Stuff I’ve Googled: What to Do with Leftover Buttermilk

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Left with a carton of buttermilk in the back of the fridge? In this post, you’ll learn how to store and freeze buttermilk, plus pick up 40 leftover buttermilk recipes!

What To Do With Leftover Buttermilk: 40 Recipes + Tips

How many recipes do you know of that call for an entire quart of buttermilk? I know of exactly…ummmm…none. Which means if I buy buttermilk for a recipe, I usually always end up with at least 1 cup leftover. Sometimes I have a plan for the rest of it, but often it sits in the back of the fridge until it reaches nuclear status and has to be thrown away.

I hate wasting foods, so I turned to google to see what I could do with all that leftover buttermilk.

What To Do With Leftover Buttermilk: 40 Recipes + Tips

Of course, one option is to make another recipe using buttermilk. Below, I’ve included a list of some of my favorites from around the web. You probably already know the obvious stuff- pancakes, biscuits, waffles and the like. But did you know you can also use buttermilk in a savory soup? Or how about stirring some into mashed potatoes? Or using it to make the best chocolate bundt cake of your life? I’ve got over 40 ideas, both sweet and savory, lined up for you below. They’re divided into categories based on how much buttermilk they use, so you can quickly find the perfect recipe to make the most of that buttermilk.

But let’s say you don’t feel like cooking. In that case, you can freeze the buttermilk for later use. I use two different methods for freezing. The first is to freeze the buttermilk in an ice cube tray. Each cavity in my tray holds about 2 Tablespoons of buttermilk. Once the buttermilk is frozen solid, I pop them out of the tray and into a zip lock bag and save them for a morning when I’m craving buttermilk pancakes. 4 Tablespoons is the equivalent of 1/4 cup, so if you have a recipe that calls for 1 cup buttermilk, you’ll need 16 cubes.

What To Do With Leftover Buttermilk: 40 Recipes + Tips

The second method I use is to freeze the buttermilk in glass prep bowls in 1/2 cup portions. I do this mainly when I know I won’t need the prep bowls and when I want a larger portion set aside.

With either method, you simply thaw the buttermilk either overnight in the fridge or in a microwave safe container for 2-3 minutes. The mixture will separate during freezing. Don’t worry if it looks a little clumpy after it’s thawed. Just whisk it up and it’s ready to be used in all your favorite baked goods.

What To Do With Leftover Buttermilk: 40 Recipes + Tips

There you have it! Be sure to check out the recipes below if you’re stumped for ways to use up every drop of your buttermilk!

Less than 1 cup

Vanilla Orange Buttermilk Biscuits from NeighborFood

Avocado Buttermilk Ranch Dressing from Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Buttermilk Hazelnut Praline Cake with Chocolate Frosting from Vintage Kitchen Notes

Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Strawberry Buttermilk Scones from Vintage Kitchen Notes

Buttermilk Syrup from Cookin Mimi

Irish Soda Bread with Brown Butter from The Food Charlatan

DIY Creme Fraiche from Cookistry

Parmesan and Cheddar Mini Scones from A Dusting of Sugar

Skinny Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes and Chives from Skinny Taste

Mini Buttermilk Monkey Breads from Bakeaholic Mama

Lemon Blueberry Crumb Bread from NeighborFood

Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes from Annie’s Eats

Overnight Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls from Averie Cooks

1-2 Cups

Double Chocolate Waffles with Strawberries and Whipped Cream from NeighborFood

Perfect Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes from NeighborFood

Banana Caramel Bundt Cake from NeighborFood

Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Sprinkles from NeighborFood

Triple Chocolate Punch Bowl Cakes from NeighborFood

Blueberry and Banana Buttermilk Smoothie from Spoon Fork Bacon

Strawberry Rhubarb Dream Cake from Joanne Eats Well With Others

Double Chocolate Buttermilk Bread  from Bobbi’s Cozy Kitchen

The Most Fantastical Chocolate Bundt Cake Ever 

Cranberry and Sage Biscuits from Girl In the Little Red Kitchen

Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread from Or Whatever You Do

Buttermilk and Strawberry Panna Cotta from A Cozy Kitchen

2+ Cups

Ricotta Pancakes from The Foodie Army Wife

Buttermilk Fried Chicken from Noshing with the Nolands

Brown Buttered Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls from Girl Versus Dough

Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes from Rachel Cooks

Buttermilk Ice Cream from Webicurean

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits from Meal Planning Magic

Barbecue Buttermilk Onion Rings from Joy The Baker

Buttermilk Roast Chicken from Food Lust People Love


  1. My recipe for Cheesecake Bread called for 1/4 cup of buttermilk. Instead of using the old tried and true substitution, I bought a whole quart, not thinking I’d have to do something with the rest of it. Thank you so much for the ice cube tray idea. I’m sure I’ll use it up with lots of ideas that you mentioned.

  2. Whaaaaaaat?! You can freeze buttermilk?! My world has changed for the better, Courtney. Why in the heck have I never googled “what to do with leftover buttermilk”?! I always end up throwing it out (I know, shame on me. I hate myself for it) but never again! Thanks woman.

  3. WOW!! There are so many different things that you can do w. it!! SWEET!! Hope that you have a great rest of your weekend!

  4. Oh hey there’s my recipe! ๐Ÿ™‚ Also great series. I tend to always let that buttermilk sit and sit and then make my husband disperse of it because oh the smell. Next time I need to remember to just freeze it!

  5. I love this series, and I’m so glad you started with this one, because it is probably my MOST Googled food search! What I actually do 99% of the time is just use it as a chicken marinade. I maybe add a dash of paprika and garlic powder (not always). Just the buttermilk itself tenderizes the chicken and adds so much flavor! Then I just roast the chicken in the oven (for some reason, the buttermilk makes it burn on the grill).

    1. That’s a great way to use up a lot of buttermilk at once. I’ve also seen it used as a marinade for a onion rings. That’s so curious about buttermilk burning on the grill. I’ve never tried it before, and now i probably won’t! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the tip!

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