Baking isn't just a hobby for me, it's a sport. When I'm in the kitchen, nothing comes between me and my precious baked creations. The only issue is that I like to assume that I have all the ingredients needed, when I actually don't. I often find myself having this problem with buttermilk because I don't keep a carton of it in my fridge constantly. Buttermilk can make or break a recipe, so it's crucial to know some buttermilk substitutes if you find yourself needing some, fast. Here are the best buttermilk substitutes that every baker should know.

1. White Vinegar and Milk

milk, yogurt, cream, dairy product, dairy, sweet, ice
Kendra Valkema

I've used vinegar and milk as a buttermilk substitute quite a few times, and I think it works really well. All you need to do to make this is add one tablespoon of vinegar to a measuring cup and add milk until you reach the line for one cup. After you stir it up a little, let it sit for 10 minutes, or until it starts to slightly curdle. If you don't have white vinegar, you can always add a tablespoon of lemon juice, instead.

2. Cream of Tartar and Milk

water, tea, milk
Alex Frank

If you've had that container of cream of tartar sitting in your cabinet for who knows how long because you've only ever used it once, congrats! You finally get to use it again. Simply whisk 1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar into one cup of milk to get your buttermilk substitute. Now go ahead and put that cream of tartar back in the cabinet to be used again in a few years.  

3. Water-Downed Yogurt

milk, dairy product, cream, coffee, sweet
Kathleen Lee

If you want a thick liquid that's similar to buttermilk's consistency, water-downed yogurt might be your best bet. To make this buttermilk substitute, add 1/4 cup milk or water to 3/4 cup plain yogurt and whisk it until everything's blended. Make sure to use unflavored yogurt to keep the recipe's original flavor intact.

4. Water-Downed Sour Cream

coffee, milk, cream, sweet
Sabrina Knap

This buttermilk substitute is similar to water-downed yogurt, except equal parts sour cream and water are whisked together. If you want one cup of buttermilk, just mix together 1/2 cup water and 1/2 sour cream. This substitute works extremely well if you're making a cake of some sort.

It's always a good idea to check your recipe to see what ingredients you need before actually making something, but these buttermilk substitutes will work great when you need buttermilk quick. If you don't even have any of the ingredients listed above, try doing a quick search to look for substitutes for those ingredients.