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How to make vegan buttermilk

5 from 1 vote
Total time: 5 minutes
A jug of vegan buttermilk next to some lemon and vegan milk

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Are you trying to veganise a recipe that calls for buttermilk? Well, you may not get such good results from substituting it like-for-like with plain vegan milk. It won’t add a tangy taste like buttermilk does, nor will it create fluffy soft bakes.

But you can make vegan buttermilk using two simple ingredients, vegan milk + an acid like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.

Servings: 1 cup


  • 230 ml Vegan milk soy, oat, or almond milk
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar


  • Measure out your vegan milk into a bowl or jug
  • Stir in your lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
  • Let it sit for a couple of minutes as it curdles and thickens
  • Use it in your recipe or cover it and set it aside in the fridge for up to 3 days
A stack of vegan buttermilk pancakes on a plate on top of a wooden table with a plant in the background
Fluffy pancakes made using vegan buttermilk

Vegan buttermilk FAQs

Here are my answers to all your frequently asked questions about vegan buttermilk.

What can I make with vegan buttermilk?

There are many recipes you can create using vegan buttermilk. You can either use it to veganise a favourite recipe of yours, like buttermilk fried ‘chicken’, or you can follow one of these tasty plant-based recipes:

What is a good milk alternative for buttermilk?

Ideally, you should use a thick plant-based milk alternative because buttermilk has quite a thick consistency. Great options include soy milk, oat milk and almond milk.

Soy milk is one of the thickest milk alternatives, but ultimately, once you’ve cooked with it, you won’t be able to tell the difference between soy, oat or almond milk. Therefore, which one you choose really depends upon your personal preference.

If you don’t like using any of the above milk alternatives, I would recommend trying out other nut milks. You could even try out making your own in one of these nut milk makers! But stay away from using rice milk, since it is much too thin.

Is vegan buttermilk really necessary?

If you are looking to achieve the tangy taste and fluffy texture of food that has been made using buttermilk, then you do need vegan buttermilk. Thankfully, it is really quick and simple to make. Plus it only requires two ingredients, vegan milk and acid.

Moreover, in many recipes, vegan buttermilk is actually used as a binder. Which means it will be doing the work of an egg. Therefore, if you substitute it for plain vegan milk the recipe may not work. This is usually the case in baked recipes, like cakes or cookies. So do be wary of this!

More vegan recipes you’ll enjoy

Lucy the founder of Edible Ethics vegan food blog eating vegan noodles in a plant based restaurant

Lucy Johnson

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