How to Make Traditional Homemade Buttermilk

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Do you have a recipe that requires buttermilk, but you don’t have any on hand? Want to make Buttermilk Ranch Dressing or buttermilk cornbread without going to the store first? Are you simply hoping to become more self-sufficient in the kitchen? Read on to learn how to make your own traditional homemade buttermilk with just ONE ingredient!


How to Make Homemade Buttermilk from Fresh Cream

Making your own buttermilk has many advantages. The biggest advantage (other than sustainability) is that you get fresh butter out of the recipe as well! Who doesn’t like getting two products out of one process?

Scooping fresh cream out of a mason jar into a stand mixeer

What Do You Need to Make Traditional Buttermilk?

There are several different ways to extract buttermilk from heavy cream. You could manually churn the cream, shake it up in a mason jar, or use a tool like a stand mixer to do the work for you. 

This post will teach you how to use the basic process of agitation using a stand mixer (or another electrical tool) to separate the cream into butter and buttermilk so you really get two products from one recipe. 

Stand Mixer

A stand mixer with a whisk attachment is my favorite tool for making homemade buttermilk. This method is fast and pretty hands-off. It is a good idea to use a splash guard or to cover the mixer with a tea towel to avoid having the buttermilk splash all over the kitchen. 

Food Processor

A food processor works great for extracting buttermilk as well. Many people prefer this option.

Blender

A blender works pretty much in the same way as a food processor to make homemade buttermilk.

Hand Mixer and Bowl

This method isn’t as desirable, but it can work. If you decide to use a hand mixer, it will take more time and elbow grease. It is also more difficult to prevent splashing this way. If it is your only option, however, then you can make it work. 

Airtight Container

You will need an airtight container to store your homemade buttermilk in unless you plan to use it all immediately. A mason jar works well.

What Does it Mean When Cream Breaks?

Breaking just means that the thick, solid, yellow butterfat has separated from the buttermilk. You will see butter solids floating around in the buttermilk when it is ready.

Traditional Homemade Buttermilk Recipe

**this recipe makes a 1/2 pint to a pint of buttermilk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions

STEP 1

Put room-temperature heavy cream into a blender, food processor, stand mixer, or hand mixer. I always use a stand mixer and it typically takes about 10 minutes.

Mom and baby making butter and homemade buttermilk
STEP 2

Mix at a medium speed until the cream breaks and separates. This usually takes less than 10 minutes in a stand mixer or blender. The cream will thicken into whipped cream and then separate into butter and buttermilk. The buttermilk will slosh around when it reaches this point so use a splash guard or a tea towel to minimize messes.

Homemade buttermilk | whipped cream stage
STEP 3

After the buttermilk separates, pour it out and store it in an airtight container like a mason jar to use later or pour it straight into your next recipe. 

Homemade buttermilk and butter in a stand mixer
STEP 4

Take the butter solids and store them to use as well. See instructions for storing butter here. Bam! That’s two products in one-> homemade buttermilk & homemade butter!

How to Store Homemade Buttermilk

Your homemade buttermilk can last 1-2 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container placed in the coldest part of the fridge. You can also freeze the buttermilk to use later. 

Homemade buttermilk in a mason jar

Notes

  • Room temperature cream is best. Cold cream will take longer to break. 
  • Fresh raw cream is the best! However, you can use any heavy cream available to you. 

Buttermilk Recipe Ideas

For recipes that call for whole milk instead of buttermilk, just substitute buttermilk at a 1:1 ratio.

Traditional Homemade Buttermilk

Traditional Homemade Buttermilk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

STEP 1

Put room-temperature heavy cream into a blender, food processor, stand mixer, or hand mixer. I always use a stand mixer and it typically takes about 10 minutes.

STEP 2

Mix at a medium speed until the cream breaks and separates. This usually takes less than 10 minutes in a stand mixer or blender. The cream will thicken into whipped cream and then separate into butter and buttermilk. The buttermilk will slosh around when it reaches this point so use a splash guard or a tea towel to minimize messes.

STEP 3

After the buttermilk separates, pour it out and store it in an airtight container like a mason jar to use later or pour it straight into your next recipe. 

STEP 4

Take the butter solids and store them to use as well. See instructions for storing butter here. Bam! That’s two products in one-> homemade buttermilk & homemade butter!

Notes

  • Room temperature cream is best. Cold cream will take longer to break. 
  • Fresh raw cream is the best! However, you can use any heavy cream available to you. 

  • Have you tried homemade buttermilk before?

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