homemade coconut buttermilk

How to Make Homemade Dairy-Free Buttermilk

by Kelley Herring on February 4, 2014

If you’re a baker (or just a pancake or biscuit lover!), you know how a little buttermilk adds moisture, tenderness and tangy richness to your favorite baked goods.

But how does buttermilk work its magic?

The acids in buttermilk relax the protein gluten. This makes dough and batters more tender. Buttermilk also reacts with baking soda to make carbon dioxide bubbles. This helps to lift biscuits, pancakes, scones and other baked goods.

But if you’re avoiding wheat or dairy, enjoying a thick stack of buttermilk pancakes are a thing of the past…

Until now.

In fact, you can achieve the same effect and flavor of buttermilk with a homemade dairy-free stand in…

Coconut Buttermilk: A Dairy-Free Buttermilk Substitute

Using just two ingredients – coconut milk and apple cider vinegar – you can get that tangy flavor and lift – without dairy or gluten. The acid from the vinegar reacts the same way cultured buttermilk acts in baked goods.

Here’s the super simple recipe:

Coconut “Buttermilk” Recipe


  • 1 cup Native Forest Organic Original Coconut Milk
  • 1 tablespoon raw organic apple cider vinegar


  • Mix coconut milk and vinegar together in a mason jar.
  • Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  • Store in refrigerator and use within one week.

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.


  1. What can I use for a substitute for this specific brand of coconut milk? I haven’t ever seen it in my area, Salt Lake City.

    • Kelley Herring says:

      Hi Rita,
      I am in SLC as we speak!

      Native Forest is pretty widely available at Whole Foods. Also, Sprouts Market has their own brand of full-fat coconut milk with the same ingredients. Another brand I like is Aroy-D as it has no additives (gums, etc.).

      Hope this helps and maybe one day I’ll bump into you shopping in this great city!

      Be Well,

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