

It is important to note that the milk must be at room temperature to ensure proper acid reaction.

Start by adding the lemon juice to the milk and stirring well.

Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, allowing the acid in the lemon juice to curdle the milk slightly.

During this time, it is crucial to avoid stirring the mixture, as this will interrupt the curdling process.

Once the time has elapsed, give it a gentle stir and your homemade buttermilk substitute is ready to use.

It is worth mentioning that this substitute may not have the same thickness or texture as traditional buttermilk, but it will still provide a similar tangy flavor to your recipes.

Use this substitute in any recipe that calls for buttermilk in a 1:1 ratio.

Remember, this lemon juice and milk combination can be a useful alternative for those with lactose intolerance, as it provides a similar taste without the dairy.

So, the next time you find yourself without buttermilk in the fridge, reach for the lemon juice and make your own buttermilk substitute in minutes!

Uses of Buttermilk made with Lemon Juice

Buttermilk made with lemon juice is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes.

From baked goods to marinades and dressings, homemade buttermilk with lemon juice adds a tangy flavor and a creamy texture to your dishes.

It can be used as a substitute for commercial buttermilk in many recipes.

Whether you’re making pancakes, biscuits, or cakes, the homemade substitute can be used interchangeably with store-bought buttermilk.

The difference in taste between the two is minimal, and the homemade version provides the same acidic tang and slight tangy aftertaste that enhances the flavor of the final dish.

The advantage of making buttermilk with lemon juice is that it can be easily prepared at home with just two simple ingredients – lemon juice and milk.

Additionally, the homemade substitute can be customized to your desired consistency by adjusting the ratio of lemon juice to milk.

Overall, using buttermilk made with lemon juice is a convenient and cost-effective way to add a touch of tanginess to your favorite recipes.


Making buttermilk at home is a simple and cost-effective way to ensure you always have this versatile ingredient on hand.

By combining lemon juice with milk, you can create a suitable buttermilk substitute that works just as well in recipes as store-bought buttermilk.

The process involves adding about one tablespoon of lemon juice to one cup of milk, either whole or low-fat, and allowing it to sit for about 10 minutes.

During this time, the acid in the lemon juice reacts with the milk, causing it to thicken and develop a tangy flavor similar to traditional buttermilk.

While the texture and taste of homemade buttermilk may not be identical to store-bought versions, it can still produce equally delicious results in your baked goods and savory dishes.

Whether you’re making fluffy pancakes, tender biscuits, or creamy dressings, homemade buttermilk can seamlessly replace its commercial counterpart.

So don’t hesitate to give it a try and discover the convenience and satisfaction of making your own buttermilk at home!


What is buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a tangy and creamy dairy product commonly used in baking and cooking.

It is traditionally made by churning butter from cultured cream, resulting in a slightly sour flavor and thick consistency.

Today, buttermilk is typically made by adding a acid like lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk, which causes it to curdle and develop a similar taste and texture to traditional buttermilk.

What type of lemon juice should I use for making buttermilk?

You should use fresh, natural lemon juice made from freshly squeezed lemons for making buttermilk.

Can you make buttermilk with bottled lemon juice?

Yes, you can make buttermilk with bottled lemon juice.

Simply mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with one cup of milk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it thickens slightly.

Stir well before using as a substitute for buttermilk in your recipes.

What is the process of making buttermilk with lemon juice?

The process of making buttermilk with lemon juice involves adding lemon juice to milk and allowing it to sit for about 10 minutes until the milk curdles and thickens.

How long does it take to make buttermilk with lemon juice?

It typically takes about 5 to 10 minutes to make buttermilk with lemon juice.

How can I tell if the buttermilk is ready?

To check if the buttermilk is ready, give it a gentle stir with a spoon or whisk.

If it appears thick and creamy with a slightly tangy smell, then it is likely ready to use.

How should I store homemade buttermilk?

Homemade buttermilk should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

It can be kept for up to 2 weeks.

How long will homemade buttermilk last?

Homemade buttermilk will typically last for about two weeks when stored properly in the refrigerator.

Is homemade buttermilk as good as store-bought?

Homemade buttermilk can be just as good as store-bought, as it is freshly made and can have a richer flavor.

Additionally, making buttermilk at home gives you control over the ingredients, ensuring a healthier option free from any additives or preservatives.

Can I use homemade buttermilk in any recipe that calls for buttermilk?

Yes, you can use homemade buttermilk in any recipe that calls for buttermilk.

It will have the same tangy flavor and can be used as a substitute in baking, marinades, dressings, and other recipes.

Just ensure that you follow the recipe measurements correctly to ensure the right consistency and taste in your dish.

What can I substitute for lemon juice when making buttermilk?

You can substitute lemon juice with white vinegar when making buttermilk.