Easy Vegan Buttermilk: Homemade Guide and Recipe Tips

Discover the wonders of vegan buttermilk, a versatile and delicious alternative to regular buttermilk for those who avoid animal products. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of vegan buttermilk, exploring its benefits and various uses in your favorite recipes.

Making vegan buttermilk at home is easy and can be done using plant-based milk such as almond, soy, cashew, oat, or coconut. Additionally, we will share some mouthwatering recipes where you can incorporate this dairy-free substitute to create scrumptious baked goods and quick bread.

You’ll also discover alternative ingredients to use in place of vegan buttermilk if you don’t have the necessary components. Plus, get expert tips on how to store your freshly made batch so it stays fresh longer. Lastly, we will address common issues when working with vegan buttermilk and provide timely solutions to ensure successful results.

Table of Contents:

What is Vegan Buttermilk?

vegan buttermilkA glass of milk (left) and a glass of buttermilk (right). Buttermilk is thicker and covers the glass after taking a sip.

Vegan buttermilk is a dairy-free alternative to traditional buttermilk made from cow’s milk. Vegan buttermilk is an essential ingredient for many recipes for vegan or plant-based diets. Like regular buttermilk, vegan buttermilk adds tanginess and richness to baked goods and savory dishes while maintaining the same chemical reactions needed for successful cooking.

Difference Between Vegan Buttermilk and Traditional Buttermilk

Traditional buttermilk is the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream. It has a slightly sour taste due to its lactic acid content, which helps tenderize gluten in baked goods and contributes to their leavening process. On the other hand, vegan buttermilk achieves this acidity by combining plant-based milk with an acidic agent such as vinegar or lemon juice.

Main Ingredients in Vegan Buttermilks

  • Plant-Based Milk: The most common base for vegan buttermilks are almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, or cashew milk.
  • Acidic Agent: To mimic the tangy flavor of traditional buttermilk, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice can be used effectively.

In addition to being suitable for vegans and people with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies, vegan milk tends to have lower calorie counts than their dairy counterparts, making them popular among health-conscious individuals too.

Vegan buttermilk is a dairy-free alternative to traditional buttermilk, offering the same creamy texture and flavor without animal products. Considering the advantages of vegan buttermilk, let us investigate some potentially positive aspects.

Benefits of Vegan Buttermilk

Vegan buttermilk offers a variety of health benefits that make it an excellent choice for those following a plant-based diet or looking to reduce their consumption of animal products. Some key advantages include the following:

  • Dairy-free and lactose-free: For individuals who are lactose intolerant or have dairy allergies, vegan buttermilk is an ideal alternative as it contains no milk proteins or lactose.
  • Lower in calories and fat: Compared to traditional buttermilk, vegan versions are lower in calories and saturated fats, making them healthier for those watching their weight or trying to maintain heart health.
  • Richer in nutrients: Vegan buttermilk can provide essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, vitamin D, B12, potassium, and magnesium, depending on the type of plant-based milk used. This makes it beneficial for overall wellness.
  • Eco-friendly choice: Plant-based milk requires less water and land resources than dairy farming. By choosing vegan buttermilk over its traditional counterpart, you’re contributing towards more sustainable food practices.
  • Cruelty-free product: As no animals are involved in the production process of vegan buttermilk, this ingredient aligns with many vegans’ ethical values regarding animal welfare.

In addition to these health benefits, vegan but term ilk also provides versatility when cooking. It can be easily incorporated into various recipes – from baked goods to savory dishes – without compromising taste or texture. This makes it a valuable addition to any vegan kitchen.

For vegans seeking a nutritious lifestyle, vegan buttermilk offers numerous health advantages. Let’s discover how to craft a homemade vegan buttermilk that benefits those on a vegan diet.

How to Make Vegan Buttermilk

Mix plant-based milk with an acid like vinegar or lemon juice to make vegan buttermilk in no time. Follow this step-by-step guide to create your vegan buttermilk for use in various recipes.

A. Choose Your Plant-Based Milk

Deciding on the appropriate plant-based milk is essential for making vegan buttermilk. While many options are available, some work better than others when creating that tangy flavor and creamy consistency of traditional buttermilk. The most popular choices include:

  • Soy milk
  • Almond milk
  • Oat milk
  • Cashew milk

B. Add Acidic Component

To achieve the desired tanginess of traditional buttermilk, you’ll need to add an acidic component like vinegar or lemon juice to your chosen plant-based milk:

  1. Vinegar: White vinegar or apple cider vinegar work well for this purpose; mix one tablespoon of either into one cup of plant-based milk…
  2. Lemon Juice: If you prefer using lemon juice instead, combine one tablespoon with one cup of your chosen non-dairy beverage.

C. Let It Sit & Thicken

Once you’ve combined your preferred acid with the non-dairy drink, let it sit undisturbed for about five minutes to react correctly. This will cause the mixture’s texture to thicken slightly while developing its tangy flavor.

D. Stir & Use in Recipes

After the five minutes, give your vegan buttermilk a quick stir to ensure everything is well combined. Now it’s ready for use. You can incorporate this dairy-free alternative into various recipes for traditional buttermilk, such as pancakes, waffles, muffins, or even savory dishes like buttermilk biscuits.

