39 Tasty Uses for Buttermilk

If you've ever purchased a container of buttermilk only to use one or two servings, we've been there. Check out all these delicious uses for buttermilk that let you get every last drop out of that cardboard carton.

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Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Pancakes

At our house, Saturday morning always means pancakes for breakfast. I make the menu special by servings up stacks of these fluffy buttermilk treats studded with mini chips. —Julianne Johnson, Grove City, Minnesota

Learn why buttermilk makes recipes taste so much better.

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Homemade Confetti Cake

This is a moist and fluffy vanilla cake with lots of sprinkles and a whipped vanilla buttercream. It’s almost impossible not to feel happy when you see the fun pop of rainbow confetti! —Courtney Rich, Highland, UT

Out of buttermilk? Here’s how to make buttermilk substites at home.

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Picnic Fried Chicken

For our family, it's not a picnic unless we have fried chicken! Chicken, deviled eggs and potato salad are all musts for a picnic as far as my husband is concerned. This is a golden oldie recipe for me—I've used it any number of times. —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
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Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

My sister-in-law, who is a dietitian, shared these buttermilk mashed potatoes with me. The garlic and buttermilk in these smooth mashed potatoes that are better for you than typical versions that include lots of butter. —Stephanie Bremson of Kansas City, Missouri
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Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Doughnuts

Guests will have a touch of nostalgia when they bite into one of these old-fashioned doughnuts. Accents of nutmeg and cinnamon, along with a subtle burst of lemon, make them hard to resist. — June Jones, Harveyville, Kansas
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Buttermilk Pie with Pecans

Branch out from the usual pecan pie with a creamy-crunchy version that comes out of the oven golden brown. Big pieces are even better with a generous dollop of whipped cream. —Kathy Harding, Richmond, Missouri
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Favorite Mexican Cornbread

I love to cook and my supportive and encouraging mom finally convinced me to submit this recipe. I often serve this cornbread with chili. —Donna Hypes, Ramona, California
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Ranch Dressing

Why buy bottled ranch dressing when this recipe is so easy to make—and tastes so much better! Fresh chives are a colorful addition if you have them on hand. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Dad's Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

My dad makes blueberry pancakes for us every Saturday without fail. The combination of oats, cornmeal and buttermilk in the batter gives the pancakes heartiness we can't resist. —Gabrielle Short, Pleasant Hill, Iowa
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Red Velvet Cheesecake

Festive and oh, so good, this cheesecake will become a fixture on your Christmas dessert menu. The red velvet filling is spiked with cocoa, topped with cream cheese frosting and baked in a chocolate cookie crumb crust. —Karen Dively, Chapin, South Carolina
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Coconut Chicken Tenders with Creamy Caribbean Salsa

This coconut chicken tenders recipe is such a fun change of pace. The salsa’s tropical flavor makes the dish fresh and bright. —Jane Estrin, Jacksonville, Florida
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Orange Buttermilk Cupcakes

Simple and delicious, this is our all-time favorite low-fat dessert. You'll be surprised how well the citrus flavor comes through in every bite.
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Grilled Buttermilk Chicken

I created this recipe years ago after one of our farmers market customers, a chef, shared the idea of marinating chicken in buttermilk. The chicken is easy to prepare and always turns out moist and delicious! I bruise the thyme sprigs by twisting them before adding them to the buttermilk mixture; this tends to release the oils in the leaves and flavor the chicken better. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Old-Fashioned Whoopie Pies

Who can resist soft chocolate sandwich cookies filled with a layer of fluffy white frosting? Mom has made these for years. They’re a treat that never lasts very long with me and my two brothers around. —Maria Costello, Monroe, North Carolina
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Corn and Green Bean Salad

I love the crunch of veggies, so I combined them with a buttermilk Caesar dressing in this corn and green bean salad. It’s good served immediately, but it’s even better after chilling for a few hours. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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Buttermilk Cake with Caramel Icing

This fabulous cake and caramel frosting are so tender, it melts in your mouth. It's been a family favorite since the '70s and it goes over really well at church potluck meals. —Anna Jean Allen, West Liberty, Kentucky
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Chicken-Fried Steaks

My husband asks me to prepare this easy chicken fried steak recipe regularly. I like it because it’s so simple to make. Denice Louk, Garnett, Kansas
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Blueberry Zucchini Squares

I saw a bar recipe using apple and lemon zest on a muffin mix. I tried it from scratch with shredded zucchini and fresh blueberries instead. It’s a nifty combo. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Air-Fryer Nashville Hot Chicken

I live in Tennessee and absolutely love our state’s famous Nashville hot chicken. To make cooking it easier, I thought I’d try air-frying. I’m so glad I did—this Nashville hot chicken recipe is almost better than the original. —April Lane, Greeneville, Tennessee
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Grandma's Cornbread Dressing

Growing up, we didn’t have turkey. We had chicken, chopped and baked in my grandmother’s dressing. Now we leave out the chicken and keep the cornbread dressing. —Suzanne Mohme, Bastrop, Texas
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Devil’s Food Snack Cake

