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Jan 25, 2006 06:54 PM

Can I sub half and half for buttermilk?

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I'm trying to use up kitchen items, and I have everything I need to make the Ghiradelli Empress Cake linked below.

General baking question: I know I can make a serviceable buttermilk substitute by letting vinegar and milk sit for awhile (I can Google the proportions).

Has anyone done the same with half and half? I'd like to not have milk (as stated, trying to get rid of food).

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  1. You can do the same vinegar/half and half thing as you would with milk. It will probably be richer too. Buttermilk was not always made with non-fat or low fat milk. The good stuff was made with 4%.

    1. But virtually all recipes requiring buttermilk today assume no or lowfat, because that is all that is available in most markets. Half and half is about 10-12% fat. So you'd need to dilute it with milk to reduce it to even 4%.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Karl S.

        That may be, but if you are a fat phobe you can just reduce the 1/2&1/2 with water too. Personally I would not. The finished product will have better mouthfeel and taste better without the reduction

        1. re: MZG

          No you cannot dilute with water and retain the qualities of milk. The issue is not fat but milk solids (lactose, among others). You won't have enough if you dilute with water.

          1. re: Karl S

            Not if you want to drink it but for her purpose of course she can.

            1. re: MZG

              I don't agree for baking; the milk solids are just as important for baking. Milky water is not the same think as milk.

        2. re: Karl S.

          Yeah...this was my first thought as well. Taste wise, I don't think the twang would come through or be a problem, but the fat content just wouldn't live up/work out.

        3. my personal preference is to use lemon juice instead of vinegar. I find it has a brighter flavor.