Following a few straightforward steps and having the necessary components, you can make scrumptious vegan buttermilk to use in all your preferred recipes, from pancakes to waffles, muffins, or even savory treats like biscuits.

Adding a creamy flavor to your favorite dishes is easy and delicious with vegan buttermilk. Discover the range of vegan buttermilk-based recipes available with this guide.

Key Takeaway: 

This section discusses vegan buttermilk and how to make it at home. Step-by-step directions are given to construct a dairy-free substitute that can be employed in baking or cooking, enabling those on a vegan diet to do so easily.

Recipes Using Vegan Buttermilk

vegan buttermilk

Vegan buttermilk can add a tangy flavor and tender texture to your dishes in various recipes. Here are some delicious recipes you can try using vegan buttermilk:

1. Fluffy Vegan Pancakes

A classic breakfast favorite, these fluffy vegan pancakes use vegan buttermilk to create a light and airy texture. Top these vegan pancakes with delectable fruits or sweet maple syrup to kick off your morning right.

2. Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits

Tender, flaky, and buttery – these vegan buttermilk biscuits make an excellent side dish for any meal or snack. Pair them with your favorite jam or plant-based gravy for added indulgence.

3. Dairy-Free Cornbread Muffins

Add some Southern charm to your table with these scrumptious dairy-free cornbread muffins. Adding vegan buttermilk ensures they stay moist while still being perfectly crumbly.

4. Vegan Red Velvet Cake

This show-stopping red velvet cake recipe uses vegan buttermilk to create a moist and tender crumb. Topped with luscious vegan cream cheese frosting, it’s perfect for special occasions or just because.

5. Vegan Fried “Chicken”

Get ready to be amazed by this mouthwatering vegan fried “chicken” recipe. The secret ingredient? You guessed it – vegan buttermilk. It helps the batter stick to your plant-based protein choice while adding that classic tangy flavor.

These are just a few examples of the many delicious recipes you can make using vegan buttermilk. Don’t be scared to unleash your inner chef and try something new with this versatile ingredient.

Creating delicious recipes with vegan buttermilk is a great way to add flavor and nutrition to your diet. Now let’s check out the options for replacing vegan buttermilk in various meals.

Key Takeaway: 

This section discusses vegan buttermilk and its importance in vegan cooking. This section looks at how to craft a vegan version of buttermilk with plant-based milk and either vinegar or lemon juice, providing an alternative to traditional buttermilk in recipes. The key takeaway is that vegans do not have to miss out on the tangy flavor and texture of buttermilk in their dishes.

 Substitutions for Vegan Buttermilk

If you find yourself in a pinch and don’t have vegan buttermilk, several alternative ingredients can achieve similar results in your recipes. Here are some popular substitutions:

  1. Soy milk and vinegar: Combine one cup of soy milk with one tablespoon of white or apple cider vinegar. Allow the blend to remain undisturbed for around five minutes before replacing it with vegan buttermilk.
  2. Almond milk and lemon juice: Mix one cup of almond milk with one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Let the mixture stand for approximately five minutes before incorporating it into your recipe.
  3. Oat milk and cream of tartar: Blend one cup of oat milk with two teaspoons of cream of tartar until well combined. This option works best when baking because it helps lift baked goods like pancakes or muffins.
  4. Cashew yogurt and water: Dilute half a cup of cashew yogurt (or any other plant-based yogurt) with half a cup of water, then whisk them together thoroughly until a smooth consistency is achieved. This substitution provides tanginess while maintaining moisture levels in your dish.

Note that each substitution may yield slightly different flavors depending on the type used; however, they should all work effectively as replacements in most recipes calling for vegan buttermilk.

In addition to these alternatives, there are also commercially available options such as store-bought dairy-free sour creams or yogurts, which can be diluted with water if needed – make sure they’re free from added sugars. You might want to check out this list featuring top-rated vegan yogurts to find the perfect recipe.

You may need to try different options before finding the one that works best for your recipe. If you’re seeking more guidance on vegan ingredient swaps, this comprehensive guide to plant-based substitutions can be an excellent resource.

You can whip up delectable dishes without animal products with these dairy-free buttermilk substitutes. Moving on to the next topic of discussion, let’s look at some storage tips for vegan buttermilk so it stays fresh and tasty.

Key Takeaway: 

This section provides information on vegan buttermilk, including its ingredients and how to make it. Key takeaways include non-dairy milk and an acid like vinegar or lemon juice to create a tangy flavor similar to traditional buttermilk in vegan recipes.

Storage Tips for Vegan Buttermilk

Proper storage of vegan buttermilk is essential to maintain its freshness and extend its shelf life. This section will provide practical tips on storing your homemade vegan buttermilk effectively.

A. Refrigeration

Storing vegan buttermilk in the refrigerator is an ideal way to keep it fresh. Transfer the freshly prepared vegan buttermilk into a sealed, preferably glass or BPA-free plastic, receptacle and refrigerate it directly following production. This method can keep your vegan buttermilk fresh for up to 5 days.

