10 Sweet And Savory Buttermilk Recipes

Thick, tangy, and slightly sour buttermilk is likely not the type of dairy you'd enjoy sipping, but there are plenty of ways to cook with buttermilk. The ingredient's acidity tenderizes meat like chicken, its tanginess provides layers of flavor in dips like ranch dressing, and it creates the ideal emulsion when paired with baking soda to create fluffy baked goods such as biscuits and scones. These are just some of the versatile reasons buttermilk is used, so you've likely eaten many dishes that contain it even if it's not a staple in your household kitchen.

Perhaps you need to know what to do with leftover buttermilk after making buttermilk pancakes from scratch, or you have a craving for a tangy homemade ranch dressing. To help out, Tasting Table has turned to our collection of original sweet and savory buttermilk recipes that run the gamut from fried chicken to biscuits and cake. Just try not to get too hungry before you can make it to the kitchen and grab that bottle of buttermilk to test one of the recipes.

Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Making buttermilk fried chicken is one of the most delicious ways to use the ingredient, and this spicy rendition is certainly no exception. Created by Tasting Table recipe developer Taylor Murray, this recipe kicks the spice factor up a notch with paprika and cayenne pepper. You'll have to marinate the chicken in the buttermilk mixture for at least an hour so it tenderizes the meat and infuses it with flavor — but the cooking time is just 20 minutes. After it's fried to golden perfection, add a final touch of extra spiciness with chili oil or hot sauce.

Recipe: Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe

Sheet Pan Buttermilk Jammy Pancakes

Give your breakfast or brunch a sweet touch with these buttermilk jammy pancakes. They have the same flavor as other buttermilk pancakes, but with far less effort than making individual pancakes on the stovetop. To elevate the flavor and add a touch of sweetness, you'll swirl in 6 tablespoons of fruit jam like strawberry or raspberry. And don't forget to add the homemade maple butter after the sheet pan pancakes cool for a few minutes. The recipe serves six and pairs deliciously with other toppings like fresh fruit or nuts.

Recipe: Sheet Pan Buttermilk Jammy Pancakes 

Buttermilk Blackberry Scones

If scones are your go-to pastry at the local bakery or coffee shop, then this recipe is an excellent choice for making them at home; use buttermilk and those fresh blackberries you got from the farmers market. We have Tasting Table recipe developer Jessica Morone to thank for these scones; she says the buttermilk helps the pastries rise and breaks down the gluten so they come out of the oven tender. A simple glaze is the finishing touch to add a dose of sweetness at the top of each bite. You can refrigerate them for up to one week — if your household manages not to eat them all much sooner.

Recipe: Buttermilk Blackberry Scones

Buttermilk Sweet Corn Biscuits

You've probably had a bite of traditional buttermilk biscuits — but they weren't quite the same as these buttermilk sweet corn biscuits. Think of these baked goods as a corn pudding-inspired biscuit (with the buttery flakiness you'd expect) met with sweet corn kernels, sharp cheddar cheese, and fresh thyme throughout each bite. They are drop biscuits, which means there's no rolling and cutting required. Even better, the sweet and savory biscuits can be on the table in about 30 minutes. Serve warm with butter or alongside a bowl of chili or stew.

Recipe: Buttermilk Sweet Corn Biscuits

Chocolate Buttermilk Pie

This chocolate buttermilk pie relies on a flaky homemade crust made with cream cheese — but it's certainly worth the time and effort. The rich chocolate pie is from recipe developer Jessica Morone who says it's similar to a fudgy brownie. The filling consists of buttermilk, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and a few other ingredients for balanced bites. The pie requires 50 minutes in the oven (be patient!) and should be cooled before you slice and serve. Eat it as is or with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for an ultimate dessert.

Recipe: Chocolate Buttermilk Pie

Air Fryer Buttermilk Apple Fritters

Apple fritters are the quintessential fall treat, but there's no need to wait for the foliage to change color to make these. You'll use your handy air fryer for an effortless baked good that's ready in less than 20 minutes. The dough contains cinnamon and Granny Smith apples for a nostalgic flare. There's a double dose of buttermilk, both in the dough and in the sweet glaze that goes on top. Serve these buttermilk apple fritters warm and topped with the glaze.

Recipe: Air Fryer Buttermilk Apple Fritters

Homemade Crème Fraîche

You might opt for store-bought crème fraîche to use in salad dressings, mashed potatoes, or on top of a blini with caviar — but it's rather easy to make at home with the assistance of buttermilk. This take on the rich, tangy French condiment created by recipe developer Taylor Murray only requires three ingredients. Note that it takes more than 36 hours to come together, though. Don't worry, you won't be in the kitchen for that long, but it does need time in the fridge to thicken and cool before it's time to dollop on your go-to dishes.

Recipe: Homemade Crème Fraîche

Zingy Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake

Citrus lovers will rejoice after every bite of this zingy lemon buttermilk pound cake. It's creamy and tangy thanks to the buttermilk that gets combined with a lemon syrup made with fresh lemon juice and sugar. The pound cake is topped with a sweet lemony icing, then garnished with lemon zest. Yes, that's lots of lemon but it's balanced with the rest of the ingredients. This recipe only requires 30 minutes of prep time and 45 minutes in an oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Store leftovers (if there are any) at room temperature for up to three days.

Recipe: Zingy Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Ditch the store-bought and take the time to make this homemade buttermilk ranch dressing instead. Combine a handful of ingredients like Greek yogurt, mayo, buttermilk, herbs like dill, and a few spices in a bowl then allow the flavors to meld in the fridge for at least a day. Prefer a spicy dressing? Add a dash of hot sauce or use more chili flakes. All that's left to do is pour it on top of a salad or use it as a dip for chips and veggies. You could also pair it with the buttermilk fried chicken at the top of this recipe roundup.

Recipe: Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Ginger And Pear Buttermilk Scones

For a unique take on buttermilk scones, consider these with ginger and pear. They're the creation of recipe developer Alexander Roberts who says the scones are easy to put together and cook in the morning just before breakfast. The fresh ginger offers a subtle zest, the pears add fruity sweetness, and the buttermilk pulls it together with a tangy touch. If that's not your forte, then use the base of the dough and add in other fruits or mix-ins. Either way, it'll only take about 25 minutes before you can take the first bite.

Recipe: Ginger And Pear Buttermilk Scones