How to Make Sour Milk

Have you ever started to make a recipe and realized that the recipe calls for buttermilk and you don’t have any? I know I have! It’s not only annoying, it’s frustrating. Next time, instead of leaving everything sitting out on the counter, jumping in your car and driving like a bat outta hell to get to the store. Try making your own buttermilk (sour milk). It’s easy to do and if you have milk in your refrig half the battle is already won. The next time a recipe calls for buttermilk, keep calm and try one of these substitutes.

how to sour milk


Buttermilk is used in recipes because it’s more acidic than milk. This allows buttermilk to react with ingredients such as baking soda or baking powder to produce carbon dioxide bubbles. Buttermilk is a key ingredient in soda bread, because of it’s different chemistry. It’s also used exclusively in homemade velvet cakes too.  You can use any kind of milk to make buttermilk. When you add an acidic ingredient to milk, it causes the milk to curdle.

You can make your own buttermilk from 2 %, 1 %, or skim milk. Use any acidic ingredient such as lemon juice, white vinegar or any cultured dairy product, such as; sour cream or yogurt to curdle milk and produce buttermilk. Allow 5 to 10 minutes for the ingredients to react with each other. Once the milk curdles, you have buttermilk. You can use the mixture right away or refrigerate it for later but use it within 24 hours.


1. Lemon Juice

Pour 1 tablespoon lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup (glass cup). Add milk to reach the 1 cup mark. Allow the milk to stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then stir and use in recipe.

2. White Vinegar

Pour 1 tablespoon white vinegar into a liquid measuring cup (glass cup). Add milk to reach the 1 cup mark. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then stir and use in recipe.

3. Plain Yogurt

In a liquid measuring cup (glass cup) mix together 2 tablespoons milk with enough plain yogurt to yield one cup. Use as buttermilk.

4. Cream of Tartar

Whisk together 1 cup milk with 1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar. Allow mixture to sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir before using.

Once you have your buttermilk or you have made sour milk, it’s time to make a recipe! Give this super recipe a try. Buttermilk Peach Scones

Healthy Note: Read labels to find reduced-fat and fat-free options for favorites like; milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, half and half, ice cream and whipped topping. Recent Recipe: Cantaloupe-Blueberries with Lemon Yogurt