The Best Buttermilk Recipes

Have you ever bought buttermilk for one recipe, but then had no idea what to do with the rest of it?

And likely, you never did figure out what to do with it before it spoiled and you had to pitch it.

If that sounds familiar, or if you find yourself not even buying buttermilk for that one recipe, because you don’t think there’s anything else to make with it, these 25 recipes will keep you busy.

The Best Buttermilk Recipes - Now you know what to do with it so you'll never waste it again! 25+ easy recipes for cakes, breaeds, muffins, donuts & more at

And lest you think buttermilk isn’t really all that special, it is. It’s magical. It keep cakes, muffins, rolls, donuts, and more so soft, springy, bouncy, and tender, with the perfect balance of density and fluffiness. The results are unparalleled.

Make sure to read to the end for three helpful buttermilk DIY tips.


Blueberry Muffin and Buttermilk Pancakes Cake – A cake that tastes like  hybrid of muffins and pancakes. Can be made with frozen berries

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Bliss Cake – Like a Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar in cake form

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Bliss Cake - The flavors of Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars in a Soft, Easy, No-Mixer Cake! Recipe at

Peanut Butter-Swirled Strawberry Jelly Cake (aka, PB & J Cake) – If you love PB & J, this is your cake

Peanut Butter-Swirled Strawberry Cake - Easy Recipe at

Peaches and Cream Fluffy Muffin Cake – If you don’t have fresh peaches, most any frozen fruit like mangoes, strawberries, or mixed berries may be used

Peaches and Cream Fluffy Muffin Cake - Recipe at

Peanut Butter Honey Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate-Peanut Butter Streusel – This is a one-bowl, easy cake, ready in about 30 minutes that’s so moist and soft, and everyone loves it at parties

Peanut Butter Honey Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate-Peanut Butter Streusel

Carrot Cake Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting – My favorite recipe for carrot cake, and it’s a one-bowl, easy cake baked as a loaf

Carrot Cake Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese-Swirled Cherry and Mixed Berries Cake – Homemade version of an Entenmann’s cream cheese coffee cake

Cream Cheese-Swirled Cherry and Mixed Berries Cake - Easy Recipe at

Strawberries and Cream Coffee Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze – One of the best coffee cakes ever. Use your favorite fresh, frozen, or seasonal fruit in this incredibly moist and soft cake

Blueberry and Jam Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Buttery Vanilla Glaze – One of the best coffee cakes or cakes I’ve ever made. Highly recommended – tied with the one above

Brown Sugar-Topped Cinnamon-Sugar Coffee Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Brown Sugar-Topped Cinnamon-Sugar Coffee Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze - Fast, Easy, No-Mixer Recipe on

Muffins, Donuts, and Pancakes

Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins

Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins with Nutella

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins – They taste like fried mini donuts, but they’re baked and healthy

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins - Recipe at

Baked Vanilla Donuts with Vanilla Glaze – Yeast-free, easy, and if you don’t have a donut pan, try them as muffins. The closest I’ve come to a baked, at-home Krispy Kreme

Baked Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts with Vanilla Peanut Butter Glaze – The best baked chocolate-peanut butter donuts I’ve had, and I included this recipe in my cookbook

Baked Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts with Vanilla Peanut Butter Glaze

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze – Like a Cinnabon, in donut form

Strawberry and Sprinkles Buttermilk Pancakes – Kids go nuts for these. So do parents

Strawberry and Sprinkles Buttermilk Pancakes

Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce – Chocolate and salted caramel is the breakfast of champions

Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce - Recipe at

Easy Buttermilk Waffles with Mixed Berry and Lemon Preserves

Easy Buttermilk Waffles with Mixed Berry & Lemon Preserves - As fast and easy as using boxed pancake mix, but so much better! Crispy on the outside and soft & fluffy inside!

Breads and Rolls

Nutella-Layered-and-Swirled Peanut Butter Bread {Peanut Butter Loaf Cake}

Nutella-Layered-and-Swirled Peanut Butter Bread {Peanut Butter Loaf Cake} - Easy, no-mixer bread baked in a loaf pan that tastes like cake! Recipe at

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread – Even picky eaters who want the crust cut off will go nuts for this sweet, slightly crunchy crust. The bread interior is so soft & fluffy

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread – An entire loaf that tastes like muffin tops

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread – The sweet potatoes keep this bread so soft and moist and it’s richly spiced

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter – Such a flavorful bread because of the browned butter and buttermilk and uses those ripe bananas

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

30-Minute Cheesy Avocado Pizza Skillet Bread (vegan and whole wheat) – No-knead, no-yeast, and so easy

30-Minute Cheesy Avocado Skillet Pizza Bread (Whole-Wheat & Vegan) - Recipe at

30-Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread – Fast and so easy to make, you’ll think you left something out

Fruit, Seed and Nut Crackers – Fancy artisan crackers that are actually crispy can be achieved by first baking a loaf of a bread, slicing thinly, then baking the slices as crackers. This recipe inspired the bread above

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls – The best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had and a consistent reader and Pinterest favorite

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls
BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing - Fast, fresh, healthy & satisfying!
The Best Pineapple Upside-Down Cake - So soft, moist & really is The Best! A cheery, happy cake that's sure to put a smile on anyone's face!

