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butter milk
3min read

Vegan Alternatives To Buttermilk

by Fabian Jackson

3min read

From keeping bakes moist and dishes tender, buttermilk is a common secret ingredient in many recipes – but is it suitable for vegans? If not, what are some good plant-based alternatives for buttermilk? Keep reading to discover all. 


Buttermilk is a traditional by-product from making (you guessed it) butter. Originally it referred to the liquid left over from churning cultured or fermented cream where the sugars have turned into lactic acid.  

butter milk splashing

Today it’s made with fresh milk that has cultures inserted into it producing something thicker than milk but not as heavy as cream.

What does buttermilk do?

Sometimes buttermilk is mainly used for its creamy sweet flavour, lifting desserts or enhancing savoury dishes, but it can also be used for its reactive properties. Its acidity acts as a powerful leavening agent, reacting with soda and even breaking down gluten.  

Is buttermilk suitable for vegans? 

No, unfortunately, buttermilk is not vegan-friendly as it’s made from dairy-based milk. But are there any vegan options?

brownie cookies

What is a vegan substitute for buttermilk?

A quick search might have already told you that vegan buttermilk doesn’t exist (yet, at least – we have full faith that there will be one before too long). So what are some plant-based alternatives that do the same job? 

There are a few home-cook tricks worthy of note here –

  • Mix an acid with plant-milk – either add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to unsweetened plant-milk and allow it to curdle over 10 minutes
  • Whip plant-based yoghurt or sour cream (something that already has cultures) 
  • Make your own vegan nut-cream and add a little lemon juice or vinegar 

Keep your plant-based questions coming our way via the comments section below!


By Fabian Jackson
Fabian Jackson

Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.

Read more from Fabian

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