Dairy Free Buttermilk Substitute Recipe (Vegan) – Faux Buttermilk

After years of trying to help those with food allergies, I have come up with a new, amazing recipe for a buttermilk substitute. This magic mixture may be made with or without dairy.¬† Whether dairy tolerant or not, buttermilk is a gluten-free baker’s best friend. It makes cakes and biscuits lighter and rise higher, meat and poultry tender, and adds a little tangy flavor to bread¬†and other baked goods.¬†This recipe makes a buttermilk substitute that is the same consistency of regular buttermilk. While you do not need lemon juice or vinegar, a specialty ingredient is required, available on Amazon.

Which brand of coconut milk should I use?

I used Thai Kitchen organic coconut milk, unsweetened. I read that if coconut milk is made from dried coconut, it would be acidic, but if it’s made from fresh coconut it would be alkaline. In speaking with Simply Asia Thai Kitchen, I learned that this brand is made from fresh coconut, therefore, alkaline. Therefore, this recipe should also work well using alternative milk like rice milk. Meanwhile, this substitute recipe is perfect for breading chicken and other meats without dairy and egg.

Does it taste like coconut?

While this recipe contains coconut milk, it does not have the flavor of coconut.

Is Lactic Acid Really Dairy-Free and Corn-Free?

Lactic acid is completely dairy-free, but just like buttermilk, it is not yeast-free. You’ll often see lactic acid as an ingredient in gluten free¬†bread to give it a slightly sourdough flavor.¬†Lactic acid is usually¬†made from fermented beet sugar or cornstarch. In this case, I¬†used a brand that is derived from beet sugar and cane sugar. It contains lactic acid and calcium lactate. It is vegan, Kosher certified, non-GMO, and gluten free.

If you have corn allergies and cannot withstand cross-contamination of corn, please check with the manufacturer if this ingredient is safe for you. I do not know if their manufacturing facility processes corn ingredients.

Where can I buy lactic acid?

Amazon carries Lactic Acid.

Can I use any other milk besides coconut?

If you use full-fat milk in a say a cake recipe, the fat in the coconut milk or cow’s milk will add weight to the recipe as well as moisture. So, to avoid say a cake from turning out like a pound cake, consider trying some lighter milk such as rice milk, almond milk, or whatever fat content milk your recipe calls for.

Can I use milk that contains gum?

Most dairy-free milk on the market contain gum. Therefore, realize that you are adding gum to your recipe. Full-fat coconut milk is a good substitute because it doesn’t contain any gum and is already nice and thick. The lower fat coconut milk in cartons don’t contain gum either but are thinner. Another alternative is to search this website for the homemade oat milk, raw almond milk, or rice milk recipes. None of these contain gum.

Buttermilk Substitute

An easy and fast way to make homemade buttermilk substitute whether you use dairy milk or coconut milk.
Cuisine American
Ingredient Keyword buttermilk
Prep Time 2 minutes
Resting time 15 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 1 cup


  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk divided (Thai Kitchen) (or cow's milk or other dairy-free milk)
  • 1/4 cup water* (or more dairy-free milk alternative)
  • 3/4 teaspoon lactic acid


  1. At the beginning of a recipe that requires buttermilk, add the lactic acid to the coconut milk and water (or your milk of choice) and stir well to distribute the powder thoroughly. Set the mixture aside until you're ready to use it, at least 15 - 20 minutes.


*You may wish to add more water and use less coconut milk. If your recipe can withstand additional fat, go ahead and just use 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup coconut milk. Otherwise, you can use 1/2 water and 1/2 coconut milk. Full-fat coconut milk is about 1/2 fat. So, adding 1/2 cup of buttermilk is like adding more than 1/4 cup of butter to your recipe.

2 Replies to “Dairy Free Buttermilk Substitute Recipe (Vegan) – Faux Buttermilk”

  1. Wow, thanx Carla for always sharing your knowledge w/ us. You are such a great educator. Since I have a corn allergy too? is lactic acid corn free? I have a corn allergy list and lactic acid is on the could be side of the list.

    1. Robins,

      You are very welcome.

      Oh, you must have missed the paragraph asking if lactic acid is really dairy free. It talks about how lactic is usually either derived from corn or beet sugar. It goes on to explain that the brand that I link to in the ingredients list is derived from beet sugar and cane sugar. So, enjoy this brand. It is corn free! If you have a problem with corn cross-contamination, please contact the manufacturer to find out if their manufacturing facility processes corn ingredients.



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