One of the essential uses of buttermilk is its ability to activate baking soda. This is because baking soda needs an acidic agent like buttermilk, vinegar, or lemon juice to work correctly. So, applying buttermilk while baking gives the product a very soft texture and a full-bodied look which, you'd agree, is very crucial.

The most accessible source of buttermilk is your grocery store, but that doesn't mean you have to stop cooking or baking because it's missing.

You can whip up one quickly! This is cheaper because it only requires two everyday items, whole milk and an acid source which can be vinegar, lemon juice, cream of tartar, or sour cream.

Vinegar Buttermilk Recipe


  • 1 cup room temperature whole milk 2 tablespoons vinegar

To prepare:

  • Whisk the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl until incorporated.
  • Let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes, up to 2 hours.

This makes thick and creamy buttermilk that has a tangy taste just like store-bought buttermilk!

Lemon Juice Buttermilk Recipe


  • Whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 

To prepare:

  • Pour the ingredients into a bowl and mix them until well incorporated
  • Like the former, let it sit for at least 10 minutes, up to 2 hours.

This is the next most popular recipe after the vinegar version. What makes the recipe special is that the quantity of lemon juice used can be increased to produce a more pronounced citrusy taste.

Cream of Tartar Buttermilk Recipe


  • 1 cup room temperature whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

To prepare:

  • Mix the ingredients very well
  • Let it sit for at least 10 minutes, up to 2 hours.

Unlike what you may think, this recipe produces a mixture that is just the milk's consistency, nothing thicker. If not mixed properly, you may find the cream of tartar settled at the jar's bottom.

However, it has a nearly similar taste and effect as store-bought buttermilk.

Tip: Before using the cream of tartar buttermilk, always make sure to stir it well.

Sour Cream Buttermilk Recipe

Believe it or not, this uncommon sour cream buttermilk may even be better than the store-bought version!


  • 1/2 cup room-temperature whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

To prepare:

Whisk the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Set it aside for at least 10 minutes, up to 2 hours.

There you have four ways to make homemade buttermilk. Our favorite is the vinegar version because it was a replica of store-bought buttermilk. If you prefer a thick creamy base for your cooking or baking, then you want to use the sour cream recipe.

Which is your favorite?