Cultured Buttermilk in a Mason Jar

Cultured Buttermilk in a Mason Jar

I have an exciting new Kitchen Tip for you. You might already know about my affinity for buttermilk. I use it regularly and often. Here’s a comprehensive list of my recipes that feature buttermilk:

Orange Buttermilk Sorbet

Buttermilk Pie 

Buttermilk Wheat Pancakes

Buttermilk Dressing

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Key Lime Cake

Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

Baked Chipotle Onion Rings

Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes 

Blueberry Corncakes

English Muffin Bread with Honey Butter

Turkey and Dumplings

Apple Gingerbread Upside Down Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Cheddar Green Chile Cornbread

Buttermilk adds something magical to many recipes – sometimes it’s tanginess, other times it’s fluffiness, still other times it’s tenderness and moisture. It is an amazing ingredient. If you shy away from buttermilk because of the texture, the name, the taste, or the smell, don’t. Buttermilk rocks.

And, on top of all its benefits, it’s remarkably simple to culture at home, saving yourself money and a last-minute trip to the store every time a recipe calls for it. Once you have a batch, you can use it to re-culture every other batch after that and you’ll always have it on hand. If you don’t use buttermilk as often as I do, this recipe is easily adjusted to make much smaller batches.

Cultured Buttermilk in a Mason Jar

Yield: 1/2 gallon buttermilk

IMG 9719 Cultured Buttermilk in a Mason Jar

Adapted from Foodie With Family


  • 8c 1% milk (1/2 gallon)
  • 1/2c store-bought cultured buttermilk
  • 1 half-gallon Mason jar with tightly fitting lid


  1. Into your clean half-gallon Mason jar, pour your buttermilk. Then, pour the 1% milk over top. Seal jar with lid and shake vigorously for one minute.
  2. Place jar on kitchen counter out of direct sunlight for 12-24 hours until thickened. When thickened, refrigerate. Your buttermilk is ready. Use within two weeks, reserving the last 1/2c to re-culture another batch. And another. And another.


This recipe is easily halved or quartered for smaller batches of buttermilk.


I need to be able to make buttermilk without using buttermilk.  There is no buttermilk withing 100 miles from me......


In the list of ingredients you say "1/2  store-bought cultured buttermilk"--this means 1/2 what? aCup? Carton?

Memoria James
Memoria James

If only there were a way to make buttermilk without having to use buttermilk as a base. I miss the stuff here in Italy!

Dianne Thompson
Dianne Thompson

Since I haven't seen non-dairy buttermilk yet, can the starter be a plant-based 'milk' (like almond or coconut) soured with vinegar (the way my mom taught me)?

Alaska from Scratch
Alaska from Scratch

Dianne, That is a great question! I have read that you can sour soy or rice milk with lemon or vinegar for buttermilk substitute (here's a helpful link:, but I'm not sure about almond or coconut. As to whether it would work as a starter in this recipe, I honestly couldn't say. My advice would be to try a very small amount (1c of non-dairy milk and 1 tablespoon non-dairy buttermilk substitute) and try to culture it in a small Mason jar and see if it thickens up. If you try this, I would love to hear how it turns out. Thanks again for the question.


@Alaska from Scratch If you are really lucky you need nothing else but raw milk. That's how my grandma used to make it for us when we were little. I tried it too and it does work but it is easier to buy it, I have to admit. You just let the milk sit in a shallow bowl covered to protect it from dust in room temperature for a while. The needed bakteria is in the air and will make their way into the milk eventually. It tastes delicious cold with cinnamon and sugar. That is how we eat it here in Germany. All other ways such as adding vinegar or lemon are good for souring milk but it does not taste the same, I think.

And thank you for your article, I finally understand what the difference is between buttermilk and cultured buttermilk as for me buttermilk was always the residuals when making butter and i never understood the hype of buttermilk in Amerika as I think this tastes awful.


  1. […] from the store so that I always have a jar of buttermilk in the fridge. Here’s a tutorial from Alaska from Scratch on how to make your own cultured buttermilk. It’s super easy and less expensive than buying […]

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