17 Tasty Buttermilk Recipes That Go Beyond Pancakes and Biscuits

Dark Cocoa Buttermilk Cake with Cocoa Mascarpone Frosting
Photo: Karla Conrad

In all its creamy, tangy glory, buttermilk first gained popularity nearly 100 years ago, back in the 1920s. Today, it's still used as a staple ingredient for making fluffy buttermilk pancakes and biscuits. If you still have leftovers from your latest bake, there are plenty of buttermilk recipes to finish the jug beyond the classic uses. While we've got the staple recipes featuring buttermilk, we'll also share exciting new recipes using buttermilk. Add some tang to desserts such as pie or cake, make a brine for poultry, or a creamy dressing.

01 of 17

Classic Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk Pancakes
Jason Donnelly

Accomplish diner-style pancakes in your home kitchen with the help of buttermilk. If you want to go beyond classic buttermilk pancakes, opt for one of the six variations including peanut-butter banana, lemon-ricotta, and cinnamon-pear. Be sure to sift together the dry ingredients for optimal fluffiness and height.

02 of 17

Buttermilk-Sage Dinner Rolls

sage-buttermilk rolls brushed with butter
Brie Passano

Skip the store-bought stuff and make your own homemade dinner rolls. The sage added to this buttermilk bread adds a nice earthiness that will pair perfectly with your holiday meals. Freeze any leftovers for up to three months and warm them up when you need an easy side for dinner.

03 of 17

Buttermilk Fudge

Buttermilk Fudge in box lined with red and white striped paper
Brie Passano

Adding candy to the holiday baking list this year? Try this easy buttermilk recipe. The tangy buttermilk adds a nice contrast to the sweet sugary base. Toasted walnuts or pecans give every bite irresistible crunch.

04 of 17

Dill Chicken Everything Bagel Biscuit Hotdish

Dill Chicken Everything Bagel Biscuit Hotdish
Carson Downing

Cookbook author Molly Yeh found a way to incorporate trendy everything bagel seasoning blend into a tasty chicken casserole. Instead of a pastry crust for this pot-pie-like dish, a quick buttermilk biscuit recipe forms the "bagels" on top. It's a one-dish dinner the family will request repeatedly.

05 of 17

Dark Cocoa Buttermilk Cake with Cocoa Mascarpone Frosting

Dark Cocoa Buttermilk Cake with Cocoa Mascarpone Frosting
Karla Conrad

For a decadent chocolate dessert that will feed a crowd, this fluffy buttermilk cake is hard to beat. The 9x13 dessert is topped with a cocoa and mascarpone frosting, adding even more tanginess to every bite.

Buy It: Wilton Sheet Cake Pan ($10, Walmart)

06 of 17

Buttermilk Pie

Buttermilk Pie
Scott Little

Here's a buttermilk recipe that will make Grandma proud. The 6-ingredient pie comes together fast using staple pantry ingredients. It'll be perfect for spreading cheer at holiday gatherings.

07 of 17

Pumpkin-Praline Muffins

Pumpkin Praline Muffins
Kritsada Panichgul

Save a can of pumpkin to make these moist, super delicious buttermilk muffins. The brown sugar and warm pie spices make this autumn recipe a treat for breakfast or dessert. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or keep the flavor theme going with a pumpkin spice latte.

08 of 17

Buttermilk-Brined Fried Chicken

Buttermilk-Brined Fried Chicken
Blaine Moats

Enjoy the juiciest fried chicken you've ever tasted with this staple buttermilk recipe. The buttermilk brine adds moisture and that irresistible tang to the chicken before going into the fryer. If you like a bit of heat in your comfort food dinner, add a bit of cayenne to the flour mixture.

Buy It: Lodge Enamel Dutch Oven ($100, Target)

09 of 17

Classic Buttermilk Biscuits

Classic Buttermilk Biscuits
Andy Lyons

These are the buttermilk biscuits that beat all other biscuit recipes. With just 10 minutes of prep time, you'll be cutting and baking soft, fluffy biscuits. Brush them with melted butter and enjoy them while they're hot with jam or sausage gravy.

10 of 17

Succotash Salad with Buttermilk-Avocado Dressing

Succotash Salad with Buttermilk-Avocado Dressing
Andy Lyons

Upgrade your salad by ditching the bottled dressing and trying this delicious buttermilk dressing recipe instead. The tangy dressing really shines over the bed of lettuce topped with fresh sweet corn, lima beans, onion, and blue (or feta) cheese. Turn it into a main-dish salad by adding grilled chicken and bacon.

11 of 17

Buttermilk Pudding with Pomegranate Compote

Buttermilk Pudding with Pomegranate Compote
Blaine Moats

When it comes to making desserts that look and taste fancy but are actually easy to make, leave it to James Beard Award-winning Chef Scott Peacock. This creamy buttermilk recipe gets nice and thick with the addition of gelatin. A sweet-tart pomegranate compote helps brighten up the dessert (in regards to presentation and taste).

12 of 17

Buttermilk-Brined Turkey Breast

roasted turkey breast on white platter surrounded by cut citrus fruit
Brie Passano

Not looking to cook an entire bird for the feast this year? Try using a buttermilk brine on turkey breast for an impressive main dish centerpiece.

13 of 17

Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake

Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake
Jacob Fox

Poke cakes are the key to serving a dessert that is packed with creamy, dreamy flavors. This easy dessert starts by doctoring up a box of cake mix with buttermilk and lemon zest. From there, the poked holes are filled with an irresistible zippy blend of lemonade and homemade blueberry sauce.

14 of 17

Air-Fryer Pickle Chips

Air-Fryer Pickle Chips
Matthew Clark

If you need a way to use up just a tiny bit of buttermilk left in the jug, opt for these delicious air-fryer pickle chips. The thick milk is spiked with a bit of sriracha to serve as the base before coating with the crunchy panko topping. Guests will never believe this bar-favorite appetizer came from your air fryer.

Buy It: PowerXL Air Fryer ($60, Target)

15 of 17

Buttermilk Herb Slaw

Buttermilk Herb Slaw picnic table white bowl
   . Annie Schlechter

With slow-to-wilt hearty veggies such as cabbage, kale, and carrots, this buttermilk recipe will make an excellent addition to a family cookout or potluck. The homemade buttermilk dressing is infused with Dijon mustard, garlic, vinegar, and sugar for a zesty-sweet coating for the slaw.

16 of 17

Buttermilk White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Buttermilk White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
Andy Lyons

You've probably heard of buttermilk mashed potatoes, but we took things up a notch to really win your side dish game. White cheddar adds even more flavor to the buttermilk mashers. Crispy bacon toppers are optional, but an excellent addition.

Buy It: OXO Potato Masher ($14, Bed Bath & Beyond)

17 of 17

Salted Caramel Gingerbread Cake with Orange Buttercream

Salted Caramel Gingerbread Cake with Orange Buttercream on black cake stand
Carson Downing

Salted caramel, warm spices, and citrusy buttercream—we love everything about this festive winter dessert. To really make things fancy, garnish with sugared cranberries and candied ginger. This buttermilk cake is almost too pretty to eat, so be sure to snap a pic before slicing!

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