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Bold Baking Basics, Homemade Ingredients

How To Make Sour Cream

4.58 from 737 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!

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHAT YOU GET: One of my most-used Bold Baking Basic recipes — Sour Cream! Knowing how to make sour cream is key for both your sweet and savory cooking and baking. So if you’re running low or just like to make everything from scratch, this recipe is for you! If you need any help, comment down on the page below. We respond to all comments!

From topping tacos and chili, to adding it to your cupcakes, rich chocolate cakes, and even my Sour Cream Banana Bread recipe, 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, that 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’ll just need:

  • 3 Ingredients (Milk, Cream, and Lemon Juice)
  • 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 says 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. Also, 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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If Your Sour Cream Is 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 that there are no artificial thickeners, or gelling agents, that are often added to commercial brands of sour cream.

What you’re getting is sour cream in its purest form!

The good news is that even though it might be thinner than you’re used to, you won’t be able to tell the difference when using it in your baking. On tacos, though, it just might taste even better than store-bought!

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.

Just make sure it stays refrigerated and you’ll be good to go.

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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Make More Ingredients

Use Your New Sour Cream

If you’re looking for recipes so you can use your new sour cream, you know, other than making an incredible taco even better, you can try these baking recipes:

And don’t forget to buy my new cookbook, Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day, out now!

 

Watch The Recipe Video!

How to Make Sour Cream

4.58 from 737 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 whipping cream (36% fat content works best)
  • 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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Pamela
Pamela
2 years 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.

Shruthi Achut
2 years 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 »

Molliebean
Molliebean
3 years 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

Felicia
Felicia
2 years 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.

Angeli
Angeli
2 years 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!

Tanya Brown
Tanya Brown
2 years 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?

Bea
Bea
2 years ago

Decided to make this, when I opened it 24 hours later I panicked as it seemed very thin, so after I read the comments of how others dealt with it, and added some more lemon juice, and wow did it thicken up! I now have very nice sour cream to use over the next 2 weeks! Great little recipe, honestly, if you’re creams thin, just add some extra lemon juice, give it a shake an a stir and voila!

Sierrah Hofzon
Sierrah Hofzon
2 years 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!

Jasmine
Jasmine
2 years ago

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

Georgia
Georgia
2 years 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?

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook