There are several options if you’re all out! Here’s the best sour cream substitute to use in baking and for dolloping.

Sour cream substitute

All out of sour cream? We got your back! Sour cream is used in baked recipes and to make sauces and soups creamy. But even more often, it’s used for dolloping! What’s chili without a good dollop of sour cream? So you won’t feel stuck if you run out, here are our best sour cream substitutes to use in recipes and as a topping.

Best sour cream substitute in baking & recipes

Note that how these options work depend on the type of recipe and how the sour cream is used.

1. Make it homemade!

Guess what: you can make your own sour cream! All you need is 24 hours, heavy cream, and buttermilk. Let the two sit in a warm place for a day and it will thicken into a homemade version that tastes even better than the real thing. Go to Homemade Sour Cream.

2. Full fat Greek yogurt (or plain yogurt).

The best sour cream substitute in baking? Yogurt! Greek yogurt especially has a creamy texture similar to sour cream, and a tangy flavor. Use this as a substitute for sour cream in baking recipes and for dolloping chili. The ratio? 1:1. That is, replace 1 cup sour cream with 1 cup yogurt. Or, you could use plain yogurt and strain it for a few minutes (or up to 1 hour) to get a thicker texture.

Note: If your recipe calls to add sour cream to a hot sauce or soup, beware! Yogurt has less fat than sour cream, so it can curdle easier. Use a lower temperature when simmering, or turn off the heat and add it at the end of making the recipe.

3. Vegan sour cream (dairy-free option).

A substitute for sour cream that’s dairy free? Try this Vegan Sour Cream! It’s oddly similar to the flavor and texture of sour cream, but it’s made with cashews, tofu and lemon juice. Do not use this as a substitute for sour cream in baking recipes. But it’s perfect for dolloping chili and tacos!

4. Creme fraiche

The French version of sour cream, creme fraiche also works as a substitute! It has an even higher fat content than sour cream, so it’s richer and creamier. One drawback is that it has a milder flavor and doesn’t have the tang that sour cream does. But if you have it on hand, it can do the trick!

You can experiment with creme fraiche as a substitute for sour cream in baking and for dolloping. Use it as a 1:1 substitution. And you don’t have to worry about it curdling in hot sauces!

Here are a few recipes made more perfect with sour cream:

Last updated: December 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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