8 Substitutes For Sour Cream

The easiest substitute for sour cream is Yogurt. You can also use mayonnaise, buttermilk, creme fraiche, cream cheese, cottage cheese, coconut milk, or make your own homemade sour cream.

If you are anything like me, you might have the same nightmare experience I did. You were making a recipe that you knew had sour cream in it as an essential ingredient. Yet somehow your brain overlooked that and you arrived at the grocery store without picking up one very essential ingredient – sour cream!

There are a lot of recipes that call for sour cream, from baked potatoes to some cakes and bread. If you’ve ever made a recipe but realized too late that you’re out of sour cream, don’t fret! There are solutions.

There are many things that can replace sour cream in recipes like yogurt. When I am out of sour cream, I usually substitute it with greek yogurt. In this article we will go through 8 alternatives you can use if you are out of sour cream.

Best Substitutes For Sour Cream

sour cream

1. Yogurt

If you love sour cream, but don’t have any in the fridge, reach for Greek yogurt instead. Not only is it delicious on tacos, but it also works in dozens of recipes as an excellent sour cream substitute.

Substitute equal amounts of sour cream for yogurt.

2. Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is an egg-based emulsion of oil, water, lemon juice, or vinegar. It is a wonderful substitute for sour cream in many recipes. Because it’s thick, it replaces sour cream and gives you a similar consistency without the sour taste. The way it affects your baked goods will depend on the type of recipe you are using.

Substitute 1 cup of sour cream for 1 cup of mayonnaise.

3. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a great substitute to use for dips and dressings. It has a thick texture so it would not work well for toppings for baked potatoes, chili, or tacos.

Substitute 1 cup of sour cream for 3/4 cup of buttermilk.

4. Creme Fraiche

If you can’t find sour cream at the store, a great alternative is crème fraîche. These two items are basically the same product but with slightly different names. Although they both have the same fat content and flavor profile, crème fraîche is usually much milder, which makes it perfect for food like tacos and fajitas.

Substitute equal amounts of sour cream for creme fraiche.

5. Cream Cheese

Cream cheese can work as a substitute for sour cream. The texture is a lot thicker so you will need to loosen it before you can use it. Also, you will need to let it come to room temperature and then mix it with a liquid like water or milk.

Substitute 1 cup of sour cream for 6 ounces of cream cheese.

6. Cottage Cheese

A healthy substitute for sour cream would be cottage cheese. It is packed with protein and fewer calories. You will need to add lemon juice to it to get a similar flavor.

Substitute 1 cup of sour cream for 1 cup of cottage cheese plus 1/4 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

7. Coconut Milk

This is a great vegan and dairy-free substation. I use coconut milk all the time as a substitute for sour cream in my recipes. You will need to mix it with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to make it sourer. This works great for dips and dressings.

Substitute 1 cup of sour cream for 1 cup of coconut milk plus 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

8. Make Your Own

A great idea is to make your own homemade sour cream. This process will take some time so it is not the best substitute if you are in a hurry.

sour cream

Homemade Sour Cream

Ingredients Needed:

1 cup of heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar

1/4 cup of milk


Mix the cream and lemon juice or vinegar. Add the milk and mix it all together. Pour into a jar. Put the lid on and shake well. Let it sit at room temperature for 1 day. After that time your sour cream should be set. Refrigerate in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


My Sour Cream Is Thin

You may notice that your homemade sour cream might be thinner or looser than the ones you buy at the store. This is because yours contains no gels or thickeners as the store-bought sour cream. No worries though as it will still contain the same flavor and will provide the moisture needed for baking.

Storage Instruction

Store the sour cream in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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