Hey! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.
Cakes can call for a number of ingredients that can be niche and difficult to find in grocery stores. However, one recipe ingredient that comes up a lot when baking, is cultured buttermilk. In the title we have both butter and milk, and often people believe buttermilk has a long life span, and so it is not only a question of whether or not it is refrigerated, but if so, what part of the dairy section would buttermilk be in?
Fancy making some pancakes but have no idea where to begin on your buttermilk search in the grocery store? Have no fear, I am here to help!
Table of Contents
- What is buttermilk?
- Where would buttermilk be in the grocery store?
- Buttermilk Brands
- What if I can’t find buttermilk?
- Final Thoughts
- FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is buttermilk?
First, it may be useful to quickly go over what buttermilk is and why it is such a common ingredient. Traditional buttermilk is the bi-product created when churning and making butter. It is cultured milk that has a high acidic level due to the lactic acid bacteria and as a result it is low fat.
Alternatively, and more commonly these days, buttermilk can be made using regular, nonfat milk and adding cultures to raise the acidity.
Buttermilk has a similar taste to plain yogurt or sour cream, however these items are not usually as low fat and buttermilk is slightly more watery. You can find out more about the differences between buttermilk and sour cream. The acidic bacterial culture in buttermilk helps to break down the gluten in the flour, and this results in a fluffier, softer cake, which is why it is so popular.
Buttermilk is also extremely low calorie compared to other milk and so you’ll often find people drinking buttermilk as an alternative.
Where would buttermilk be in the grocery store?
Now that we have determined the type of product cultured buttermilk is, let’s find out where we can find buttermilk in the grocery store. Now, most grocery stores are often massive, and they each have their own layout, so first it’s important to identify the section it is under as opposed to the exact aisle number.
Despite buttermilk having a longer lifespan than regular milk or low fat milk, it would still be found with the dairy products in the refrigerator section. However, because it has more acid in it, you will usually find that most buttermilk has a long refrigerator shelf life compared with other dairy products like milk, cream and yogurt.
Most grocery store buttermilk will come in a carton, and you will usually find it next to the heavy cream and milk products. However, you can also buy powdered buttermilk which you then add to your liquid batter. This is usually found in the unrefrigerated, long-life dairy aisle where you would find powdered nonfat milk, or it can be found in the baking aisle alongside items like baking powder and baking soda.
It can be tricky to find buttermilk, as it is not as popular as you may believe. However, larger stores like your Walmart stores, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s should have many buttermilk brands and at great value.
As mentioned, there are lots of buttermilk brands out there. Some of the more popular ones are Nestle, Barber’s and Saco is popular for its powdered version. Keep an eye out for cartons in the dairy section, and a tub if you decide to opt for the powdered buttermilk in the grocery store.
What if I can’t find buttermilk?
If you are unable to find buttermilk in the store but your recipe calls for it, you can easily make cultured buttermilk at home by adding around one tablespoon of lemon juice to one cup of your regular milk. instead of lemon juice it can also be done with a tablespoon of white vinegar. You then need to leave this to develop for about 5 minutes while the milk curdles from the acid in the lemon juice or the vinegar.
Hopefully by now you are ready to go and buy that churned buttermilk and make that pancake recipe! The key things to look out for when buying buttermilk in the grocery stores is to first find the dairy aisle and have a look for it next to the other milk and cream. Churned buttermilk will usually come in a carton.
If you have no luck with this, there should be powdered buttermilk available in the baking section and this will usually be in a tub. Finally, if all else fails, it is easy to whip up a cup of your own buttermilk at home by adding a tablespoon of either lemon juice or vinegar to one cup of milk and leaving it to curdle.
So what are you waiting for? get those pancakes ready, top them with a big curl of butter and treat yourself with a splash of maple syrup!
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Is buttermilk in the refrigerated section?
Cartons of liquid buttermilk will be found in the dairy section, however powdered buttermilk will be found either in the baking section, or in the powdered milk section.
Why is there no buttermilk in stores?
Buttermilk can be hard to locate in stores but most of your large grocery stores should have it either in the dairy section, and if not then they should have powdered buttermilk. If you cannot find any, it may be the case that your store has sold out. If so, you can follow the simple steps above to make your own at home.
What does buttermilk look like in stores?
Buttermilk will come in either a tub or a carton. If you are buying prepared buttermilk ready for use, then you should be able to find cartons in the dairy section next to the milk and cream. Sometimes it may be in glass bottles but this is rare.
Alternatively, you will find powdered buttermilk in cylindrical tubs, similar to the tubs you would find baking powder in. powdered buttermilk will be visible in the baking section or next to the powdered milk.