HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


What to do with Buttermilk?

I have a container of Buttermilk leftover from some Thanksgiving baking. What can I make to use it up?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Chicken tenders marinated in buttermilk ans then deep-fried are delicious (if not particularly healthy.)

    1. cornbread, biscuits, pancakes... all of which can (I think) be found in Bittman's How to Cook Everything---

      1. Phillyjazz is right, buttermilk makes a super marinade for chicken (if you can stand any more poultry right after Thanksgiving!) ... here's a very nice oven-fried chicken recipe from Epicurious...recipe says to leave skin on but I always remove it and marinate it overnight, really is great without deep-fat frying, Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken link below:


        1 Reply
        1. re: Val

          Val, you're psychic! I'm planning to make oven-fried chicken tonight and didn't have a recipe (was going to look it up later). Thanks!

        2. If you want to make something sweet, then why not a buttermilk pie.


          1 Reply
          1. re: mikka

            I have an even better buttermilk pie recipe. This is always the first pie gone at Thanksgiving:

            BUTTERMILK PIE

            1 stick butter, softened
            2 cups sugar
            5 eggs
            juice of 1 lemon
            1 teaspoon vanilla
            2 tablespoons flour
            1 cup buttermilk
            ground nutmeg
            1 deep-dish pie crust, at least 9 inches

            Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add lemon juice, vanilla, flour and buttermilk. (Note: mixture may curdle. Don't panic.) Pour into pie crust and dust with ground nutmeg. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes. Cool completely and chill.

          2. I always recommend the lemon-buttermilk sorbet on Epicurious. It is awesome, plus it keeps well in the freezer and is nice and light for some post-Thanksgiving belt tightening. Plus, if you add some lime zest it's really pretty.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Procrastibaker

              Just seconding this suggestion---really yummy stuff. Particularly good with meyer lemons, if you're lucky enough to have some lying around. Also good with lime or grapefruit.

            2. Mashed potatoes, chocolate muffins/quickbread/cake, pancakes, steel-cut oats. Anywhere, in short, that you'd use milk but want more flavor.

              1. Oh my! one of my very favorite ingredients to work with....

                Buttermilk scones - wonderful!
                Fried chicken, add hot sauce to the buttermilk skin ON
                Chicken wings
                biscuits with chive and buttermilk
                Ranch dressing SOOOO good with buttermilk
                I even bet that a nice cofee cake would be terrific.

                4 Replies
                1. re: chef chicklet

                  Do you have a favorite Scone recipe? That sounds good to me right now......

                  Thanks for all the great suggestions!

                  1. re: stacylyn

                    Yes I do.... and you can substitute the blueberries and tone eliminate the cinammon as you desire

                    Cinnamon Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
                    Preheat oven to 375 degrees
                    Large baking sheet with silpat or lined with parchment paper

                    2 Cups Flour
                    2 tsp baking powder
                    1/4 tsp cinammon
                    1 egg
                    1 T vanilla
                    1⁄2 tsp sea salt
                    1⁄4 cup Plus 2 T fine baker’s sugar
                    1⁄2 cup ice cold butter
                    1⁄2 cup chopped pecans chopped fine
                    1⁄2 cup ice cold Buttermilk
                    1⁄2 cup Fresh Blue Berries washed and coated with 1T bakers sugar - reserve

                    For the topping
                    1 egg beaten
                    1 T whipping cream
                    Wilton’s Sugar – large crystals

                    Cut butter into cubes and refrigerate until ready to use

                    Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar into a large bowl
                    Cut the butter into the flour mixture with pastry blender until resembles coarse meal
                    In a smaller bowl whisk the egg, buttermilk and vanilla – add to the dry mixture mixing with a fork, and stir until just combined – do not over mix! then add the nuts and blueberries.
                    Pour the dough mix onto a lightly floured board and gently pat into a 7 inch to 1 1⁄2 inch high disk. Cut into in half then quarters and then in eights as evenly as possible.

