The 8 Best Substitutes For Buttermilk In Biscuits

What can I use instead of buttermilk in biscuits? The best substitutes for buttermilk in biscuits are fermented milk products like kefir, yogurt, sour cream, and powdered buttermilk. Make DIY buttermilk by acidifying dairy or plant milk. Other vegan alternatives are tofu and nut cream.

Buttermilk is an essential biscuit ingredient because it creates a thick, moist dough, helping the biscuits to hold their shape in the oven. The fermented milk’s acidity helps create a light, fluffy rise by developing gluten, activating the baking soda, and adding a tangy flavor. Here are the 8 best substitutes for buttermilk in biscuits.

The Best Buttermilk In Biscuits Substitutes


Kefir is the perfect substitute for buttermilk in biscuits.

Using kefir grains to ferment milk is an ancient tradition that has been revived recently.

The combination of bacteria and yeast creates a thick, buttermilk-like liquid loved for its high levels of gut-friendly bacteria, protein, and calcium.

Kefir has an even tangier, more acidic flavor than buttermilk and similar levels of water and lactose.

Unsweetened, unflavored kefir works perfectly as a buttermilk replacement, making a thick, malleable dough, tender and fluffy biscuits, and a beautiful golden crust.

Kefir can replace buttermilk in biscuits 1:1.


A second excellent substitute for buttermilk in biscuits is yogurt.

Plain and Greek yogurt is fermented with similar cultures to commercially produced buttermilk, producing similar levels of lactic acid and the associated sour flavor. Yogurt provides protein, calcium, B vitamins, and digestive bacteria.

Because yogurt contains more milk solids, it is richer than buttermilk, resulting in more moisture and sweetness. These qualities are ideal in muffins, cake, or a quick loaf.

Using yogurt instead of buttermilk in biscuits creates biscuit dough with reasonable consistency, and bakes into light, golden biscuits.

However, yogurt creates a slightly gummy texture instead of a bread-like or biscuit-like texture.

Use natural, unflavored yogurt, avoiding fruit or sweetened types for best results. Try thinning the yogurt by adding ¼ cup water to ¾ cup thick yogurt.

Substitute thinned yogurt for buttermilk in equal amounts.

Sour Cream

Sour cream makes a handy substitute for buttermilk in biscuits.

While yogurt, kefir, and buttermilk start with whole milk as a base, sour cream is cultured or fermented cream.

Although all these dairy products taste similar and have the same acidic quality and flavor, sour cream has a much higher proportion of milk fats.

While many recipes suggest replacing buttermilk with sour cream (or even regular cream), the fat ratio of the biscuits will be upset. Biscuits made with cream can become greasy and dense.

To use sour cream instead of buttermilk, thin ¾ cup of sour cream with ¼ cup of milk or water. This mixture will give you better consistency.

Replace buttermilk in biscuits with equal quantities of thinned sour cream.

Powdered Buttermilk

It’s helpful to have a can of powdered buttermilk handy as a replacement for buttermilk in biscuits.

Powdered or dehydrated buttermilk needs to be reconstituted with water. Rehydrated buttermilk tastes like buttermilk and has the same nutritional qualities.

However, the mixture has a much thinner consistency, even if you follow the instructions. (Usually, you combine four tablespoons or ¼ cup powder with 1 cup water.)

Adding reconstituted buttermilk to biscuits makes a very wet dough, leading to flatter biscuits. Nonetheless, your biscuits will smell delicious, taste tangy, and have an appealing brown crust.

Substitute reconstituted powdered buttermilk in a 1:1 ratio for regular buttermilk, but don’t be disappointed if the biscuits don’t have the same lift and height.

DIY Buttermilk

Substitute a DIY version for buttermilk in biscuits.

Making a buttermilk substitute at home is possible by using dairy milk, and an acid ingredient curdles it, giving you the same effect as buttermilk.

To make a cup of DIY buttermilk, combine a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice with a cup of milk.

You could also add a teaspoon of cream of tartar. Stir and set aside for five minutes. Whisk the mixture to recombine.

DIY buttermilk can substitute for buttermilk in biscuits. However, the flavor will not be as complex, and the biscuits may not brown as nicely as the milk hasn’t fermented.

DIY buttermilk is also much thinner, so you have a wetter dough – however, adding less liquid means crumbly, dry biscuits.

Biscuits made with DIY buttermilk are tasty but will be flatter and a little dense.

Replace buttermilk in biscuits with the same quantity of DIY buttermilk.

DIY Dairy-free Buttermilk

If you need a vegan or dairy-free substitute for buttermilk in biscuits, try using plant-based milk to make an alternative.

The process of souring dairy milk with acid can apply to plant milk. Although the plant milk won’t sour like dairy milk, you will have a tangy flavor.

The acid softens the gluten and activates the leavening, while the liquid creates a tender texture.

Use any plant-based milk to make your buttermilk substitute so long as it is unsweetened and unflavored. Coconut, oat, and cashew milk have a thick consistency to mimic buttermilk.

Add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice or a teaspoon of cream of tartar to 1 cup of plant milk and stir.

Using DIY dairy-free buttermilk in equal quantities to replace buttermilk will produce tasty biscuits. Still, they will be thinner, paler, and have a crumblier texture.


Another vegan buttermilk substitute in biscuits is tofu.

Tofu or dofu is soybean curd made from coagulated soy milk. It is highly nutritious and contains protein, calcium, and micronutrients.

Choose extra firm, smoked, or soft tofu, depending on the recipe.

The best tofu for baking and desserts is silken tofu, which has a custard-like consistency. However, it has a minimal flavor and will not impart zestiness to your biscuits.

Unlike tempeh, tofu is not fermented, so you must add acid if you want to replace buttermilk.

To make a tofu substitute for buttermilk, combine ¼ cup silken tofu, ¾ cup water, and a tablespoon of either vinegar or lemon juice. Let the tofu mixture stand for a few minutes, then whisk it until blended.

Replace buttermilk with equal amounts of the tofu blend, knowing that the biscuits may not rise or brown as regular buttermilk.

Homemade Nut Cream

For a vegan substitute for buttermilk in biscuits, try homemade nut cream.

To make nut cream, soak raw, unsalted cashew or macadamia nuts in water overnight. Drain the nuts and blitz them in a blender.

While blending, add a cup of water combined with two teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar for every cup of nuts.

Use this nut cream instead of buttermilk when making biscuits. The nuts will add a delicious flavor and buttery texture, the lemon juice will add the necessary acid, and the water will moisten your biscuits.

Replace buttermilk in biscuits with the same volume of nut cream.