How to use up buttermilk after you make pancakes

buttermilk fudge

Does the following scenario sound familiar? You make delicious, light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes for a leisurely Sunday brunch. Then for the next couple of weeks, every time you open the fridge, the mostly-full carton of buttermilk stares at you reproachfully. (Or am I the only one who anthropomorphizes food?) You ponder what to do with it, but never seem to come up with something so you end up throwing it out. Don’t worry, Epicurious has your back, with fourteen ways to use up that leftover buttermilk.

Buttermilk is a versatile ingredient, equally at home in sweet or savory applications. Modern buttermilk isn’t the remnants of the buttermaking process as the name would imply (and as it was historically), but instead is a cultured product made with pasteurized milk. It lasts a long time in the refrigerator and like other cultured products like sour cream and yogurt is usually good for some time beyond its “use by” date. Use your nose as a judge, and note that it’s probably wise to limit uses to items that will be cooked or baked once the date on the carton has passed.

The Epicurious gallery covers a broad spectrum of foods, ranging from a raspberry buttermilk cake to buttermilk spaetzle (!) to biscuits to pecan buttermilk fudge (pictured above). You don’t have to limit yourself to fourteen ideas, however, as the EYB Library has over 6,000 recipes for making good use of your leftover buttermilk. Try one of these highly-rated recipes from the Library:

Aubergine with buttermilk sauce from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi        
Buttermilk fried chicken from Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller
Everyday chocolate cake from Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman
Banana buttermilk bread from The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak
New Orleans coleslaw from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson
Spicy fiesta tomato cobbler from Eats Well with Others by Joanne Bruno

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  • Christine  on  June 12, 2016

    I've made many muffin, scone, and cake recipes with leftover buttermilk. An EYB search often helps me find a recipe that not only uses buttermilk, but also other ingredients lingering in my pantry. It's always nice to not need to make and extra trip to the store, so even if I have a "tried-and-true" recipe for pumpkin muffins, cranberry scones, etc., etc. I'm always willing to try a different version if it uses up what I have on hand.

  • trudys_person  on  June 12, 2016

    You could just drink it. It's very tasty, thirst-quenching and nutritious!

  • mfto  on  June 13, 2016

    Since I am a Southerner, buttermilk is always available in my house. Just to be safe, after buying and opening a new quart, I usually freeze the buttermilk in 1 cup containers because that is what is needed for my cornbread and pancake recipes. However, I am not Southern enough to drink buttermilk. My parents loved Bulgarian buttermilk. The Kitchn explains it as "a version of cultured buttermilk in which the cream cultures are supplemented or replaced by yogurt cultures and fermented at higher temperatures for higher acidity. It can be more tart and thicker than cultured buttermilk."

  • Nancith  on  June 14, 2016

    Excellent! I'm always trying to find ways to use up the extra buttermilk. The fudge in the photo looks amazing!

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