Buttermilk (DIY) Tips

1. You can make buttermilk by souring regular milk. Add about 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice to 1 about cup milk, wait for 10 minutes for it to curdle, then use as indicated.

2. You can thin out Greek yogurt or sour cream with milk, to approximate the consistency of buttermilk. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup buttermilk, I use about 2/3 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream to 1/3 cup milk, stir, and use as indicated. It’s not the exact same, but most recipes will still ‘work’.

3. I highly recommend this Powdered Buttermilk. If you don’t use buttermilk much, but you’ll see a recipe that needs a half cup, but because you feel you won’t use the rest of the jug before it goes bad, you opt of trying the recipe, then this powder is your new best friend. Shelf stable, keeps for ages.

Thanks for the entries in the West Elm $50 Gift Card Giveaway and the $100 Gift Card Giveaway

Are you prone to buying buttermilk but then not knowing what to do with it?

What do you make with buttermilk?


59 Responses to “The Best Buttermilk Recipes”

  1. Belinda @themoonblushbaker — November 22, 2013 at 12:08 am (#

    Butter milk also makes a great dressing with blue cheese. It is creamy and tangy; but also lower in calories than sour cream. I love it with potatoes

    Greag recipe round up Averie

  2. Ellen — November 22, 2013 at 12:43 am (#

    I’ve been on a major pancake kick that has me going through a lot of buttermilk powder-my chosen form of the stuff:) Well, chosen because it doesn’t go bad for a long time….

  3. Rochelle @ Oh So Sweet Baker — November 22, 2013 at 2:10 am (#

    Wow all those recipes look divine. I tend to use buttermilk for scones, muffins, cakes and masked potato. What ever I don’t use I freeze into ice cube trays and pop into bags, ready for the next time.

  4. Becki West Jacobs — November 22, 2013 at 3:47 am (#

    I’m drooling over this post – I would make every single recipe. I always buy buttermilk and then have to think of ways to use it up. I do love it, though. The sprinkle and strawberry pancakes look amazing – my girlies would love them!

    • Averie Sunshine — November 22, 2013 at 9:24 am (#

      Thanks Becki and yes those pancakes are big hits with kids!

  5. Monica — November 22, 2013 at 3:49 am (#

    Excellent idea, Averie! I had this problem with extra buttermilk but I’ve got a nice handful of recipes these days to take care of it. I’m happy to have a bunch more here. These look great!

    • Averie Sunshine — November 22, 2013 at 9:24 am (#

      Glad you found some things that work well! Always good to have on file!

  6. Paula — November 22, 2013 at 4:02 am (#

    Great recipe round-up–we loved both of the skillet breads! I have made my own buttermilk in a pinch but prefer the powdered version or a carton of the real thing. I love the results–especially when I’m using heavier flours like spelt or whole wheat. Also, buttermilk means I can use baking soda instead of powder and I usually like those results better as well.

    • Averie Sunshine — November 22, 2013 at 9:17 am (#

      You’re so right about soda vs. powder – I am all about using soda whenever possible, too! The taste, texture, everything I just prefer so much more!

  7. Laura-Jane — November 22, 2013 at 4:23 am (#

    I’d never heard of powdered buttermilk – what a great option to keep in the cupboard.
    Your Fruit, Seed & Nut crackers look like an excellent healthy snack. My husband will want to try some of those, I think!

    • Averie Sunshine — November 22, 2013 at 9:23 am (#

      The powder is an excellent option. I much prefer it to other DIY methods. Fresh is best but the powder is 80-90% as good as fresh IMO!

      And those crackers are amazing. They’re like gourmet crackers that cost $8 for a small box, and you get 4x the quantity by DIYing!

  8. Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?! — November 22, 2013 at 4:45 am (#

    What a wonderful idea, to compile all these buttermilk recipes! It used to happen to me often that I’d buy buttermilk for one reason but then never getting around to using the rest, so I’d have to toss it. But then I discovered KAF’s powdered buttermilk, which is the best!
    Totally pinning this collection of recipes. Love it!

