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How to Make Buttermilk & Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

How to Make Buttermilk & Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

Last Updated on 22nd April 2022 by

Buttermilk is the secret ingredient that makes pancakes and biscuits extra creamy and delicious. Buttermilk makes food taste light and fluffy and gives it a slight tang.

It’s essential for making pancakes that are as airy as what you get at most restaurants that serve them. You could buy it off the grocery shelves or make buttermilk yourself.

I’ll show you a few different methods for how to make buttermilk. It’s usually made from what you get from turning into butter. That liquid is then fermented to make buttermilk. It’s more common these days to make it from milk that has been turned into lactic acid by adding in some lactic bacteria.

You can make it at home with a few simple ingredients if you prefer.

How to Make Buttermilk from Milk

The buttermilk recipe I’m sharing with you here uses just two ingredients and gives you a very basic form of buttermilk. You can expand the recipe as you like, so that you have enough buttermilk for whatever you’re going to use it for.

You will be using a tablespoon of vinegar and then a cup of dairy milk. You can substitute either one of these, trading out the vinegar for lemon juice and dairy milk for almond milk, so milk, and other alternatives that can be used interchangeably with regular cow or goat’s milk.


  1. Combine the vinegar and milk in a bowl, carefully measuring your portions.
  2. Stir them together and allowed to sit for about 5 to 10 minutes. They should have separated by that point and begun to curdle. You can now use the buttermilk in your recipe as desired.

This method for how to make buttermilk with lemon juice or vinegar is about as simple as you can get. It’s the way most people will produce homemade buttermilk, and it works with other substitutes as well, but they can flavor the buttermilk in a way that’s not desirable.

Any method for how to make buttermilk with vinegar will require that you use white vinegar. You could use apple cider vinegar or something else, but you probably won’t like how your biscuits or pancakes turn out.

How to Make Buttermilk with Whole Milk

Does it matter what kind of milk you use when making buttermilk from scratch? Not really, as you can use whole milk, 2% milk, low fat milk, and other versions.

The difference is that the buttermilk will have a slightly different taste and be more fattening or less fattening, depending on which milk you use. Just bear that in mind, but otherwise you can use the same recipe I’ve given you above.

How to Store Buttermilk

Buttermilk should be kept refrigerated when it’s not in use. This will keep the bacteria level limited, preventing growth.

Try to keep it refrigerated under 40 degrees Fahrenheit and place it towards the back of the fridge where it will stay at a consistent temperature all the time.It’s best not to put it in the door of the fridge, as the temperature can fluctuate there. If you leave it out for any length of time, the buttermilk can go bad easily.

It can store in the fridge for one to two weeks. If it starts to smell rank, it should be tossed out.

How to freeze buttermilk? Just place it into a freezer safe container and store in the freezer for up to three months. When you’re ready to use it, just place it into the fridge overnight to allow it to thaw out naturally.

How to Make Pancakes with Buttermilk

If you cook your own pancakes with buttermilk you made at home, you may wonder why they don’t taste the same as the ones you buy at a restaurant.

The truth is the homemade buttermilk made from milk and vinegar or lemon juice will not have the same flavor as the real stuff. Most restaurants that want to make the very best pancakes will use authentic buttermilk, made from fermented cream. That takes time and a lot of work, and most people cooking at home can’t make that on their own.

You can buy authentic buttermilk from the store, if you want the actual taste of buttermilk. Either way, you can make some decent pancakes using homemade or store bought buttermilk. Just be prepared for the taste to be a bit different.

Make sure that when you mix up your pancake batter, you don’t mix it for too long. Overmixing can result in pancakes that don’t come out right when cooked. It’s okay if there are still some small lumps in the batter.

After you mix the batter up, give it some time to rest. You’ll get better results that way.

How To Make Buttermilk Biscuits

When you’re making biscuits at home from scratch, there are a few tips that can help you make sure they come out great every time.

First of all, if you’re looking for flaky biscuits, make sure you fold the dough down into thirds and then pat it two or three times.
Don’t work the dough too much, though, as you want to work it softly and gently.

Cold buttermilk and cold butter work best when making biscuits from scratch. Don’t even pull these out of the fridge until you’ve mixed all the dry ingredients together and are ready to mix up the wet ones.

If you want your biscuits to rise properly, you will need fresh baking soda and fresh baking powder. Check the expiry dates on these to ensure they’re still good before making biscuits with them.

As you cut your biscuits out, keep the cutter straight. If you twist it, you will damage the edges of your biscuit dough. That prevents it from rising properly. Make your cuts straight up and down to get biscuits that rise like they should.

A final trick I want to share is to let your biscuits touch when you place them on the pan. If the edges touch, they will help each other rise better.

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I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food!  You can find my Facebook here