Learn How To Make Sour Cream at home using just 2 ingredients and 5 minutes of active working time. The homemade version is super easy, very economical, and much better than the store-bought one (vegetarian, gluten-free).
You must also try my homemade Pomegranate Molasses, Balsamic Glaze, Taco Seasoning, or Cajun Seasoning. These are also super easy to make at home and better than their store-bought versions.
About Homemade Sour Cream
Sour Cream (Cultured Cream) is nothing but preserved soured cream made by fermenting heavy cream. It is one of those ingredients that is used very regularly in my kitchen and the best thing that I have done is to perfect the recipe to make it at home.
The process to make it is just like making homemade yogurt or buttermilk where the lactic acid bacteria react with the cream and milk and produces more acid. This process gives a thick texture with a slightly sour tangy flavor to the sour cream.
It is slightly tangy tart in taste and is often used as a baking ingredient to make cakes and other bakes fluffier and richer or it is used to cook or top savory dishes.
Although it comes together in just 5 minutes, it needs 24 hours to allow the lactic acid bacteria to thicken and ferment it. Keep this in consideration and make it in advance before you need it.
Made using just 2 ingredients and 5 minutes of active working time, homemade sour cream is much better than its store-bought version. Why you may ask?
- Homemade tastes much better than store-bought ones.
- It is made using high-quality ingredients
- It is much more economical to make it at home than to buy commercial sour cream.
- The homemade version is free of any artificial ingredients, added sugar, added preservatives, thickening agents, or stabilizers.
- It can be stored for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator
This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled too. So waiting for what? Make your own sour cream at home using my easy recipe.
You can also make creme fraiche, cottage cheese, cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and many other dairy products at home. I will be sharing the recipes soon.
You will need 2 simple ingredients to make homemade sour cream.
Heavy Cream – Unsweetened heavy cream (double cream) with a fat content of 36% or more works best.
Fermenting Agent – You will need a fermenting agent to ferment the cream. I used lemon juice but you can use buttermilk or plain live yogurt in its place.
You can either make your buttermilk by mixing a teaspoon of lemon juice into ¼ cup milk or use store-bought buttermilk but since we require it in so little quantity, I refrain from buying a box and then figuring out what to use the rest for.
Another way to make it is by using yogurt as the fermenting agent. Just add a teaspoon of plain live yogurt (in place of lemon juice) per 1 cup of heavy cream. Greek yogurt also works fine.
Flavoring – Once it is ready, you can either use it as is or flavor it with any flavoring of your choice. Garlic powder, taco seasoning, lemon pepper, etc can be added to it for a delicious taste.
How To Make Sour Cream
Add 1 cup of unsweetened heavy cream (36% or more fat content) to a pan and stir well.
Cook on low heat until it is just warm.
Note – To check if the temperature of the cream is correct, put a finger in the pan. the cream should feel just warm to the touch and not hot.
Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the cream to a glass container (or a mason jar).
Add 2 teaspoon lemon juice and mix well.
Cover the mouth of the container with tissue paper, cheesecloth, or a muslin cloth, and secure it with a rubber band.
Note – Using a breathable material to cover the container will help to build the flavor.
Leave the container on the counter at room temperature for up to 8 hours or overnight to set. If it’s very hot where you live, reduce this time to 6 hours.
The cream might have separated a bit while resting. Just stir it well using a spoon or a small wire whisk.
Cover the container with a lid and refrigerate for another 8 hours for the cream to thicken.
Refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks and use it as desired.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you buy sour cream from the store, it comes with added artificial thickeners, and hence it can be a little thicker than the homemade version.
The homemade version might be a little thinner in consistency but is equally good and the recipes to which it is added come out perfect.
If you are a vegan, you can make it using raw cashew nuts. It’s not the real deal but tastes as good as the original one.
Just add 1 cup cashew nuts, ½ cup water, and 2 tablespoon lemon juice to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy and your vegan version is ready. Easy, right!!