B. Freezing

Freezing is an excellent option if you want to store your vegan buttermilk for a more extended period. Pour the prepared mixture into a freezer-safe container or silicone bag, leaving some space at the top as liquids expand when frozen. Seal tightly before placing it in the freezer; this method can preserve your vegan buttermilk for up to 2 months.

  • Note: Freezing may slightly alter the texture upon thawing; however, this should not affect its performance in recipes significantly.

C.Labeling and Rotation

To ensure optimal freshness and avoid waste, always label your containers with dates indicating when they were prepared or stored. Practice first-in-first-out (FIFO) rotation in your fridge or freezer. This way, you can track which vegan buttermilk needs to be used first and avoid spoilage.

D. Thawing Frozen Vegan Buttermilk

Move the frozen vegan buttermilk from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight, or immerse the sealed container in cold water for a faster result. Alternatively, you can place the sealed container in a bowl of cold water for quicker thawing. Ensure not to use hot water as this may cause separation or curdling.

Following these storage tips for vegan buttermilk will ensure that your homemade dairy-free alternative remains fresh and ready to use whenever needed.

Storing vegan buttermilk correctly is critical to preserving its freshness and ensuring it remains safe for consumption. Subsequently, this article will tackle troubleshooting problems with vegan buttermilk to maximize its effectiveness.

Key Takeaway: 

This section provides information on vegan buttermilk, including its ingredients and how to make it. Key takeaways include using non-dairy milk and vinegar or lemon juice as a substitute for traditional buttermilk in recipes.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Vegan Buttermilk

If you’re using vegan buttermilk in your recipes, you may experience common issues that could affect the end product. No need to fret; we have the answers. Here are some solutions to help you troubleshoot these problems and ensure a successful outcome.

A. Inconsistent Texture or Thickness

Homemade vegan buttermilk might not be the same as traditional, which could affect the dish’s texture or thickness. To resolve this issue:

  • To achieve the desired texture, combine freshly squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to increase acidity levels.
  • If your plant milk is too thin, gradually add more acid (lemon juice or vinegar) until it reaches the desired thickness.
  • In case of overly thick vegan buttermilk, add small amounts of water while stirring until it is consistent with traditional buttermilk.

B. Curdling Plant Milk

Curdling is a natural reaction when an acidic ingredient like lemon juice or vinegar is added to plant milk (source). However, if excessive curdling occurs:

  • Ensure that both ingredients are at room temperature before mixing them.
  • Add the acid slowly and stir gently instead of pouring it into the plant milk.

C. Flavor Imbalance in Baked Goods

The taste profile of different types of plant milk can vary significantly from one another, and dairy-based products like churn cream. To avoid flavor imbalances in your baked goods:

  • Choose neutral-tasting plant milk like almond, cashew, or oat milk for making vegan buttermilk.
  • When utilizing coconut milk, be aware that it may lend a faint coconut flavor to the result. Adjust other ingredients accordingly if needed.

D. Insufficient Leavening

Vegan buttermilk reacts with baking soda to create carbon dioxide gas and provide leavening in quick bread and other baked goods. If you notice insufficient leavening:

  • Check the freshness of your baking soda; an expired one might not react well with the acid in vegan buttermilk.
  • Increase the amount of lemon juice or vinegar slightly to boost acidity levels and improve leavening action (source).

By addressing these common issues when working with vegan buttermilk, you can ensure successful results every time you bake.

Key Takeaway: 

This section details vegan buttermilk, a substitute for the classic dairy-based version utilized in cooking and baking. Key takeaways include the ingredients needed to make vegan buttermilk, its benefits over traditional buttermilk, and how it can be used in various recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is vegan buttermilk made of?

Vegan buttermilk combines plant-based milk, such as almond or soy, with an acidic ingredient like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. This mixture creates a tangy and creamy liquid that mimics the taste and texture of traditional dairy-based buttermilk.

Is buttermilk OK for vegans?

Traditional buttermilk is unsuitable for vegans since it’s derived from cow’s milk. However, vegan alternatives replicating the flavor and consistency of regular buttermilk without animal products are available. These substitutes can be easily prepared at home or purchased in stores.

Why is my vegan buttermilk not curdling?

If your vegan buttermilk isn’t curdling, it could be due to insufficient acidity in the mixture. Ensure you use enough lemon juice or vinegar to create the desired reaction. Alternatively, try stirring the mixture more thoroughly or allowing it to sit longer before use.

What is the best vegan substitute for buttermilk?

The best vegan substitute for buttermilk depends on personal preference and availability. A popular option involves mixing plant-based milk with either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar until slightly thickened and tangy. Other alternatives include coconut yogurt mixed with water or non-dairy sour cream thinned with plant-based milk.


Vegan buttermilk is an excellent substitute for traditional dairy-based buttermilk and can be used in many recipes. It’s easy to make, has numerous health benefits, and can be stored easily if made ahead of time. With its versatility and delicious taste, vegan buttermilk will become an indispensable part of your kitchen.

Take the guesswork out of vegan living and explore our comprehensive guide to making delicious vegan buttermilk recipes. Learn how to make this nutritious alternative today!

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