DIY Buttermilk

DIY Buttermilk

Buttermilk has become a staple in our refrigerator lately. I seriously buy a quart of it every week or so. My son’s favorite breakfast is buttermilk banana pancakes and buttermilk waffles. Since it’s a meal he’ll actually ask for seconds or thirds of, I will gladly mix up a batch of these yummy pancakes regularly. I also love to make rustic buttermilk biscuits on the weekends for brunch. I’ve even found lots of other baking recipes that contain buttermilk that I’ve enjoyed trying. However, before my pancake devouring toddler came along, buttermilk was something that was sort of a hassle when I found it in an ingredients list. I never had it on hand, I didn’t use it all, and I tended to shy away from these recipes just to avoid having to buy a whole quart of it, only to waste much of it. The last thing I want to do on a weekend morning is to wake up, get out of my pajamas, to go to the store to buy just buttermilk for breakfast foods (or send my husband to get it!). I love breakfast, like I really love breakfast, don’t get me wrong, but to have to shed my pajamas to make a run to the grocery store, on the weekend, just isn’t for me. If only I could relive my college days where wearing my pajamas and sweats in public was the norm…

Cue the DIY buttermilk hack! I wish I would have known that a buttermilk substitute could be created at home with just two simple ingredients! All you need is milk and lemon juice. Use any % of milk you have on hand, I use whole milk, but 1% or 2% works as well, and your lemon juice can be fresh squeezed or bottled. The process is easy and takes 5-10 minutes. When you add the acidic lemon juice to the milk, it sort of curdles the milk giving it one of buttermilk’s classic characteristics. I know you can also try making DIY buttermilk with vinegar, but I’ve never tried it. Perhaps I’ll give it a go someday (probably when I’m out of lemon juice!). Have any of you ever made your own buttermilk at home?

Here is my go to recipe for Classic Buttermilk Pancakes that you can try your DIY buttermilk in. Enjoy!



1 cup milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh squeezed or bottled


  1. Mix the milk and lemon juice together in a small bowl. Let the mixture stand for 5-10 minutes.

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