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Buttermilk Substitutions, Measures, and Equivalents

Improper substitution of buttermilk can affect rising of baked goods


A glass of milk (left) and a glass of buttermilk (right). Buttermilk is thicker and covers the glass
Ukko-wc/Wikimedia Commons

Buttermilk Substitutions

If you have no buttermilk, you can make your own substitute, but go for the real thing if you can. Yogurt may be substituted for buttermilk, volume for volume, meaning 1 cup of yogurt may be substituted for 1 cup of buttermilk. In the reverse, you can usually substitute buttermilk for yogurt or sour milk on a one to one basis.

Leavened buttermilk recipes usually include baking soda. Take care in substituting buttermilk for regular milk when using baking powder, as it upsets the balance of alkali to acid. Buttermilk has more acid than regular milk, which will reduce the carbon dioxide released and thwart the leavening process.

To achieve the desired result when using buttermilk instead of milk, substitute baking soda for some or all for of the baking powder. For each cup of buttermilk used in place of sweet milk, reduce the amount of baking powder by 2 teaspoons, and replace with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

Buttermilk Equivalents and Measures

• 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup yogurt
• 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup milk PLUS 1 Tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice (let stand for 10 minutes before using in recipe)
• 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup milk PLUS 1-3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
• 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup water PLUS 4 Tablespoons powdered buttermilk
(reconstitute before using or add dry to dry ingredients and wet to wet ingredients before mixing
• 1 cup buttermilk = 1/4 cup milk PLUS 3/4 cup yogurt
• 1 cup buttermilk = 8.5 ounces
• 1 cup buttermilk = 242 grams

More about Buttermilk and Buttermilk Recipes:

What is buttermilk? Does it contain butter? FAQ
Buttermilk Cooking Tips and Hints
Buttermilk Storage
Buttermilk Substitutions, Measures, and Equivalents
Buttermilk History
Buttermilk Lore and Legends
Buttermilk Health Benefits
Buttermilk Recipes
Buttermilk Photo © 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.


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