Skip to Content

Baking Hacks: 5 BEST Non-dairy Substitutes for Buttermilk

Diving into baking can bring out the inner scientist and artist in all of us.

Sometimes, we hit a snag, especially with dairy.

For those moments, getting creative with buttermilk substitutes can be a game changer.

Our kitchens become laboratories, experimenting with what we have on hand.

Milk and lemon juice? Almond milk with a bit of vinegar?

The options are more than you’d think. It’s not just about avoiding a trip to the store; it’s about making each recipe our own.

Join us as we spill the beans on our top non-dairy buttermilk swaps that keep our cakes moist and our pancakes fluffy.

What’s Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a traditional dairy product made by fermenting fresh milk with lactic acid bacteria.

It is creamy and thick, with a tangy taste, thanks to the fermentation.

The texture of buttermilk is slightly thicker than regular milk, and it has a subtle, acidic flavor; many say it tastes like yogurt or sour cream.

Buttermilk pairs well with spicy foods and can be used for cooking, baking, or as a drink.

It’s beloved in Southern cuisine for making biscuits and fried chicken and yogurt-based dressings like Ranch dressing.

However, you choose to use it, buttermilk adds an interesting touch to any dish.

The 5 Best Non-dairy Substitutes for Buttermilk

If you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative to buttermilk, you have plenty of options.

Here are five of the best non-dairy substitutes for buttermilk:

1 – Unsweetened Soy Milk with Lemon Juice

Unsweetened soy milk with lemon juice is a wonderful non-dairy alternative to buttermilk.

To make this concoction, simply mix unsweetened soy milk and some freshly squeezed lemon juice together; measure one tablespoon of lemon juice for every two cups of soy milk.

The result is a tangy, refreshing combination that can be used in baking when buttermilk is called for in a recipe.

Texture-wise it’s thinner than cow’s milk or buttermilk and definitely has a subtle sweetness from the citrus flavor of the lemon juice.

You can also adjust the sourness by adding more or less lemon juice per cup of soy milk.

Unsweetened soy milk with lemon juice can be used as an ingredient for several dishes such as pancakes, biscuits, and quick bread, ensuring your recipes are still delicious even though you’re skipping out on dairy products.

2 – Coconut Milk with Apple Cider Vinegar

Coconut milk with apple cider vinegar is a unique combination of ingredients that has many uses in cooking.

The acidity of the vinegar causes the coconut milk to become thick and creamy, like buttermilk, perfect for adding to your favorite baked goods or sauces.

The flavor and texture are slightly sweet from the coconut milk and tart from the apple cider vinegar, creating an enjoyable culinary experience.

You can use this combination as a non-dairy substitute for traditional buttermilk in any recipe–just combine one cup of coconut milk with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes.

Coconut milk with apple cider vinegar is a delicious dairy-free alternative that makes baking more flavorful and accessible.

3 – Almond Milk with Lemon Juice

Almond milk mixed with lemon juice is a tangy, versatile liquid that can be used in many recipes.

The almond milk is slightly sweet and creamy, while the lemon juice gives it a touch of tartness and an appealing aroma.

The combination creates a flavorful beverage that can also be used as a dairy-free substitute for buttermilk in baking, marinades, dressings, and other recipes.

To use as a substitution for buttermilk in your recipe, simply mix equal parts almond milk and fresh-squeezed lemon juice and let it sit until it thickens slightly.

With its tasty flavor, creamy texture, and easy preparation, almond milk with lemon juice is the perfect ingredient to elevate your favorite dishes.

4 – Rice Milk with White Vinegar

Rice milk with white vinegar is a surprisingly delicious combination.

The ingredients are simple and straightforward: just rice, water, and a small amount of white vinegar.

Mixing the two together creates a creamy texture that mimics that of real buttermilk.

The taste of the rice milk itself is mellow, almost sweet, and the acidity from the white vinegar balances it perfectly.

It can be used as a non-dairy substitute for buttermilk in any recipe that calls for it; all you need to do is add some extra water to compensate for the amount of liquid lost due to the addition of the vinegar.

So if you are looking for an easy and delicious vegan alternative to regular buttermilk, then rice milk with white vinegar might just be your answer.

5 – Cashew Milk with Apple Cider Vinegar

Cashew milk with a touch of apple cider vinegar is the perfect non-dairy alternative to buttermilk.

The mild nutty flavor complements many dishes, ranging from pastries and bread to savory soups.

Its texture is rich and creamy, slightly thicker than regular cashew milk, but still smooth and consistent.

The apple cider vinegar adds a subtle tartness that lightly lingers on the tongue.

To use this plant-based blend as an alternative to traditional buttermilk, simply substitute it cup for cup in recipes.

Even if dairy is already incorporated in the recipe, this cow’s milk-free combination will add moisture and sweetness with an unexpected hint of natural acidity that’s sure to delight any palate.


In conclusion, buttermilk is a flavorful and versatile ingredient used in many recipes.

Luckily, there are plenty of delicious non-dairy substitutes available so that everyone can enjoy their favorite dishes without having to worry about dairy allergies or sensitivities.

From coconut milk with apple cider vinegar to cashew milk with apple cider vinegar, these five combinations offer the perfect replacement for the traditional buttermilk in any recipe.

So if you are looking for a dairy-free alternative to buttermilk, give one of these five options a try and enjoy the delicious flavors they bring to your favorite dishes.

The 5 Best Non-dairy Substitutes for Buttermilk

Whether you're lactose intolerant or simply out of buttermilk, these 5 top non-dairy substitutes will provide the same tangy acidity and creamy consistency, ensuring your baked goods turn out perfectly.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Unsweetened Soy Milk with Lemon Juice
  • Coconut Milk with Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Almond Milk with Lemon Juice
  • Rice Milk with White Vinegar
  • Cashew Milk with Apple Cider Vinegar


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Non-dairy Substitutes for Buttermilk
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating