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The 5 Best Substitutes for Sour Milk

Have you ever wondered how to bring life to sour milk and make delicious recipes out of it?

Or what the best substitutes for sour milk are? Sour milk can still be used in meals despite its unpalatable taste.

In fact, it is an important ingredient needed in many recipes because of its tangy flavor and texture.

Knowing the right technique when cooking with sour milk is essential.

Aside from that, having an array of good substitutes ready is also beneficial.

We’ll tell you all about how to work with this ingredient and provide you with a list of the top 5 alternatives for soured milk.

What’s Sour Milk?

Sour milk is a product made from (normally cow) milk that has undergone the process of lactic acid fermentation, resulting in a more acidic and tangy taste compared to regular, fresh milk.

It has a thicker texture than normal milk and varies slightly in color.

The sourness of the milk depends on how long it’s been fermented.

Sour milk can be used just like normal milk would be used in recipes, such as making pancakes and muffins; however, to substitute for conventional baking recipes, it’s important to use buttermilk or another type of acidified milk like kefir or yogurt if you want it to rise properly.

It could also be an ingredient for cream-based sauces, curries, and soups or simply served over cereal with some fresh fruit and nuts.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Sour Milk

If you’re planning to bake or make a smoothie and discover that the milk has gone sour, don’t worry.

There are plenty of delicious alternatives you can use instead.

1 – Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product made from low-fat or non-fat milk and cream.

Its distinguishing quality is its thickness, renowned for being easy to stir and pour with no wastage.

Buttermilk is known for its slightly tart flavor and smooth texture.

One of the many uses that buttermilk can be put to is as an ideal substitute for sour milk.

To create this substitute, take one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar and add it to a cup of regular whole milk – let it sit for about 5 to 8 minutes until curdles form, and it starts to thicken; the result will taste close to traditional buttermilk.

2 – Make Your Own Sour Milk

Making sour milk is a simple and inexpensive way to add flavor to your baking or recipes.

It will also add a bit of texture since it is slightly thicker than normal milk.

To make your own sour milk, combine 1 cup of whole milk with one tablespoon of either lemon juice or white vinegar.

Cover tightly and allow the mixture to sit for 15 minutes at room temperature before stirring and using in recipes that call for sour milk.

This is a great alternative to having to buy expensive buttermilk for certain dishes.

You can also customize flavors by adding a pinch of garlic powder or cinnamon for savory and sweet influences, respectively.

3 – Milk Kefir

Milk kefir is an ancestral and health-promoting cultured milk drink made with living micro-organisms that convert milk sugars into beneficial acids.

It’s been part of traditional cuisine for centuries, stemming from the Russian Caucasus mountains.

Milk kefir tastes similar to yogurt and has a thick and creamy consistency, but it contains a different set of beneficial microbes than compared to yogurt or store-bought Kefir drinks.

To make kefir home, obtaining some quality milk and grains is needed—these unique grains must be first hydrated before they may be used.

A simple recipe begins by adding these starter grains to the milk and allowing it to ferment for about 24 hours at room temperature, giving you your very own delicious homemade milk kefir.

4 – Yogurt

Yogurt is a dairy product that can be enjoyed in many different ways.

It has a thick, creamy texture and tangy, sour taste that comes from the fermentation of milk by cultures of friendly lactic acid bacteria.

Unsweetened yogurt can be used as a great substitute for sour milk in baking recipes like cakes and muffins, as well as in more savory dishes such as soups and sauces.

In addition to being an excellent cooking ingredient, yogurt provides essential vitamins and minerals that are essential for our body’s functioning.

Plain Greek yogurt makes an easy snack or breakfast that is packed with protein, calcium, potassium, and probiotics to improve gut health.

5 – Cream Cheese

Cream cheese has been a creamy, delicious staple for centuries.

Originally produced in Europe during the 12th century, cream cheese is now widely enjoyed all across the globe.

Cream cheese is unique for its ultra-creamy texture and mild taste that’s distinct from other types of cheese.

It’s able to hold up to other flavors beautifully, making it a great addition to savory dishes or sweet desserts.

For those looking for a substitute for sour milk due to dietary restrictions, cream cheese is actually an ideal swap.

Simply mix one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar with each cup of cream cheese to mimic sour milk’s signature tang.

This swap will work perfectly in any recipe calling for sour milk.


In conclusion, there are several alternatives to sour milk that can be used in baking recipes and savory dishes alike.

Whether you want to make your own sour milk, use buttermilk as a substitute, or opt for other fermented dairy products like kefir or yogurt, each option will offer a unique taste and texture – without the need for actual sour milk.

Cream cheese is also a great alternative, as it can be easily combined with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to give it the same flavor profile.

No matter what substitute you choose, your recipes will come out spectacular every time.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Sour Milk

The 5 Best Substitutes for Sour Milk
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Buttermilk
  • Make Your Own Sour Milk
  • Milk Kefir
  • Yogurt
  • Cream Cheese


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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