Vegan Buttermilk Recipe + Uses and Troubleshooting

Make vegan buttermilk substitute at home with almond milk, lemon, and ten minutes! It is also a great dairy-free alternative to traditional buttermilk, making it perfect for vegans and people with lactose intolerance.

Vegan buttermilk in a spoon.

What Is Vegan Buttermilk?

Vegan buttermilk is a dairy-free alternative to traditional buttermilk that is made from plant milk and an acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar. It is a quick and easy substitute that can be used in various baking and cooking recipes.

The acidity in vegan buttermilk reacts with baking soda to create carbon dioxide gas, which leavens baked goods and gives them a fluffy texture.

Ingredients

You ONLY need two ingredients to make an excellent vegan buttermilk substitute! Dairy-free milk and acid are the main ingredients, which can be substituted with what you have on hand. Consider the following elements and variations for outstanding results:

  • Non-dairy milk – I recommend using almond or soy milk. However, you can use any non-dairy milk.
  • Acid– To ensure a perfect curdle, lemon or apple cider vinegar. Avoid sherry, balsamic vinegar, and white and red wine; these substitutions will over-cuddle your plant-based milk. 

Where to Use Vegan Buttermilk

Cake with strawberries on top.
Vegan Strawberry Cake made with Vegan Buttermilk

1. Smoothies and Cold Soups

  • Add vegan buttermilk to your smoothies for a thicker, creamier texture and a tangy flavor.
  • Replace up to half the stock in cold soups with vegan buttermilk for a richer flavor and creamier texture.

2. Baking

  • Use vegan buttermilk instead of regular buttermilk in any baking recipe, such as pancakes, muffins, cakes, and biscuits.
  • Brush vegan buttermilk over the tops of pastries and bread before baking for a glossy, golden crust.
  • The acidity in vegan buttermilk helps to break down gluten, resulting in a more delicate crumb.

3. Dips and Salad Dressing

  • Use vegan buttermilk as a dip for vegetables, crackers, and other snacks.
  • Add a splash of vegan buttermilk to your favorite salad dressing for a tangy boost.
Two spoons showing how different milks curdle.
Oat Milk vs. Soy Milk

Why Is My Buttermilk Not Curdling?

If your vegan buttermilk is not curdling, there are a few possible reasons:

  • Cold temperature: Vegan buttermilk curdles best when the milk is at room temperature. If the milk is too cold, the curdling process will be delayed or may not happen at all.
  • Insufficient protein: Vegan buttermilk curdles because the acid in the lemon juice or vinegar reacts with the protein in the plant-based milk. If the milk is low in protein, it will not curdle well. Soy and almond milk are the best choices for vegan buttermilk because they are high in protein. Coconut and rice milk do not curdle well because they are low protein.
  • Not enough acid: If you do not add enough acid to the milk, it will not curdle. Be sure to use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar per cup of plant-based milk.

Troubleshooting tips:

  • If you use cold milk, let it come to room temperature before adding the acid.
  • If you are using plant-based milk that is low in protein, such as coconut or rice milk, you may need to add more acid to get it to curdle.
  • If you are still having trouble getting your vegan buttermilk to curdle, try using a different type of plant-based milk, such as almond or soy milk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is buttermilk vegan?

No, regular buttermilk is not vegan. It is made by fermenting cultured milk, which contains dairy. However, you can make a vegan buttermilk substitute at home using plant-based milk and an acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar. This vegan buttermilk substitute can be used instead of regular buttermilk in any recipe at a 1:1 ratio.

Can vegan buttermilk be made with oat milk?

Yes, you can make vegan buttermilk with oat milk, but it will not be as thick and creamy as vegan buttermilk made with soy milk or almond milk. This is because oat milk has a lower protein content than soy and almond milk.

How long does homemade vegan buttermilk last?

Homemade vegan buttermilk can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The exact shelf life will vary depending on the type of plant-based milk used, but most types will last for at least 3-4 days.

Did you make this? Leave a comment below, let me know how it turned out, or tag me on Instagram.

Vegan buttermilk in a spoon.

Vegan Buttermilk Recipe + Uses and Troubleshooting

Make a vegan buttermilk substitute at home in ten minutes! It is also a great dairy-free alternative and perfect for vegans and people with lactose intolerance.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Baking
Cuisine: all
Servings: 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Equipment

  • Measuring cup
  • Mixing container

Ingredients

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk, room temperature preferably almond or soy
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Mix non-dairy milk and lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Let stand for ten minutes.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Buttermilk Recipe + Uses and Troubleshooting
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
109
Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
5
g
8
%
Sodium
 
119
mg
5
%
Carbohydrates
 
8
g
3
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
6
g
7
%
Protein
 
7
g
14
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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