It contains just heavy cream and lemon juice hence it is absolutely gluten-free unless there is some contamination.
This Instant version is a great substitute if you are on a time crunch. To make this, you will need unsweetened heavy whipping cream and lemon juice. Stir the two until combined and whisk until the cream is slightly stiffened.
While sour cream is prepared by adding bacteria (fermentation) to the cream, yogurt is prepared by fermenting only milk.
Yes, you can use white distilled vinegar in place of lemon juice. It works absolutely fine. You can also use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
Pro Tips By Neha
Don’t get tempted to use low-fat cream. The sour cream will not turn out thick and creamy.
Once sour cream is ready, you can flavor it using various ingredients. Add some salt, pepper, onion powder, and chives to make a savory onion and chive topping, or add vanilla, orange zest, or lemon zest along with some sugar to top over your desserts.
Sour cream is a very versatile ingredient and can be used in multiple baking recipes and to make creamy savory dishes too.
It makes the baked goods moist and gives them a nice texture. Since it contains acid it tenderizes the gluten yielding incredibly soft cakes. I use it to make Pound Cake, cookies, and chocolate cake.
Use it to top Tacos, Instant Pot Taco Soup, Waffles, Pancakes, or Mexican Cauliflower Tice.
It is also a great topping for baked potatoes and pizza. A dollop of sour cream over baked potato is one of my favorite snacks.
Stir it with a little onion and garlic powder for added flavor. I sometimes slather it over my Sicilian Pizza and it tastes great too.
Thin it down with little water and use it as salad dressings in potato salad or any other salad or make a creamy dip out of it.
Use it to thicken soups and stews and give them a creamier texture.
Add some to your favorite dips to make them richer and creamier.
You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Make sure to use a non-reactive glass container (as it may react with the plastic) and keep the lid tightly closed.
I do not recommend freezing it as it may separate when thawed. However, if you have made a big batch and have not been able to use it, freeze it in a freezer-safe box and use it only for baked goodies. Do not use it for dips or sauces as the texture will not be the same.
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How to Make Sour Cream At Home
- 1 cup unsweetened heavy cream (8 oz or 250 g, 36% or more fat content works best)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Add heavy cream to a pan and stir well.
- Cook on low heat until it is just warm.
- Note – To check if the temperature of the cream is correct, put a finger in the pan. the cream should feel just warm to the touch and not hot.
- Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the cream to a glass container.
- Add lemon juice and mix well.
- Cover the mouth of the container with tissue paper, cheesecloth, or a muslin cloth and secure it with a rubber band.
- Note – Using a breathable material to cover the container will help to build the flavor.
- Leave the container on the counter for up to 8 hours or overnight to set. If it’s very hot where you live, reduce this time to 6 hours.
- The cream might have separated a bit while resting. Just stir it well using a spoon or a small wire whisk.
- Cover the container with a lid and refrigerate for another 8 hours for the cream to thicken.
- Refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks and use it as desired.
wow lovely and very useful recipe dear 🙂
Nice & useful post.
I make sour cream in a different way …..but I am as always mesmerized by your beautiful pictures , your pictures have a ” get happy “button , they never fail to please .
I thought you have a good collection of recipe’s and it might be possible for me to serve these items from my place to the world.
Is it possible to make this recipe with table cream (half cream) or english double cream?
Not really Alva.
Yeah i use double cream in mine (mainly because i use DC for sauces too like in peppercorn so always have it on hand) it just makes it thicker with a higher fat content
How much buttermilk if not using lemon juice?
Use 1/4 cup buttermilk in place of milk and lemon.
Can I use regular milk cream to make sour cream?
I have never tried that personally. You can make a small batch and check.
hi! after 24 hours , i dont put my homemade sour cream in refrigerator, i use it right away. is that okay?
Yes, it’s fine. It gets a little more thickened after refrigerating.