How to Make Sour Cream at Home in 15 Minutes



Sour cream is a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used in many dishes, such as dips, sauces, soups, cakes, and more. But what if you don’t have sour cream in your fridge, or you want to avoid the additives and preservatives that are often found in store-bought sour cream? Don’t worry, you can make your sour cream at home with just two simple ingredients and 15 minutes of your time. In this article, we will show you how to make sour cream at home with a quick and easy recipe that anyone can follow.

What You Need to Make Sour Cream at Home

To make sour cream at home, you only need two ingredients:

  • Heavy cream: This is the base of your sour cream. You can use any kind of heavy cream, as long as it has at least 30% fat content. You will need 1 cup of heavy cream for this recipe.
  • Lemon juice: This is the acid that will curdle the cream and give it a tangy flavor. You can also use white vinegar or buttermilk instead of lemon juice, but we prefer the taste of lemon juice. You will need 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for this recipe.

You will also need a glass jar with a lid, a small bowl, a whisk, and a measuring cup and spoon.

Sour Cream Recipes
Sour Cream Recipes

How to Make Sour Cream at Home: Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these simple steps to make sour cream at home:

  1. Pour the heavy cream into a small bowl and whisk it for a few seconds to aerate it.
  2. Add the lemon juice and whisk again until well combined.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a glass jar and screw on the lid.
  4. Leave the jar on the counter at room temperature for about 12 hours, or until thickened. Do not refrigerate it during this time, as the sour cream needs to ferment.
  5. After 12 hours, check the consistency of your sour cream. It should be thick and creamy, with a slight tangy flavor. If it is too thin, you can leave it on the counter for a few more hours, or whisk in some more lemon juice. If it is too thick, you can thin it out with some milk or water.
  6. Once you are happy with the consistency and flavor of your sour cream, refrigerate it until ready to use. It will keep for up to a week in the fridge.

How to Use Your Homemade Sour Cream

You can use your homemade sour cream in any recipe that calls for sour cream, such as:

  • Dips: Mix your sour cream with some herbs, spices, cheese, or salsa to make a delicious dip for chips, crackers, or veggies.
  • Sauces: Add some sour cream to your favorite sauce to make it creamy and rich. For example, you can make a sour cream sauce for chicken by simmering some chicken broth, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and parsley in a skillet, then stirring in some sour cream and cornstarch to thicken it.
  • Soups: Stir some sour cream into your soup to add some creaminess and tang. For example, you can make a sour cream potato soup by cooking some potatoes, onion, celery, carrot, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and thyme in a pot until soft, then blending them with an immersion blender and stirring in some sour cream and cheese.
  • Cakes: Replace some of the butter or oil in your cake batter with sour cream to make it moist and tender. For example, you can make a sour cream chocolate cake by mixing some flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla extract, and sour cream in a bowl until smooth, then baking it in a greased pan for 25 minutes.
  • And more: You can also use your sour cream as a topping for baked potatoes, tacos, nachos, salads, pancakes, waffles, and more.

Benefits of Making Sour Cream at Home

Making sour cream at home has many benefits, such as:

  • Saving money: Homemade sour cream is cheaper than store-bought sour cream, especially if you buy heavy cream in bulk or on sale.
  • Controlling the ingredients: Homemade sour cream is free of additives, preservatives, stabilizers, and artificial flavors that are often found in store-bought sour cream. You can also adjust the amount of lemon juice or vinegar to suit your taste preferences.
  • Reducing waste: Homemade sour cream helps you use up leftover heavy cream that might otherwise go bad in your fridge. You can also reuse the glass jar that you store your sour cream in, instead of throwing away plastic containers.
How to Make Sour Cream at Home
How to Make Sour Cream at Home

Variations of Homemade Sour Cream

You can make different variations of homemade sour cream by adding different ingredients or using different methods, such as:

  • Greek-style sour cream: To make a thicker and richer sour cream, you can strain your homemade sour cream through a cheesecloth or a coffee filter for a few hours until it reaches your desired consistency. This will remove some of the whey and make your sour cream more concentrated.
  • Vegan sour cream: To make a dairy-free and vegan-friendly sour cream, you can use cashews, tofu, or coconut milk as the base, and blend them with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, and nutritional yeast. You can find many recipes online for vegan sour cream.
  • Cultured sour cream: To make a more probiotic and flavorful sour cream, you can use a starter culture to ferment your heavy cream. You can buy a sour cream starter culture online or at a health food store, or you can use some store-bought sour cream as a starter. You will need to heat your heavy cream to about 180°F and then cool it to about 110°F before adding the starter culture. Then, you will need to incubate your sour cream in a warm place for about 24 hours, until it thickens and sours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about making sour cream at home:

Can I use low-fat or non-fat cream to make sour cream?

No, you need to use heavy cream with at least 30% fat content to make sour cream. Low-fat or non-fat cream will not curdle properly and will result in a watery and bland sour cream.

How long does homemade sour cream last?

Homemade sour cream can last for up to a week in the fridge, as long as it is stored in an airtight container. Do not freeze homemade sour cream, as it will separate and lose its texture and flavor.

How can I tell if my homemade sour cream is bad?

Homemade sour cream is bad if it smells or tastes sour, moldy, or rancid. It may also have a yellow or green color or a slimy or chunky texture. If you notice any of these signs, discard your sour cream immediately and do not consume it.


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