If you need a buttermilk powder substitute, try using one of these common ingredients or combination of ingredients! Whether you are making fluffy biscuits, decadent cakes, rich sauces, or savory soups, one of these buttermilk alternatives is sure to work for you!
The Best Substitutes For Buttermilk Powder
You are probably familiar with buttermilk, but what about dry buttermilk? Dry buttermilk (or buttermilk powder) is made from buttermilk.
Some companies mix buttermilk with skim milk or whey before drying. Other companies use 100% fresh buttermilk.
- The Best Substitutes For Buttermilk Powder
- What Is Buttermilk Powder Used For?
- Best Substitutes For Dry Buttermilk
- 1. DIY Dry Buttermilk
- 2. Fresh Buttermilk
- 3. Whole Milk
- 4. Milk + Lemon Juice
- 5. Milk + White Vinegar
- 6. Milk + Apple Cider Vinegar
- 7. Coconut Milk + Lemon Juice (Or Vinegar)
- 8. Milk + Cream Of Tartar
- 9. Milk + Yogurt
- 10. Milk + Greek Yogurt
- 11. Milk + Sour Cream
- 📋 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Buttermilk powder is a great alternative to fresh buttermilk because of its longer shelf life. Many recipes that call for buttermilk only use 1 to 2 cups. Therefore, many home cooks often find they are left with half a carton of buttermilk.
Unfortunately, fresh buttermilk does not stay good in the fridge for that long. In many cases, the extra buttermilk ends up getting thrown out before it can be used. That’s one reason buttermilk powder is such a great alternative!
What Is Buttermilk Powder Used For?
Buttermilk powder can be reconstituted with water to make buttermilk. Even better, you only have to add water to the amount you need. The rest of the powder can stay on the shelf until the next recipe.
While buttermilk powder can be used in place of fresh buttermilk, that is not its most popular use. Dried buttermilk is an ideal ingredient for adding moisture and flavor to baked goods. It elevates everything from chocolate cake to biscuits.
In addition, buttermilk powder is great for soups, sauces, and dips! Especially when combined with thick rich bases like cream, milk, or yogurt. The result is deliciously creamy and tangy.
Best Substitutes For Dry Buttermilk
Even though buttermilk powder is a dry ingredient, many of the ready-to-use substitutes are in liquid form. Since buttermilk powder is meant to be combined with liquid, these liquid substitutes work quite well.
However, be mindful that you will need to make some adjustments to your recipes to accommodate for the extra liquid. With the right modification, most of these substitutes will not shift the overall texture too much.
If you want the closest replacement for texture and taste, then stick with a dry substitute. The best option is a DIY buttermilk powder.
1. DIY Dry Buttermilk
To make buttermilk powder all you need is powdered milk and cream of tartar. These are the dried versions of what you would use to make homemade fresh buttermilk (milk + acid).
Powdered milk provides the primary dairy base. The cream of tartar acts as the acidic compound. When the two are mixed it creates a “sour” powdered milk. This is essentially what dried buttermilk is.
- ½ cup powdered milk
- 3 teaspoons cream of tartar
Combine the two ingredients by dry whisking them or using a blender. Use in a 1:1 replacement for dried buttermilk.
This substitute is perfect for replacing dried buttermilk in baking recipes. It will maintain a close consistency to the original recipe.
The one difference you may notice is a lack of tang in the taste. While the cream of tartar is an acidic compound, it does not have the tangy taste of traditionally fermented buttermilk.
2. Fresh Buttermilk
In many recipes, you can use fresh buttermilk as a substitute for buttermilk powder. This is a great choice when you want to maintain the taste and textural elements of buttermilk powder.
Fresh buttermilk will provide the same type of moist results in baking and creaminess in savory dishes. It will also add that natural tangy flavor. Some may find the tanginess of fresh buttermilk to be more prominent than its powdered counterpart.
While fresh buttermilk will add a lovely texture it is important to be mindful that it doesn’t make your recipe too liquid!
In contrast to buttermilk powder that activates when mixed with the liquid in a recipe, fresh buttermilk is already liquid. Therefore, you may want to leave out some of the additional liquid (water, milk, oil) in your recipe.
Use 1 cup of fresh buttermilk in place of a ¼ cup of buttermilk powder. Add the fresh buttermilk before any other liquids. Then, slowly add the other liquids only until the desired consistency is reached.
3. Whole Milk
One of the easiest substitutes for dried buttermilk is regular milk. Preferably whole milk.
Whole milk is thicker and creamier than other milk due to its higher fat content. It will be the best for providing a moist and creamy texture to your recipe. However, other milk can also be used.
Like fresh buttermilk, whole milk will add liquid to your recipe. Therefore, follow the same practice of adding the milk first to avoid having too much liquid.
Use 1 cup of whole milk in place of a ¼ cup of buttermilk powder. Regular milk is best used as a substitute for soups, sauces, or dips. This is because it is lacking the acidic compound of buttermilk powder.