    • Averie Sunshine — November 22, 2013 at 9:22 am (#

      Thanks for pinning and glad this is going to be handy!

  9. Erin | The Law Student's Wife — November 22, 2013 at 5:27 am (#

    Buttermilk is the BFF of so many baked goods, but it’s true–I somehow always seem to have a bit that lingers in the fridge. Thanks for all of the tasty ideas to solve this “problem.” ;-)

  10. Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — November 22, 2013 at 5:45 am (#

    Amazing round-up Averie! I’m practically drooling over here–that bluberry pancake/muffin cake is calling my name, especially.

    Totally agree with you–buttermilk is unparalleled ingredient for baking.

  11. Yum Yucky — November 22, 2013 at 6:17 am (#

    GAH! This is just too much deliciousness for one blog post. I’m gonna go into greedy cardiac arrest!

  12. Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron — November 22, 2013 at 6:26 am (#

    Wow! This is so awesome! I always buy buttermilk and can never use it all up. Pinned this to use from now on. Thanks Averie!

  13. Ilona — November 22, 2013 at 6:34 am (#

    How about drinking buttermilk instead of eating yoghurt? :) I do, from time to time. And I eat granola with buttermilk very often. Better than yoghurt for me! :)

    • Averie Sunshine — November 22, 2013 at 9:21 am (#

      I can’t get past the super thick texture and slight saltiness of it so for drinking it would not be something I could do. But baking with is another story!

  14. Emily {Pink Tiger in the Kitchen} — November 22, 2013 at 6:46 am (#

    AVERIE!! I love that you did this round-up!! I always seems to buy buttermilk with one recipe in time and then start drawing blanks on what to do with the leftovers. Thanks for compiling in one place so I don’t waste the good stuff again!!

  15. Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks — November 22, 2013 at 7:47 am (#

    What an awesome roundup! I happen to have a little bit left in my fridge that needs to be used up!

  16. Laura (Tutti Dolci) — November 22, 2013 at 8:59 am (#

    You know I love baking with buttermilk – this is such a great round-up!

  17. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — November 22, 2013 at 11:37 am (#

    My only problem would be figuring out how many of these recipes I could make in one day!

  18. Lindsay — November 22, 2013 at 11:53 am (#

    SUCH a smart roundup!! You must know how much buttermilk I’ve wasted lol! And now I need to go make that PB&J Cake…

  19. Martha in KS — November 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm (#

    Buttermilk never gets thrown away at my house. I love it & will drink any leftover, but usually I’ll make a Texas Sheet Cake since I always have the other ingredients on hand. You’ve given me lots of new recipes to try – thanks!

    • Averie Sunshine — November 22, 2013 at 9:38 pm (#

      Glad you have some new ones! LMK if you try any!

  20. Katie — November 22, 2013 at 3:57 pm (#

    I just finished a container of that powdered buttermilk this summer. I had it for probably….7 years?! It was fine until the very end, but clearly I don’t use much buttermilk.

    I did just find out that kefir can be used in placed of buttermilk too, so I may have to do some baking experimenting with it.

    • Averie Sunshine — November 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm (#

      Interesting to think of about the kefir. It’s thinner I’d imagine than buttermilk (well at least all the kefir I made was, but I made it with lite coconut milk so not sure about full fat real dairy) but yeah, you’re right, the cultured aspect of it, it’s just one step away from yogurt, really. Never thought about this! Keep me posted if you do bake with it and in general how it’s going! I hope for your sake, good!

  21. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent — November 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm (#

    What a fun idea! I always have extra buttermilk :)

  22. LoverOfAnythingChocolate — November 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm (#

    No, I actually don’t buy buttermilk. I use the homemade substitution all the time. I usually use half-and-half with lemon juice, not milk. Half-and-half curdles faster-in like 30 seconds-1 minute and it gives more flavor!

    • Averie Sunshine — November 22, 2013 at 9:37 pm (#

      Anything with half and half is going to be better tasting than milk. It’s about 22% fat compared to 2% fat :)

    • LoverOfAnythingChocolate — November 23, 2013 at 8:31 am (#

      Yup! And it’s easier to use…. It’s a life-saver though..

  23. Erin | The Emerging Foodie — November 22, 2013 at 6:13 pm (#

    I actually have almost a whole leftover container of it and was wondering just today what to do with it. This is wonderful! So smart.

