This vegan buttermilk recipe is made with only two ingredients, one glass, and 10 minutes of your time.
You will be able to cook all those recipes that call for buttermilk, including biscuits, pancakes, and baked goods such as cornbread and vegan banana bread, achieving the same results!
Buttermilk is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. This article will cover what it is, how to make vegan buttermilk, and ways to use it!
- 🤔 What is buttermilk?
- 🥬 Is buttermilk vegan?
- 🥛 What does buttermilk taste like?
- 🧾 Buttermilk Vegan Ingredients
- 🔪 How to make vegan buttermilk
- 🍋 How to curdle non-dairy milk
- 💭 Which kind of vegan milk should I use?
- 🍶 What vinegar to use to make buttermilk
- 📖 How to make non-dairy buttermilk -step by step
- ❓ Recipe Q&A
- 🥧 What can I use vegan buttermilk with?
- ⏲️ How long does buttermilk last?
- 🧀 More dairy-free vegan cheese
- 📋 Recipe
- 🌡️ Food safety
- 💬 Reviews and Comments
🤔 What is buttermilk?
Buttermilk has a lot of different meanings depending on who you ask. It can range from a drink to a by-product of churning butter or yogurt, and it can be made from dairy products or not at all!
The dairy staple is often found in sweet and savory recipes like biscuits, dressings cake, vegan apple cake, and bread. Traditional buttermilk is made with raw pasteurized milk and is inoculated with cultures.
For baked goods, the acidity lends leavening power when reacting with baking soda and breaks down gluten formation for a more tender final product.
When you are lactose intolerant, vegan, or both, finding a replacement in their recipe may seem like finding a needle in a haystack. We aim to help! Why does buttermilk in recipes matter so much?
🥬 Is buttermilk vegan?
Buttermilk is traditional milk with higher acid content. In vegan baking, it gives an amazingly tart taste and helps to leaven them.
It is not vegan, but it is very easy to make your own vegan buttermilk substitute with only 2 staple ingredients.
🥛 What does buttermilk taste like?
Buttermilk tastes sour, tangy, and a little salty with a creamy texture. It's sometimes used in baking because it helps to make cakes and bread light and fluffy. In Latin America, it is common to drink it as a beverage because of its sour taste, although sugar is often added.
Dairy buttermilk is made by adding bacteria to milk, which causes it to thicken and curdle. This process gives it its distinctive flavor. When buttermilk is used in baking recipes, the baking soda reacts with the acidity of the buttermilk to create a light and fluffy texture.
Making vegan versions such as almond milk buttermilk follows a similar process, whereas something acidic is added to dairy-free milk and then lets the liquid curdles.
🧾 Buttermilk Vegan Ingredients
This recipe requires two ingredients:
- Unsweetened Soy milk, or any unsweetened plant-based milk, preferably high-protein ones: Plant-based milk is used as a base for the vegan buttermilk, providing a creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavor. High-protein plant-based milk is preferred as it helps to thicken the mixture and create a more buttermilk-like consistency.
- Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar is added to the plant-based milk, causing it to curdle and thicken, mimicking the acidity and tanginess of traditional buttermilk.
🔪 How to make vegan buttermilk
- Combine lemon juice with your choice of plant-based milk. We recommend using soy milk, oat milk, or almond milk.
- Wait 5-10 minutes until the plant-based milk curdles.
- Use your homemade vegan buttermilk or store it.
🍋 How to curdle non-dairy milk
The two factors that come into play when curdling plant-based milk are:
The protein content of your milk - choose kinds of plant milk with high content of protein like soy milk, pea milk, hemp milk, or even oat milk.
Acidity - we like using either lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or distilled white vinegar. The acid component you choose will slightly influence the flavor of your homemade buttermilk; we find that these three are the ones that deliver more consistent results.
Also because they are the most consistent flavor profiles you can get, regardless of your location.
💭 Which kind of vegan milk should I use?
So, an important question! What milk is best for buttermilk?
Most kinds of plant milk will work except for a few exceptions, where it may or not work. Always ensure that it's not sweetened.
Recommended Plant-based milk kinds (high-protein)
Soy milk, hemp milk, quinoa milk, and oat milk.
Almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, rice milk.
Note: unsweetened almond milk has just enough the amount of protein needed to curdle (1 g per cup, or 240 ml). Just bear in mind that it might take a little more time or inconsistent results.
🍶 What vinegar to use to make buttermilk
Apple cider vinegar is the best vegan buttermilk option for baking and cooking, while distilled white vinegar is the most convenient substitute for vegan buttermilk. It has a neutral taste, unlike ACV, which has a more pronounced flavor profile.
Always try to use uncolored or lightly colored vinegar, as the color will affect the end result of your vegan buttermilk recipe.
Don't use strong-flavored vinegar like balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar.
📖 How to make non-dairy buttermilk -step by step
To make vegan buttermilk, simply follow these 3 simple steps.
Step 1. Measure your choice of milk, as per the above recommendations. Use a measuring cup; we are going to use 1 cup (or 240 ml). Adjust for the recipe calls.
Step 2. Squeeze the lemon and measure it. This recipe calls for one tablespoon of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar. See notes above.
Step 3. Combine your choice of plant-based milk and acid, and let it sit until it curdles. Typically 5-10 minutes.
I try making only the amount of homemade vegan buttermilk I will use in my vegan baking, but if you have leftovers, you can safely keep them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in a closed mason jar.
If we have done this in batches, this recipe can be the perfect addition to our recipe list. Once ready for use, transfer to the fridge to freeze overnight. Transfer to freezer for storage.
