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How to Make Buttermilk Powder

Powdered buttermilk is a pantry staple that every from-scratch cook needs, and when you make it from scratch, you'll never have to throw out old buttermilk again!

jar of homemade dehydrated buttermilk

Not only does powdered buttermilk give homemade ranch seasoning it's signature buttermilk taste, but it's great for soups, fried chicken dredges, batters and more. 

Buttermilk Powder Uses

If you're not sure how to use buttermilk powder, you're in for a treat.

Powdered buttermilk can be used in anything from baked goods to seasoning mixes. It can also be reconstituted into liquid buttermilk by adding water. 

Buttermilk Powder Recipes

Once you've discovered the magic of drying buttermilk, you will never find yourself throwing out a half used carton again.

You can use it to take so many recipes to the next level.

  • To reconstitute buttermilk powder back into buttermilk, combine one part buttermilk powder to four parts water. For example ¼ cup buttermilk powder to 1 cup water.
  • My absolute favorite way to use it is in a DIY Ranch Dressing Mix.
  • You can also add a scoopful to just about any baked good to make it that much tastier like light and fluffy Shortening Biscuits.
  • Bump up the flavor of  fried chicken dredge, by adding 1 tablespoon buttermilk powder to 1 cup flour.
4 step instructional graphic on how to dry buttermilk into powder

How to Dry it

Drying, buttermilk is extremely easy and will really save you from having to discard it again. You can use a food dehydrator if you have one, or your oven if you don't.

To use the oven method, lay parchment paper on a baking sheet and pour 1-2 cups of buttermilk over it and spread evenly.

Don't go too thick, you want it about 2 millimeters thick so that it can easily dry. Thicker, and you risk browning the edges in an attempt to fully dehydrate it.

Once it's dry, it will become brittle and breakable. That's how you know it's done.

After that, simply put the pieces in a bullet style or high powered blender, or food processor, and blend it into powder.

Done! Just don't attempt this until it's completely dry.

Storing Dried Buttermilk

Once dried, you can store buttermilk in the pantry in a closed container for months on end.

Give it a smell test every now and then, along with a daily shake in it's container the first week.

If you notice any moisture at all, you didn't dry it long enough. Make sure the sheets are brittle enough to break, not just fold up.

How long does buttermilk last?

Buttermilk can last for about two weeks (sometimes up to 4) in the fridge, in a tightly sealed container.

How can you tell if buttermilk is expired?

It's normal for buttermilk to smell tangy due to it's acidity. However, spoiled buttermilk will have a pungent, moldy smell that is unmistakable, or will have visible mold.

What can I do with old buttermilk?

Make this dried, powdered buttermilk and store it in the pantry! (Make sure it's not spoiled first.)


To reconstitute buttermilk powder, mix ¼ cup dried, powdered buttermilk per 1 cup water.

Stir, and allow to sit for 5 minutes to dissolve and thicken, then use as needed.

📖 Recipe

glass jar filled with dry buttermilk powder

Powdered Buttermilk

Easy, homemade dried buttermilk powder.
4.74 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: DIY
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttermilk powder, dehydrated, dried
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 19kcal
Author: Erin
Cost: $1


  • Oven
  • food dehydrator


  • 3 cups buttermilk


  • Pour buttermilk onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet or food dehydrator trays (nonstick oror Lined with parchment paper)
  • Use a spatula to spread to 2 millimetre thickness.
  • Bake at 170 degrees in oven (or use food dehydrator) for 4-6 hours until brittle and completely dry. If edges become brown, cover the edges loosely with foil.
  • Cool and break into pieces 2 to 3 inches in size.
  • In a food processor, bullet blender, or high power blender, blend pieces until powder is formed.
  • Store in an airtight container in pantry for up to 3 months.


    1. Use store bought or homemade buttermilk to dry before it spoils.
    2. Make sure to dry buttermilk completely, if it only bends and doesn't break it's not done. 
    3. If edges become toasted, cover those loosely with foil while leaving the rest uncovered to continue drying. 
    4. Store in closed container for the first week, and check jar for moisture droplets. If they are present, sprinkle the powder back onto baking trays or food dehydrator and dry for an additional 30 minutes. If after one week you confirm there is no moisture present, buttermilk powder can be stored in a pantry for up to 6 months. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 19kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 41mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @TheFrozenBiscuit or tag #thefrozenbiscuit!
Recipe Rating


Sunday 6th of August 2023

If you have live cultured buttermilk, that temperature will kill the culture. You need to stay below 110° F.

Heather Ritchey

Tuesday 25th of October 2022

What's the typical actual yield once it's ground / processed? The ranch seasoning recipe that I want to make calls for 1/3 cup powdered buttermilk, so I'm trying to guestimate if this recipe will make enough.


Friday 9th of September 2022

I'm thinking if dehydrating works, then freeze drying would too. If it didn't, I could finish the drying using a dehydrator, to be safe, ... me thinks... lol.


Wednesday 15th of June 2022

So excited to try this!! Just curious, have you tried this with a homemade buttermilk alternative, i.e. milk+White vinegar? I know buttermilk purist feel it’s not a viable alternative but I can barely find a buttermilk in my area without chemical additives. Thank you!


Thursday 15th of July 2021

I wish someone replied to this i want to know the same answer? Will the culture reactivate once liquid is added? Or can we just use the powder straight when making cultured butter/creme fraiche? Art i do know for a fact you can just use plain yogurt instead of buttermilk to make creme fraiche! For each cup of cream add 2 tsp of good plain yogurt and actually I like it better its not as tart as when I use buttermilk. I mix the cream/yogurt cold leave where it can maintain 75F (gas stove shut off) 24 hours then chill 24 hours. I figured this out by making cultured butter! You use yogurt for that ...the byproduct is buttermilk...which is yogurt culture! I could probably do 1 tsp of yogurt per cup but I do 2 to be safe! So many people are running all over gods creation to find cultured buttermilk for creme fraiche and its not necessary!! It NEVER fails!


Sunday 17th of July 2022

I think it depends on how high you turn up the dehydrator. 145 degrees is the temp for pasteurization, so if you stay below that temp, technically you are probably not killing the raw culture, but I haven't verified by use yet. I used to make kefir from raw milk, heating the milk only to 100 degrees before adding the kefir starter and had no trouble growing kefir culture. I made the dehydrated buttermilk powder at 135 degrees but haven't tried to reactivate it yet. It probably also matters whether you're using sweet buttermilk (uncultured) or cultured buttermilk, which has a more activated sour taste.


Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

Hi Missy,

I cannot say for sure whether or not the buttermilk cultures can be reactivated but my guess is not, and typical powdered buttermilk does not conain them. The purpose of the dehydrated buttermilk powder is more for a flavor additive, and to not throw out unused buttermilk. I think it makes a delicious addition to ranch dressing mix.