Skip to Content

Savory Tweaks: 5 BEST Non-dairy Substitutes for Buttermilk

Are you looking for delicious substitutes for buttermilk without the dairy? You’ve come to the right place.

Here, we’ll go over five of the best non-dairy alternatives to make your favorite recipes just as tasty as they would be with traditional buttermilk.

Keep reading to discover more.

What’s Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is often a misunderstood ingredient, as its name may evoke confusion rather than appetizing thoughts.

While it is derived from the same source as regular milk, buttermilk is what remains after churning butter from cream: a more acidic and low-fat liquid with incredible versatility in baking and other culinary pursuits.

When used in batters, buttermilk adds a pleasant tartness that intensifies baked goods’ flavor; this quality is invaluable in making moist cakes, fluffy pancakes and beautiful biscuits.

As its remarkable taste suggests, buttermilk also imparts an exquisite texture to whatever recipe it touches.

Beyond baking activities, buttermilk can be used to marinate meats and make creamy salad dressings – so don’t let its name mislead you.

The 5 Best Non-dairy Substitutes for Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a traditional dairy product made from churned, cultured milk.

It has a slightly sour and tangy taste that adds flavor and complexity to many dishes, such as pancakes, waffles and biscuits.

Many people have switched to non-dairy options for health or dietary reasons, so finding an alternative for buttermilk can be challenging.

Thankfully, there are several options available to substitute for buttermilk in your favorite recipes.

1 – Unsweetened Soy Milk with Lemon Juice

Unsweetened soy milk with lemon juice is one of the most popular non-dairy substitutes for buttermilk.

To prepare, simply substitute 1 tablespoon of freshly-squeezed lemon juice for every cup of unsweetened soy milk used.

The acidity of the lemon juice helps to curdle the soy milk, thereby creating a buttermilk substitute.

Soy buttermilk can be used as a replacement in many recipes that call for regular buttermilk.

It has a subtle ‘tang’ and makes a great topping for pancakes or waffles.

2 – Coconut Milk with Apple Cider Vinegar

Coconut milk mixed with apple cider vinegar is an excellent dairy-free substitute for buttermilk.

To make this swap, simply mix one cup of coconut milk with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and stir until they’re well combined.

The acidity from the vinegar will react with the coconut milk to create a slightly thicker mixture that is more similar in texture and taste to traditional buttermilk.

This substitution works best in recipes where buttermilk imparts a creamy texture, such as pancakes and muffins, as well as savory dishes like fried chicken.

3 – Almond Milk with Lemon Juice

For a creamy, slightly sweet and tangy substitute for buttermilk, try mixing together almond milk and lemon juice.

Add 1 cup of almond milk to 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to get the perfect replacement for buttermilk.

The almond milk provides richness and tang that mimics the qualities of buttermilk, while the lemon adds a zesty zing.

Keep in mind that this drool-worthy mixture is best used in recipes that are not overly sweet as the sourness from the lemon can stand out a bit too much.

4 – Rice Milk with White Vinegar

One of the more popular dairy-free substitutes for buttermilk is rice milk with white vinegar.

It is whipped together by mixing one cup of rice milk with one tablespoon of white vinegar.

This mixture can be used to replace the sourness that buttermilk gives recipes without any of the dairy content.

To make sure it curdles properly, it is important to let the mixture sit for five minutes before using it in recipes.

Rice milk also adds a creamy texture and nutty taste to cakes and other recipes, making it an ideal substitution for buttermilk.

5 – Cashew Milk with Apple Cider Vinegar

Cashew milk can be made from raw cashews or cashew butter, and it provides a creamy, nutty profile.

To substitute for buttermilk in a recipe, add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of cashew milk and let sit for 5 minutes before using.

This allows the acid to curdle the milk, much like traditional buttermilk.

The acidic ingredients featured in most recipes using buttermilk are necessary to leaven the dish, so it’s important to use acids like apple cider vinegar when substituting it with non-dairy milks.

Additionally, you can also use other vegan yogurt alternatives like almond yogurt as an alternative to make pancakes or waffles with a hint of nuttiness.


When looking for an appropriate substitute for buttermilk, it is important to understand that not all recipes have the same requirements – some may need more tang or creaminess, while others may require additional liquid.

In general, non-dairy alternatives are reliable, accessible substitutes and offer plenty of options depending on the recipe.

The list of non-dairy alternatives for replacing traditional buttermilk is wide ranging – from store bought products such as coconut based yoghurt or plain plant milks combined with apple cider vinegar – so there really is something out there that should fit anyone’s needs.

The 5 Best Non-dairy Substitutes for Buttermilk

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes


  • 1 – Unsweetened Soy Milk with Lemon Juice
  • 2 – Coconut Milk with Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 – Almond Milk with Lemon Juice
  • 4 – Rice Milk with White Vinegar
  • 5 – Cashew Milk with Apple Cider Vinegar


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!