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Wondering if you can freeze buttermilk? If you have extra on hand and don’t want to let it go to waste, here’s how to properly freeze it for later.
Yes, You Can Freeze Buttermilk
Freezing buttermilk is a great way to save extra for later and avoid wasting food. However, it’s important to note that the consistency of the buttermilk may change slightly after freezing and thawing. Therefore, thawed buttermilk is best for baking recipes and not recommended for recipes that would depend on the texture of the buttermilk. So for example, thawed buttermilk would still be perfectly fine for buttermilk biscuits, but wouldn’t be appropriate for a salad dressing made with buttermilk.
What is Buttermilk Anyways?
Buttermilk is a type of fermented dairy product that is made from the liquid left behind after churning butter from cream. It is typically made from cow’s milk and has a slightly sour, tangy flavor due to the fermentation process. It is lower in fat compared to regular milk because the fat content has been removed to make butter. This is where the name comes from – buttermilk is the “milk” leftover when you remove the fat to make butter.
Buttermilk is a popular ingredient in many types of baked goods, as it adds moisture and tenderness to the finished product. It is also often used as a marinade for meat, as the acidity helps to tenderize the meat and give it a more flavorful taste. You can also use it to make dressings like a ranch buttermilk salad dressing.
How to Freeze Buttermilk
To freeze buttermilk start by transferring it to an airtight, freezer-safe container with a tight-fitting lid. Make sure to leave about an inch of headspace at the top of the container to allow for expansion as the buttermilk freezes.
I prefer to freeze buttermilk in silicone ice cube trays, that way I can easily defrost only the amount I need later on. Ice cube tray sizes vary, but a standard tray usually makes cubes that hold one ounce in each well, which is the same as 2 tablespoons. The benefit of using silicone ice cube trays is that the frozen buttermilk is easy to remove because you can just peel back that portion of the try.
It is important to measure how much liquid your ice cube tray well hold. This way you can easily measure out how much buttermilk you need and only defrost that amount. For example, if I needed 1/4 cup of buttermilk I would defrost 2 cubes of frozen buttermilk (2 tablespoons x 2 cubes = 4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup.)
Transfer to a larger freezer-safe container, if you want. Sometimes I will pop the frozen buttermilk out of the silicone mold and just put it all in a larger freezer-safe container. This frees up my ice cube mold for freezing other things. A freezer-safe Ziploc bag is my usual go to.
Next, label the container with the date and the contents, and place it in the freezer. Buttermilk will last for about 3 months in the freezer, but it’s better to use it within the first month or two for the best quality.
Thawing Frozen Buttermilk
When you’re ready to use the frozen buttermilk, transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. One thing to keep in mind is that buttermilk can separate when it is frozen and thawed. This is normal and does not affect the quality or taste of the buttermilk. Simply give it a good stir before using it in your recipe.
7 Recipes That Use Buttermilk
Do you have frozen buttermilk that you’d like to use up? Here are some of my favorite recipes that use buttermilk:
- Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles
- Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread
- Buttermilk Biscuits
- Sweet Potato Buttermilk Biscuits
- Buttermilk Zucchini Cornbread
- 3-Grain Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes