You can easily find a buttermilk powder substitute with some ingredients that are commonly found in grocery stores or that you might even already have on hand.
What Is Buttermilk Powder?
Buttermilk powder is dehydrated buttermilk into a fine powder. Also known as dry buttermilk, buttermilk powder has a much longer shelf-life than typical buttermilk.
What Does Buttermilk Powder Taste Like?
Buttermilk powder closely resembles the taste of cultured buttermilk but without the acidic taste found in buttermilk and has a more creamy and buttery flavoring.
Common Uses for Buttermilk Powder
- In pastries and confectioneries – like pancakes, scones, or biscuits to promote browning and helps to add moisture
- Sauces and marinades – it helps to emulsify sauces, dressings, and marinades and adds a creaminess.
- Nutritional value – you can enjoy a dish that has some extra calcium, protein, and vitamins added by means of buttermilk powder.
How to Choose a Substitute for Buttermilk Powder
- Meat tenderizer – if you need to use buttermilk powder in marinades, use a substitute that has the same acidity as buttermilk would since it requires an acid to tenderize meat.
- Dressings and sauces – if you are using buttermilk in dressing and sauces, use any buttermilk substitute, dry or wet, to achieve the same creamy & tangy results.
- Sprinkles and powders – if you are using buttermilk powder as a sprinkle or topping, use a dry buttermilk powder substitute to achieve the same results.
7 Best Buttermilk Powder Substitute Options
1. Homemade Buttermilk Powder
If you have powdered milk and some cream of tartar in your pantry, you can mix these ingredients to make a homemade buttermilk powder that would work well in any recipe that calls for it. Recipe Pocket shows you the ratios to use.
2. Fresh Buttermilk
You can use 1 cup of buttermilk to replace ¼ cup of buttermilk powder in almost any recipe, but remember to adjust the ratio of your liquid ingredients as well to ensure the correct consistency. NY Times has an overview of how to replace buttermilk powder with normal buttermilk.
3. Whole Milk & Lemon Juice
Using whole milk will add creaminess to your baked goods, but in order to make your recipe work, it will need to be as acidic as buttermilk powder, so add some lemon juice to your whole milk to achieve the same results. The Kitchn shows you how to make this recipe without fail.
4. Coconut Milk & Lemon Juice
If you need a dairy-free substitute for buttermilk powder, try making a vegan buttermilk using coconut milk and some lemon juice or white vinegar. El Mundo guides you through the process of making vegan buttermilk with coconut milk. It’s worth it to note this can be done with soy milk as well.
5. Milk & Cream of Tartar
Mixing whole milk with some cream of tartar will yield a convincing alternative to dry buttermilk. Although you would have to adjust the liquid in your recipe, it works in a pinch. Pure Wow mentions using the cream of tartar to make buttermilk.
6. Sour Cream
Sour cream will add the same rich flavor buttermilk powder would, without too much extra liquid, or if you prefer to thin out the sour cream before using it, you can add some milk or cream to the sour cream until you are happy with the consistency. The Spruce Eats has a simple recipe to follow.
Yogurt would work well in savory recipes where you would use buttermilk, as it has a tangy flavor due to the fermentation it undergoes. If you’re using thick yogurt, thinning it out with cream or milk is ideal before adding it to your recipe. Try making this yogurt-based ranch dressing from Ambitious Kitchen that doesn’t require any buttermilk powder.
Tips for Buttermilk Powder Substitution
- Fermented alternatives – if you are using buttermilk powder for its fermented benefits, use a substitute such as yogurt or sour cream.
- Dairy-free alternatives – use a dairy-free milk & acid combination to have a dairy-free alternative.
- Liquid vs. dry alternatives – remember, when substituting a wet alternative for dry buttermilk powder, adjust the liquid ratio in your recipe.
- Fresh buttermilk – fresh buttermilk will have a more acidic taste than dry buttermilk, so plan for this slight flavor change in your recipe and test it first.