Make this dairy-free substitute for buttermilk at home with just 2 ingredients. The easy recipe is ready in 5 minutes or less. Use this lactose-free, vegan buttermilk for baking in cake recipes, biscuits, pancakes and more.
How to Make Dairy-Free Buttermilk
Dairy-free buttermilk substitutes are made by mixing a vegan/dairy-free milk sub with vinegar. Before testing this recipe, I followed other blogger’s recipes for dairy-free buttermilk. The recipes I tried did not recommend any particular milk substitute.
I normally have coconut milk (beverage-not the canned stuff) and used that. The result was watery no matter how long it sat. I had the same result with oat, almond, hemp and rice milks. The flavor was ok but it never developed that thick creamy texture of cultured dairy buttermilk.
Finally I had an inspiration to test the recipe with soy milk. Why? Because soy milk has more protein than all of the other milk substitutes I had used. In fact soy milk has almost exactly the same amount of protein as dairy milk – about 8 grams protein per cup. And just as I had hoped, the soy milk-based version worked! It is thick, creamy and tangy just like cultured dairy buttermilk.
Why does it work? The protein – dairy buttermilk thickens because the vinegar reacts with the protein causing it to curdle. This makes it thicker and gives it more texture.
I have used both white distilled vinegar and apple cider vinegar and had good results with both.
How to use Dairy-Free Buttermilk
This buttermilk sub can be used just as you would use dairy buttermilk. Use it for baking in buttermilk biscuits, red velvet cake, pancakes, waffles and more.
The great thing about making your own is that you can make just as much as you need. How often have I bought a quart of buttermilk only to have most of it spoil after using it once?
How Long Does DF Buttermilk Last?
This buttermilk substitute will last at least 5 days when refrigerated. I recommend making just as much as you need. I have provided some guidance in the recipe card below if you need to make less than the recipe yields.
5-Minute, DIY Dairy-Free Buttermilk Substitute
- 2 Tbsp white distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 c unsweetened soy milk, other milk substitutes will not thicken
- See the notes below for ingredient amounts to make less than one cup.
- Pour the vinegar into a glass measuring cup for liquids.
- Pour in the soy milk and fill to the one cup line.
- Stir with a spoon to combine.
- Let the mixture sit for 3-4 minutes or until it thickens.
- Refrigerate any unused portion and use within 5 days.
- For 1/2 cup buttermilk sub use 1 Tbsp vinegar and add enough soymilk to fill to 1/2 cup line.
- For 1/3 cup buttermilk sub use 2 teaspoons vinegar and add enough soymilk to fill to 1/3 cup line.
- For 1/4 cup buttermilk sub use 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar and add enough soymilk to fill to 1/4 cup line.