My husband and his friends request this devil’s food snack cake for camping trips because it’s easy to transport. That makes it great for taking to potlucks and other events, too, as there’s no frosting involved. —Julie Danler, Bel Aire, Kansas
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Utah Buttermilk Scones

Buttermilk makes these classic Utah scones so delightful that you'll most likely eat too many. The texture is light and airy and the taste is delightful. It's a family favorite we eat often. Don't forget the honey butter—it's the perfect addition to the perfect scone. —Nichole Jones, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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German Pancake

Piping hot and puffy from the oven, this golden pancake made a pretty presentation for a skier's theme breakfast I hosted. Served with homemade buttermilk syrup, it's an eye-opening treat. Make several German pancakes if you're feeding a crowd, and keep in mind that my easy syrup tastes great on waffles and French toast, too. —Renae Moncur, Burley, Idaho
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Tropical Carrot Cake

I look forward to August because our family reunion means fun and great food, like this classic cake with the special flair it gets from pineapple. My great-aunt gave me this recipe, and I always make it for the reunion. —Victoria Casey, Enterprise, Oregon
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Angel Biscuits

I first received a sample of these light, wonderful angel biscuits, along with the recipe, from an elderly gentleman friend. I now bake them often as a Saturday-morning treat, served with butter and honey. They're perfect with sausage gravy, too! —Faye Hintz, Springfield, Missouri
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Pink Velvet Cupcakes

My daughter loves all things pink, so this recipe was just right for her birthday. Even my teenage son (not a fan of pink) ate his share, too. —Paulette Smith, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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Homemade Irish Soda Bread

Some people consider bread to be the most important part of a meal…and this Irish bread satisfies such folks! This recipe is by far the best soda bread I’ve ever tried. With the addition of raisins, it is moist and delicious! —Evelyn Kenney, Trenton, New Jersey
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Buttermilk-Mushroom Pork Chops

I went through several variations before creating the pork chops my family considers perfect! I wanted something rich, delicious and tasty that was still relatively healthy. This is a delicious Sunday dinner idea because you can pop it in the slow cooker in the morning and let it cook while you are at church! I suggest serving it with salad or grilled asparagus. —Kristin Stone, Little Elm, Texa
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Mom's Buttermilk Cookies

I treasure my mother’s recipe for these comforting cookie pillows. The tender treats are topped with thick frosting and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. —Jane Darling, Simi Valley, California
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Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes

This buckwheat pancake recipe uses buckwheat flour instead of the wheat-based variety. The light and tender buckwheat pancakes offer a nutty flavor and hearty texture. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Basic Buttermilk Salad Dressing

When serving salad to a crowd, this easy buttermilk ranch dressing comes in handy. It make a full quart of creamy, delicious dressing to toss with your favorite greens and veggies. —Patricia Mele, Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania
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Spicy Fried Okra

This fried veggie is a southern delicacy that’s sure to add excitement to any summer meal. — Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Buttermilk Peach Ice Cream

My mother's family owned peach orchards in Missouri. I live in Tennessee, a top consumer of buttermilk. This summery ice cream combines my past and present. —Kim Higginbotham, Knoxville, Tennessee
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Tangy Potato Salad with Radishes

Summer's approach makes my family think of potato salad. This tangy side is also great in the winter when it's served hot with cubed ham. —Peggy Gwillim, Strasbourg, Saskatchewan
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Jalapeno Buttermilk Cornbread

If you’re from the South, you have to have a good cornbread recipe. Here’s a lightened-up version of my mom’s traditional cornbread that tastes just as delicious. —Debi Mitchell, Flower Mound, Texas
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Avocado Salad Dressing

Buttermilk and plain yogurt create the base for this thick avocado salad dressing, which gets its color from avocado and parsley. The mild mixture is refreshing when dolloped over a tossed green salad. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Buttermilk Pumpkin Waffles

My girlfriend loves pumpkin, so I enjoy making these fluffy pumpkin waffles for her on cool Sunday mornings. —Charles Insler, Silver Spring, Maryland
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Mom's Buttermilk Biscuits

These fluffy buttermilk biscuits are so tasty slathered with butter or used to mop up every last drop of gravy off your plate. I can still see Mom pulling these tender gems out of the oven. —Vera Reid, Laramie, Wyoming
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Chicken & Dumplings

After a very long week, I needed some comfort food, so I made this meal on a whim. Cayenne pepper gives it a little kick and rotisserie chicken drastically cuts the prep time, so we don’t have to wait long for dinner to be ready. — Jessica Rehs, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

Up Next: Baking with Buttermilk Will Change Your Bakes for Good

Julia Mullaney
Julia Mullaney is a writer, blogger and self-proclaimed macaroni and cheese connoisseur based in New Jersey. She is currently a health & fitness writer for Cheat Sheet and previously worked as the editorial manager of Edible Jersey Magazine. Her work has been published in Rachael Ray Every Day, Art Quench, RMagazine and Edible Jersey. She is the author of Man, you can Cook!, a cookbook full of simple recipes for men who consider the kitchen to be uncharted land. In her spare time, she also runs a food blog full of original, easy recipes. Chow down at simplydeliciousblog.com or on Instagram at @simplydeliciousblogger.
Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is a former Taste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.