Can You Freeze Buttermilk?


Can You Freeze Buttermilk

Freezing buttermilk is a great way to preserve your buttermilk for longer amounts of time. There are a few different methods you can use to freeze your buttermilk so that it can be saved for later. Be sure to check out our step-by-step instructions for each of these methods below. 

buttermilk ice cubes on a plate

Can Buttermilk be Frozen

Suppose you have some buttermilk that you’re not going to use for a while and want to store it for later. How do you go about doing that? Can you put buttermilk in the freezer to save it for later?

Yes! Thankfully buttermilk can be frozen for longer storage if needed. We are going to look at exactly how to freeze buttermilk below for the best results. 

How to Freeze Buttermilk

There are a few different ways you can go about freezing buttermilk for later use. The best way is to measure out how much buttermilk you will want to use for your recipes, later on, then freeze your buttermilk in these measurements so that you can easily use it later.

Doing this provides for much easier use and no waste. Let’s look at our favorite way first, followed by other methods you can use as well. 

Ice Cube Trays

Ice cube trays are great to use for freezing buttermilk. This allows your buttermilk to freeze quickly, and you can easily access the buttermilk cubes that are frozen, simply by popping them out of the ice cube tray. 

How To Freeze Buttermilk in Ice Cube Trays

Step 1: Begin by measuring how much buttermilk you will want to use for your recipe later on. 

Step 2: Pour your measured buttermilk into your ice cube trays and evenly distribute the milk. 

Step 3: Place the ice cube trays into your freezer and set them so they are level. Allow to freeze until solid.

Step 4: Once the buttermilk is frozen solid in the ice cube trays, remove the buttermilk cubes from the ice cube trays, and transfer them to a plastic freezer bag.

Seal securely, label and date then place them back into your freezer.  Freeze your buttermilk cubes for up to three months.

milk ice cubes stacked

Freezer Bags

Freezer bags are also another easy and convenient way you can freeze buttermilk if needed. Be sure to choose plastic freezer bags so that they are thicker than storage bags. 

How To Freeze Buttermilk in Freezer Bags

Step 1: Start by measuring out your buttermilk. 

Step 2: Next, take your plastic freezer bags, and write a description, and date on each bag. 

Step 3: Fill the bags with your buttermilk. Be sure to seal each one securely. 

Step 4: Place your securely sealed freezer bags with buttermilk into the freezer so that they are lying flat. Allow to freeze up to three months. 

Muffin Tins

Muffin tins can also make a great container to use for freezing your buttermilk. If you are using muffin tins, we strongly recommend that you use silicone muffin tins so that the frozen buttermilk is easier to remove. 

How To Freeze Buttermilk in Muffin Tins

Step 1: Measure out how much buttermilk you need for your recipes later on.

Step 2: Pour your buttermilk into the muffin tins. Place the muffin tins into the freezer so that they are level. Allow the buttermilk to freeze until it is solid.

Step 3: We strongly recommend that once your buttermilk is frozen in the muffin tins, you remove the frozen cubes, and transfer them to a plastic freezer bag. This will prevent the buttermilk from becoming freezer burnt. 

Step 4: When your frozen buttermilk is transferred from the muffin tins into a plastic freezer bag, place them back into the freezer and store them for up to three months. 


Another way you can store your buttermilk in the freezer is by using plastic containers. You can use whatever size the plastic container you need, although we have found that typically smaller containers work better.

How To Freeze Buttermilk in a Container

Step 1: Measure your buttermilk for later use, then pour your measured buttermilk into your plastic containers. 

Step 2: Seal the plastic container securely and place it into the freezer. Freeze for up to three months in the plastic containers. 

milk ice cubes on a plate top down

How to Thaw Buttermilk

Refrigerate Overnight. The simplest way to thaw frozen buttermilk is to simply remove it from your freezer and place it directly into your fridge.

Allow the frozen buttermilk to sit in your fridge overnight, and it will likely be thawed when you are ready to use it. 

Cold Water Thaw. Another way you could thaw your frozen buttermilk is to place it in a bowl of cold, lukewarm, or even hot water. When you are thawing buttermilk in water, you will want to be sure that your buttermilk is sealed securely in a plastic bag or plastic container so that it does not leak into the water. 

