Homemade Buttermilk – Unbroken Promises

Homemade Buttermilk – Unbroken Promises

Do you ever make a grocery list only to realize later when you are already at the supermarket with your shopping cart ready that you left your list on the kitchen counter? My husband and kids know this very well about me because I often call home to ask them to take a picture of the list and send it to me. They are not always home though, but need not worry because this is the moment when my confidence is at its very highest and I am determined I can remember everything on that list from memory. Going back home is simply not an option at this point.

I do pretty well remembering, depending on how long that list is, but one thing I never fail to forget is buttermilk. Buttermilk is not a regularly stocked item in my fridge so it is usually not in mind. I only buy it when a specific recipe calls for it, such as buttermilk pancakes, coconut cake or buttery biscuits.

I recently looked up buttermilk to learn what it actually is, and to find out if I can make it at home because after all isn’t it just buttered milk? Um….not exactly. It’s more of a soured milk. Buttermilk is the slightly sour, residual liquid left behind after butter is churned. This liquid is then left to ferment overnight converting the milk sugars into lactic acid, and it is this lactic acid that makes it so desirable for baking as it adds tenderness and tang, and reacts to the baking soda to yield light and flaky results.

One thing I did have right though about buttermilk is that I CAN make it at home. Not with butter though but rather with lemons. How nice to know this because in my kitchen milk and lemons are kitchen staples! The very best part about making buttermilk at home is being able to keep my promise to my kids and make them their favorite buttermilk pancakes the next morning, because we all know that once you have tempted your kids with the possibility of pancakes there’s no turning back.

How to make Buttermilk ('karnelmelk'in dutch)

: 1 cup
: 1 min
: 5 min
: Easy


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or white vinegar)
  • Step 1 Add the milk and lemon juice into a bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Step 2 Let it sit for 5 minutes (no longer than 10 minutes).
  • Step 3 When the milk becomes slightly curdled, it is ready.