Buttermilk Powder Uses

Buttermilk powder is a pantry staple that can make your baking and cooking so much easier.

Buttermilk Powder Uses

Keep reading to learn all about this versatile ingredient, how to use it, delicious recipes to try, and tips for storing it properly.

What is Buttermilk Powder?

Buttermilk powder is simply liquid buttermilk that has been dehydrated into a fine, creamy powder. It looks similar to nonfat dry milk powder.

To make buttermilk powder, liquid buttermilk is heated to remove most of the moisture content. What's left behind is a concentrated, shelf-stable powder packed with tangy buttermilk flavor.

Key Takeaway: Buttermilk powder is made by dehydrating liquid buttermilk into a fine powder that's convenient to store and use.

How to Use Buttermilk Powder in Baking

One of the best uses for buttermilk powder is baking. Here's how to seamlessly substitute it for regular buttermilk:

Step 1: Add Powder to Dry Ingredients

For every 1 cup of liquid buttermilk called for, use 1/4 cup of buttermilk powder. Mix the powder right in with the other dry ingredients like flour and sugar.

For example: If your recipe calls for 2 cups buttermilk, use 1/2 cup powdered buttermilk.

Step 2: Add Extra Liquid to Wet Ingredients

Since you are using powder instead of liquid buttermilk, you need to add additional liquid to your batter. For every 1/4 cup powder, add 1 cup water or milk.

Continuing the example: For the 1/2 cup powdered buttermilk, add 2 cups extra liquid.

Step 3: Proceed With Recipe as Written

Now simply finish making your batter as directed. The powdered buttermilk dissolves into the batter beautifully. No need to adjust bake times or temperatures either.

Key Takeaway: When baking, add powdered buttermilk to the dry ingredients and extra liquid to the wet ingredients at a 1:4 ratio.

Delicious Recipes to Make with Powdered Buttermilk

From biscuits to pancakes, pound cake to fried chicken, powdered buttermilk brings tasty tang and tenderness. Try it in:

  • Fluffy buttermilk biscuits
  • Mile-high buttermilk pancakes
  • Old-fashioned buttermilk pound cake
  • Tangy buttermilk scones
  • Crispy buttermilk fried chicken
  • Ranch dressing and dips

You can also sprinkle buttermilk powder directly onto popcorn or mix it into cream-based sauces and dips. The possibilities are endless!

Using Powdered Buttermilk Beyond Baking

While baking is the most common use, buttermilk powder has many savory applications too. Here are some creative ways to use it:

Boost Flavor of Casseroles

Stir a spoonful or two into the liquid when making casseroles. It amplifies flavor without thinning the dish out. Great for chicken casseroles!

Liven Up Mashed Potatoes

For tastier mashed potatoes, dissolve a bit of powder in the milk or cream before adding it to the potatoes. So much better than plain!

Make a Mean Marinade

Reconstitute powdered buttermilk with less water to make a thick, tenderizing marinade for meats. Especially good for baking or frying chicken.

Perk Up Coffee Creamer

Add a dash to hot coffee in place of regular creamer. The tangy flavor livens up your morning cup of joe.

Use in Frostings and Glazes

A little powdered buttermilk cuts the sweetness of cake and cookie frostings beautifully. Also nice drizzled over fruit tarts or scones.

Key Takeaway: Beyond baking, stir powdered buttermilk into mashed potatoes, casseroles, meat marinades, coffee, frostings, and more for a flavor boost.

Storing and Handling Powdered Buttermilk

To get the most out of your buttermilk powder, proper storage is key:

Unopened Packages

Sealed powdered buttermilk lasts at incredible 2-10 years stored in the pantry. Once opened, it needs refrigeration.

Opened Packages

Transfer opened powder to an airtight container and refrigerate. Use within 4-5 days for best quality and flavor.

Signs it's Gone Bad

Discard buttermilk powder if the color changes or it smells sour. A yellow tinge or very acidic smell means it's gone rancid.

Key Takeaway: Unopened powdered buttermilk keeps for up to 10 years stored in the pantry. Once opened, it lasts 4-5 days refrigerated.


Is powdered buttermilk as good as the real thing?

Yes! In side-by-side taste testing, powdered buttermilk performs exceptionally well. Flavor and texture are nearly identical to cultured liquid buttermilk. The only small difference is it browns baked goods slightly lighter.

Can you mix powdered buttermilk with water to make liquid buttermilk?

Unfortunately, no. The powder doesn't truly dissolve so it won't form a smooth liquid. It must be used dry by adding directly to baked goods.

How long does buttermilk powder last once opened?

Powdered buttermilk lasts only 4-5 days in the fridge once opened. Be sure to transfer it to an airtight container and label the date you opened it.

Why does powdered buttermilk need refrigeration after opening?

As soon as the packaging is opened and exposed to air, the powder starts to degrade quickly. Refrigeration drastically slows this process to maintain freshness and flavor.


Buttermilk powder is an indispensable ingredient for bakers. With its ease of use and long shelf life, this baking hero eliminates last-minute inconvenient trips to the store.

Beyond baking, its incredibly versatile for adding big flavor to everything from mashed potatoes to marinades and coffee creamer too.

Sarah Cortez
Sarah Cortez

My name is Sarah and I'm a baker who loves trying out new recipes and flavor combinations. I decided to challenge myself to use a new spice or ingredient powder in my baking each week for a year. Some successes were the cardamom sugar cookies, vivid turmeric cake, and beetroot chocolate cupcakes. Failures included the bitter neem brownies and overwhelmingly hot ghost pepper snickerdoodles. Through this experience I've discovered amazing additions to spice up desserts while learning how to balance strong flavors. Follow my journey as I push the boundaries of baking with unique powders!

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