                    Gently place the scones on a baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper – this ensures even browning on the bottom

                    Mix 1 egg with the 1 T of cream and brush the tops with the buttermilk-egg mixture then sprinkle generously with the sugar crystals.

                    Bake in a gas oven, at 375 degrees on a rack placed in the middle of the oven for 17 minutes and no longer! This will ensure a moister scone than normally expected. Pull from the oven and place on a cooling rack. The scones will have a nice golden crackle, with the sugar but will be moist and not too sweet. Addicting. I've got buttermilk too, I going to bake some too, only I prefer the dried cherries and pecan.(no cinammon) You can make sweet potato as well if you have that left over as well. top with almonds and raw sugar crytals.

                    I have worked on this recipe for a long time, and I'm telling you that these are the best scones.

                    1. re: chef chicklet

                      Made the Buttermilk Scones last night....thank you so much. Of course, being the chocoholic that I am, I did a pecan/chocolate chunk Scone, instead of the cinammon and blueberries. These are really yummy and moist. My husband said he never liked scones because they were so dry....but loved these!! Thanks again....

                      1. re: stacylyn

                        HI Stacilyn,
                        I told you addictive!
                        like I said I did work on these most of last winter. My best friend and my sis-law love them. Try switching out the buttermilk with whipping cream, and use 1/2 cup dried cherries chopped(trader joes) and pecans. These are my ultimate favorites. Yours sound pretty good too, I have wondered what they would be like with tiny choc chips and pecans, think I'll try yours.
                        It is a terrific basic scone recipe for those that don't like the dry scones. Glad you like it!

                2. like all dairy products frozen and thawed and used for baking, buttermilk freezes just fine. shake well and use again after defrosted. won't be as thick as original, but will have same effect in baking.

                  1. Yes, yes, yes! Freeze the buttermilk if necessary, just don't toss it out. As rainey said above, it's superior in baking and can be used wherever a recipe calls for milk; not only is it tastier, but the baked good stay more moist. I grew up with buttermilk, courtesy of my dear Southern mama.

                    1. Chocolate buttermilk cake. Tender crumb, moist, and gets a bit of a crunchy crust on the top. Be sure and bake long enough - I add 10 minutes to the recipe, as my oven is quite slow.

                      This recipe's almost identical to the one I have at home - http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,176,1...

                      1. Here's a link to a thread from a couple of days ago re. what to do with leftover buttermilk with more ideas:


                        1. This series of postings on soda bread should help.


                          1. Bake pan of cornbread in iron skillet; pour glass of buttermilk; crumble slice of cornbread into glass; eat with spoon.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: wabbitslayer

                              That takes me back to my childhood! You must be from the South like me. We had these stainless steel tumblers we'd eat it from (with a very long teaspoon). It kept everything really cold. It was a great snack!

                            2. Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes please!

                              1. Buttermilk is wonderful as a palate-cleanser/heat tamer when eating any hot food. One can keep it around for lactose-intolerance reasons, but the food-enjoyment reasons far outweigh the former. Buttermilk is underappreciated outside of pancakes.

                                1. I think I've seen a recipe somewhere for homemade creme fraiche using buttermilk and heavy cream. Basically, you just let it sit out on the counter for 16 hours or so. Something in the buttermilk keeps it from going bad. Keeps for a couple weeks in the fridge I think.

                                  I'll have some extra buttermilk whenever I get around to making a few things I've had in mind (biscuits and softshell crabs... not together). I'll give it a try then. It would be nice to have some creme fraiche lying around.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: AbdulSheikhMohammed

                                    That only works if the buttermilk is a brand with active cultures in it, and I think some supermarket brands don't. Mexican crema is made the same way, with buttermilk or sour cream as a starter.

                                  2. Nothing could be simpler than making creme fraiche at home; I've been doing it for years, alternating the "starter" as specified in the link (below). The highest open shelf in my kitchen is the perfect incubation spot, off the counter and away from possible accidents.