Can I freeze vegan buttermilk?
Freeze the dairy-free buttermilk in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Remember, the frozen liquid expands, so don't get overfilling, or you're gonna have another broken container or bottle.
You can also use ice cube trays to freeze the vegan milk.
Troubleshooting Vegan Buttermilk
It's possible that when you open the fridge, milk will get really cold. After adding the acids, let the mixture sit at the table for a while so everything works together. Add more acid to your dairy-free buttermilk before curdling it well.
❓ Recipe Q&A
What is a vegan substitute for buttermilk?
You can use any non-dairy milk, but soy milk works best in a consistent way.
Why isn't my vegan buttermilk curdling good?
Most kinds of milk made from plant-based products can not curdle. We advise using high protein-content milk such as soy milk, oat milk, and pea milk for the best results. (see above)
What does buttermilk do in baking?
Acid ingredients in bread butter add taste to all our cakes. Buttermilk helps tenderize gluten in baking. That gives you homemade vegan pancakes and cookies, which are smoother and have more muscle.
Can almond milk make buttermilk?
Almond milk can make buttermilk, but it is not ideal, as it has a low protein content, but good news. It is just enough to make vegan buttermilk. It will take an extra couple of minutes, but it will work. If you want to make it quick, go for soy milk.
Can I replace buttermilk with soy milk?
No, you can't because it lacks the acidity needed to achieve the leavening purpose in vegan baking.
The good news is that you only need to add one ingredient and 5 minutes to your soy milk, to get dairy-free buttermilk. See directions in the recipe.
🥧 What can I use vegan buttermilk with?
Vegan Buttermilk can be added with baking soda, giving a vegan cake or pancake a quick first rise. My recipe for pancakes made with buttermilk always uses this recipe.
We also use this recipe for our vegan buttermilk cornbread, cornbread stuffing, desserts such as apple cake, and moist carrot cakes.
⏲️ How long does buttermilk last?
Buttermilk is freezer-friendly and can be poured into big cubes and frozen if desired. You'll get a little bit left over after three days. It will likely separate when it's in the fridge.
Before you can use it, make sure it is well-mixed. Before using, check the ice cube for any cracks and leaks. The recipe is also freezer-friendly, so it's simple to defrost and use.
Check out these other vegan basic recipes!
Tell me how this healthy non-dairy buttermilk recipe was prepared in the comments below. You can follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more vegan recipes.
Recipes using vegan buttermilk
There are many reasons why people choose to follow a vegan diet, but the most common is that they want to avoid eating animal products.
If you’re one of these vegans or someone who wants to try it out for health purposes then this recipe will be perfect for you! With just two ingredients and 20 minutes, you can make your own vegan buttermilk without any animals in sight.
Not only does this recipe taste great on its own, but there are so many ways you can use it in other recipes too like baking cakes (our favorite!) We hope that our tips have helped spark some interest in trying something new today!
🧀 More dairy-free vegan cheese
When in need to replace regular ricotta cheese in your recipes, such as Pasta alla Norma, Spinach empanadas, or stuffed pasta shells, don't hesitate to make our 5-minute Vegan Ricotta Cheese; they will be great!
Also, our two versions of homemade parmesan cheese, one being a walnuts parmesan and the other a sunflower seeds parmesan, are great for cooking your favorite Vegan Italian dishes.
⭐ If you try this recipe, let us know! 💬 Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag us @ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
What is Buttermilk, How to Make Vegan Buttermilk, Recipe and Ways To Use It
- 1 cup soy milk unsweetened, or oat milk, pea milk, almond milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juiced, or apple cider vinegar, white vinegar
- Measure your choice of milk, as per the above recommendations. Use a measuring cup.
- Squeeze the lemon and measure it. This recipe calls for one tablespoon of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar. See notes above.
- Combine the soy milk and lemon juice and let it sit and curdle. Typically 5-10 minutes.
- Use or store on an air-tight container
🌡️ Food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking points to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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Jyoti Behrani says
Incredible! It was so easy to make vegan buttermilk. I used it to make buttermilk pancakes and they were amazing! Thanks for such a great recipe!
This is great to know! I don’t always have buttermilk on hand but always have almond milk in my smoothies and wasn’t sure I could use it. Thank you!
Amazing! I love using buttermilk in baking and so cool that it can be vegan!
This works! I just made buttermilk pancakes for breakfast using your recipe. Turned out perfect! Thnaks!
I never expected a vegan buttermilk could be that simple. Looks amazing.
This is so interesting. I didn't know you can make vegan buttermilk. Super easy. I will definitely save this recipe and use it for my buttermilk pancakes.
Wajeeha Nadeem says
Such an informative article. I've been trying to reduce dairy, and I can't wait to try this alternative to buttermilk in recipes. Thanks!
I love this vegan homemade buttermilk recipe. The perfect tangy addition to salad dressings.
This is really amazing! Glad to learn how to make vegan buttermilk! Thank you!
What a great recipe! I love that it takes only two ingredients!
Great informative post - now I know why using almond milk doesn't work. Will stick to soy next time!
Amanda Wren-Grimwood says
Love all the hints and tips here. It's so easy to think that all plant based milks are the same!
Mandy Applegate says
This is such an easy recipe!
Thanks so much for this - I've been trying to be more plant-based and having a sub for buttermilk is fantastic! I cannot wait to try this out!
Danielle Wolter says
How interesting! I had no idea I could make vegan buttermilk - this is a game changer!