Bold Baking Basics, Homemade Ingredients

How to Make Sour Cream

4.47 from 379 votes
Learn How to Make Sour Cream at home with this sour cream recipe and then use it to make your baking even better — or enjoy on its own.
How to make Sour Cream recipe - All you need is 3 ingredients and a jar, that's it!

Hi Bold Bakers!

One of my oldest and most used Bold Baking Basic recipes is Sour Cream! Knowing how to make sour cream is key for both your sweet and savory cooking and baking.

From topping tacos and chili to adding to your scones and rich chocolate cakes, I use sour cream all the time. I always have some of my easy Homemade Sour Cream in the fridge, so using this simple method means that you too can have your own fresh sour cream on hand. Let me tell you, too, Bold Bakers have been asking me about Homemade Sour Cream for quite some time. Whether it’s because it’s unavailable in your region, or maybe you’re looking for an inexpensive way to get it, here it is! And it’s so simple. You will be happy to know you just need 3 ingredients and a jar, that’s it.

How to Make Sour Cream

Before I tried this recipe, I actually had no idea how sour cream was made. Well, it turns out the name say’s it all because it’s literally preserved soured cream. Unlike other homemade dairy products, this method for sour cream requires no cooking at all and very little effort. To make my homemade sour cream all you need is a nice clean jar, milk, cream, and fresh lemon juice. Oh, and a little bit of time, because you have to leave it covered on the countertop overnight. Make sure to use a breathable cloth (no lids or plastic wrap), as your sour cream will have a more fragrant flavor with exposure to the air. And that’s it!

After combining all of the ingredients they will do the work for you. The acid in the lemon reacts with the cream, similar to making my Homemade Buttermilk. After a night on the counter, I give the mix a good stir, and BAM, Homemade Sour Cream. The final sour cream is thick, rich, and tangy. There is no difference between this sour cream and the store-bought stuff, making it an amazing recipe to have on hand!

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Why is My Sour Cream Thin?

The consistency of your Homemade Sour Cream might be slightly looser than something store-bought, but it will provide all the same flavor and moisture to your baking. The reason for this is because there are no artificial thickeners, or gelling agents, that are often added to commercial brands of sour cream.

How to Store Sour Cream

Because there is nothing in the sour cream to preserve it, you will want to store it in an airtight container in your fridge. That said, it will last for a good 2 weeks! This rarely lasts that long for me so sometimes I even double down and make a larger batch.

How to Use Sour Cream in Baking

Dairy is a really important ingredient when it comes to baking. It serves many purposes like replacing eggs, making richer cakes, and because it contains acid it tenderizes the gluten so it yields incredibly soft cakes too. This Sour Cream recipe can be used in the place of buttermilk, or even yogurt. One of my favorite ways to use it in my baking is in my Chocolate Bundt Cake. In this case, my sour cream makes all the difference, adding a very distinct richness and moist texture.

[ If you like making your own ingredients at home you’ll love my recipe for How to Make Yogurt! ]

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Watch The Recipe Video!

How to Make Sour Cream

4.47 from 379 votes
Learn How to Make Sour Cream at home and then use it to make your baking even better or enjoy it on its own.
Author: DIY Natural
Servings: 2 cups
Learn How to Make Sour Cream at home and then use it to make your baking even better or enjoy it on its own.
Author: DIY Natural
Servings: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8oz / 240g) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice (or white vinegar)
  • ¼ cup (2oz / 60g) milk

Instructions

  • In a jar, mix the cream and lemon juice (or vinegar) together, then pour in the milk. Screw a lid on tightly and shake well.
  • Remove the lid and put a clean piece of kitchen paper over the jar and secure it with a rubber band.
  • Leave it on the counter overnight (up to 24 hours) for it to set up.
  • After 24 hours it should be quite firm. Give it a stir and cover it with a jar lid. It will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or so if it lasts that long!
  • Note: Because there are no thickeners or gelling agents, your homemade sour cream may be thinner than commercial brands you may be used to. Have no fear, it’s fine. I’ve gotten used to the consistency and like it better since it blends in recipes so well.

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Comments & Reviews

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Pamela
Guest
Pamela
5 months ago

Wiki,says: Sour cream (American English) or soured cream (British English) is a dairy product obtained by fermenting regular cream with certain kinds of lactic acid bacteria.[1] The bacterial culture, which is introduced either deliberately or naturally, sours and thickens the cream. Its name comes from the production of lactic acid by bacterial fermentation, which is called souring.

Sour cream is really fermented product. It is not something made by just adding lemon juice or vinegar.

Felicia
Guest
Felicia
2 months ago

Followed all of the instructions and I ended up with milk with a little layer of thick cream at the top. I’d like some advice as to why this didn’t work for me but it looks like no one else’s comments were answered either. Bummer. Such a waste of ingredients while having to shelter in place.

Member
Molliebean
10 months ago

This is so good!! It came out thick, probably because I didn’t have any milk so I used Heavy whipping cream and half-and-half

Member
1 month ago

Hi Gemma and bold bakers ! Greetings ! I made butter with sour cream and it tastes super delicious. When we boil full fat cow milk on low heat 3-4 times then a thick skin of cream is formed on the top. Add some Greek yogurt to this milk after it cools and let sit in a warm place overnight. https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/how-to-make-yogurt/ In the morning , scrape off the top layer. We have delicious thick sour cream 😋. We get a cup of cream a day from 1.5 litres of milk. The only way to extend the shelf life of this… Read more »

Tanya Brown
Member
Tanya Brown
4 months ago

Hi Gemma. In the video after 24 hours the sour cream is seperated and then you mix it up. Is this necessary or can you just scrape the thick top layer off and leave the liquid behind for something else?

Jasmine
Guest
Jasmine
4 months ago

Didn’t work at all. Very disappointed. A complete waste of time and ingredients

Angeli
Guest
Angeli
1 month ago

After 24 hours, the sour cream was watery but tasted good. I used it right away for my tacos. Before refrigerating, I whisked it just to see if it would thicken the consistency and after overnight in the fridge it totally did. I don’t know if it was the whisking or the refrigeration or both that did the trick. Might be a good note for those looking for the creamy consistency.

Thank you for this recipe. Came in really hand during the pandemic as a lot of ingredients are sold out in supermarkets. Supper happy with this!

Georgia
Guest
Georgia
4 months ago

Hi Gemma,I love your recipes and the way you present them.I have learned a lot through your recipes.I have a question:can I use Greek yoghurt and lemon juice to make sour cream?

Sierrah Hofzon
Guest
Sierrah Hofzon
1 month ago

Thank you so much! I live in Japan where Sour Cream is real hard to find, and even if you find it it’s super expensive.

This saved me tonnes of money. Thank you so much!

Maga91
Member
2 months ago

Can this be used in my bread recipe that calls for buttermilk, with the quarantine I’m making my own bread now.

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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