The lack of acid will impact the texture of baked goods. The acidic compound in buttermilk powder is used to activate rising agents like baking soda and baking powder. This helps provide a fluffy and airy texture to baked goods.
If you don’t have any acid in your recipe, then your baked goods will be denser. You can still get that fluffy texture by adding a simple acid if you have it though. Skip to the next substitute to learn how!
4. Milk + Lemon Juice
Creating an acidic substitute for buttermilk powder is super easy! It’s like making homemade buttermilk! All you need is lemon juice.
Mix 1 cup of milk (preferably whole milk) and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a cup. Let this mixture stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
When the milk has gotten thick and started to curdle you have buttermilk! You can use this the same way you would use fresh buttermilk as a substitute.
Since it has an acidic compound (from the lemon juice) it can also be used in baking. You will get a lighter and fluffier baked texture than if you use milk by itself.
1 cup of milk + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice = ¼ cup of buttermilk powder.
Even though lemon juice has its own distinct flavor you will not notice it once it is mixed with the milk. Instead, it transforms from lemon to the naturally sour buttermilk taste.
5. Milk + White Vinegar
If you don’t have lemon juice, you can use white vinegar as your acidic compound.
Mix 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon white vinegar and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Use in place of a ¼ cup of buttermilk powder.
While white vinegar has a neutral taste, it is a harsher taste than lemon juice. It will provide a bit stronger overall tanginess to the taste of your recipe.
6. Milk + Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can also be used to sour milk. It is a more distinct flavor than white vinegar, but not quite as harsh.
Apple cider vinegar is best used for baked goods that have a cinnamon, apple, or fruit flavor base.
Mix 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. After it sours, use in place of ¼ cup of buttermilk powder. As with any other milk substitutes, consider leaving out some additional liquids.
7. Coconut Milk + Lemon Juice (Or Vinegar)
One of the reasons you may need a substitute for buttermilk powder is if you are vegan or dairy-free. If you need a dairy-free substitute, the best choice is to make your own soured coconut milk.
While you can make “buttermilk” from any plant-based milk, coconut milk is the best choice. With its higher fat content, it provides a rich and creamy texture that is closest to buttermilk powder.
Mix 1 cup of coconut milk (use the canned coconut milk for best results) + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or vinegar). Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Use 1 cup soured coconut milk in place of a ¼ cup of buttermilk powder.
Be mindful that coconut milk has a distinctive flavor! You will notice the coconut flavor in whatever recipe you use it in.
8. Milk + Cream Of Tartar
If you are concerned that by using milk as a substitute you will make your recipe too runny, try mixing it with cream of tartar.
Adding cream of tartar to milk will create a paste-like consistency. Therefore, it will not create as much extra liquid in your recipe. Moreover, the cream of tartar lends an acidic base that resembles the buttermilk powder.
Add 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar to 1 cup of milk. Mix well until it forms a paste. Use as a substitute for ¼ cup of buttermilk powder. This works best for baked goods like cakes and biscuits.
9. Milk + Yogurt
While milk on its own is not acidic, other dairy products are naturally acidic. Foods like yogurt have an acidic base due to the fermentation process. Therefore, they can be used to act in the same way buttermilk does in cooking.
However, yogurt on its own is often too thick. To create the best consistency mix it with milk. The result will be a nice creamy base that can be used as a substitute for buttermilk powder in any recipe. It will also provide the same type of tangy taste.
Mix ¼ cup milk + ¾ cup plain yogurt to replace a ¼ cup of buttermilk powder. This works especially well in sauce and dips.
10. Milk + Greek Yogurt
Plain Greek yogurt provides the same benefits as regular yogurt as a substitute. However, it is thicker than regular yogurt, so the ratio is a bit different.
Combine ⅓ cup Greek yogurt with ⅔ cup milk and use in place of ¼ cup of buttermilk powder.
11. Milk + Sour Cream
One other naturally soured dairy product that is a great substitute is sour cream! This is a particularly great choice for a rich tangy flavor in soups, sauces, and dips.
Mix ¾ cup sour cream with ¼ cup milk. Use as a substitute for ¼ cup powdered buttermilk.
It is also great for biscuits and other baked goods. Use it as a buttermilk powder substitute in chocolate or lemon-based cakes or muffins for moisture and tang!
Any one of these buttermilk powder substitutes would be a great choice if you don't have any on hand. Leave a comment down below telling us which substitute worked for you!
Best Buttermilk Powder Substitute: DIY Buttermilk Powder (+More Great Alternatives!)
DIY Buttermilk Powder
- ½ cup powdered milk
- 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup buttermilk
DIY Buttermilk Powder
- Combine the powdered milk and cream of tartar then whisk together until evenly distributed. Use as you would buttermilk powder to replace buttermilk in any recipe.½ cup powdered milk, 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
- Use liquid buttermilk in recipes that call for using buttermilk powder with liquid ingredients. Start with ¼ cup buttermilk and add in small amounts until your desired consistency is reached. *Be sure to add the buttermilk before any other liquids called for in your recipe.1 cup buttermilk
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!