  24. Kris — November 22, 2013 at 6:49 pm (#

    I have an amazing biscuit recipe which uses buttermilk–angel biscuits–it also uses both yeast and baking soda. I’ve tried it without buttermilk and it just isn’t the same. I find that biscuits are tricky to make–they can so easily be dry and tough–I’m convinced the buttermilk is what makes these so good. I also regularly make pancakes with buttermilk and I’ve tried a few of your yummy recipes also. Oh, and I make some truly sinful cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning breakfast and they use buttermilk.

    • Averie Sunshine — November 22, 2013 at 9:33 pm (#

      The very last recipe in this post, my overnight cinnamon rolls, pretty dang sinful and I love them :) Glad you have your keeper recipe, too! And the biscuit recipe which uses buttermilk–angel biscuits–it also uses both yeast and baking soda…they sound incredible. Buttermilk, yeast, baking soda. You cannot go wrong. Light as angels I bet! I have a biscuit recipe in my cookbook that is really good and light but it just uses bmilk or milk, with tons of baking powder. Your idea is awesome.

      This recipe is sort of a savory version of my cookbook and while I didnt use bmilk, I used sour cream (or greek yog) – same difference, really

    • Kris — November 23, 2013 at 7:55 am (#

      The parmesan/sour cream bread is on my to-do list, actually. I make a lot of soups/stews this time of year and I love homemade bread to go with it. Yeast breads are my fave but sometimes I need quick and tasty. I can email you the biscuit recipe if you’re interested.

  25. ashley - baker by nature — November 22, 2013 at 7:40 pm (#

    Um, yeah, I alwaaaaays have extra buttermilk. Great round up!

    • Averie Sunshine — November 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm (#

      Your squash and brussels sprouts dish…girl, I have been on a major b sprouts kick and that would be perfect w/ the sricacha!

  26. Susan — November 22, 2013 at 8:09 pm (#

    I have an unopened carton of buttermilk that has been sitting in my frdge for a few months. It has not curdled. Do you think it is safe to use? ‘Cos these recipes have inspired me!

  27. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — November 22, 2013 at 8:44 pm (#

    Wow! You made all of this with buttermilk! Everything looks amazing and I love the photography!

    • Averie Sunshine — November 22, 2013 at 9:28 pm (#

      Thanks Jennifer! Was just thinking about you the other day and hope you’re doing great :)

  28. Beth @ bethcakes — November 22, 2013 at 9:01 pm (#

    What a wonderful idea! I have definitely wasted some buttermilk because I used it for one thing and forgot about it. This is such an awesome compilation of recipes! And of course they all look delicious. I’ll have to try some next time I have leftover buttermilk!

  29. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — November 22, 2013 at 11:10 pm (#

    How did you know?! I have half a carton of buttermilk left in the fridge after making my cornbread stuffing. And I’ve been meaning to make your blueberry coffee cake for ages now!

  30. Arthur in the Garden! — November 23, 2013 at 9:21 am (#

    Buttermilk does make everything better!

  31. Sarah@WholeAndHeavenlyOven — November 23, 2013 at 10:21 am (#

    I always have a TON of buttermilk on hand (because I make my own butter) and always seem to have to throw some of it out because I don’t use it fast enough—I don’t think I’m ever going to have to waste any buttermilk again with all these amazing recipes!

  32. sippitysup — November 23, 2013 at 10:57 am (#

    Here’s a savory use for all that extra buttermilk. Marinate chicken in it. Really. Tender and Juicy. Really. GREG

  33. Kira @ The Healthable Old Soul — November 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm (#

    Great ideas for buttermilk!!! It makes things looks so moist!

  34. Jaclyn — November 23, 2013 at 3:04 pm (#

    I love this round-up Averie! I sometimes wonder what to do with that buttermilk I have left, when I don’t have enough for pancakes :).

  35. Liz @Life Made Sweet — November 23, 2013 at 3:13 pm (#

    Thank you SO much for this Avery! I am ALWAYS throwing away buttermilk! It’s awful and so wasteful!

  36. Marta @ What Should I eat for breakfast today — November 24, 2013 at 10:14 am (#

    You always give us some hard choices. I have no idea what to choose…

  37. Nutmeg Nanny — November 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm (#

    Oh what a yummy roundup :) I love this!

  38. April @ Queen Acres — December 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm (#

    Averie (or anyone else) — do you have an opinion on real buttermilk versus cultured buttermilk in baking recipes? I’ve always used the cultured stuff the grocery store has but lately I’ve been buying all our dairy from a local creamery. They only sell “real” buttermilk, if you know what I mean ;)

    • Averie Sunshine — December 8, 2013 at 6:53 am (#

      I only have access to the buttermilk you’d be in the grocery store or Trader Joe’s (which is what I buy b/c it’s the cheapest) and it works just fine for me.

Leave a Comment