Depending on the temperature of water you use, will determine how long it takes your buttermilk to thaw. If you use hot water, keep an eye on it as it will thaw quickly. However, if you are using cold water you’ll want to change your cold water every 30 minutes so that it stays cold and your buttermilk does not go bad when it is thawing. 

Once your buttermilk is thawed using the cold water method, your buttermilk should be added to your recipe right away. 

Defrost in Microwave. Defrosting your buttermilk in the microwave can be risky, however, this is the fastest method to use. Please note that if your buttermilk is heated too quickly, or too hot, it could curdle and go bad. 

You will want to use the defrost function on your microwave to thaw your frozen buttermilk for only a few minutes, just until it is liquid again. Once your buttermilk is thawed using this method, you will want to add it to your recipe right away. 

How Long is Buttermilk Good For

Refrigerator. Be sure to reference the expiration date on your buttermilk when it is stored in the refrigerator. The expiration date is always a good rule of thumb for storing buttermilk in the fridge.

In general, your buttermilk may last between 7 and 14 days when stored properly in the fridge. But it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your buttermilk so that you do not drink spoiled buttermilk. 

Room Temperature. Buttermilk should not sit at room temperature any longer than two hours before it is thrown away. Do not risk it if you are unsure how long your buttermilk has sat out. 

How Long Does Frozen Buttermilk Last

Frozen buttermilk is best when used up to three months after it has been frozen. After that, your frozen buttermilk is likely freezer burnt, and may not thaw properly. If you are unsure if your buttermilk is good, thaw it out, and check it over thoroughly. If in doubt, throw it out. 

milk ice cubes close up

Does Unopened Buttermilk Go Bad

Although unopened buttermilk will not go bad as quickly as open buttermilk, it can still go bad if it is not used soon enough. Be sure to keep an eye on the expiration date on the container of your buttermilk to determine if it is still good or not.

If the expiration date has passed, your buttermilk may still be good for a few days afterward. However, if you are not sure if it is still good or not, don’t risk it and throw it away. 

How to Tell if Buttermilk is Bad

There are a few ways you can tell if your buttermilk has turned bad. First, if your buttermilk has been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours, don’t risk it, and throw it away immediately. Otherwise, there are a few ways you can tell if your buttermilk has turned bad. 

How can You Tell if Buttermilk is Bad

Expiration Date. The expiration date on your buttermilk container is always a good indicator to tell if it has gone bad or not. If your expiration date has passed, unopened buttermilk may still be good for a few days past the expiration date. However, in general, if the expiration date has passed, it is likely no longer good. 

Chunky Buttermilk. Another way you can tell if your buttermilk is bad is by examining the appearance of your buttermilk. If you see any curdles, lumps, or chunky buttermilk, your buttermilk has gone bad on you and it should be thrown away. Do not drink the buttermilk or add it to your recipes if it has gone bad. 

Buttermilk Smell. A great indicator to tell if your buttermilk has turned sour on you, is to take a good smell of the buttermilk. If it smells sour, or off at all, do not drink your buttermilk. Your buttermilk has likely gone bad and should be thrown away. 

Tips For Using Thawed Buttermilk

If your thawed buttermilk was thawed by refrigerating it overnight, it is likely OK to be stored in the fridge for a day or two before it is used. However, if your buttermilk was thawed using any other method, it must be used as soon as it is thawed. 

milk ice cubes stacked from the top


Does buttermilk smell sour?

Buttermilk that is still good should not smell sour. If there is a sour smell to your buttermilk, this is a good sign that it has gone bad on you and it should not be consumed. 

Can you freeze buttermilk in the carton?

Buttermilk that is still in a paper-based carton may be frozen. However, please note that doing this can be risky, as liquids tend to expand when frozen, and you run the risk of your container bursting. We strongly recommend that you transfer the buttermilk into a plastic freezer bag, or freeze it first in ice cube trays and then transfer it to a plastic freezer bag. 

Can you refreeze buttermilk?

Buttermilk that has already been frozen once should not be refrozen. Doing that is risky, and we do not recommend it. 

Can Buttermilk Be Frozen

Yes, buttermilk can be frozen if it is frozen properly. We strongly recommend using ice cube trays to freeze measured buttermilk. Then once frozen, transfer the cubes to a plastic freezer bag, and store them for up to three months. This way you can easily access your buttermilk cubes when you need them. 

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Faith Has been cooking and baking for many years! she loves to share her recipes with the world, and hopes you will enjoy them too!

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