Beverages/ Blog Recipes

How to Make Your Own Cultured Buttermilk

Save money and eat better! Making your own buttermilk is an easy and economical way to improve the quality of your baked goods! Learn how on

Cultured buttermilk is a rich, not sweet, milk used in so many recipes. From biscuits to cake, it’s a staple in any baker’s kitchen, but it adds up! Buttermilk is a surprisingly expensive ingredient, and there isn’t much variety when it comes to choosing between brands or even fat content when you’re at the store. Thankfully, it’s easy, and economical, to make your own!

Today is also my October Secret Recipe Club reveal day, and I’m so excited to bring you this amazing kitchen trick from Grandma Loy’s Kitchen. Grandma Loy has been blogging quite a while, so she has loads of recipes on the site, especially desserts! But I was picking my recipe when I was in a savory mood, and almost made Curried Rice and Vegetables or Serbian Cabbage, but then I came across a post explaining how to make your own cultured buttermilk and I couldn’t resist!

Save money and eat better! Making your own buttermilk is an easy and economical way to improve the quality of your baked goods! Learn how on

I may live in a major metro area, but I definitely like to pretend I have a tiny homestead in our row house, so the idea of making my buttermilk from scratch was so exciting, AND IT WORKS! I’ve actually had my batch of homemade cultured buttermilk sitting in my fridge for almost three weeks now, with refresh batches made as needed using our organic raw milk. It is hands-down the best buttermilk I have ever EVER had the pleasure of baking with, and I love that I can freeze it when I know I won’t be using it for a little while, so I will never run out. With a little planning ahead, I can also scale up the amount of buttermilk in the house and have plenty on hand for baking marathons. Once you make this, I bet you won’t go back to store bought either! 

I did start with store bought buttermilk, I used a little from a container I had on hand as starter for my first batch. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can order a buttermilk starter culture as well. It comes in little packets and you just mix it with your milk and let it set. I make and store my buttermilk in a large mason jar because it’s practical, looks cute, and pours easily to measure out for recipes.

Save money and eat better! Making your own buttermilk is an easy and economical way to improve the quality of your baked goods! Learn how on

In case you’re wondering what I mean by “cultured” buttermilk, let me explain. There are two kinds of buttermilk. There is uncultured buttermilk, which is a natural byproduct of the butter making process. It’s thin, but can still be used in some recipes or you may drink it if you like the flavor. The buttermilk most commonly purchased at the store for use in baking though is cultured buttermilk, the thick tangy liquid called for in most baking recipes.

I made one small change to Grandma Loy’s recipe. She calls for the addition of a sprinkle of kosher salt to the buttermilk, but I forgot, and so it wasn’t included and it turned out fine! This keeps about two weeks in the fridge, but if you aren’t going to use it in that amount of time, freeze what you have, and then thaw as needed for baking or to make more.


How to Make Cultured Buttermilk
Prep Time
2 mins
Cook Time
12 hrs
Total Time
12 hrs 2 mins
Author: Goodie Godmother
  • 1 part buttermilk
  • 4 parts milk low fat or whole
  • large jar
  1. Combine your buttermilk starter and milk in a large jar or other container with a lid.
  2. Cover and shake vigorously for 30-45 seconds, then leave out at room temperature for 12-24 hours. The buttermilk is ready when it is slightly thick and smells tangy.
  3. Refrigerate and use or freeze within two weeks.



Save money and eat better! Making your own buttermilk is an easy and economical way to improve the quality of your baked goods! Learn how on


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  • Reply
    Sid's Sea Palm Cooking
    October 20, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Doncha just love Grandma Loy’s blog? I almost always have buttermilk in the fridge, but sometimes it’s not that easy to find. And it is expensive, but thanks to you and Grandma Loy I now have an easy way to keep buttermilk going in my fridge. Great SRC choice.

    • Reply
      The Godmother
      October 27, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      Thanks so much! Grandma Loy’s blog is a wonderful resource, and this was one handy kitchen tip!

  • Reply
    CJ Huang
    October 16, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    I’ve been getting more into fermenting things, and making my own buttermilk sounds like a great idea! Plus, you can always have some on hand. 🙂 Does it separate like regular milk after a freeze/thaw cycle?

    • Reply
      The Godmother
      October 17, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      I’m not sure CJ! I haven’t frozen my buttermilk yet, I plan to do so in a few weeks when we head out of town. When I’ve frozen store bought buttermilk though, I haven’t had an issue with separation, so I think homemade would also be fine.

  • Reply
    colleen @ Secrets from the Cookie Princess
    October 14, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    I knew it was easy, but I didn’t know how easy. Thanks for teaching me something new!

    • Reply
      The Godmother
      October 17, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      My pleasure, although Grandma Loy takes the real credit here. 😉

  • Reply
    October 12, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    The cheapskate in me is LOVING this idea.

    • Reply
      The Godmother
      October 17, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      I know, right? Milk is so much less expensive than buttermilk per unit, and this way you also get a better final product. It’s a win all around

  • Reply
    Grandma Loy
    October 12, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks for the nice post about making cultured buttermilk. This really is one of the handiest ideas I have ever come across. I do use powdered buttermilk from time to time, but I think real liquid buttermilk is hands down better in baking than any of the milk/vinegar, lemon juice, cream of tartar substitutes. With you spreading the word, now more people will have the knowledge. By the way, your photos are terrific. Have a great week.

    • Reply
      The Godmother
      October 17, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      My dear, you have made my life better. THANK YOU! And thank you for the compliments on the photos. 🙂

  • Reply
    Renee@Renee's Kitchen Adventures
    October 12, 2015 at 9:41 am

    LOVE this idea!!! I almost always have buttermilk in my fridge, but lately, it seems the grocery stores have been a little light on their stock. How awesome that I could just make my own!

    • Reply
      The Godmother
      October 17, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      Once you try you’ll never go back to store bought if you can help it!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2015 at 7:27 am

    This would be a fun experiment for kids! 😀 Nice to know in a pinch when I’m almost out and need much more for baking!

    • Reply
      The Godmother
      October 17, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      I didn’t even think about that, but it would be a great experiment for the little ones!

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