Is Buttermilk Powder Keto Friendly?

Buttermilk powder is a popular ingredient used in baking for its tangy flavor and soft texture it adds to baked goods. But is buttermilk powder actually keto-friendly and allowed on a ketogenic diet?

Is Buttermilk Powder Keto Friendly

When following a very low-carb ketogenic diet, it's important to pay attention to the total net carbs in ingredients you're cooking with. Understanding the carb count allows you to make informed decisions on what can fit into your daily macros.

What Is Buttermilk Powder?

Buttermilk powder, sometimes labeled as dried buttermilk, is simply buttermilk with the liquid removed. This leaves behind a dried powdered form that is shelf-stable and easier to store.

To make buttermilk powder:

  • Regular buttermilk is first cultured, meaning certain bacteria are added to pasteurized milk to thicken it and give it a tangy flavor
  • The buttermilk is then spray dried into a powder at high heat
  • Spray drying removes almost all moisture, allowing the buttermilk powder to be stored for longer periods without spoiling

The result is a fine powder with a slightly tangy, acidic taste that can be easily incorporated into recipes.

Reconstituting the powder with water allows you to make liquid buttermilk from the powder. But many bakers add the powder directly to their dry ingredients when baking.

Nutritional Profile of Buttermilk Powder

To determine if a food is keto-approved, we need to analyze the carb content. So what are the macros of buttermilk powder?

Here is the nutritional information for a 1/4 cup (28g) serving of buttermilk powder:

Nutrition Facts
Net Carbs16g

As you can see, a single serving of buttermilk powder contains 16 grams of net carbs, which is quite high for keto. Even half of this amount would use a substantial portion of the daily 20-50 gram carb allowance on the diet.

However, when used sparingly in recipes, buttermilk powder disperses those carbs over a greater number of servings. For example, adding 1-2 tablespoons (6-12g) to a keto bread recipe may only contribute 1-2 net grams of carbs per slice.

Is Buttermilk Powder Keto-Friendly?

Given the high carb count, buttermilk powder cannot be considered keto-friendly if used in full serving sizes. Consuming 1/4 cup or more powder in one sitting could potentially knock you out of ketosis.

However, using small amounts of buttermilk powder may allow you to incorporate it into keto recipes. The key is knowing your personal carb tolerance and being mindful of portions.

Some guidelines on fitting buttermilk powder into a keto diet:

  • Calculate approximately how many carb grams your recipe will contribute based on the amount of buttermilk powder used.
  • Decide if this aligns with your daily net carb goal. Use less powder if it pushes you over your limit.
  • Be extremely careful not to over-indulge when enjoying baked goods made with buttermilk powder, as carbs add up quickly.
  • Substitute lower carb dairy powders whenever possible.

Thoughtful portioning allows small amounts of buttermilk powder to work in a keto lifestyle. But there are also some great substitutes to deliver tang without all the carbs.

Low-Carb Substitutes for Buttermilk Powder

If keeping total carbs to a minimum is your main goal with keto, then using zero-carb alternatives eliminates the need to worry about buttermilk powder portion sizes.

Some keto-friendly substitutions include:

  • Unsweetened almond milk + vinegar: Mix 1 tablespoon vinegar per 1 cup milk and let sit 5 minutes before using.
  • Lemon juice + heavy cream: Add 1 tbsp juice per 1 cup cream and let sit briefly.
  • Plain Greek yogurt: Has similar tang and thickness to buttermilk. Use a lower carb variety.
  • Vinegar: Add 1-2 tsp white vinegar or apple cider vinegar directly to dry ingredients.
  • Cream cheese: Adds richness and moisture while keeping carbs negligible.

Getting creative with combining low-carb dairy products can replicate both the texture and subtle tangy flavor buttermilk powder provides.

Health Benefits of Buttermilk Powder

Though high in carbs, buttermilk powder still offers some great health perks:

  • High in calcium and vitamin B12 which support bone health and energy levels
  • Contains probiotics from the culturing process that benefits digestive health
  • May boost immunity due to antioxidants produced during fermentation

However, most of these benefits can also be obtained from lower carb fermented dairy options like yogurt or kefir which may be better suited to a keto diet.

Tips for Using Buttermilk Powder on Keto

If you want to work buttermilk powder into your keto and low-carb recipes, keep these tips in mind:

  • Read labels carefully and calculate net carbs based on the amount used in each recipe
  • Start with small amounts like 1-2 tbsp per recipe and modify if needed
  • Skip drinking reconstituted liquid buttermilk and use sparingly as a baking ingredient only
  • Mix into batter rather than dough to disperse carbs more evenly
  • Substitute with other tangy, low-carb dairy whenever possible
  • Stay strict with carb counts from other foods the day you bake with it

Paying attention to serving sizes and making swaps when you can will allow you to take advantage of buttermilk powder's unique baking properties without sabotaging ketosis.

The Takeaway on Buttermilk Powder and Keto Diets

Buttermilk powder contains 16 grams of net carbs per serving, making it hard to justify in a keto meal plan if used liberally. However, incorporating 1-2 tablespoons maximally per recipe can work, if you limit carbs carefully in other foods that day.

For best results, opt for substitutes like lemon juice and heavy cream instead to replicate the tangy flavor. And as always, pay close attention to portion sizes with higher carb ingredients.

Key Takeaway: Buttermilk powder can be keto-friendly in very small amounts, but is high in carbs overall. Using substitutes keeps carbs negligible so you can enjoy the flavor without worrying about portions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use buttermilk powder in keto recipes?

Yes, you can use small amounts of buttermilk powder in keto recipes. About 1-2 tablespoons max per recipe can likely fit into a keto diet if you account for those carb grams in your daily tally. Using substitutes is an even safer option.

Is powdered buttermilk the same as buttermilk powder?

Yes, powdered buttermilk and buttermilk powder are the same ingredient. They simply refer to buttermilk that has been dried into a powdered form.

What can you use instead of buttermilk powder?

Some good keto-friendly substitutes for buttermilk powder include unsweetened almond milk + vinegar, heavy cream + lemon juice, plain Greek yogurt, and vinegar by itself. These all provide a nice tang without the high carb content.

Is buttermilk powder high in carbs?

Yes, buttermilk powder is very high in carbohydrates. One 1/4 cup serving contains 16 grams of net carbs, which could use a substantial portion of the average daily keto carb allowance.


Buttermilk powder can add great flavor to baked goods, but its high carbohydrate content makes it challenging to incorporate in a ketogenic diet. Using extreme portion control and making substitutions when possible allows you to take advantage of its benefits without sabotaging your progress.

Focus on tangy, low-carb alternatives whenever you can so you don't have to stress about buttermilk powder carb counts. This opens up more possibilities for keto-friendly recipes that don't require strict tracking.

Key Takeaway: Use buttermilk powder sparingly in keto baking and rely on substitutes like almond milk and vinegar to keep carbs low without missing out on its signature tangy flavor.

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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